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Secret Tool: Your Freezer

Waxing Secrets

Sat, Apr  5, 2003 - By Mike Muha

Michigan's just received a winter storm - I was going to go north to Ellsworth (near Charlevoix) this morning to visit my mom (and get in one last ski), but she called and said she's snowed in! In April! There's ice on the trees down here in southeastern Michigan, and I'm sure the roads aren't great going north. Looks like I'm staying at home.

But that doesn't mean I'm not doing something ski-related. This morning is "Ski Season Spring Cleaning" morning! Time to do those tasks that need to be done to transition from skiing to spring training.

Task 1: Clean those dirty skis

First, I scraped off all the old klister and hard wax off my classic skis then used wax remover to get the kick zones nice and clean. While I waited for any traces of wax remover to evaporate, I fired up the iron and did a quick hot-wax cleaning job on my skating skis. I rubbed soft wax on my skis, dripped a little more on, quickly ironed over the wax once or twice, then immediately scrapped. I then did a more thorough job putting on another coat of wax. This second coat I ironed in normally but did not scrape.

I then went back to my classic ski, rubbed and corked a layer of green kick wax over the kick zones, then did the same clean and wax job on the glide zones that I had done on my skating skis.

Why do this? I don't know about you, but a summer of dirt working in it's way in my bases sounds like a great way to make my skis slower next year. And I need every advantage I can get to beat you in races next season!

I used the cheapest or most obsolete waxes I owned for the cleaning and summer wax.

Task 2: Put the skis in the "hot box"

I was thinking about the various wax "hot boxes" that are out there today. Supposedly, keeping your skis warm allows the wax to seep it's way deeper into the pores of the skis. 

I don't have a hot box, but I do have an attic over my garage that tends to get warm over the summer. My own solar hot box! Will it work, will it be warm enough? I don't know, but I do know they'll be out of my way over the summer and if they get some "hot-box" effect, so much the better.

Task 3: The Freezer: The Classic Skier's Friend

I love skiing on klister - great kick, great glide. But once you open a tube of klister, it will leak at room temperature. By the end of the summer, a significant portion of the klister will be outside the tube. What a mess.

Although my wife hates it, I put my klister tubes - in their original boxes - into a large freezer bag and stick 'em in the freezer for summer hibernation. They'll freeze solid, not leak, and be no worse for wear next winter.

Task 4: Make a list

O.K., maybe this is a little compulsive, and I've never done it before, but I'm gone through my wax box and figured out what I need to buy for next winter. I'm out of or low on:

Toko Wax Cleaner
Toko Low Flouro Yellow
Toko Low Flouro Grey
Toko High Flouro Yellow
A synthetic wax cork

List complete. Now I'll just wait for a summer sale and see if I can get this stuff cheap... 

Task 5: Sharpen the rollerski ferrules.

Nothing's worse than getting out on the rollerskis for the first time and having poles that slip. Even though many of you won't hit the rollerskis until fall, swap out your baskets for ferrules (if you use the same poles for skiing and rollerskiing), and sharpen up those tips.

I did this a couple weeks ago, just before three of us decided to go out for a nice rollerski in colder temperatures. My poles dug in and stayed; their poles slipped and they had a less enjoyable rollerskiing experience...

Task 6: What about your other equipment?

While you're sharpening those pole tips, check your rollerski tires, your bike tires, your running shoes, your inline skates. Get all your equipment in working order so when the opportunity arises, you're not stuck at home repairing stuff while your friends are having fun...

Be prepared!