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SKI TECH: Clean Your Room!

This article was written by Frank Lundeen and previously published in Master Skier Magazine:

For many of us, it has probably been a while since your mother, or anyone else has told you to clean your room. Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you; to go clean your room today! Your wax room that is.

Most people under estimate the importance of maintaining a clean wax room, brushes, iron, and sharp scrapers. These tasks should however remain a top priority for waxers. The wax room is a place where we skiers try to work magic on their skis.

Many of us have the best skis money can buy, the best stonegrind money can buy, and are using the finest waxing products available. We have also invested countless hours into training and other preparations for skiing. Why then do so many waxers have sloppy wax rooms with dull scrapers, dirty brushes, and tarnished irons? It would only make sense to follow through on your investment in skiing by taking a little extra effort in maintaining your waxing area.

The way in which a wax is applied has as much to do with having fast skis as the wax you put on your skis!

Toko Brand Manager Ian Harvey working with a clean organized space with well maintained tools.

SCRAPER MAINTENANCE: The Plexi scraper is likely the least understood tool in the waxers arsenal of tools. Remember when your Plexi scraper was new? It worked so well, literally slicing even the hardest of waxes off your ski base. It actually cut the wax off, rather than chipping it and it did it effortlessly. Those were the days! You should have this wonderful scraping experience every time you use your scraper.

By sharpening and cleaning your scraper every time you use it, it will work like new every time and you will do a better job of waxing.

There are numerous Plexi scraper sharpeners on the market which do a great job. Also, a flat file will work well at flattening your scraper edge as well as sharpening it if you hold the scraper at a consistent angle.

BRUSH MAINTENANCE: Brush maintenance is not something to be overlooked. With use, transportation, and storage; contaminants accumulate on your brush. To eliminate this problem:
  • Store your brushes in a clean place
  • Only use dedicated brushes for Pure Flourocarbons
  • Clean brushes that are used for brushing paraffins after each use
I have heard many ways of cleaning brushes, some with varying degrees of practicality. The simplest 2 ways include running the edge of a Plexi scraper along the bristle tips. While doing this little particles of wax and contaminants will fly off the ends of the bristles. Another simple method would be to simply rub snow into the bristles of the brush.

Every single time you pick up your iron, you should wipe it off with a piece of lint free cloth (such as Base Tex or Fiberlene). This will remove any remaining wax from the last wax you used as well as any other contaminants which would likely damage your ski base. If the base plate of your iron appears tarnished (brown) from lack of cleaning it, use a very fine grained sandpaper or steel wool to remove this tarnished surface.

Generally keeping your waxing station clean will result in more consistently fast skis. Dirty wax benches make for dirty brushes, and gritty iron plates which do not help in making fast skis.

Having a well light waxing station also makes a big difference. Top wax technicians are constantly talking about how important it is to work with your eyes. It is impossible to work with your eyes in a dark workspace. Learning what to look for when waxing, and then looking for it is crucial while waxing.

Wax room consistency is key if you plan on having consistently fast skis!

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