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Ski season is upon us!

Well, not exactly. It’s not really even close to the start of the ski season as I write this. But to us skiers, us creatures of habit, tradition and superstition, the first snowfall of the season means it’s time to wax.

Despite the fact that August ended two weeks ago, the ever confused Mt. Hood weather gods decided to drop over 6 inches on Monday night. When I caught word of this I called up the boys. This year presented a challenge before we could begin. My previous season’s supply of wizardz wax (http://www.wizardzwax.com/) was dwindling, and with 7 pairs of skis in the garage waiting to get slick, we had no choice but to pile in the car and make the cross town trek to the ski shop. Buying the wax took 2 minutes, the drive home took 30. Thanks, California.

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Once home, we got right to work. For the next few hours the garage was filled with the sizzling of wax, lo-fi beats, and the occasional swear word as boiling wax accidentally touched skin.

3 pizzas (One cheese, one pepperoni, and one sausage), 7 pairs of skis, 11 otter pops, a ton of wax, and a lot of scraping later we had finished.  With the rain lightly falling outside (and the snow lightly falling in the mountains) the gang packed up their sticks and headed home.

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Looking ahead to the weekend, the Mt. Hood forecast was calling for sun and temps in the upper 30’s. Perfect weather for some preseason jibbing at Gypsy Island.

If you are at all interested in learning how to wax your own skis or snowboard, I’ve included a step-by-step guide with a video below.

What you’ll need

  • Ski vise

  • Wax

  • Waxing iron

  • Plastic scraper

  • Stiff Brush

Ski/Iron Prep

Prior to waxing there are a few basic things you should do to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

  1. Wipe down the base of the ski with a rag moistened with rubbing alcohol. This removes any dirt or grime than may be on the base.

  2. Use a rubber band to retract the brakes on the ski binding. This keeps them out of the way of the waxing iron.

  3. Place the ski into the ski vise and make sure it is secure.

  4. Power on the waxing iron and allow it to reach the specified temperature (most wax companies list this on the packaging)

Waxing

  1. Once the iron has reached the right temperature, touch the wax to the iron so that it drips onto the base of the ski.

  2. Drip the wax from tip to tail, making sure to cover a good portion of the base.

  3. When the base is mostly covered, place the iron directly onto the base of the ski and move it around to spread the wax until the entire surface (tip to tail and edge to edge) has been coated. DO NOT LET THE IRON SIT IN ONE SPOT FOR TOO LONG! Doing this may burn the base or cause it to blister up.

  4. Allow the wax to cool for about half an hour.

  5. Once cool, use the plastic scraper to remove all visible wax from the base. (The wax that got absorbed into the ski is what makes you go faster, all the excess slows you down)

REI made an excellent video on how to wax skis if you are still unsure and I have included the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Xt1gZfZ2Rw

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