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Selecting the Right Kick Wax

Wax Tip of the Week

Wed, Nov  22, 2006 - By Swix

Selecting the correct Kick Wax

Establish a starting point. Note the air temperature in the shade. Check the wax tins for temperature range, and apply 3 or 4 layers. For the softer warm waxes it helps to do this outside at colder temperatures for really thin, smooth layers. Next, try the skis. It's a good idea to take along one or two harder (colder) waxes and one or two softer (warmer) waxes on each side of the wax that was initially selected, and a cork. Ski far enough to give the wax a chance to become "conditioned" by the snow. Usually during the first hundred meters or so the wax might feel a bit slippery, which is normal. If your first choice is working well, then the only consideration is possibly adding more layers of the same wax if it is a long race.

If the skis are slippery:

  1. Apply more layers of the same wax, possibly extend the wax layer farther in front of the kick wax zone. A thicker layer, “cushion” of wax is created that allows the snow to “grip” the wax better.
  2. If the wax still does not give a proper grip (it is too hard/cold), apply a warmer temperature wax on top of the wax already on the skis. If this solves the problem then apply a couple more layers of the same warmer wax.
  3. With a too soft/warm wax on the skis, ice can start to form, when the snow is new or fine-grained. This gives slippery skis and in turn, poor glide.  Remove ice by thoroughly corking the wax.  After removing the ice apply a few layers of a harder wax. If the ice is impossible to remove this way, then scrape off the wax with a plexi scraper. Put on a harder wax and cork smooth.

If the skis are slow and feel “draggy”:

  1. Remove or cover the possibly too soft wax with a colder temperature wax.
  2. Shorten the kick wax zone. If wax has been applied significantly longer than recommended the speed and feeling will be reduced.  Shorten the wax layer by scraping off.