The clothes iron has always been used as a low cost method for melting and applying wax to ski & snowboard bases. An amusing irony regarding tools versus gear, is that many skiers will go to great lengths and expense to purchase performance ‘tools’ for their feet, and great lengths to spend very little for 2nd and 3rd rate tools for their hands to take care of their expensive gear, trashed day in and day out. I’ve been no different, but once you use a nice tool, irons a case in point, and realize it’ll do a better job, in less time, it’s hard to go back.
Starting out to learn anything new or to increase skills and knowledge, including maintaining your skis or snowboards, there is always an over abundance of information and uncertain choices that can numb or paralyze anyone enough to not take the first step.
4/8/09: New! Soldering Iron Base Repair video can be viewed here.
Long the low tech and easy to implement method for the home tuner to make temporary base repairs has been burning and dripping Ptex candles. Common problems are the inclusion of carbon and discoloration of clear Ptex repairs, burning hands and fingers and the simple fact the repairs do not last (largely due to the wax included in the material, reducing the bonding). Typically, repairs need to be frequently repeated.
To save time, wax and mess while hot waxing solids, Hot Touching is better than dripping and then ironing, especially with harder, cold waxes.
Hot Touching & Crayoning uses the least amount of solid wax, total effort, time and is the least messy. By briefly touching a bar of wax against the base of a hot waxing iron, the wax softens and is easier to apply to the base by crayoning a section of a ski or board at a time. When the crayoning becomes less effective, repeat the hot touch and crayoning until the base has a reasonably even and thin coat of wax. Then make several passes with the iron to liquify and evenly spread the wax over and into the base.
Accurately measuring and recording edge bevels is necessary to match or select proper dedicated edge guides or mult-angle guide tools & settings for efficient edge work. This will give you a point of reference in making adjustments relative to skiing or boarding feedback, or for maintaining consistency while maintaining sharp and smooth edges. It’s a good idea to measure and record the edge angles of new ski or snowboards so you know where they were when you got them. Later, you’ll be glad you did.
The Cinch Ski & Snowboard Vise is the most versatile board securing device on the market. No longer do you need to be concerned with side clamping problems relative to various shaped sidewalls and widths of skis (ie, fat skis) or snowboards. You can also secure multiple skis to streamline waxing, cleaning and repair tasks. Though designed to integrate with the Tools4Boards Terminator portable tuning stand, they can be mounted with their included clamps to virtually any typical bench or table.
Basic tuning tasks can easily be taught to young rippers. It gets them connected early with their gear, builds confidence, teaches usable skills to build on and hopefully develops appreciation and respect so they will take better care of their (or their friend’s and cousin’s) gear and other possessions….
(For larger view of Racing chart , click on image.)
Universal Wax Paraffin (hydrocarbon)
Universal Solid (Cold-Hot)
Universal Solid Fluoro (Cold-Hot)
Universal Granular (Cold-Hot)
Super Glide FluoroWax
Skin & Base Glide Wax
Super Glide Wax-Patterned/Scaled, aka ‘No-Wax’ Ski
Paraffin & Low fluoro products for workshop, ski-rental leisure.
What’s the recommended storage wax and a good procedure to prepare skis & snowboards for storage after the season?
At the end of the season or for extended periods of no use, it’s good practice to make sure your bases are covered with hydrocarbon (storage) wax to protect and seal the bases and edges. With either liquid/spray or hot waxed solids, leave unscraped to avoid drying them out and rusting the edges.
Are you overwhelmed and intimidated by overly precise expectations starting out and afraid to mess up big? At what level do you or do you want to learn to maintain, repair, wax, structure and giving some love to your boards? What amount of effort do you wish to employ? What level skier or rider are you? What level of results are acceptable for your personal needs & goals?
Multi-angled edge guides offer an economical and versatile solution for accurate edge work as well as other uses. Both the Tools4Boards Xact & the Razor are made from very durable polycarbonate (Lexan), include a small file, offer accurate side and base angle work, bevel angle measuring, sidewall cutting & wax scraper sharpening. If later, you find that you’d prefer a dedicated guide or two for side or base work, your multi-angled tool still can be used as an additional guide or for it’s secondary functions.
Skis and Snowboards perform at their best when the edges and base are maintained on a regular basis. Tuned skis & boards are much more fun and responsive!
The TOOLS4BOARDS TUNING STATION KIT comes with a high quality edge tool, file blades, file brush and stone to remove excess side-wall material and bevel, sharpen and polish both the side-edge and base-edge of skis and snowboards. Please refer to the edge tool instructions included in the kit (or download: Razor or Xact) for details on proper edge tuning. Go to your Tools4Boards dealer for more information on tuning or to find kit replacement items.