the first step is to restore the structure in the base and to restore the structure in the base we use a steel brush a steel brush is quite abrasive it actually gouges right into the ptex material of the base and by doing that it restores that structure that prevents the skis from being too finely polished and creating suction on the snow so the steel brush is used in long strokes from tip to tail on the glide zones of the skis and it doesn't take too many strokes of a steel brush in order to restore that structure fiber Tex is an abrasive plastic material that's used for polishing the basis of the skis and we simply run the fiber Tech's back and forth along the glide zone of the skis in order to scrub off those little fine hairs that are raised the cleaning process that we use on the glide zones of skis is something that I call a hot scrape and what a hot scrape consists of is melting wax onto the base of the skis and removing that wax while it's still in a molten stage removing that molten wax lifts the dirt out of the base of the skis for that process we use a fairly warm temperature wax and in other words a wax that doesn't require a lot of heat to melt dribble the wax onto the base on either side of the the groove be generous with it and then melt that onto the base so we've run the scraper through the hot liquid wax and that's how we remove the dirt if you take a look in there you'll see that there's actually dirt this is the wax that's going to form my primer coating it's the wax that allows other waxes to bond more securely to the bases of your skis and lasts longer in the process of skiing on them you definitely want to prevent the bases of your skis from being overheated that layer of liquid wax on the base of the skis prevents your skis from receiving the direct heat from the soleplate of the hot iron so it acts as a buffer against the heat of the iron it also allows us to transfer the heat of the iron very efficiently into the wax what you never see me do with an iron is you never see me going back and forth over the same spot if I miss a spot when I pass the iron over it I'll get that spot on the next pass so again the rules are always run your iron in one continuous stroke make sure that the wax is actually solidifying shortly after you've passed the iron it's much better and safer to apply heat slowly to your bases alternating from one ski to another or from one end of the ski to the other than to try to concentrate all your heat in one area while the wax is still warm it's the best time to scrape the groove of the skis so use my groove scraper and I simply run that groove scraper through the groove removing wax now we're ready to scrape the bases remember when we apply the scraper we applied the scraper in a 45-degree angle in the direction of travel and rather than put the scraper perpendicular to the skis because if I hit a bump in the wax when we're perpendicular to this skis it'll put a chatter mark right across the base if I turn the scraper at 45 degrees to the ski it allows me to use the scraper in a way that flattens the base rather than accentuate any bumps in the surface of the skis so again 45 degrees to the direction of travel and 45 degrees to the to the edge of the ski we scrape till no more wax is coming off from the scraper and just brush off the excess wax shavings if you're using temperature specific waxes or waxes that are designed for a specific condition that you're expecting to ski and this is when you would start to apply that wax okay and again we start with the same process dribbling it on generously on the glide zones of the skis on either side of the groove tips and on the tails finish waxing these skis I'm just gonna warm up the skis so I can clean the groove I'm going to run the groove scraper through that soft wax this reduces the chances of the groove scraper jumping out of the groove and scratching the basis of the skis the wax is still soft a light scraping to smooth it and then we wait for the bases to cool completely remember start with light pressure on the scraper and then as the wax gets scraped off you can then put a little more firm pressure onto the skis we don't want to damage the bases in the process of scraping and eventually you get to the point where you'll see that there's no more wax coming off the next step in removing the excess wax from the skis is to use a brush in this case a stiff nylon brush and there's an awful lot of wax that's stuck in that structure and that's still surface wax and surface wax is what will actually slow the ski scrub the groove in order to get the wax out of the ptex in and around the groove and then finish in the direction of travel ok we'll do the same thing on the tails of the skis let's brush away the the wax dust okay make sure that there's no surface wax on the skis we want the base of the finished ski to have a nice satiny glow to it and that's indication that the wax from the surface has all been adequately removed and the the skis are going to be lightning-fast and we're done

Saul's Advanced Waxing Technique for Cross Country Skis
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25 thoughts on “Saul's Advanced Waxing Technique for Cross Country Skis

  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Thanks for the great instructions. How do you clean your scraper? Mine gets really dirty quickly.

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    What temp is your iron set to?

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Well said, thank you.

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    J’adore les instructions de Saul dans tous ses vidéos. Il parle lentement et clairement. Je pratique le skate depuis 3 ans et je suis fan de la coupe du monde.

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    For cross country touring do i need a base wax, glide wax and grip wax? excuse my terminology im new to this

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Who to remove shuttle grip

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Hi Saul… i have two (4me) very important questions.. first one is how long you actually have to wait before you start scrubing final wax off (you mentioned you have to wait to cool down the base completely (I use swix wax from -3 to -8 C° and the temperature of the iron have to be pointed to 140C°)) becose I really struggle to scrape this swix wax off the base…. and the second question is how do you clean your (nylon, horse hair, iron..) brushes after this work.. tnx4yranswers

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Thanks Saul for this instructional video. I have used this video for many years with great results.

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    very good tips for me along the whole Video….the best i catched for me was the 45/45 deg scraping ….it really makes sense for me, by the way- i made already some marks with the scraper, so it is really logical and brilliant tip for me! thank you a lot!

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    i always.finish after nylon brush by polishing my surface with soft brush, i find it gives a better glide, what do you thinl?

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    What about under foot, do you put any wax or anything under your foot on the base?

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    What are those clamps/jigs you have your skis on, and where did you get them?

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    How often should we do this? At the start of the year, more often? Thanks, great video series.

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Would you ever/periodically want to apply glide wax to the entire classic ski (including grip zone) to serve as a "primer" to protect the ski surface, kind of like a moistuizer, or is grip wax/klister sufficient to provide that kind of protection?

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Is 'fibertex' the same as a scotch-brite pad (or something similar in a different brand?) 

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Saul's video series for cross country ski waxing and ski techniques are amongst the best I've seen on the internet. 

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Thanks Saul.  I appreciate your thorough explanations.  Off to try it now. 

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Thanks for the video. Just curious, what is the groove down the middle of the ski for?

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    The first Wax is like a primer. Use a wax that melts easily and is easily aborbed. Any easily melted Glide wax suitable for warm temperatures works well. This improves the absorption and bonding of colder, temperature specific Glide Waxes…Saul

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    It is possible to clamp your skis into your workmate, but it isn't ideal. You will have to be very careful of applying too much pressure on the side walls. There is a reason that we recommend pupose built tools. A proper ski vice or ski form provide a stable and safe platform for working on your skis. They hold on to your skis by the bindings and give you full access to the entire base and side walls. It is best to use your workmate as a base for a ski form or vice.

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Can I lightly clamp my xc skis into a Black and Decker Workmate Bench by clamping the skis against their sidewalls for waxing or will it damage my skis?

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Start with a hot scrape to clean new skis and continue with priming and final waxing…Saul

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    On Skate skis the entire base is the glide zone. Glide waxe the full length, from tip to tale. There is no grip zone on skate skis….Saul

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    In the info box you mention this is for classic or skate and for the latter I have always waxed the whole ski. Should I only be waxing the "glide zones" for skate and if so, what should I do with the area under foot?

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  • June 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Yes…Glide wax process is the same.
    Snow boards have no grip zone…so no base binder or grip wax…Saul

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