Nearest LUSTi skis testing: 11.4.2024 Austria - Pitztal.


How to properly maintain downhill skis

There is a widespread belief among the general skiing public that skis are waxed to make them go faster. But it is very important to realise that this is only part of the truth. Skis that do not stick to the snow and ride "well" are also, above all, better and easier to handle than skis that are not lubricated.

This will surely be appreciated by the skier who justifies the zero care for the skis by saying that he needs the skis to go slower because he can't ski much. The skis do indeed go slower, or sometimes even scrub. This also causes it to be much harder to take off and close the turn, which ultimately leads to a much faster and more dangerous ride than when the ski is lubricated properly and the ski behaves as it should. In fact, if we can control the skis easily, we simply fulfill a basic rule of skiing - I must be the master of my skis, not the skis the master of me.

It should be mentioned that there are many lubrication methods, techniques and technologies. There are also a large number of waxes with varying fluorine content, lubricating powders, silicone, copper and horsehair brushes, polishers and various scrapers and squeegees, and many other tools and chemicals that are used to lubricate skis, both downhill and cross-country.

However, we leave these details to the experts who wax the skis for the racers in their alchemy workshops.

Properly lubricated skis ride better and therefore handle better. So how can we lubricate them ourselves with minimal equipment?

Before the season

Just before the start of the winter season, it is important to prepare your skis, or rather your skids, for the snow. We have two options. Either we prepare the skis ourselves or we entrust the initial care to a professional service. Detailed description of cleaning the ski slide and washing out the dirt with pure paraffin wax will not be described because it is a rather complicated procedure, which requires a considerable amount of time and clean wax.

We recommend that you entrust the first preparation (first lubrication before winter) to experienced service technicians who can prepare your skis for winter for the winter. They use special machines that not only clean and impregnate the porous structure of the ski, but they also flatten the ski, sand the edges or seal stone scratches if necessary, and finally wax polishes the wax. This preparation will cost us 150-500 CZK. Depending on what needs to be done on the slides and whether we choose to sand the edges only with sandpaper or ceramic discs.

During the season

Further lubrication of the slide depends mainly on the number of kilometres skied and the terrain in which we move. For the needs of most skiers, it will be sufficient to lubricate the skis after each week of skiing. In this case, however. waxing only serves a preservative function (also very important for skis), but the actual slip can be in on some days due to temperature differences. In any case, it can be said that once a week waxed skis will still handle better than skis that have only seen wax behind a shop window.


Another extremely important thing is edge grinding. You should examine the edges thoroughly at every inspection. of the slide. Use a file to smooth out any major damage, which is usually in the area below the binding. After removing of these bumps, sand the edges using an abrasive angled file fixture that allows precise edge beveling. Always work in even, long strokes from tip to heel. Followed by cleaning slides.


To understand the importance of cleaning and lubrication, it is necessary to know what such a slide looks like. Each ski has quite a lot of porosity, meaning that it is not a flat smooth surface, but a number of pores and crevices. When we talk about lubrication, it is about filling these microscopic spaces with wax. From this it follows that no wax should be visible to the eye on the slide, because if you grease it properly, the wax is only "inside" the slide.

The wax that we have filled into the ski slide (or filled by the professional service staff), when skiing picks up the small impurities that are part of the snow and that impair the ski's handling. After skiing it is therefore always a good idea to clean the ski boots. To do this, use a special plastic scraper (cidlin), which is used to scrape the surface to "scrape" the slide. Alternatively, brush the ski with a copper or combination brush (this is a special brushes for the treatment of slides, which can only be bought in specialised shops).

All slide adjustments should be made from toe to heel.

We do not recommend using chemical slide cleaners for daily cleaning, as they wash out the slide all the wax and then we would have to fill the cleaned pores as we did before the season, which in our case which, in our case, means the intervention of a specialist service. Often we can also see the cleaning of slides with the help of a technical petrol. However, this procedure is extremely inappropriate, as the relatively aggressive petrol etches the fine structure of the of the slide and changes its slip properties.