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How to prep Salomon Zero Classic skis


Tue, Nov  25, 2008 - By Andrew Gerlach

Salomon Zero Classic cross country skisSalomon Zero skis are optimal when it is snowing wet and heavy snow and when there are large fluctuations in temperature. In these conditions the zero skis provide kick while normal kick wax ices up resulting in slippery skis.

Zero skis are produced with a rubber inlay in the wax pocket zone that needs to be prepared before skiing. Rubbing the base of the ski makes the hairs, which lie in the base material, stand up. These standing hairs provide the grip needed for wet/zero snow conditions. Coarser rubs will be required for more humid snow, i.e. wet, heavy snow.  Finer rubs are used for aggressive snow, i.e. snow with lower humidity.

The rubbed area stays ice free by corking in silicone or fluoro powders. Glide zones must be waxed like for a normal classic ski.

Salomon Zero Classic cross country skis

Rubber inlay in the wax packet zone of the Salomon Zero classic skis

What you need:

  • Sand paper: 60, 80, 100, 120 grain
  • Cork
  • Liquid silicone, or fluoro powder

Instructions :

  1. Start by wrapping a piece of coarse sand paper (60 or 80 grain) around a cork.
  2. Rub the hardest part of the camber (under the binding).  Continue rubbing 15-20 cm forwards and backwards from this point.  Important: make sure to remain in the center of the ski with the coarsest sand paper, not rubbing too far toward the tip or the end. Rubbing too far from the center will damage the glide zone and result in slower skis. Rub the kick zone area of the ski several times to force the hairs to stand up. Repeat rubbing from both sides to create a cross pattern.
  3. Switch to a finer sand paper (80-100 grain). Wrap the sand paper around the scraper or cork and work as described above. Start rubbing at the end of the coarse rubbing zone and work towards the ends of the special base material. Rub backwards and forwards. 
  4. Work the final 5-10cm on each end of the kick zone (special base material) with fine sand paper, 100-120 grain.
  5. Rub silicone or fluoro powder by hand in the rubbing zone making sure to cover the entire kick zone. 

If, when you try your ski they are sticky, the kick can be mellowed by using a finer sand paper (4 or 5 passes). If you need more kick, use a slightly coarser sand paper in the center of the kick zone.

This method allows you to adjust your kick as you would with traditional kick wax.

Salomon Zero Classic cross country skis

Ivan Babikov won the 2008 Canadian National Championships 50km race on Salomon Zeros.

For more information visit or email the Saab Salomon Factory Team at

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