Waxing skis make your skis faster. You also want to have smooth bottoms on your skis. Smooth bottoms of your ski - It is CRITCIAL to avoid skiing over rocks, dirt, or anything that is not ice and snow. This can cause scratches, nicks, and divots in the bottom of your ski. You want the bottoms to be as smooth and scratch free if possible. The smoother they are, the more surface area touches the snow which allows you to ski faster. "Burrs" are what they call nicks on your edges and the bottom of your ski. Waxing your skis - This is usually done the night before a ski race. You melt wax over your skis with and then iron the wax over the skis. Ski wax comes in a variety of colors which are associated with different temperature ranges. The purpose of different wax for different temperatures is because the consistency of the snow changes with the temperature. The day of the race you scrape the wax off your skis. There will be some wax that still remains on the bottom and will quickly wear off. Consult a local ski shop for proper technique.
Waxing also protects your skis. If you don't wax them, the bases can become oxidized.
Pretty much everyone who skis. Everyone who skis should, but, there are some people who think, "oh ski wax is just for racers." Not true. Ski wax protects the bases of your skis, helps you go faster (most of the time, some waxes are a lot faster than others, these are the ones that the racers and expert recreational skiers use) and do a few other things which aren't that important. If you don't think you need to use ski wax, think again. Ski wax is important at all skill levels.
No, you should not wax scaled cross-country skis. This style of ski is scaled for the purpose of not having to wax at all. However, if you want to improve your speed on scaled skis, you could glide wax the bottoms of your skis outside of the scaled area. Glide wax is a type of hard wax applied by melting, ironing, and scraping the ski. It is different from kick wax, which is a sticky wax that would be applied in place of scales.
Wax is only to be used on the base of the skis, except when you coat the metal side edges for storage, since it helps avoid rust. Ski bases are like sponges; they soak up wax and release it when you ski. Wax techs for World Cup ski racers, in fact, will hot wax a new pair of skis over 100 times, so the bases are fully saturated. After waxing, it's generally recommended that you scrape off the excess wax, then use a special brush to remove even more tiny bits of wax. Wax that is soaked into the bases will release as the heat from friction builds up as the skis pass over the snow. The best way to wax is the hot wax method, since it lasts much longer. You may also use rub on and paste waxes, but they only last for a few runs at best. If you look at a ski base under a microscope, you'll see it's not smooth, but has tiny peaks and valleys. This is to allow water to pass. Ski racers, in particular, select from a variety of patterns when getting their bases stone ground. If it were a flat surface, suction would build up.
To store downhill skis for long periods of time such as the summer the best way to keep them in good shape is to go to your local ski shop and ask them to put a storage wax on. This is a special wax put on thickly and not scraped off too much designed to keep the bases from drying out and cracking. A good place to store your skis (with the storage wax on, don't store skis without it) would be a place that is cool and has a medium humidity, too dry will dry out your skis. Dark is also good as bright sunlight can damage the graphics and will make the temperature rise and fall which will also damage your skis.
When you store downhill skis over a long period you should put a storage wax on. This is a special wax designed to keep the bases from drying out and cracking. A good place to store your skis would be a place that is cool and has a medium humidity. Too dry will dry out your skis. Dark is also good as bright sunlight can damage the graphics and will make the temperature rise and fall which will also damage your skis.
You wax your skis so that you don't stumble on the snow and you just glide over it for a smooth ride! Also, waxing your skis enables you to ski faster and it protects the bases of your skis, which if damaged can cause a rougher ride and can make the skis harder to control (trust me, I had skis with damaged bases and once they were repaired they were SO much easier to control).
You use ski wax in downhill ski racing right before a ski race. Ski wax can become expensive and it wears off quickly so it is really just used for race day. Plus, you end up scraping a bunch of it off before you even ski on it! Ski wax comes in different colors based on temperature. Swix ski wax is a well respected brand. The ski wax comes in small bars that looks like different colored soap. The color of the wax you use depends on the air temperature, snow consistency, and other weather conditions. Each ski wax brand should have a chart which you tell you which ski wax to use and when. It is important that you watch the weather to see what the temperature is going to be the day of the ski race. The ski wax bars come in temperature ranges. Sometimes you can mix different colors if the temperature is right on the border between two different temperature ranges. Or in some cases it may be colder in the morning and warmer in the afternoon. As far as colors go...here is what they recommend for Swix wax: HF4 Green, -10
Yes. You can also use a warm wax to remove other waxes or even dirt. Simply wax a warm wax on your skis and scrap the wax off while it is still molten. This is called hot scraping. So you can either hot scrap the colder wax out and then apply the warm wax, let it cool and scrap/brush, or you can just wax the warmer wax in.
Wax reduces friction. There is wet friction from the ski moving over the snow and melting it, dry friction from frozen snow, electrostatic friction, pollen, dirt, etc. Getting the right wax on race day is a science (and perhaps an art) for World Cup wax technicians! Wax also protects the base of your ski. The new sintered bases work much better with wax than without it, so wax your skis!
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