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Universal versus temperature specific ski wax (how much difference)

BenedictGomez

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I'm wondering if there's really a major recreational difference between a universal ski wax you'd use from say.... 5 degrees to 35 degrees temperature, versus the performance you'd get using a temperature specific wax in 3-13 degree, 14-24 degree , 25-35 degree ranges?

Of course I know for ski racing it's a massive difference given you're measured in hundredth's-of-seconds, but for the purpose of this question, I don't care about ski racing at all. I'm wondering if it makes an appreciable difference for the typical skiers here hitting their local ski hills.

The reason I decided to create this thread beyond the fact it's something I'm curious about, is that I was surprised how little information there is on this subject online, besides what's found in vendor's marketing materials. It doesn't seem like most skiers give it much thought.
 

Hawkshot99

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On a daily basis I do not feel it makes much difference as long as they have been waxed semi recently.
I used to wax EVERY day I skied but have relaxed quite a bit lately.
The exception to that I find is in the spring when we get wet snow. Here I find that a good warm wax makes a big difference. I will also wax daily in the spring.

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Jully

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Agree with Hawkshot. I notice a big difference, speaking in terms of non racing, with warm weather wax v. All temp. Cold temp I notice when its -10F, so extremely rarely. Fresh wax is wayy more important though. I notice minimal difference between an old all temp v. Old specialized wax (both suck).
 

drjeff

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Hawk is DEAD ON!!!

Unless one is a REALLY HIGH LEVEL RACER, universal is all you need most any day. In warm, wet snow weather, then that's when a low fluoro warm weather wax (typically yellow wax from most manufacturers) will provide a noticeable difference....

Swix F4 low fluoro universal is my go to for my families 12 pairs of skis, including my medium to medium high level racer kids race skis most days.

In wet or Spring snow, then I'm either Swix or Toko low fluoro yellow (warm wax)..

I used to swear by a brand called Stunt wax, but unfortunately they're no longer in the business...

Wax, scrape, scrape, scrape, and brush the heck out of the scraped ski with a nylon/brass brush if below 32 or an all brash brush above 32. And for the warm, really wet snow days, keep a container of rub on liquid fluoro universal Swix or Toko wax in your coat/back pack to add some during breaks to keep your bases as hydrophobic as possible!!

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BenedictGomez

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So reading the replies here, it seems like a consensus strategy is to either go universal or buy an average N.E. temp wax block, maybe something that covers roughly 22-32 degrees for the majority of our skiing days, but to also add a spring skiing wax to the mix.

The spring wax I've noticed is either "warm" (up to 39'ish degrees) or "crazy warm" (up to 50'ish degrees), what do folks go with?

I can say that the only times I've felt snow really grabbing the hell out of me, is on those very warm spring skiing days, especially the glorious tee-shirt weather, but having never skied on warm spring specific wax, I have no baseline for knowing how much it helps alleviate that grabbiness.
 

56fish

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On a daily basis I do not feel it makes much difference as long as they have been waxed semi recently.
I used to wax EVERY day I skied but have relaxed quite a bit lately.
The exception to that I find is in the spring when we get wet snow. Here I find that a good warm wax makes a big difference. I will also wax daily in the spring.

Gotta agree. I ride & hate to skate. I roto-corked some swix 10 hi flouro recently on a 45+ degree day at Jay. Had arguably the fastest glide on the flat run-outs :beer:
 

Razor

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Thanks for posting this. I've had the same questions, and this discussion is informative.
 

BenedictGomez

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Thanks for posting this. I've had the same questions, and this discussion is informative.

That's why I posted it. I knew I couldnt be the only one wondering, and yet, there's very little available online.

If you want to know HOW to wax skis, there's tons of information. But in terms of the actual performance of wax and the performance of the various wax temperature profiles in it's optimal and non-optimal conditions, there was virtually nothing I could find outside of marketing paraphernalia, which I regard as basically worthless.

I imagine it's partly because most will find this a non-sexy subject, but I think it's probably because unless you're a FIS race team waxing expert, or a chemist for Swix or Toko, there's probably few people who truly know.
 

Hawkshot99

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That's why I posted it. I knew I couldnt be the only one wondering, and yet, there's very little available online.

If you want to know HOW to wax skis, there's tons of information. But in terms of the actual performance of wax and the performance of the various wax temperature profiles in it's optimal and non-optimal conditions, there was virtually nothing I could find outside of marketing paraphernalia, which I regard as basically worthless.

I imagine it's partly because most will find this a non-sexy subject, but I think it's probably because unless you're a FIS race team waxing expert, or a chemist for Swix or Toko, there's probably few people who truly know.
I'll be honest my results are purely seat of the pants feel. But I have tried ALOT of waxes.

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ironhippy

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It's funny how little attention I pay to my skis.

The most I've ever done is get them waxed/tuned at the start of the season and again in the spring.

I brought them in the other day and realized my touring skis had a LOT of glue left on them from the skins. I probably need to re-apply the glue to my skins as well, they are rather gross.
 

drjeff

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The other thing about waxing to remember, is the really über high level race waxing is literally being done with multiple layers and/or overlays for ONE specific race run. The skis have been previously saturated with a desired essentially base wax, then scraped and brushed and then brought to the start area where final temp and/or snow structure and moisture level overlays are added to get the maximum possible speed out of those skis for that one specific run. Those often EXPENSIVE really high level waxes don't often have much durability.

For the vast majority of the general public, we want durability, and frankly under most situations don't care about the extra slight speed advantage temp specific waxes do have over universal wax.

Having tuned and waxed skis for around 30yrs now, using simple parafin based waxes, hydrocarbon based waxes, low, mefiun and high fluorocarbon waxes, temp specific, universal waxes, iron in, liquid and rub and cork waxes over the years for most everyone on most days on the hill, universal will keep you happy, and keep your bases hydrophobic to that thin layer of water the friction of our bases sliding over the snow creates, and keep you sliding easier!!

I would honestly tell almost anyone who doesn't regularly wear spandex race suits and compete at a high level that at the beginning of the season by a big bar of universal wax and a small bar of a fluorocarbon based warm weather wax for wet snow conditions and you're good to go!!

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BenedictGomez

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The most I've ever done is get them waxed/tuned at the start of the season and again in the spring.

That used to be me.

It's easy to lose sight of how much of a difference wax makes, as you so slowly lose performance you don't really notice it. I think it's akin to going to the eye doctor and only realizing your vision should be better after you've done the eye test (that happens to me).

My big "aha moment" with wax came a few years ago while skiing with a friend who waxes his snowboard roughly every 3 days out. He was consistently faster than me in mid-season while we were "tuna'ing" groomers, and that shouldn't happen. I could quite literally "see" the difference his fresh coat of wax was making.

That said, no way would I wax my skis before every time I ski, that's never going to happen. Once every 5 to 7 days I think seems reasonable. Some people go 10 to 15 days, but I think you're then in danger of falling into that "eye test" category.
 

KustyTheKlown

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every 100k vertical feet is a decent rule of thumb, which is 4-6 days for most people on this board I'd think

i am taking my powder skis up to vt this weekend. i didn't get them waxed in Canada bc i thought i was done with them for the season. i felt sticky on run outs on my last day. an overnight wax tomorrow may be in order.
 

Domeskier

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I'm not sure if my skis have ever been waxed. Unless they come waxed from the mfr or the shop in NJ waxed them as part of the $70 they charged me to mount the bindings. The natural snow in the bumps last weekend was pretty grippy. And skating the run-outs was a pain. The edges are still sharp, though, and that's pretty much all I care about.
 

KustyTheKlown

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how long have you had the skis? why wouldn't you have them waxed if the run outs are admittedly a pain? doing it yourself is easy/having the shop do it costs like $20
 

BenedictGomez

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I'm not sure if my skis have ever been waxed. Unless they come waxed from the mfr or the shop in NJ waxed them as part of the $70 they charged me to mount the bindings. The natural snow in the bumps last weekend was pretty grippy. And skating the run-outs was a pain. The edges are still sharp, though, and that's pretty much all I care about.

New skis come waxed from the manufacturer. But if you bought "new" skis from last years model rather than this year's model, it would be a good idea to re-wax them just the same, as they likely dried a bit.

The shop would not wax your skis as part of a binding mount.

What you're describing from your skiing, definitely sounds like your bases need wax ($15-$20 at a shop).
 

Domeskier

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Hmm. Maybe I'll check out the pro shop this weekend and see if they can wax while I wait. I'm pretty lazy about equipment maintenance.
 

Sky

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I started using "Saucer Wax" about 10 years ago. Their waxes have a very larger temperature range.

www.saucerwax.net

They have three basic ranges plus race overlays (for those interested).

Interesting owner.
 

John9

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I have a universal wax done by the shop, about every 5 or so trips. Touch up with Toko rub on liquid. Only time a had issue was during the polar vortex, snow so cold, skis just made creeking sounds.
This past Friday had ski waxed at shop, snow conditions firm packed powder, temps in mid 20s. Glide and speed on groomed was amazing.
 

darent

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I have used a universal wax for years, works for me. spring time I open the structure and use a spring wax and it stops the stutters.
 
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