Home Shop: Wax

Home Shop 1004

Wax On, Wax Off:

1) An old yard-sale iron with no holes in the bottom will get the job done, but the Swix Electric Waxing Iron ($150) has a far better thermostat, which prevents yo-yoing between burning wax and barely melting it.

2) After the wax cools, scrape it off, then brush (and brush). The more you brush, the faster you'll ski. This Mix Brush ($19) by Swix features a combination of bronze and nylon bristles that work well on all but the hardest waxes.

3) When you think you're done brushing, brush some more with this Fine Blue Nylon Brush ($19), also by Swix.

4/5)With so many high-quality wax lines on the market, it's best to pick just one and stay with it so you can learn how it responds in different snow types and temperatures. Be sure to protect new skis with a base-conditioning wax, like SBC 1 ($18) from Raceservice-1. After that, unless you're racing, an all-purpose wax like Toko's System—3 ($8—$12) is all you need.

6) Don't skimp on the plastic scrapers. These ones from Reliable Racing ($3) are cheap, so buy a stack to keep a fresh edge: Dull scrapers are hell.