Sooner or later, it’s time to call it quits for the ski season. (I tend to admit this later than most.) But before putting the skis away in their summer resting place, there’s one chore left. Done religiously, this chore will help keep ski bases well-conditioned and leave them in much better shape for next year’s skiing.
With classic skis, I clean off the remnants of whatever kick wax was last used. Hopefully it wasn’t klister. If it was, there’s a great chance that by now it has dribbled down onto the glide zone of the ski tails. I mostly avoid using base cleaner on the skis’ glide zones, (trying only to use it for sticky kick zone cleaning and sidewalls.) But, if there has been klister dribbling, I will use minimal amounts of base cleaner to get rid of this sticky substance.
Next, I like to do a hot scrape of the glide zones. I melt a very warm wax into the ski base, and then scrape it off using a plastic scraper while it is still molten. The theory is that scraping the molten wax will pick up some of the dirt from the ski’s base and pores. Often the dirt is visible in these warm wax scrapings. I also scrape the grooves in this cleaning process.
I then brush the ski base with a steel-bristled brush. I always brush tip-to-tail, in the direction of glide. The oval Swix brush with a hand strap and an arrow showing direction of brush motion is my favorite for this. The theory is that this may get a bit more dirt out of the ski base pores, and open them up to receive clean wax.
Now the final step: ironing in a coat of glide wax that will protect the ski bases through the summer. I like to use a hydrocarbon wax as opposed to a fluorinated one. I also like to use a slightly cooler wax than what I used for the cleaning process. I believe it provides a more durable coat through the heat of the summer.
I don’t do any scraping of this glide wax coat until it’s time to ski again next winter. I may or may not rub some kick wax on my classic skis’ kick zones, giving them some protection too. This is a lot less important in my mind though, and sometimes is missed. Now I feel good about putting my skis away for the summer (well, at least for the sake of their condition). Hopefully it won’t be too many months before I’m bringing them back out to prep them for a fun ride on the snow again!