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Nordic Ski Waxing Tips and Instruction

A proper hot wax for your Nordic skis is the key to making sure that they last longer and perform better. It’s time to break out the iron and get serious about glide wax.

Hanz Johansson | Park City, UT | Photo: Sam Rice

We want to make sure that your skis are running as fast as possible this winter. Read on to get our advice on hot waxing Nordic skis:

Expert Advice on Proper Hot Waxing

A properly chosen and applied glide wax can be the difference between ending your day tired and happy, and just plain tired. Here is a basic list of equipment, and the step-by-step waxing instructions, which you will need in order to make sure you’re enjoying yourself out there:

Waxing Equipment

  • Waxing Iron
  • Plastic Scraper
  • Plastic Groove Scraper
  • Wax Brush (We suggest a hard white nylon brush to start with)
  • Glide Wax
  • Waxing Bench

Waxing Steps

To start, don’t worry too much about having the perfect wax every day. The most important thing is to keep some sort of wax in your ski bases, even if it is not the perfect match for the conditions. We suggest having Swix CH7 or Toko Red on hand as a great “universal” wax. Now let’s get started.

  1. Turn your iron on and set the temperature at 120oC (~250oF).
  2. Securely attach your ski to your wax bench, and brush a few times tip to tail.
  3. Create a thin layer of wax along the glide zones (the entire ski for a skate ski, tip and tail for a classic ski).
  4. Run the iron tip to tail 2-3 times moving at a consistent pace. The speed of the iron should create a “tail” of wet wax about 3 inches long behind the iron. If the tail is shorter, you are moving too slowly and risk burning the base. Never stop moving the iron! Follow the above steps for your second ski while your first ski cools down. Once the ski is cool you can scrape and brush.
  5. Run the scraper down each edge at a 45-degree angle. Keep the pressure consistent and somewhat light.
  6. Scrape the grooves with the groove scraper, moving tip to tail.
  7. Now take your plastic scraper and scrape the bottom of the ski from tip to tail with consistent pressure. Newer scrapers will be sharp, so keep the pressure light to start. Once no more wax is coming off with scraping, brush the ski tip to tail until you can see the structure in the base, or until no more wax particles can be seen.

Now go enjoy the snow!

To see a video of how to wax your skis check out our video below. You can always have your skis professionally waxed at either White Pine Touring or at the White Pine Nordic Center.