Waxing Tips for Cross-Country-Skis

Ski preparation – well-waxed is half the battle

In cross-country skiing, the right wax can be the difference between victory and defeat. No wonder: ski preparation is the last big secret in cross-country skiing. What does an amateur skier need in order to successfully master the trails in Davos Klosters? An insight.

It is well-known that the world cup dominator Martin Johnsrud Sundby trains around 1,200 hours per year. And the content of his preparation is also familiar. What still remains unknown is the last secret in cross-country skiing: the ski preparation. Of course a perfectly prepared ski alone is not enough to place an athlete on the winner’s podium – but it can certainly mean the difference between sixth place and victory. Or vice versa. But how should an amateur skier prepare his skating skis?

Different wax colours depending on temperature

Newcomers are often overcome when they see the range of wax on offer. The following basic rule helps to provide a quick overview: dark colours are designed for low temperatures. Light wax colours such as red or yellow are ideal for higher temperatures from zero to tend degrees. One of the cheaper variants is conventional paraffin wax. For a few years wax companies have been adding fluorine. Thus "LF" stand for "low fluorine" and "HF" for "high fluorine". The latter is expensive, but it is also used at the highest level of competition, since it faster gliding than with conventional wax.

Wax-Basics for an ambitious amateur skier

Don’t worry, an ambitious amateur skier doesn’t need an entire spectrum of wax. One or two wax types from -8 to +4 degrees Celsius are ideal for Davos Klosters. In order to iron in the wax you require an iron and a device to fix the ski, to ensure that it is well-supported. Handling racing wax is tricky: if the iron is too hot, the expensive wax– and in the worst case the running surface – will burn, destroying any benefit. Liquid wax is an alternative, which easily outlasts one training unit. Our tip: Have your cross-country skis prepared by a specialist store in Davos Klosters. With this in mind, happy gliding – hopefully you will feel a bit like Sundby.

“With well-waxed skis, cross-country skiing in Davos Klosters is really fun,” explains the local cross-country expert Andy Hofmänner from Hofmänner Sport.
Skating wax tip
  • Clean the surface.
  • Sand down (if necessary).
  • Carefully iron in the wax.
  • Allow the wax to cool.
  • Remove the wax and brush the ski thoroughly. Finished!
Classic waxing tip
  • Apply the wax immediately before skiing.
  • Select the optimum wax based on the temperatures and snow conditions.
  • Apply the wax to the grip zone in layers.

Ski skins – the alternative to the conventional wax ski

In classic cross-country skiing there is nothing better than a perfectly waxed ski. Except: sometimes amateurs don’t get it right. Particularly with new snow and fluctuating temperatures, wax skis can be tricky. The solution: ski skins. Andy Hofmänner, cross-country expert from Davos, explains the trend.

Andy Hofmänner, what characterises a ski skin?
Perfect gliding properties, a good kick grip, and best of all: ski skins can be used in all trail conditions. You don’t need to worry about snow conditions. In brief: the skin works everywhere.

Sounds exciting. How does a ski skin work?
In the grip zone, where kick wax is normally applied, a skin is mounted to the running surface. This skin ensures a reliable kick in all snow conditions, yet still glides well. Another advantage: in contrast to the conventional wax ski, it cannot be over-waxed. This is particularly helpful for amateurs.

Are there any disadvantages? 
No. The initial fear that the skin would easily get stuck has not been proved true in practice. Quite the contrary: It provides a reliable kick on almost all types of snow. Ski skins are the future of the classic skiing technique. More sporty and competitive skiers continue to rely more on a wax ski.

What does a ski skin cost?
There are different models – from beginner to professional. The costs are comparable with a wax or fish-scale ski.

Andy Hofmänner runs the cross-country store Hofmänner Sport in Davos. He is convinced of the success of ski skins in the classic skiing technique.

Compared to cross-country skis with fish-scales or wax, how is a ski skin different?
A wax ski is suitable above all for sporty skiers. If the wax is perfect it gives a skier optimum kick. A fish-scale ski provides a good grip, but has deficits on icy tracks. With ski skins, there is no need to worry about the conditions.

How are ski skins cared for?
Similar to a touring ski. There are different liquid waxes that are suitable for care. Good to know: a ski skin is a good investment. The skin can last for between 800 and 1,200 kilometres of trails before requiring replacement. 

Finally: If Davos Klosters were a cross-country ski, which would it be? 
A multifunctional ski that provides a lot of fun on our fantastic trails throughout the whole winter season.

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