Shop REI's selection of cross-country ski waxes.
Grip waxes come in several forms: "hard" waxes, which resemble a stubby crayon, and "klister" waxes, which are glue-like and come in tubes. Your choice will largely depend on your estimate of the temperature and snow conditions when you next go skiing.
The kick zone is the middle third of the ski, approximately 70cm from the heel of the binding forward. For a stronger kick, you can increase the length of the zone further forward by a few more centimeters.
These techniques describe the waxing you'll want to do throughout the ski season. A complete preseason ski overhaul goes beyond the scope of this article.
For coarse snow, you can apply a binder wax before the hard wax so your wax won't get scraped off as easily. Rub the binder wax onto the kick zone, moving backwards and forwards on either side of the groove. Heat your waxing iron to 110°F and melt the wax onto the ski. Let it cool (about 30 minutes) then cork.
Working at room temperature, hold the ski at a 30° angle or prop it up on a bench if you can. Next, rub hard grip wax on the kick zone using short back and forth strokes. Rub a cork over ("cork") the area, apply another coat of wax and buff again. You can apply one or more coats, making sure to buff the surface smooth each time.
Rub the kick zone with a sandpaper cork. Apply base (green) klister in diagonal strips on either side of the groove. Warm and smooth it onto the ski with a waxing iron at 110°F. Let it cool and cork the area. Next, apply a universal or temperature-specific klister in the same pattern. Spread it out with a plastic scraper or a cork.
Distribute an even layer from the front to the back of the kick zone. Use one spray stroke. Do not cork.
Bring your wax and cork. Hit the track for 100 feet or so and evaluate ski performance.
Contributor: Dik Lange, REI Seattle master ski tech.
By Susan Schnier
Read Author Bio
Last updated: 02/18/2014
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