Waxing For Spring

By: Graham Maclean

Waxing for classic skiing is rarely simple in the sea-to-sky corridor but it gets even more gnarly with the heat of spring sun hits the snow.  "Hairies" or "rub" skis do not perform to their full potential on glazed, icy tracks and the dread-wax Klister becomes the tool of choice.  Putting klister on the skis (or taking it off) will never be a pleasant experience, but here are some tips for making it a bit more bearable.

How do I prepare my skis?
It is always best to start with a freshly cleaned ski: no remnants of old grip wax.  Then abrade the grip zone of your ski wiht 100-grit sandpaper and select a suitable base klister and 'working' klister.

What should I use to apply the Klister?
Although the klister package may indicate otherwise, the base of the hand or thumb are your tools of choice for spreading klister.  The klister should be warm for this method, so best done in a warm room or use a heat gun or torch to soften the klister if you're out in the cold.
Apply your base klister first, then apply your working klister.  It is best to let the ski 'rest' a bit between layers so they don't mix together.  Try to keep the klister out of the groove and off the sidewalls (thin layers!).

Can I ski on my skis right away?
It is best to let the klister cool for a few minutes before you ski on it.  To do this, put your skis in the shade or next to the snow to harden the klister.

Can I just leave the Klister on all summer?  If not... what is the best way to get it off my skis but not all over my house?
The klister fairy does not exist, so if you leave the wax on all summer you'll still need to clean it off come winter.  The best way to remove klister is to use a metal putty knife to scrape off the bulk of the grip wax.  Follow this up with wax remover and a scrubby pad to knock loose the remaining wax.  Finally, wipe the entire mess off the ski with a shop towel.
To finish up, glide wax, scrape, brush, re-sand the grip zone and you're ready for your next expedition.

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