Sometimes, you just want to go faster. While beginner skiers often disregard ski wax, it is very important both for those who want to glide more swiftly down the mountain and protect their skis from the damage. Thankfully, there are a lot of good choices out there so that you can pick out the best ski wax options to improve your skiing experience.
Which ski wax you should use depends heavily on how, where, and when are you planning to use it. By all accounts, including one from the International Skiing History Association, ski wax is used to make you go faster, so you should be prepared for the added boost to your performance. Thankfully, using wax also means that you will have better control, as you will be able to cut easier through the snow.
Finally, the wax you will want to use will depend on if the snow is wet or dry, or possibly polluted with dirt or other particles. The best ski wax is the one that will protect your gear in most situations, but it will always be up to you to determine if there are circumstances are right for the wax you will be using.
What Does Ski Wax Do?
When you are skiing, the pressure and the friction from your body and skis creates a thin film of water between you and the snow. What ski wax does is it reduces friction with that water and makes you glide much faster.
Here is where it becomes important what contents are in your wax, as dry snow and wet snow will create different types of friction. Additionally, if there is any dirt on the track, you may also experience electrostatic friction that will both slow you down and would damage unprotected skis. The wax creates a barrier between the ski and the ground, adapting to the surface and reducing the amount of friction and drag that you will experience.
Picking the Best Ski Wax Online
There are three main components when picking out the best ski wax option. First of all, the wax should be usable in all temperatures, ranging between newly formed snow that is just below 32°F, with air temperatures going to 50°F, and very cold skiing weather around going up to negative 22°F. This means that the wax will not dissolve when hot and freeze when cold, and will keep all of its properties in the meantime.
The second component, and probably the most important for skiers, is for the wax actually to reduce the friction as it is supposed to. Just oiling up your gear will not do. There needs to be adequate amounts of hydrocarbon or fluorocarbon, depending on the type of snow, which will manipulate the water forming below the skis and give you that smooth ride down.
Finally, it would be nice for the wax to be eco-friendly. The residue of the wax will stay on the track and slowly be absorbed by the ground. In the case of waxes that are not good for the soil this might result in degradation, ultimately destroying the track itself. As the best ski tracks are the ones made by nature, it would be in our best interest to preserve them as much as we can.
This is one large bar, coming up at 12 oz. or over 340 grams in total, meaning that it will last for over 15 applications. It is eco-friendly and doesn’t include any fluorocarbon. It can be used on wet snow, but the best results are on cold, dry snow where it gives the greatest amount of control.
The best feature of this wax is that it can be used both as a rub-on or melted with an iron and applied hot. It doesn’t require any base preps, or any additional powder, just spread this wax over your skis and enjoy.
The advised air temperatures for this wax are between 6 and 52 degrees (-14 to 11 degrees Celsius) meaning that it can be used in all conditions.
Finally, because of the added control provided by the wax, it is advised for skiers and boarders of all levels of experience.
- Good for all temperatures
- Good for all types of snow
- Large bar means good value
- A new bar is slightly heavy to carry around without a bag
This rub-on wax has been out for a while, and it is still one of the best options on the market. The container is small and compact, fitting easily in a pocket, but still has a cork head that you can use to buff in the wax once applied. The only thing you would need would be a soft cloth or towel to polish out the skis and remove any access wax.
The wax itself is quite amazing, working in all temperatures going as cold as -22°F before freezing. The friction reduction is very good, and it also improves the control of the skis.
Additionally, the whole package, including the cork top, weight only 3 oz. The wax content makes 2.4 oz. (or 70 grams) of that weight. Because it is a rub-on wax, this means that you can easily carry it with you even if you don’t have a bag, and use it on the spot.
Finally, it is eco-friendly, and will not damage the track or snow in any way.
- Cork buffer included
- All weather conditions
- Improves control
- Not the best value
This hard wax is a collaboration of Toko and Swix, but also a mixture of different waxes to make one ultimate ski wax. It is good for all temperatures, allowing for snow to be down to -22°F and to still make the needed water film and reduce friction.
This is hot wax, meaning that you will need an iron to melt it and apply it to your skies. It is really easy to melt, and once on the skis, it is easy to spread and brush away.
It is also eco-friendly and biodegradable, protecting the snow beneath our skies.
- Good for all weather
- Easy to spread and brush
- Adaptable to different types of snow
- Doesn’t have any additional features
While this is, no doubt, a springtime ski wax, it is probably the best wax for using in hotter temperatures. Its usable range is between 26°F and 32°F, and it slowly stars freezing off and flaking below that range. It is based on hydrocarbon, meaning that it is eco-friendly and best for freshly fallen snow.
Additionally, this wax smells really good, making it quite enjoyable to apply it.
Finally, it is quite good at removing electrostatic friction from variable terrain, which is very important for the type of skiers that it is meant for.
- Good against electrostatic friction
- Protects the skis when stored
- Smells good
- Doesn’t work in colder temperatures
Last but not least, this tested Swiss product is tested for very cold temperatures and provide exceptional control and friction reduction all down to 10°F (-32 Celsius).
This wax works best in either very cold conditions or on artificial snow. It is hydrocarbon based and gives very good handling. Additionally, it is very durable and easily protects the skis both from dirt and particles, as well as sharp snow crystals that may form on those temperatures.
The only downside that this hardness makes the wax slightly hard to scrape off, as it really sticks to the skis.
- Very durable
- Good for artificial snow
- Good ski protection
- A bit hard to scrape off
What to Look for When Buying Ski Wax
The best ski wax option is the one that adapts to your skiing conditions. In some cases, you will want greater speeds, while in others control will be of the essence. Always remember to use the appropriate ski wax in advance and to bring any irons, cloths, brushes, and buffers that you might need.
How to Apply Ski Wax
There are two types of ski wax when it comes to applying it. The first is the rub-on wax that is totally straightforward to use. You just need to take the bar out of the container and crayon it on the whole base of the skis. It usually sticks very good, and the only thing you need to be concerned about is not to miss a spot. Once the wax is on, you should buff it in with something and scrape off any access with a scraper, as to get maximum results.
The second type of wax is hard wax, which needs to be melted with an iron before the application. Different products melt at different temperatures, so you should check that your iron is strong enough for your wax, but not too strong to burn it. You will need to melt about ½ ounces of wax on both skis and spread them carefully to the whole base of the board. Once done, polish the skis with a cloth and you are good to go.
Regardless of the type, you will always need some time to get the hang of putting on the wax. But, once you do, waxing will become quite easy and you will be able to finish your pair of skis in no time.
Wax might not be an essential skiing component for beginners when speed and precision are not as important. But, if you want to bring out the maximum from your skis, you should have a waxing kit with a good wax appropriate for your conditions.
If you are new to ski wax, just take it slow and don’t stress too much about how you are applying it. In time you will get the hang of it and start gliding down the mountains, or cross-country like never before.