The One Thing Keeping You From Skiing Faster

Downhill skiing and snowboarding is all about speed. Most people choose to participate in these winter sports to go fast. Surprisingly, many people aren't skiing at full speed and it has nothing to do with their skills or lack of training. The number one thing slowing you down may be the lack of wax on your skis. Here are the reasons why you should wax your skis or snowboard more often.

Wax your skis Photo by Robert Tadlock

Why Waxing Skis is Important

The base of your ski or snowboard is made of polyethylene. When your ski slides over the snow the heat and pressure of your ski melts the snow. This thin layer of water between your ski and the snow can slow you down, depending on the temperature, humidity and quality of the snow. A layer of ski wax will help keep your skis moving efficiently.

Wax also helps your ski adjust to changing snow. On warm spring days you might see cold snow at the top and slushy snow at the bottom of your run. Without wax you'll feel the ski slow down in the wet snow.

In addition to moving your ski quickly over the snow, wax is also good for the health of your ski. A good wax not only covers the outer layer but works it's way into the base of your ski. This helps keep your base from shrinking and pulling away for the edges. Regular waxing can prolong the life of your board.

waxing skis Photo by Trysll

How Often Should You Wax Your Skis or Snowboard?

The answer to this question varies with your skiing ability, snow conditions and personal preferences. When I lived in Breckenridge and worked in a ski shop, I waxed my board about every other day. The kept it at peak performance and I was packing in a lot of runs each day. If you are a casual skier you might find that waxing your skis every 5 or 6 trips to the mountain will do.

While taking your skis or snowboard to a shop to be waxed can add an expense to an already expensive sport, waxing your own skis is easy. I recommend most people wax their skis every 3 or 4 ski days. However, if you ski once with cold weather wax and the next time it is spring conditions, you'll probably need to apply a warm weather wax.

Do whatever feels right for you but know that regularly waxing your skis will help you ski faster and it'll prolong the life of your skis. It's a simple way to get the most out of your investment and to have the most fun on the ski hill. Visit Sierra Trading Post to save an additional 25% off ski wax supplies.
Related Video: How to Wax Skis

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Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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