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Waxing/Tuning Questions - Effect of dirty snow, type of wax, type of waxing

#1
Not sure if this is the right forum, but...I just got the "standard" tune at a local shop in the Boston suburbs and then skied 2 days in rough conditions - meaning we had a warming trend in Southern New England last week and rain all weekend, so where I skied on Monday there was a lot of slushy, dirty snow and after a cool-down, Wednesday was nicer, but still dirty in spots. My bases are now showing white horizontal streaks and white along the edges.

From what little I know about tuning, I know my skis need wax. My first question is, do I just need a wax, or do I also need the belt grind and edge that is usually sold as part of the cleanup tune? Do shops do just wax anyhow? Before y'all recommend that I learn to hot iron wax my skis myself, I'll just say that learning how to wax my skis was going to be a goal for next year, not for the next few days before going skiing again!

I also want to check that it was a conditions issue that I need a wax so soon (soon for me anyway) and not a quality of waxing issue. When I picked them up, I had asked them what wax they used and they said something something for 22-34 degrees which seemed cooler than what I needed based on the rainy, upper 30's forecast, but I didn't feel comfortable interrogating them, since I hadn't asked for a specific temperature wax when I dropped them off, and to give them the benefit of the doubt, they might have assumed that I was heading up North with temps closer to freezing, instead of where I went, to Connecticut where it was in the upper 30's on Monday.

I assume if the shop doesn't specify the kind of waxing, it's a belt wax versus a hot iron wax. What difference does that make?
 

KWlovessnow

Certified Ski Diva
#2
I wax my own skis and skied slush last night with my son and it took the wax off my skis. They are now sitting in my basement waiting for a new layer of wax. Slush and man-made snow require more frequent waxing in my experience.

I'm not sure about the horizontal lines, but the white along the edges is what I look for to assess if my skis need a wax and will disappear after a wax.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
I assume if the shop doesn't specify the kind of waxing, it's a belt wax versus a hot iron wax. What difference does that make?
In spring conditions, a belt wax may only last a few runs. A hot wax stands a better chance of lasting for a few hours.

There are paste waxes that can be easily used on the slope during a quick break. Can be useful to have in the spring. Got some in Utah one March when it was in the 50s. Would last for half a day, assuming starting with skis that were decently waxed.
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
I definitely need repeat hot waxing after 2-3 days of spring slush. I'll wax every night in spring if I have the facilities to do so available to me.
 
#5
I skied Saturday and Sunday and Saturday’s slush took the wax right off. And they were just tuned. I dropped them off for wax yesterday. They don’t need anything else. I also want to learn to wax.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
I skied Saturday and Sunday and Saturday’s slush took the wax right off. And they were just tuned. I dropped them off for wax yesterday. They don’t need anything else. I also want to learn to wax.
If you intend to keep those skis for a few years, you might consider investing in DPS Phantom instead of what's needed to wax at home. The glide of Phantom is equivalent to universal wax on cold snow, but is hard to beat with waxing during spring skiing when temps are over 40. I was an early adopter and have since treated all my skis. Unlike some Divas, while I know learned how to wax (not hard) and bought enough stuff (iron, scrapers, etc.) to do it at home, it's not a task I like to do.

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/i...id-waxing-recreational-skis-notes-2020.24784/
 

vickie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
I was wondering if you were going to mention Phantom, @marzNC!

Met 3 long-time Loveland skiers yesterday. One said I looked familiar and asked if I went to such-and-such bar where they also wax skis. (??????) I said Nope, I don't wax my skis. That led to a conversation about Phantom. I showed them the bases and told them that Phantom was applied when they were new 3 seasons ago. One commented that the bases were almost like new. I told them I take good care of my gear ... then realized that may no longer be true -- the skis lay in the back of my car most of the winter and haven't been tuned for 3 seasons! Oops.
 

SallyCat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
Just to clarify a couple of points, you do not need any sort of base grind to clean your skis. If they are dirty they can simply be wiped with a damp cloth or, if they are about to be waxed, with base cleaner (which is just a citrus-based solution).

A hand/iron wax is way better than machine waxing because the bases and the wax stay heated for a longer period of time, which causes the wax to enter the porous base more effectively.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#9
Met 3 long-time Loveland skiers yesterday. One said I looked familiar and asked if I went to such-and-such bar where they also wax skis. (??????) I said Nope, I don't wax my skis. That led to a conversation about Phantom. I showed them the bases and told them that Phantom was applied when they were new 3 seasons ago. One commented that the bases were almost like new. I told them I take good care of my gear ... then realized that may no longer be true -- the skis lay in the back of my car most of the winter and haven't been tuned for 3 seasons! Oops.
Given that you've been skiing soft snow, I would guess your edges are still in pretty good shape. I keep checking the edges on my AJs that I treated with Phantom in Jan 2018 but given where I use them I don't need to deal with taking them in to get the edges sharpened yet. While I learned to wax, I had no interest at all in learning about tuning edges. Actually need a vise to hold the skis to do that properly.

I've had the most conversations about Phantom at Alta during trips in April. I can have fun skiing well after 2:30 when most people have given up by 1:00 when it's warm and the snow starts to get sticky near the base. Had fund skiing when temps were in the 60s recently in VA. :becky:
 

vickie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
I'm with you. I have no interest in ski maintenance. Phantom has been a blessing for me.

One of the men -- he does a LOT of work on his skis -- came over and felt the edges of my skis. Another commented on my nice base structure.

I'm pretty sure this is testament to my complete loss of sex appeal! I guess I need a dog!
 
#11
Thanks all. @SallyCat thanks for sharing your knowledge! The 2 shops I could go to have the cheapest service listed as a belt grind, edge, and wax, but don't list wax only. I assume if I ask for wax only, they would do it?

Ehh...I may have to learn how to wax this year after all if I'll be doing some spring skiing.
 
#14
If you intend to keep those skis for a few years, you might consider investing in DPS Phantom instead of what's needed to wax at home. The glide of Phantom is equivalent to universal wax on cold snow, but is hard to beat with waxing during spring skiing when temps are over 40. I was an early adopter and have since treated all my skis. Unlike some Divas, while I know learned how to wax (not hard) and bought enough stuff (iron, scrapers, etc.) to do it at home, it's not a task I like to do.

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/i...id-waxing-recreational-skis-notes-2020.24784/
I can still do that if they aren’t new? I bought them in November 2018. They’ll have almost 70 days on them at the end of this season. They’re in really good shape though.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#15
I can still do that if they aren’t new? I bought them in November 2018. They’ll have almost 70 days on them at the end of this season. They’re in really good shape though.
As long as you intend to keep skis for at least a few years, I think it's worth considering investing in Phantom for recreational skiing. The cost is $100-150 depending on if you do DIY or have a shop with a DPS Cure Station do the treatment. After that the bases will be good for as long as you keep the skis. There are notes, videos, and pictures related to the treatment process in the thread I linked in Post #6.

Read on for more details of my experience with Phantom on multiple pairs of skis. At this point I have four pairs of skis treated. I use two pairs most often, a narrower model for east coast skiing and an all-mountain model for trips out west.

I treated my "rock skis" with Version 2 (A/B with 1 hour outdoor sun) after I'd used them for six seasons. They were the only skis I took for trips out west for four seasons, so had at least 60 days of use. I didn't bother with a stone grind before treating them at home. Eventually I did a stone grind (local shop near my home hill). Since Phantom changes the base all the way through, the bases are as good as new. I don't need a stone grind every season for any of my skis.

In April 2019 at Alta, I took those rock skis along with my Stöckli Stormrider 85s (bought in 2017). I hadn't treated the Stormriders yet. I used the rock skis quite a few days because of the Phantom bases. That trip there were many days with temps over 40 at the base by mid-morning. I had far more fun in the afternoons than most of long-time guests staying at Alta Lodge. That was the second head-to-head comparison I did with my own skis during late season out west. After that, I treated the Stormriders at home after a stone grind.

I've used my Head Absolut Joys for over 75 days since treating them in January 2018. Mostly at Massanutten (northern VA, 100% manmade snow), and elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic (VA, WV, PA). I also took them when I skied in the northeast for a few seasons when I had other reasons to drive north during the winter. I would've had to wax them every 2-4 ski days. I bought them new for the 2015-16 season.
 
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