Despite what the employees at the skiing and snowboard storemay tell you, ski and snowboard wax are exactly the same. Don't let them fool you into buying two wax sticks when you only need one for both. In terms of maintaining equipment, skiiers and snowboarders should make sure that they have the proper wax to use on their own belongings. Once you have your wax, you must know how to use it, what it does and what type of wax suits your personal type of skiing or snowboarding. If you have a snowboard or ski coach already, take a moment to ask them about recommendations for what type of wax you need.

What Does the Wax Do?

Waxing your equipment does one simple thing: make you go faster. The wax on the base of the board or skis melts the snow it touches and creates a thin layer of water between the snow and the board. It takes away some of the friction and enables the board to accelerate faster. In addition to making you go faster, the wax serves to protect your equipment.

Whether you are waxing for racing purposes or just before you head out for a ski or snowboarding lesson with a coach, applying any universal wax will even give the average skier a noticeably better experience on the slopes.

How to Wax Your Equipment:

Although you can take your board or pair of skis to the ski shop to get them professionally waxed, it is much less expensive to simply do it on your own. The wax can be applied in different ways. It takes about 12-15 grams to hot wax one pair of skis or one complete snowboard. Therefore, if you buy a 100 gram wax pack you can get about 6-8 hot wax applications out of it.

Hot Waxing: Start by flipping the board or skis over so the base is facing upward. Get a base cleaner and spray it onto a rag to wipe your board down before you apply the wax. Use an iron to melt the wax over the board and cover the majority of the board with wax. After the wax has been dripped onto the board, rub the iron around the board to melt the drips into a liquid form. Keep the iron in motion so that the layers of the board do not get separated. Wait at least 8 hours for the wax to dry. After 8 hours, scrape all of the wax off the board with a sheet of plexiglass. You'll be all set to ride smoothly!!

Rub-on Waxing: If hot waxing seems too complicated, you can rub on the wax (as if you were drawing with a crayon) and cork it in. By doing this you will be able to get many more application out of the stick but it will wear your base off much faster.

Types of Wax:

Although there might not be a difference between ski and snowboard wax, there are various types of wax that skiersand snowboarders use based on different conditions and temperatures.

Hydrocarbon Wax: Standard wax that any snowboard/ski shop will give you if you ask to buy a normal bar of wax.

Fluorocarbon Wax: This is the more "upper class" wax that most professionals tend to use. It is made with a chemical called flourine. Flourine repels water and allows the board/ski to glide better. However, this type of wax can be up to three times more expensive than regular hydrocarbon wax.

Storing Your Wax:

The last thing you have to remember is to make sure you store your wax properly. A proper storing place must be a dry, cool, dark spot so that the wax does not melt or evaporate. Even if you bought a spray on wax, it requires the same type of storage.

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