EnjoyWinter.com Starter Wax Kit
Glide Wax (Liquid)
Recommened: All three colors of liquid SG, Natural Cork, Easy Nylon Brush.
To apply: Rub a thin layer of SG liquid on the gliding zones of your skis. For skate, this will be tip to tail. For classic, this will be the front third and back third of the ski outside the marked kick pocket. Then immediately rub the applied wax with the natural cork until the liquid has evaporated. Brush with the nylon until shiny. Go ski! Reapply liquid every 1-2 weeks or every ~5th session.
Glide Wax (Solid)
Recommended: All four colors of Solid SG, Iron, bench mount, nylon, copper, and horsehair brushes and a 3mm scraper.
For training and everyday skiing, you can get away with ironing on a wax only 1-3 times a season with frequent liquid waxing inbetween. When picking the glide wax to apply, whether it is solid or liquid, err on the side of applying colder (harder) wax rather than warm (soft) wax. Keep an eye on our newsletter "skipost", there will be an article covering the "why" of glide waxing more in depth.
A word on scraping and brushing: When you iron a wax onto the ski, you want to remove the excess wax that is left in the structure and on the surface of the ski. This is wax that is not fully absorbed into the plastic base and will only serve to slow you down. You first scrape with the 3mm scraper. Then you brush with the horsehair, then copper, then nylon brushes. While the horsehair and nylon maybe used in both directions, the copper may only be used tip to tail. The number one mistake we see from new waxers is not removing all of the excess wax from the surface of the ski after application. Scrape carefully and use more of the horsehair brush if you are starting out. When scraping, use light pressure, let the tool do the work!
This advice applies to "waxable" classic skis. There are also "skin skis" and "waxless skis". Skin skis refers to skis with hairs in the middle to grip the snow. "Waxless skis" refer to skis with a patterned base in the middle and still need to have glide wax applied to the ski. All modern skis have plastic bases. All plastic bases need to be maintained through waxing.
Recommended: Synthetic Purple, Blue, Green, Cork, Wax remover. Tip: these waxes run cold! For instance, we've used the synthetic blue down to 5 degrees farenheit despite the listed temperature range.
Kick waxing options
Base waxes - These are necessary for skiing longer or in abrasive snow conditions. Two options, base wax is for soft snow, base wax extra is for hard snow. These require an iron dedicated to kick wax.
Oslo grip waxes - These are considered to be some of the best waxes for artificial snow and old snow. Used extensively by midwesterners and the Swedish World Cup techs. The Oslo waxes are recommended for the American Birkie almost every year.
Terva grip waxes - These are pine tar based waxes for fresh snow or may be used as a cover to speed up a kick wax job. These can work as every day waxes like the synthetic waxes but are best served in snow with finer crystals.
A note on recommendations regarding temperature ranges, and durability estimates.
The temperature ranges listed on waxes may differ from your experience on snow. This is because snow can vary dramatically due to air temperature, air humidity, snow age, snow temperature, snow moisture, location etc. The temperature ranges listed on waxes are a good starting point, but there may be some trial and error when you are starting out.
Regarding durability of waxes and recommended reapplication intervals for glide, the durability of a wax is going to vary due to the coarseness of the snow, dirt in the snow, and the specific wax you use. Therefore, the recommendations to "apply every other week" or "every 50km" is always an educated guess without knowing the details of where/when you are skiing.