If you’ve spent anytime in the snow, you know one thing; wax makes all the difference. There have been plenty of days where pals have simply breezed past without effort while you’ve been struggling to keep moving. Your planks feel like they have velcro on the bottom! It’s past-time to wax.
The easiest way to wax, of course, is to drop off your skis at a local shop or to bribe a willing buddy with beer. But there’s a lot of convenience in knowing how to wax your own skis, on your own schedule, and do so to your own standards. It does take practice, but with the right set-up and with a few sessions under your belt, you’ll likely find that it’s much faster and much less expensive to get it done yourself.
The first step is to create a space and leave it set-up. Wherever you work on your skis, make sure your bench is clean and clear so you aren’t wasting time tidying when you could be waxing. While a well-ventilated garage might be best, it’s very easy to set-up your waxing station inside, too; just be sure to crack a window for fumes, consider turning on a fan, and laying down a towel or two to catch and wax flying off the table.
There are a million videos on how to wax, but having all the right pieces in place is the first step. We’ve created a few tools that will help you get your bench ready and making waxing easier, but we do recommend picking up a Swix iron. This will make the process so much easier and more precise. It’s also worth stopping at a local shop and learning more about the most popular waxes for your area. While it’s nice to have a full wax kit stacked high with different colors for different weather conditions, you can often get away with just two or three; if you don’t plan on skiing in sub-zero temperatures, don’t worry about stocking up on waxes for those conditions.
Finally, practice. Pick a night of the week to wax, no matter what. If you primarily have time to ski on weekends, make a best-guess of weather and snow conditions on Wednesday or Thursday night and hit your waxing bench. Bug friends to see what they’re planning to use and see if their choices work for you.
Swix is the leading authority of all-things skiing, and they have a robust library of resources on different waxes and techniques.