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SKI TECH: Storage Wax On Your Skis

Covering your ski bases with a nice thick layer of "storage wax" is critical over the summer.

It's that time of year again.  The snow is gone, we are getting warm sunny afternoons, but it's still chilly when you wake up in the morning.  However, the reality is that your skiing is probably done for the season.

This means that it is definitely time to put storage wax on your skis - if you haven't already!

When people refer to "storage wax" or "cover wax", they are simply talking about putting a nice thick layer of hot wax on their ski base and leaving it on the ski base (not scraping or brushing).  

Applying a layer of storage wax does numerous very good things for your P-Tex ski base including:
  • Oxidation Prevention:  Oxidation happens when a ski base is exposed to oxygen over periods of time.  Oxidation on a ski base can look like a whitish haze.  In reality, when oxidation occurs, the outer most layer of base material hardens and isn't able to absorb wax as a healthy base would.  Oxidation occurs to many materials, perhaps even on the side of your car as rust.  Putting cover wax on your skis when not in use reduces oxidation as much as possible.
  • Damage:  A layer of wax on your ski base protects the base from getting beat up or scratched during travel or storage.
  • Wax Saturation:  Letting your skis soak up a nice thick layer of wax over the course of the summer is like the ultimate hot box treatment - and it's free!  No wonder skis often feel so fast the first time they are on snow for the season!
Applying storage wax to your skis is very straight forward.  Following is a recommended process for getting this done:
  1. Clean your ski base.  If your last ski of the year was on dirty snow, clean the base with some Fiberlene and some wax remover (or base cleaner).  Allow the base to fully dry after using any wax remover products before proceeding.
  2. Brush the ski base with a very soft metal brush such as the Fast Wax Super Fine Stainless Steel Brush or the Toko Copper Brush.  Make 3-5 light passes from tip to tail to further clean the base and open it up a bit.
  3. Wipe off the ski base with a dry piece of Fiberlene or Base Tex.
  4. Drip on a thick layer of a soft paraffin wax (such as Fast Wax Base Prep or Toko System 3 Yellow).  
  5. Iron in the wax using 3-4 slow continuous passes from tip to tail.
  6. Store your skis away in a safe place, using a good set of ski ties.   Don't allow the ski to remain compressed over the summer by over tightening the ski ties (compressing the camber).  The skis should be allowed to rest in their normal state.
Note that some wax technicians recommend using a medium hardness wax (such as Toko LF or System 3 Red) as a cover wax, rather than a soft wax.  The slightly harder wax does offer better protection to the ski base and won't be totally absorbed by the ski base over the course of the summer (this is relatively rare, but does occasionally happen).

Getting storage wax on your skis is like closing the book on the past ski season.  Now you can start to dream of all the great skiing we'll have next winter!

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