When ski season comes to a close, it’s easy to shove your Nordic skis in the back of your closet to be forgotten until the snow falls again. But how you treat your skis when the season ends makes all the difference in how they will perform next season. Storage waxing both your skate and classic skis before putting them away for the summer is key, and it’s a quick and easy DIY task that can be done at your home wax station.
What You’ll Need:
- Soft cleaning wax
- Base prep or all-temp wax
- Waxing iron
- Plastic scraper
- Fine steel or brass brush
- Nylon brush
The goal of storage wax is to limit contact between your ski’s bases and oxygen since ski bases are susceptible to oxidation which will cause gradual base-degradation. In order to ensure that your skis are performing at their best at the start of the season, here are 5 simple steps to storage waxing Nordic skis:
- Determine If You Need a Tune
Start by examining your bases. If it’s been a while since they’ve had a grind, it’s a good idea to get them tuned before applying your storage wax. A fresh stone grind will guarantee that your skis will soak in the wax. If your structure looks good, however, and you want to wait for the following season to get a tune, you can get started with the storage waxing.
- Hot Scrape Your Bases
Next, you’ll be removing as much old wax and dirt from your bases as possible. To do this, you will want to use a non-fluorinated cleaning wax and perform what is called “hot scraping”. With your waxing iron set to the recommended temperature, drip your cleaning wax onto the base of your skis and iron it over 2-3 times. This draws any unwanted particles out of your structure and to the surface of the base allowing for easy removal. Then, while the cleaning wax is still wet, use your plastic scraper to remove the wax, checking for dirt in the residue. Hot scraping removes old wax and dirt from the pores.
- Brush Your Bases
After letting your skis cool for 10-15 minutes, you can start on the two-step graduating brush process. First, use your fine brass brush to remove the bulk of the remaining cleaning wax. Working tip to tail, brush out your base structure with smooth and even pressure. Next, switch to your nylon brush and, using this same method, brush your bases until no more wax dust is appearing. Use that nylon brush to remove any remaining wax.
- Time to Apply the Storage Wax
Once your bases are thoroughly cleaned, you’re ready to wax! There are a lot of options for storage wax so the choice is yours, but make sure your waxing iron is clean and drip your storage wax onto the bases of your skis. Knowing that your bases will absorb much of the wax over the offseason, be generous with the wax application. Be sure to double-check the recommended iron temperature for the specific wax you’ve chosen and set your iron appropriately. After dripping on your wax, melt it in as evenly as possible by making 3-4 passes from the tip to the tail. Keep the iron moving at all times. Going too fast will prevent the wax from dispersing evenly, whereas moving too slowly can cause the bases to burn. If it looks like your bases have absorbed a large portion of the wax, repeat the hot wax process until you have a good amount of protective storage wax built up and make sure your bases are covered completely.
- Store Your Skis
Last but definitely not least, select a storage space for your skis. Choose a location with temperatures that are neither to dry nor too humid. Try to stay away from basements and attics and, instead, choose a closet in your temperature-controlled home.
Not everyone is set up for storage waxing. If you don’t have the proper setup, have your skis storage waxed at a trusted tune shop. This is generally a quick and inexpensive process. Take care of your skis even when the weather warms up and they’ll take care of you the following season!