How to get good glide?

It turns out that prepping alpine touring, alpine and freeride skis is easy. It doesn’t take much equipment, and the wax you choose isn’t the be-all-and-end-all. Apart from the time and expense, there are only advantages – more glide, better protection. Here’s a quick guide.

  • It’s good to have something to put the skis on – an old ski box with holes cut into it, ski vices, or something similarly practical.
  • Scrape off old wax before you apply new wax. Then take a few strokes with a soft wire or brass brush to clean the sole of debris and dirt and to “exfoliate” loose, dry sole material to produce a fresh sole that glides better.
  • Clean the sole with base cleaner and fiberlene paper.
  • Heat the wax with a wax iron or an old iron from the charity shop (probably best not to use the steam iron you do your shirts with).
  • Use a medium-hard wax (red/pink/purple) as an all-round wax. It works for most people. You can also use quick/universal glide or liquid glide when you’re out in the snow, as shown in the video below, but this isn’t as durable.
  • Let the glider harden; you can put the skis out in the cold to speed it up. Allow ten minutes.
  • Scrape with with a plexiglass scraper, making sure to get as much of the glide wax off as you can.
  • Finally, brush until the sole’s shiny and smooth. You can polish it up to a pretty shine with a fine fibretex pad or a cork.
Det greit å ha noe å legge skiene på, for eksempel bokser, bruk skiviser, skrustikker eller noe annet praktisk.
Før du smører, bør du raskt skrape vekk gammel voks eller transportvoks. For deretter å ta noen drag med en myk stålbørste eller messingbørste. Det gjør at du renser sålen for rusk og skitt, fjerner uttørket sålemateriale på overflaten og får fram «frisk» såle som glir bedre. 
Rens deretter sålen med skirens og fiberlene papir.
Så trenger du noe å varme voksen med, enten et smørejern eller et gammelt strykejern (ikke ta mor/fars nye dampstrykejern!).
Bruk en middels hard voks (rød/rosa/lilla) som en allroundvoks. Det holder for de fleste. Du kan også bruke hurtigglider/universalglider eller flytende glider når du er ute i felt eller på tur, som vist i videoen nedenfor, men dette slites fort av.
La glideren herde til den er hard, du kan sette skiene ut i kulda for å korte ned ventetiden. Det tar minst 10minutter.
Deretter skraper du godt med plexisikle, og sørger for å få av så mye glider som mulig.
Til slutt børster du til sålen er blank og glatt. Om du ønsker, så kan du polere til slutt med noen drag med fiberlene og kork.
Video: Swix School
Video: Swix School

But I haven’t done my ski bases since 2008 or something.

o it’s been a long time since you last gave your skis some love. The edges are dull. The sole is the colour of marble. Might be worth considering taking them to the ski shop for a once-over. They can machine-sand the sole and get the edges sharp and angled with the electric plane. After this, you can do your ski bases yourself.

As with most maintenance jobs, a little bit every other day is better than an infrequent overhaul.

HOT TIP Åsnes Academy Remember to wipe the sole and edges after you get home. This stops the edges rusting. And before you put your skis away in the spring – wax the soles to keep them fresh and nice!

Glide wax – in detail

How to wax your skis

Drip wax (or crayon on the warmed edge of a block) and even it out on the base with the hot iron. The iron shouldn’t be hot enough to make the wax smoke. Remember to keep the iron moving at all times. When the wax has cooled, scrape the sole with a plastic scraper. Three good long passes or so should do it. Once there’s a razor-thin layer of wax left, go over the sole with a few strokes of the brush again. If you don’t have a sponsor and a race number you can probably skip this bit. Another, faster and more economical, method, is to rub the wax over the sole and then melt it in with a square of fiberlene between the iron and sole. This way you don’t even need to scrape. Once your skis are waxed, they’re ready for the hill. You might want to give them a quick brush down before you stick them in the roofbox.

Video: Swix School

Ouch – fixing base damage

Minor damage to your bases can often be repaired at home with a P-tex candle – a stick of base material you melt in to the wound. You light one end and let the molten material drip into the injury. You can also use a heat gun. First tidy the injury with a little fine sandpaper. Clean it with rubbing alcohol or degreaser before filling it in with P-tex. Fill the wound well. Press it down with something hard and let it harden a little higher than the rest of the sole. Cut away the excess with a wallpaper knife or sharp metal scraper. Finally, go over the patch with very fine sandpaper and a fine fibertex pad. You can also use a powdered repair compound. You sprinkle it into the ski-wound and then drip hardener on to the powder. It hardens in less than a minute. These methods are all right for minor damage. For major damage, however, a home repair isn’t going to cut it. The only permanent solution is to deliver the skis to a workshop for someone to weld new sole material into the damaged area.

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