Seasoned cross-country skiers know how to prepare their skis for a day out on the snow. Now you may be thinking “just strap them on and go?” The problem is that snow, although cold and slick, at times has more friction than you’d think.
The plastic surface of skis traveling across the surface of the snow can actually stick resulting in you having to exert more effort to travel. To combat this it’s necessary to apply a layer of water repellant wax that allows the skis to glide across the surface of the snow. If you are new to cross-country skiing, Euro-Sports in Ottawa has a few tips on how to wax your skis.
- Skip the high-end waxes until your skill in skiing and applying wax to your skis are at the intermediate level. Ask a professional for guidance on wax types and techniques.
- Learn the proper techniques for applying hot wax to the skis. As your skill progresses so will your performance.
- When storing your skis be sure to leave a layer of protective wax to prevent the base of the skis from drying out.
- Store your ski wax away from extreme heat sources or direct sunlight. Ski wax, like candle wax, will melt rendering it useless.
- Never use a metal scraper on your ski bases, a plastic scraper will be less likely to damage your ski bases.
- Don’t use an iron that you plan on ironing clothes with afterward. Even a small amount of wax can ruin clothes.
- Use the lowest setting on the iron so that the wax doesn’t burn.
- Lay an old sheet or mat under the skis to collect the wax scrapings.
- Angle the scraper in the direction that you are scraping.
- Perform the waxing in a well ventilated room as melting wax does emit fumes.
Euro-Sports is Ottawa’s foremost retailer and wholesaler of premium skiing, cycling and triathlon products. Visit them at www.Euro-Sports.ca or come by for a Monday night drop-in run, 6 pm every Monday rain or shine.