Wax is one of the sexier tuning subjects. Ok, who am I fooling- there are NO sexy tuning subjects.. except to devoted (read: obsessed) shop geeks. But, among that crowd (over imbibed, and slighty slow on the uptake), this may at least SEEM like a sexy subject!
(My main wax kit and some bulk wax)
But really, wax (dope as it was once known) has always been a bit mysterious, shadowy, and secretive. I will NOT change that (or even try), as I enjoy a little obfuscation now and then as much as the next guy. However since this IS SUPPOSED to be an educational blog, I will show you some stuff and let you peak into my wax kit a little. But only if you don't tell anybody.
I have been in many wax rooms this year, and I've seen a lot of the same thing: People waxing in much the same way we have for the last 40 years. Yes, wax has changed some, structures have improved; vises, benches and all tools have improved... yet the overall methods are much the same. I don't spend too much time in those wax rooms, as I find it distracting. I do most work with very different methods, and with very different tools. Why? Because I do so MANY skis (well over 300 pairs this year), that I am FORCED to find better, more efficient methods to get my work done. As of this date (4-3-12), I have a backlog of about 16 pairs to get through... (sigh) I will show the BEST way I have found to do things by the traditional methods and also how to do things by the newer methods I have developed.
Q: Hey! I've been in those wax rooms, and I think it is pretty impressive. How come you are such snob about it all?
A: Ok, you win. Watching the racers put such care into their skis IS impressive. I love it actually.
Q: So what's all that about "old methods" and all?!
A: I'm talking about new ways to wax and new tools. Saving time, wax, and money.
A: My favorite method of applying high-end waxes is with a RAY'S WAX wax wizard.
Using a wizard, you just crayon the wax onto the surface of the base, then run the tool back and forth, pushing with a lot of force. The tool drives the wax INTO the base. There is almost no waste once the tool becomes worn-in... and once you gain some experience with it.
Q: That sounds hard. How long does it take?
A: 5-10 minutes per pair. And it isn't that hard.
Q: I can wax that fast! Why should I change?
A: Sure you can, so can I. But with this tool, there is little scraping, no cooling, no waiting, and no wax fumes.
A: Yeah- you push the wax into the base, scrape lightly once or twice, brush, and polish. No scraping means no mess, so there is little clean up.
Q: How much does it save?
A: At least a 75% wax (and $) savings.
Q: How durable is the wax?
A: It seems very similar to ironing- quite durable, that is. Oh, and did I mention- you don't need any POWER! You can wax a ski almost anywhere, anytime.
Q: Where can I get one? What do they cost?
A: About $20 at World Cup in Bellevue OR AlpineSkiTuning.com OR Tognar.com