All skis need wax, whether it’s glide wax for skate skis, kick wax for old-school classical skis, maxiglide for fishscales, or pine tar for wood skis.

This might be another lesson in Pete’s garage – or check out some videos…

Each of these are in its own section further down this page:

  • Fishscale skis – the smooth tips and tails
  • Fishscale skis – the fishscales
  • Classic skis (waxable) – kick wax and glide wax
  • Skate skis – glide wax
  • ‘Skinnies’ – the new classic skis with mohair strips
  • Wood skis – pine tar (and kick wax)

Back to Lessons – Table of Contents

Fishscale skis – the smooth tips and tails: As the tips and tails dry out (actually, before they dry out) you should wax them. It’s best to ‘hot wax’ them using the same techniques as shown in the video under skate skis. For recreational skiing in the Pacific Northwest, you can get by with always using purple wax, although for best performance, you should check the upcoming weather. I changed to red for my stint on the Sea-to-Ski. If you aren’t able to hot wax the tips and tails, you can rub them down with Maxiglide.
Fishscale skis – the fishscales: Go out skiing enough times with your fishscale skis and you are going to get caught with giant clumps of snow sticking to the bottom of your skis. This most often happens on a warm sunny day, miles from your car where you left your container of Maxiglide wax. You can’t hot wax your fishscales like the rest of the ski because of the texture, but you can wipe semi-liquid wax on them to keep the base from drying out and snow from sticking to it. Other products besides Maxiglide are also available and are just as good – but that’s what I find at REI.

Classic skis (waxable) – kick wax and glide wax: x

Skate skis – glide wax: x

Question and answer from the previous video: Why do we put the wax on and then scrape it all off? I’m new to this, so serious question.
Try to explain with my poor english. The sole of the ski is a porous material. When you apply the wax with the heat of the iron, the wax penetrate inside the sole. The heat helps the wax to penetrate. After cooling, the scratching is to remove excess of wax. But you understand now that the wax stays in the small holes of the sole. So when you ski, the wax will come out from the porous sole providing good glide. The more often you wax the better your ski will stay on long term. Hope it helps…

‘Skinnies’ – the new classic skis with mohair strips: x
Wood skis – pine tar (and kick wax): x