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Considerations for New Skis

Before you sharpen edges or wax...

Clean the base of the ski
  • New skis will be dirty from the manufacturing process and have a layer of factory wax.
  • NOTE: Never use base cleaners on your base. Always clean by the hot-wax-scrape method. It is good for your base and repeated waxing keeps the bases running fast.
  • Scrape the factory wax off with a plexiglass scraper.
  • Use the hot-wax-scrape method to completely clean the ski.
  • Choose an inexpensive soft (warm-temperature) wax. The red (warm) hydrocarbon wax sold here is excellent for this purpose.
  • Set your skis in a vise and hold the brakes back with a brake retainer.
  • DrD recommends a Ski-Man vise; they are rugged and will last a lifetime.
  • Iron on a coat of wax and scrape it off while it is still liquid. You may see dirt or grime in the hot wax.
  • Repeat waxing/scraping until the wax is clean.
  • If you use someone else's cheap quality wax for this purpose, try to select a better quality wax for the final wax/scrape so the last thing on your base is a quality warm or cold hydrocarbon wax. If the ski conditions are cold, start with a warm wax to clean, but switch to a cold at the end.
  • Allow to cool at room temperature.
  • Follow up with a brass brush; leave as is if you are done for the day.

Check for flatness
  • Hold a true bar to the ski at 8-10 points along its length (see picture below).
  • You are looking for a base that is consistent along its length, neither high nor low compared to the edges.
  • Base material should be free of waves.

Add structure to your base
  • The average skier may wish to retain the factory grind; a racer should consult with a shop technician that knows what grind is performing well in your region.
  • For a new ski being stone ground by a technician, consult with him/her to decide if light passes may be sufficient.
Ski base flatness test with true bar