- Fast Skis & Skiing
- Nordic Waxing Tools
- Waxing Instructions Basic / Recreational
- Wax Selection
- Race Waxing
- Flite Fluoro Top Coat Application
- Binding Placement
- Special Conditions
- Waxing for Artificial Snow
- Classic Waxing
- Paste Waxing
- Waxing New and Stone Stone Ground Skis
- Iron Temperatures
- Waxing Clinic Nordic Waxing Manual
Fast Skis and Skiing
As the ski season approaches, we receive questions about how to wax skis and what is the proper waxing technique.
Remember, waxing skis can be as much art as science and is constantly changing with time and new technologies.
So…. Before we start waxing let’s look at what makes for fast skis and fast skiing.
1. How’s the training going, Skiing is a technique driven sport, having good technique and being able to ride a flat ski are keys to fast skiing…it’s never too late to sign up for some ski lessons or to join a training group.
2. Do your Skis and Boots fit correctly, Skis and boots that do not fit correctly will make skiing difficult.
Tip – Purchase the best fitting boots first and then the bindings and skis.
3. Base Condition, How’s the base condition, now is the time to check your ski bases for possible repair. Look for gouges and glazed spots as these are areas that may need repair.
4. Waxing Technique, As in good skiing, waxing takes practice — some lessons may be helpful.
Take the time to attend a waxing clinic at your local shop or stop by for some pointers.
If everything is yes here we are ready to wax skis …. Back to Menu
Waxing Instructions Basic / Recreational
Here are some helpful tips on waxing skis for training and recreational skiing.
1. Always work the ski from the tip to the tail. (never in the reverse direction).
2. Brush out the ski base with the Fast Wax Super Fine SS Brush
3. Melt wax for the current conditions onto the ski base and iron in from tip to tail
4. Allow the ski to cool for about 1/2 hour or until the ski is cool to the touch
5. Scrape with a plastic scraper
6. Brush out with the Fast Wax Superfine SS Brush 2 to 3 passes
7. Follow with the Fast Wax Horsehair Brush
8. Polish with the Fast Wax Nylon Brush
Ready to ski Back to Menu
1. Open the Skis Base Brush the ski base from tip to tail with the Fast Super Fine Stainless Steel Brush. This will open the ski base clean out the old wax and dirt and allow better penetration of the new wax.
2. Remove Base Hairs Brush the ski from tip to tail using a White Scotchbrite Pad wrapped over a Speed Block or a flat cork. This is to keep Scotchbrite pad flat and prevent it from rounding of the ski edges.
Next, use a razor tool held at a 90° angle to the ski and lightly scrape the ski several times to remove the fine base hairs. Check the razor blade after each pass and repeat until no gray fillings are left on the razor.
3. Hot Wax Process Using a digital ski waxing iron, drip a generous amount of Fluoro Base Prep wax onto the ski base and iron in from tip to tail. The wax will act as an insulator, a generous layer helps keep the iron off the ski base, use about one drip every 1/2 inch, more if you are inexperienced. When ironing in the wax, draw the iron down the ski holding a molten bead of wax about 2 to 3 inches behind the iron, and always keep the iron moving. Make a second pass at a little higher speed than the first pass this can pick up any places that are missed.
4. Scraping Scrape the groove with a groove tool and clean off the edges while the ski is still warm. Then let the ski cool slowly to room temperature before scraping the base.
Scrape the wax off using short easy strokes, again working from tip to tail until all wax is removed.
(Tip) Use a sharp scraper and keep it sharp. A scraper sharpener makes it easy to have a sharp scraper, just give the scraper a few passes over the sharpener each time before scraping.
5. Brushing Use the Fast Wax super fine SS brush as the first brush after scraping. Start with 2 to 3 passes with the Super Fine SS brush followed by 3 to 5 passes with the Fast Wax horsehair brush. Follow this with the Nylon polishing brush for final shine.
6. Wax System The Fast Wax system is to layer up the ski with wax starting with Base Prep and go to an under layer of the Fluoro Base wax followed by Low Fluoro or High Fluoro waxes depending on conditions. The layering of the wax conditions the ski base to match the snow conditions.
7. Flite Speed Additive For maximum speed top coat with one of the Flite 100% Fluoro speed additive
8. Structure the ski base as necessary (see structure recommendations)
Race Wax Example
1 to 2 Layers Fluoro Base Prep
1 Layer of HSLF-10 Teal
2 Layers of HSF-10 Green
Flite Cold ironed in using the Fast Wax Base Saver
Structure Fine Linear Cold Weather Grind Back to Menu
Flite Application using the Fast Wax Base Saver
The Fast Wax Base Saver is used under the iron when applying Flite Fluoro top coats to prevent iron burn, it also results in a faster more durable application.
Here is how it works...
The soft Teflon surface backed by the cushioning pad presses the Fluoro top coats into the ski structure using high pressure and lower heat for faster more durable application. Very new and unique process.
1. Make sure the ski base is complete brushed out before starting and your iron surface is clean
2. Apply the Fast Wax Flite Fluoro top coat to the ski, either sprinkle the powder on the ski or rub the block on the ski base to get an even application of the wax.
3. Lightly cork in the Flite with the Speed Block (ski surface should be evenly coated and a light gray color)
Tip: It is easier to add several light layer and cork in each layer rather than working with one heavy layer.
4. Place the Base Saver on the ski (Teflon ( gray) side down)
5. Place the iron on the Base Saver, using a moderate iron temperature of 260°F to 275°F or 126°C to 135°C
6. Absolute Key Step Place both hands on the iron and press down hard on the iron
(about the same pressure used for structuring a ski )
7. One Pass – move the iron in a slow steady speed down the ski and watch to make sure the top coat is pressed into the ski base.
Hold the back side of the Base Saver against the iron to keep it in place under the iron.
8. Cork in the extra Fluoro top coat from the stability grooves
9. Let the ski cool for 1/2 hour and brush out with Fast Wax Horsehair Brush
10. Be amazed at how little wax is removed from the ski base. Back to Menu
Ski Structure and Stone Grinds
Just as one wax will not work for all conditions neither will one base structure work for all conditions. Base structure is the pattern on the bottom of the ski used to manage the moisture under the ski improving glide. This section will cover the options and instructions for adding and removing ski structure patterns.
Too much structure in fine-grained cold snow will result in excessive drag referred to as dry friction. Too little structure in wet snow will result in drag from wet friction caused by suction.
Managing the balance between dry and wet friction along with ski flex are 2 of the more difficult items to understand in the ski the ski waxing process.
Here are some examples of popular of popular structure patterns.
Example of Fine Linear Grind for Cold Fine Grained Snow
Example of 0.3 mm Broken Pattern very popular for artificial snow and temperatures just below freezing
Example of 0.75 mm Broken Pattern, very universal pattern for humid snow
Example of 1mm broken pattern for sloppy wet snow
There are 2 approaches to adding structure to the ski bases. If you have several pairs of skis you can stone grind different patterns in the skis and select skis based on the structure. The problem here is this approach will limit your ski selection at the the race site. Secondly, even with this approach it is very popular to fine tune you skis at the race site with a structure tool.
There are several structure tools on the market most are plastic single or dual roller. Fast Wax indorses the tools developed by Aceco Sports Group out of Boise ID. These are the machined high quality tools used by the Elite Skiers and World Cup Teams.
Single Press Box
Dual Roller Press Box
Finite Driven Roller Tool
1. Ski structuring is very operator selective and takes practice. The key variables are the tool down pressure, number of passes and the sequence of the structure rollers.
2. Structuring is the last step in the waxing sequence and can be done at the race site. Many elite skiers will structure a back up pair of skis as a test pair. Then when they have the structure optimized they will structure the race skis.
3. Applying the structure is really quite straight forward. Place both hands on the tool as pictured. Press down with both hands per desired pressure and roll the tool down the ski.
4. Determine the number of passes or if changing rollers and using multi rollers.
Example: Some waxing technicians will use multiple passes with a a 0.3 mm tool versus a single pass with a 0.5 mm tool, or use both in sequence changing between a 0.3 mm and a 0.5mm roller.
5. Final step is one pass with the smoothing roller to take any burs out of the ski. This can also be used to detune the structure.
6. To remove the added structure iron in and warm scrape your skis once or twice after the race using Fast Wax Base Prep.
Here are some stone grinding and structure suggestions
1. Polish the base for cold conditions and be sure to keep the ski surface very smooth. Fine Linear Grind or 0.2 mm structure
2. For intermediate conditions, 15 F to 25 F, Universal or Universal Plus Grind and / or 0.4 mm linear grind
3. For conditions just below freezing Universal Plus Grind and / or broken pattern of 0.30 mm to 0.75 mm.
4. Above 35 F, begin with a 0.5mm broken pattern, and increase the size of the structure as the temperature increases.
If you plan on having your skis stone ground, be sure to seek out a shop that specializes in stone grinding
Manny of the top racers today custom grind their skis for peak performance then use a structure tool to fine tune the ski bases at the race.
The bindings on most skate skis are mounted on the balance point or between 0.5 cm and 1 cm behind the balance point. This may be fine for most skis but for some this location is not on the “sweet spot”. If this is the case you may experience poor performance where the skis just don’t feel right, they may plow when climbing, or the tips may grab on the V2 stride.
The skis may be improved by relocating the bindings. Although ski flex and binding placement vary from one manufacture to another; the key measurement appears to be the relationship between the binding clip, contact point, and distance from tip to tail. Specifically, the ratio to determine binding placement is the distance from the binding clip to the contact point to the back of the ski and the distance from the binding clip to the front of the ski. Ideally this ratio should be 2/1 with the rear contact point at or just under your heal when you transfer your weight to the heal of one foot.
If the measurement does not meet these criteria move the binding back on the ski 1 cm to 2 cm. Then re-measure the ski contact points to see how ratio and measurements change. You may also want to remove the bindings from the skis and confirm the original binding location as a reference point before making any changes. For most skis final binding location seems to work out best between 1.5 cm and 2 cm back of the balance point. However, in some cases the bindings was move as far as 3 cm and even 4 cm back of the balance point.
Once the change in binding location has been made you should experience a significant change in performance. Where the “wedge” is a subtle change and really only noticeable on climbs; the binding change will show a significant improvement on the flatter sections of trail. Slight changes in binding location can impact the overall feel of a pair of skis that previously just didn't feel right. Back to Menu
Here are some special conditions to double-check your waxing set up and adjust accordingly for peak performance.
Cold clear still night: The snow crystal will be colder and sharper than normal. Wax for colder than expected conditions.
Cold night and north wind: Expect low humidity and cold snow. Wax for colder than expected conditions
Overcast: The snow will be closer to the air temperature and more humid. Wax for warmer conditions with higher humidity add more structure. Fluoro waxes work well
Flite Warm is a must
Race in the Woods: The snow will stay cold and have sharper crystals, wax for colder conditions.
Wet New Snow: Use Fluoro waxes, wax for warmer than expected temperatures, use lots of structure.
Fine Dry New Snow: Wax for colder than expected conditions and temperatures.
Low areas near open water: Colder and more humid than expected.
Old Dirty Snow: Use Fluoro waxes and add structure.
Cold race start below freezing and warming conditions above freezing Do not be fooled at the start, here skis with out structure will feel fast at the start and slow dramatically as the temperatures warm. Add structure here at the start and wax more for the finish temperature Back to Menu
Waxing for Artificial Snow
Artificial snow has a different makeup than natural snow and requires a slightly different approach to waxing. Artificial snow is a solid triangular block of ice and tends to be more abrasive than natural snow. Artificial snow can vary from a fine new blown snow crystals to large abrasive transformed “icy” snow crystals.
For these reasons waxing is slightly different for artificial snow.
Ski Flex and Structure
The ski flex and structure for artificial snow is the most unpredictable part of ski preparing. The ski flex and structure will depend on the tilling, grooming amount of traffic on the trail.
For most conditions Fast Wax recommends a moderate to stiff ski flex with little more structure than you would typically use. In general a universal grind or a light 0.3 mm broken pattern will give the best performance.
Fast Wax recommends using a fluorinated wax one step colder than indicated for the current conditions. It is advisable to wax more frequently as artificial snow is dirty, abrasive, and tends to wear wax and bases faster than normal. Fortunately, Fast Wax products work very well in artificial snow and provide excellent protection in the artificial snow conditions.
A good combination is a harder base layer under a race wax, such as Fast Wax HSLF 10 Teal under the HSF-20 Tan.
Grip wax will vary a little more depending on the how transitioned the snow is and how often the trail is groomed. With finer newly blown snow most hard waxes will work well with an ironed in binder. When the track is icy, iron in a klister binder and add a multigrade or universal klister as the grip wax.
Here are some recommended options:
Iron in Rode Black Binder or Rex Power Grip Blue and top coat with Rode Multigrade grip wax
For transitioned snow, Iron in a Blue Klister and top coat with Rode Multigrade Klister.
(The multigrade Klister should be applied almost as long as a normal wax
pocket, generally about 1 inch shorter than normal front and back)
For icy conditions use a Blue Klister binder and top coat with Rex OV ice klister.
(In this type of condition use the normal klister pocket on the ski, shorten up
on both the front and back by 2 to 3 inches of the kick zone)
. Back to Menu.
Here are some helpful instructions on waxing the grip zone of classic skis.
As in Glide Waxing, following the details of kick waxing will not only lead to a ski with excellent grip, the ski will also be a very smooth and fast. The first step in grip waxing is the most important -- making sure the skis fit correctly and the wax pocket is measured and marked. If you are not sure of the fit, take the skis to your ski shop for a fit check
1. For most skis the wax pocket should start right at or slightly in front of your heal, and go
forward for about 60 to 65 cm depending on the ski length and flex.
Tip... If you are new to skiing go with a softer flex ski.
2. Measure, mark and double check the wax pocket of the ski.
Tip... When grip waxing it is helpful to place a piece of tape over the bottom
of the ski on the front and back of the wax pocket to help identify the wax boundaries.
3. After the wax pocket is marked, sand the area with 80 grit sand paper.
Wrap the sand paper around a flat surface to keep the ski base flat
4. VERY IMPORTANT... Crayon on the binder using short strokes and add the
binder in thin even layers starting on the out side edge of the ski and working toward the center.
Tip... If the layers are thick it will be very difficult to smooth out the wax.
5. Iron in the binder with a rotating iron motion of the iron to spread the binder
out evenly across the ski. Cork in while still warm to get a smooth surface.
6. Let the ski cool to room temperature before adding the kick wax.
7. Apply several thin layers of grip wax, and cork in between layers, keep the
layers smooth and thin -- work the ski from the outside to the center.
8. Remove the marking tape from the ski and feather in the edges
WHEN COMPLETED THE KICK WAX SHOULD BE JUST AS SMOOTH AS THE GLIDE WAX Back to Menu
Paste Waxing with Slick Pro
Slick Pro gives the performance of a Hot Melt wax in ease of a Paste Wax.
1. Rub on Slick Pro using the enclosed foam applicator
2. Let dry for 3 to 5 minutes
3. Buff in with the Speed Block
4. Brush out with a horse hair brush and Ski
5. For added durability repeat 1 to 4 for a second coat
Slick Pro is a great wax to have on hand at the race site when weather and snow conditions are changing...
Skis can easily be re-wax in minutes.
Saves time when traveling,
Is a great training wax during the week.
Great for families with multiple skiers --Change the wax on every one's skis in just a few minutes Back to Menu
Waxing for New and Stone Ground Skis
1. Open the Skis Base After scraping off the storage wax, aggressively brush the ski base from tip to tail with the Fast Wax Superfine SS Brush. This will open the ski base allow better penetration of the new wax.
2. Remove Base Hairs (Optional) Brush the ski from tip to tail using a White Scotchbrite Pad wrapped over a Speed Block or a flat cork. This is to keep Scotchbrite pad flat and prevent it rounding off the ski edges.
Next, use a razor tool held at a 90° angle to the ski and lightly scrape the ski several times to remove the fine base hairs. Check the razor blade edge after each pass and repeat until no gray fillings are left on the razor
3. Hot Wax Process Using a digital ski waxing iron, drip a generous amount of Base Prep wax onto the ski base and iron in from tip to tail.
The wax will act as an insulator, a generous layer helps keep the iron off the skis base, use about one drip every 1/2 inch, more if you are inexperienced. When ironing in the wax, draw the iron down the ski holding a molten bead of wax about 2 to 3 inches behind the iron, and always keep the iron moving. If necessary a second pass can pick up any places that are missed.
4. Scraping off the Wax Scrape the groove with a groove tool and clean off the edges while the ski is still warm. Then let the ski cool slowly to room temperature before scraping the bases
Scrape the wax off using short easy strokes again working the ski from tip to tail until all the wax is removed
(Tip) Use a sharp scraper and keep it sharp A scraper sharpener makes it easy to give the scraper a few passes each time before scraping.
5. Brushing out the ski Use the Fast Wax Superfine SS brush, followed by the Fast Wax Horse Hair brush and polish with the Fast Wax black nylon brush
6. Waxing Sequence- Repeat steps 3 to 5 for each wax
New Skis 5 to 6 layers or Base Prep followed by 2 to 3 layers of HS-30 Red, 2 to 3 layers of HS-20 Blue and a few layers of HS-10 Green - add the wax of the day and go skiing
Stone Ground Skis This depends on whether the skis were deep ground to remove gouges and burnt bases or were just "touched up"
For "deep ground bases" follow the same procedure described in the new skis section as most of the wax will be removed in the grinding process.
For "touched up skis" the process is shortened as not as much base and wax was removed in the grinding process. Reduce the Base Prep applications about 2 to 3 layers followed by the HS-30 Red and a few layer of HS-20 Blue, then apply the wax of the day and ski.
Tip -- Skis generally do not get fast until they get some hard wax into them. This is something to try if your skis do not seem to be fast or are not getting fast -- add a few layer of HS-10 Teal Wax. Back to Menu
Waxing Iron Temperatures
Temps are a guideline as each iron may vary slightly.
Test the wax on the iron before applying the iron to the ski
|Wax||Lower Setting||Upper Setting|
|Fluoro Hot Box Wax||Low as the Iron will go||NA|
|Digital Iron 250 F or 120 C
Standard Dial Iron
5 to 6 Medium
|Digital Iron 265 F or 130 C
Standard Dial Iron
5 to 6 Medium
|HS 30 Red
HSLF 30 Red
HSF 30 Salmon
|Digital Iron 260 F or 127
Standard Dial Iron
6 to 7 Medium
|Digital Iron 275 F or 135 C
Standard Dial Iron
6 to 7 Medium
|HS 20 Blue
HSLF 20 Blue
HSF 20 Tan
|Digital Iron 265 F or 130 F
Standard Dial Iron
6 to 8 Medium
|Digital Iron 280 F or 138 C
Standard Dial Iron
6 to 8 Medium
HS 10 Teal
|Digital Iron 275 F or 135 C
Standard Dial Iron
7 to 8.5 Medium
|Digital Iron 290 F or 143 C
Standard Dial Iron
7 to 8.5 Medium