Step Four: Waxing The Skis
- Brass Brush or Soft Steel - optional
- Nylon Brush
- Horsehair Brush
- Roto Brushes - optional
- Clean lint free cloth
- Ski straps
Choosing wax depends on whether or not you are competing and how fast you want your skis or boards to run. Purchasing wax nowadays can be rather confusing. To help make it a little easier for you here are 4 main categories and some of their characteristics:
Typically the least expensive and fine for all-round skiing and boarding and are good for the “hot scraping” method of base cleaning. Best to buy in bulk.
Low Fluorinated Waxes (soon to be banned):
Work well in most conditions and are more expensive than the Hydrocarbon waxes. Good for those who enjoy recreational racing and training. Toxic and a respirator mask needs to be worn.
High Fluorinated Waxes (soon to be banned):
These are the faster, work best in certain conditions and are typically the most expensive. Used mostly by those who are involved in competition. Very toxic and a respirator mask must be worn.
Utilizing Nano-Technology, Nanox claims it has the best gliding performance under all conditions because of the NANO particles ability to adapt to the extreme changes in temperature and humidity. Since Nanox waxes are not temperature specific it means you only need ONE wax for all snow conditions & temperatures. This makes it the easiest system to use whether you're into recreational or competitive skiing & boarding. It's non-toxic and does not contain any Fluorocarbons. Nanox claims their wax stays in your base longer. Best value & performance for money.
Now that your skis and boards are tuned to your personal requirements, they need to be cleaned due to all of the handling, dirt and impurities left in the base. Cleaning the base and its structure is an extremely important step to acheive optimal gliding characteristics.
Inspect your base with a loupe if possible to see if you have micro-hairs present. If you do it’s critical to remove them minimize friction and allow the bases to run fast. To do so wrap fibertex around your true bar and take passes back and forth, finishing with one long pass tip to tail. End with a smooth sharp scraper knocking all the fibers back in the direction of glide. Next, use with a brass or soft steel brush either by hand or roto-brushes from tip to tail. If using roto-brushes wear safety glasses and be sure to set the drill on the slower speed setting applying light-med pressure. Optional: Use of a finer horsehair brush may be required to further extract micro-hairs prior to waxing.
Option A: Use approximately 75% distilled water to 25% isopropanol mixture (environmentally friendly) and apply to a clean lint free cloth. Wipe your base until clean. Experiment with the solution ratio to fit your evaporation preference.
Option B: Wax your base and while still hot, immediately scrape it - known as “Hot Scraping”. This draws out the impurities that may be in the base. Repeat, until there is no longer any dirt in the wax that you are scraping..
Preheat your iron to the respective wax manufacturer’s specifications. In this case we'll provide waxing directions using Nanox. Next, set your iron to 140C (if the wax smokes excessively decrease the temperature of the iron). Clean the iron with a clean cloth, then melt and drip a generous amount of wax onto the base. Next, holding your cord out of the way melt the wax into your base. We like to start at the tail, go to the tip and return to the tail. Be sure to keep the iron moving so you don’t burn the base and look for 5-10cm melted trail behind the iron. Note: Using CFX II race wax is identical in application and removal except that the iron is set to 150-160C.
Use the notch in the scraper to remove all wax from the edges. Brush away the wax. If needed put ski on its side to remove wax from the edge and sidewall. Wipe clean and use fibertex to remove stubborn wax from the sidewall. When scraping place both thumbs on the scraper and push with even pressure removing the wax from tip to tail. Scrape Nanox from the base within 1-2 minutes or still slightly warm. Avoid both over scraping and flexing thinner scrapers otherwise you may unnecessarily remove base material.
Next, always remove Nanox wax with your nylon brush only. If you choose to use use roto-brushes, set the speed high and use low force or set the speed low and use medium force. Go back and forth with the roto-brush finishing with one smooth and steady pass from tip to tail ensuring the roto is contacting the entire width of the base. Note: For best results with Nanox waxes use a nylon hand brush scrubbing back forth and lastly a tip to tail pass to knock all the fibres back down. This will give you a nice sheen and allow the meltwater to flow through the structure on-snow. Wipe clean to remove dust. To learn more about Nanox refer to our How-To-Use Nanox wax video.
Lastly, use a minimum of three ski straps to transport your skis and protect your work. If you are traveling it is best to put your skis or board in a protective bag.
Notes: Cut 10 files are predominantly used for brand new skis or ones that have recently been done by machine. Cut 14 files are our most popular file and for general every day use. Cut 15 and 16 files are used for finer filing and skis that are tuned often. Cleaning your diamonds immediately after your session will drastically increase their longevity. Using oil instead of water is our suggested method. Only use a tiny drop otherwise you may affect the adhesion of the replaceable diamond on its backing plate. Smear it around with your finger to lift the dirt and rub vigorously on a coarse towel, then flip it over and let it dry diamond side up. Just like files, diamond stones wear out after 1000’s of passes. When they do just remove the diamond strip, clean the backing plate with alcohol and replace it.We're confident these 4 steps will help you to enjoy your on snow experience far more. Remember, an instructor or coach can only help you so much if your skis or board aren’t are tuned to match your existing strength and skills. Therefore, if you want to get much more value out of your ski lessons, race camps, or competitions, learning to tune your own gear will be a huge asset. With practice you will soon develop a “feel” for tuning and immediatley feel what a difference it makes in your skiing & riding. Enjoy! Watch our How-To-Tune 4 step video