Today, I’ll be covering advanced tricks that you can use to get the most from your waxing. If you’re not familiar with waxing, refer to my previous blog on how & why to wax your skis/snowboard.
Instead of just waxing your base with the same all-temperature wax every time, you can mix other waxes together and layer your waxes to get better performance.
Remember, the below tips aren’t *must do’s* but rather, they are things you can do if you feel like getting more from your wax jobs. If you can’t be bothered with this extra work, just stick with all temperature wax from the local snow shop and wax like you normally would 😉
1) Match the wax to the temperature
You’ll find that you can buy wax in either ‘all-temperature’ or specific warm or cold weather wax. If you buy a hot or cold weather wax, it means that the wax is best suited for use in those types of temperatures.
How do I tell what temperature works best for the wax?
You’ll find a temperature range listed on the packaging of waxes. This will tell you the ideal temperature for the wax.
2) Different types of waxes for different situations
Wax comes in several different types and each different type has different advantages and benefits.
This is your standard wax. If you go into any snowboard/ski shop and ask to buy a normal bar of wax, this is what they’ll give you.
It’s cheap and it does the job, which is why most skiers and snowboarders just use hydrocarbon wax all the time.
This is your upper class wax. It’s made with a special chemical, flourine, that repels water and makes your base glide better, which is why all ski/snowboard racers use some sort of fluoro type wax.
Why not use fluoro wax all the time?
It costs a lot more than normal wax, up to 3+ times the cost of your standard hydrocarbon wax. This makes it cost a lot over the course of a season if you wax often.
High, Medium or Low Fluoro Wax?
You’ll find that fluoro waxes come with either high, medium or low fluorine added. If you use fluoro wax, you need to match the type of fluoro wax according to how wet the snow is.
High Fluoro – Used on wet snow that you can make into a really wet snowball
Medium Fluoro – Used on snow that you can make into a snowball
Low Fluoro – Used on dry snow that is hard to pack into a snowball
Base Prep Wax
This is a special soft wax that is made to really absorb into your base. It’s designed to be used as just the first coat of wax on a snowboard. Don’t worry if you’re confused right now, I’ll explain how to use this in the ‘layering your wax’ section of this article.
Graphite wax is useful when you are riding dirty snow. The graphite inside the wax reduces friction from the dirt and other things in the snow, so you’ll only really use graphite wax when the snow is older and dirtier.
Graphite also reduces the waterproof level of your base, so it’s not really a wax that you use by itself, but it’s useful for mixing and layering, as I describe below.
3) Layering your wax
Alright, now that you know the different waxes, here’s how you actually use each of them properly.
Apply a base layer using base prep wax and hydrocarbon wax
You’ll want to put a nice base layer of base prep wax before using any other waxes. If you have already used other wax on your skis/snowboard, get a base cleaner (about $10 from any ski/snowboard shop) and follow the directions on the bottle to get rid of the wax in your base.
To apply your base layer:
1) Use your base prep wax and do a ‘hot wax’. This means you wax like you normally would, except after ironing on the wax, scrape it off while it’s still hot.
2) Now use your base prep wax again 2 more times, except use it as if you were doing a normal wax job. This means you’ll iron on the wax and wait at least 30 min before you scrape it off.
3) Now apply a layer of hydrocarbon wax and scrape off like a normal wax job.
Now you’ve got a good base layer of wax that other stuff can go on top of. You don’t need to redo this base layer every time you wax, this is just something you do once at the start of a season.
How to use fluorocarbon wax
When using fluoro wax, you should apply it on top of a layer of hydrocarbon wax. If you did the base layer above, you’re set, just apply the fluoro wax as if you were waxing your snowboard like usual.
How to use graphite wax
Once again, you’ll want to apply your graphite wax on top of a layer of hydrocarbon wax. So again, if you’ve set up your normal base layer, you’re good to do.
With graphite wax, you should mix it with your normal hydrocarbon wax.
1) Apply it by rubbing the block of graphite wax on your base.
2) Drip your regular hydrocarbon wax on your base as well.
3) Iron all the wax and wax like normal.
I hope this guide was helpful and not too confusing. I know mixing and layering can get confusing, so feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.