Selecting a wax for the conditions should not be that difficult. It should be simple and straight forward. If you are new to waxing here is the Fast Wax method explained. Start out by looking at two things in the weather forecast for the day of your event. The temperature and relative humidity or how wet the snow may be. Using the humidity you can determine if you should use a wax with Fluorocarbons in it or not. Your pocket book might help make this determination as well. Look at the charts on the next page to determine if the relative humidity falls into the sweet spot of a Fluorocarbon wax or not. Then once you have determined which wax line to go with, you use the temperature ranges of that line to select the specific wax to use. This is as basic as it gets, but we all have to start somewhere. Once you get more experience with waxing you can start to consider additional factors in determining your choice of waxes to use.
Most Fast Wax products have a number in their name. This number is important. This number represents the approximate mid-temperature in the products temperature range. If you add and subtract 10 to this number you will have calculated the approximate temperature range that wax is ideal for. Take HS 20 for example, it has a temperature range of 12 to 28. Add and subtract 10 from 20 and one gets 10 and 30, pretty close to what the ideal temperature range is.
What factors should be considered when selecting a wax for a race?
There are many factors when determining a race wax to use.
- The start time and duration of the race: what will the temperature and humidity do while you are racing?
- What are the current snow conditions, along the entire trail or course.
- What is the history of the snow? Has it been very cold the past couple of days, so the snow pack might lag behind the air temps?
- Is there fresh snow in the forecast? If so you will probably want to wax colder.
Additionally if you want a deeper dive into other factors always look at the Fast Wax, Ski Wax Philosophy page.
Will cross country wax work on my down-hill skis or snowboard?
ABSOLUTELY! Fast Wax makes glide wax, a generic term for a type of wax that is used to slide or glide across snow. Glide wax is an excellent choice for all down hill skiers or boarders. Glide wax lowers the level of friction between your ski base and the snow.
Kick wax on the other hand is used to grip the snow. Do not put that on your snowboard or downhill skis. Kick wax increases the level of friction between your skis base and the snow.
Can I mix Fast Wax with wax from other manufacturers?
Sure, knock yourself out. So far we have not heard of any negative side effects from mixing Fast Wax with another brand. It may be hard to replicate your ski setup in the future, but if you want experiment do it.
How long does wax last in the package?
Paraffin wax is a very stable product and should last for 10+ years, easily. After a couple of years out of the package a thin layer around the wax may oxidize. This oxidation is only cosmetic and the rest of the wax is still as good as the day it was made.
How long does paste wax last?
Paste wax has a conditioner in it that makes the wax like a jelly. This makes it super easy to apply but this conditioner will evaporate after about 2 years. If your paste wax starts to dry out, the puck that is left is the pure wax which is still good. You can rub this puck up and down your ski base to apply the wax.
What is the difference between hard wax and a paste wax?
Hard wax is a general term used to describe wax that re-quires an iron to apply. This process generally takes longer, but the results last longer.
Paste wax on the other hand provides the same results as hard wax, but paste wax has the consistency of jelly and is applied with an included applicator, no iron needed. Since paste wax does not have the heat from an iron it does not sink as deep in to the ski base so it generally does not last as along.
If you have lots of skis to wax, a paste wax can save you lots of time.
What is hard wax?
Hard wax is a generic term used to describe a bar of paraffin wax that is applied with an iron and scraped off. This process is somewhat time consuming but the results are unmistakably great: the heat expands the ski base, opening microscopic voids and holes, which allows the liquid wax to sink deeper into the ski base. The more wax you have in your base the more distance you will get out of the wax.
The base of the iron works like a hydraulic press, when the wax becomes liquid the solid surface and the weight of the iron forces wax deeper into the base of your ski.
What is paste wax?
Paste wax is paraffin wax suspended in a wax conditioner. This wax conditioner keeps the wax in a peanut butter-like consistency. This makes the wax very easy to apply and without the need of an iron. Since you do not use a hot iron to apply the wax does not get very deep into the ski base.
How do I know the temperature range for a ski wax?
Fast Wax packaging states the temperature that the wax is designed for. A trick is to look at the number in the name of the Fast Wax product.
Then add and subtract 10 to that number to get the range that the wax is for. The number on the package is the mid point in the twenty degree range for that wax.
Unfortunately as the temperatures change the snow changes its properties so the wax on your ski needs to change as well. Cold temps requires a harder wax, and warmer temps need a warmer temperature wax.
What do the colors of ski wax mean?
Ski Wax manufacturers have a loose standard on wax colors. Each color represents a temperature range that the wax is made for. Here is a breakdown of the Fast Wax color system.
- White is the coldest wax Fast Wax makes
- Teal is good from 0-20 F
- Blue is good from 10 -30F
- Red is good from 20-40F
- Yellow is good from 30-50F