How Does Ski and Snowboard Wax Work

Barrie snowboard and skiSki wax improves the performance of skis and snowboards. In addition to skis and snowboards, it works on other devices that slide over ice and snow such as toboggans. There are many kinds and brands of waxes in the market, and one has to consider certain factors before settling of any particular type. Some of the factors to consider include the type of skiing, either cross country or racing, the temperature, the snow and so on.

How Does Snowboard Wax Work?

There are two major categories of snowboard wax; namely, glide wax and grip wax. Glide wax decreases drag and improves speed by optimizing the film of water formed between the ski and snow. To experience the best performance, a skier must find the delicate balance between dry and wet friction. The glide wax is useful in achieving this balance, since too little water creates friction, while too much water creates drag from wet suction.

Glide Wax

All skiing disciplines use glide wax, which can be either soft or hard based. Softer wax produces less water film than its harder counterparts. Skiers sometimes use paraffin, food oils, or pine tar to reduce wet friction created by a thick water film. Adjusting the hardness or softness of the glide wax is the primary method of controlling the contribution to the water film. The length of the carbon chains in the wax determines its hardness, with shorter carbon chains creating softer wax, while longer carbon chains create harder wax. One applies the wax to the glide zone of the skis, which comprises the entire base, with the exclusion of the tips.

Skiers select glide wax based on the temperature of the snow, the crystal structure of the snow, and the relative humidity of the snow. It is important to match the type of glide wax to the snow conditions. The Swix Universal waxes are some of the most popular glide waxes in the market.

Grip Wax

Grip wax or kick wax is tailored for classical cross-country skiing. It comes in two forms; namely, klister and hard kick wax. The latter form is a hard substance used for older, very cold snow, or new snow with defined crystals. Actually, skiers should apply it in freezing conditions. Unless such conditions apply, skiers should go for the amorphous solid called klister, which is difficult to apply and sticky, but excellent in wet snow and icy conditions.

Applying The Wax

All forms of grip waxes serve the same purpose. Skiers should apply the wax on the kick zone, which is the central portion of the ski that extends from the skier’s heel to about a half a foot ahead of the binding. It is important to note that the size of the kick zone may vary depending on the weight of the skier, and the camber of the ski. As the name suggests, the wax grips the snow, thus allowing the skier to propel him or herself forward. Some of the most popular brands of grip wax include the Tokyo Nordic Grip Wax and the Swix Tour Pack.

All types of snowboard wax work well when applied properly. It is therefore important to learn how to apply the wax for maximum performance. The application process begins by ensuring that the ski or snowboard has a clean and tuned surface, next, it is important to choose the right wax, either all-temperature or temperature specific. After choosing the wax, one should choose the best iron to apply the wax with, and afterwards leave the wax to cool thoroughly. Next, one should scrape off the outer layer of the wax to leave an oily sheen, and then use an appropriate brush on the base until there is only the thinnest layer of wax left.

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