How to Wax Your Skis at Home
Waxing your skis at home is a timeless and sacred tradition. It can signal the change of seasons from autumn to winter, or an upcoming snow cycle that has the makings for an epic week of shredding. And while it is a good excuse to crack a couple beers and hang in the garage, that pavlovian smell of ski wax cooking into your skis isn’t just nostalgic. Waxing and tuning your skis at home can save you some money and also increases the longevity and performance of your skis.
How Often Should You Wax Your Skis?
There is no doubt that once a year your skis should visit the ski shop for a proper tune and base grind. But, before you tag all those rocks during the first month of the season, getting your skis dialed in anticipation of the lifts spinning will aid in the enjoyment of those early season turns. Additionally, maintaining them after they do get tuned professionally may keep you off your ass when your skis are laid over on ice, or help you glide ahead of the pack on the traverse. Ideally, if you don’t smash into a boulder field on a continuous basis you can pretty much get away with one grind a year from a shop while waxing and tuning your skis at home.
The frequency regarding how often you should wax your skis depends on how much skiing you’ve been doing and the conditions. If your skis are running slow, look a little furry on the edges, or your edges aren’t biting on hard snow chances are you need a refresh. Furthermore, if you’re a backcountry skier, the multiple laps and application/removal of climbing skins can dry out a ski much more quickly, resulting in slower running skis and skin glue left on your bases.
Tuning Your Skis On Your Own
Below we discuss how to tune your skis at home. It doesn’t have to be costly - though investing in a couple pieces of ski tuning equipment helps in the long run, nor does it need to be an elaborate process… We’re freeskiers not World Cup downhillers seeking microseconds of glide. It just has to be quick and painless, just as the legend Doug Coombs stated when he developed the Q+P which he developed while working as a ski tech at Jackson Hole’s Teton Village Sports.
Ski Tuning Equipment to Get Started
A basic at home ski wax kit should consist of some vices to clamp your skis onto. For edge work, a file-guide along with a file, diamond stone and gummy stone is ideal. Then for waxing you’ll need a ski wax iron—one that will not be used on clothes after, a ski wax scraper to scrape off excess wax when you’re done, and a finishing brush to buff it out.