Introducing DataWax, the original British wax company, who have kindly put together a guest blog on how to service your own skis and snowboards. This Shred Thread has everything you need to know - and more - on how to service your shred sticks yourself this winter...
How to Service Your Skis With Datawax
3 Step Servicing for Skis & Snowboards
A waxed snowboard or pair of skis turn more easily, giving you a smoother ride, that is less tiring and easier to control. This means that you will have a better time in the mountains and you’ll be safer! You pay a lot for your sport so it is sensible to ensure you enjoy it as much as possible. The second reason for using wax is to make your skis or snowboard go faster – particularly important if you are racing (even against your friends) or training. Finally wax helps keep your equipment in top condition – new gear is expensive, so take care of it!
Step 1 - Bases
Are there gouges or scratches? If the gouges are next to the metal edge or very large then it may be worth taking your skis to a reputable dealer to have them patched - otherwise you can do it yourself.
Take a ptex base repair candle and light one end. It is better to use a lighter or a small blow torch than a match as there is less carbon in the flame. Let it drip onto your metal scraper until the flame is blue (no carbon). Be careful not to let it drip onto your skin as it is VERY hot! Then move the burning candle over the gouge and let it drip until the hole has filled and a little bit more. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes. Use your metal scraper to scrape off the excess. You may need to repeat the process. Finally, slightly roughen your repair with a brass brush or a course structure pad- this will help the repair absorb wax later.
Step 2 - Edges
Remember each edge has two aspects - the base edge (level to the base) and the side edge (perpendicular to the base).
Many people like to put a small base bevel on the base edge of 0.5° to 1°. This makes your skis/snowboard less catchy and allows a smoother initiation of the turn. This is an easy process using a base bevel tool and needs only to be done once, while side edging needs done regularly.
There are many different side edging tools available (you cannot do this freehand without a guide!) from the very easy to use DataWax “Get a Grip” to more advanced tools. Choose one and use it regularly. Common Edge Angles include 90° (stays sharp longer) and 88° (better grip on icy pistes).
To use your edging tool, place the file on the edge of the ski or snowboard with the guide on the base. Press firmly on the base and draw the file guide along the length of it. Make sure your equipment is held solidly in a vice and keep the base facing away from you. This allows you to press firmly on the base. Don’t press too hard on the edge - you don’t want to remove too much metal!
Once your edge is sharp a diamond stone is often all that you need to keep them sharp.
Step 3 - Waxing
Waxing is critical to the performance of your skis. Waxing helps your skis slide more smoothly and turn more easily, giving you more control. The end result is that you have more fun, more enjoyment and it’s less tiring.
Rub On waxes or liquid waxes in a sachet are great but nothing beats a hot wax! Hot waxing allows the wax to penetrate the base, keeping them in the best condition and it also lasts longer.
There are many waxes to choose from DataWax’s Universal All Mountain wax is a great starting point.
To hot wax - touch your chosen wax to the iron and drip it all over the base of the ski or snowboard. Then iron the wax until smooth. It is very important to keep the iron moving.
Make your last pass of the iron from tip to tail. Leave the wax to cool for at least 40 minutes and then scrape off the excess (it is the wax IN the base not ON the base that has most benefit). For a perfect finish brush the freshly waxed base with a nylon or horsehair brush or use a soft structure pad.
That is it! Quick, easy, and very satisfying. Best of all your skiing and snowboarding will improve as if by magic!
DataWax is a British manufacturing company - the original British wax company. Owned by father and son, we have created and designed all our own waxes, we have our own intellectual property on specific hardware and we also import other brands to be a one stop shop for our trade and retail customers, to cover every ski and snowboard servicing need.
Why wax? When your bases are waxed it allows your skis or snowboard to turn more easily, leaving you less tired and improving your control!
At the end of the day we’re ski addicts through and through! Our aim is always to make the very best of a day on the slopes. All our staff are ski instructors, racers and/or snowboard instructors. Because of that we made a team decision to take the brand on a journey to become more Eco-Friendly. We want to do our part to help protect the mountains for generations to come. DataWax is built on a reputation for great quality products and service, so it made sense to strive to be better and more environmentally sustainable. We're on a path to lessen our environmental impact, making products that are ecological and biodegradable.
Our All Mountain Range:
These waxes are great for skiers and snowboarders who are looking for a quick go-to boost. Our Universal All Mountain Wax outsells everything else combined as it’s suitable for all snow types and temperatures. Alternatively, our temperature specific All Mountain waxes give even better performance, so are worth checking out when you know the conditions. We make sure to source all our ingredients responsibly, right down to the packaging. We’re moving out of plastics into cardboard which is FSC approved and 100% recyclable.
Our Backcountry Range:
Perfect for skiing down or skinning up, these waxes contain no Fluoro, so won’t cause any problems when using skins and are great as a general off-piste wax. They contain no toxic chemicals which means they are safe for flora and fauna and won’t cause any damage to water or marine life later down the line. We’re proud to say these eco-friendly waxes are also fully biodegradable!
Choosing your wax:
Universal “All Snow” – suitable for all snow types and temperatures, a durable wax with great glide.
Cobalt “Very Cold” – for snow temperatures -25°C to -12°C is ideal when the snow is very dry, cold and crystallised.
Butane “Cold Snow” - for snow temperatures -16°C to -6°C is perfect for those cold winter mornings early in the season.
Magma “Fresh Snow” - for snow temperatures -8°C to -0°C is great for riding powder on or off-piste.
Sunfire “Spring Snow” - for snow temperatures -2°C and warmer is designed for wet or granulated snow in the spring time.