How to wax your skis at home

Winter-check: Are your skis fit for the piste?
The summits are snow-covered, the pistes are perfect, yet unfortunately we have some time to pass until we will be allowed to open the ski area. But we can use this time properly and make our skis fit for the pistes. Tarnished edges, scratches in the base or rust can spoil the skiing fun. So before your first day of skiing you should check your equipment.

Do it yourself: recognise damage …

A first step for each skier is to check one’s skis oneself: Does the base have any holes or scratches? Are the edges rusty? Is the binding properly adjusted? It is also possible to check whether the ski stoppers work: When both bindings are closed, the two break levers fold down.


Ski sticks should be checked for twisted or cracked areas. Under stress they could easily break if damaged.


… and fix it

The first turns in the snow are somewhat sticky? Dry bases or scratches might be the reason. Waxing facilitates turning and improves the skis’ sliding performance. You can easily take care of this at home:

Cold wax can be conveniently applied on a regular basis. Liquid wax as well as hard wax are available in specialist shops from €10 onwards.

More time-intensive, but more effective is the application of hot wax:

    1. Apply with an iron.
    2. Let react.
    3. Remove the remaining wax with a ski scraper.  
    4. Brush (nylon brush).

Tip! If the wax evaporates when applying, then you have to reduce the temperature of the iron!

For this you need a pro

A professional check reduces the accident and injury risk on the piste. If your skis edges are rusty, your skis’ bases have deep scratches and no structure, special appliances and specialist knowledge are called for:

  • Material inspection: assessment of ski bases, ski boot sole etc.
  • Smoothening of the bases with a machine
  • Electronic binding inspection: adjusting of the binding and the boots to the physis of the skier


Basically it is recommended to have an annual inspection in a specialist shop – similar to a car inspection.

Tip! The Inter sport OKAYshops on the Stubai Glacier offer a 20-minute service guarantee.

Worn out: When is it worth buying new skis?

Whether your skis are still fit for the piste can be seen with the naked eye or when wedeling:

  • thin, worn edges
  • lacking ski tension, also noticeably reduced skiing quality


The life span of a ski depends on its use, on snow conditions and the quality of the material. On average, a ski can cope with 100 days of skiing – top-quality products with 150 days.


And how about helmets? Producers recommend to change the ski helmet after five years. If you suffer a fall, then earlier. Small cracks in the material can reduce the protective function of the helmet.

Tip! Don’t let your helmet fall to the ground and avoid heat; Aggressive cleaning detergents can also damage the material.


When boots pinch

Not only the right size is decisive for good ski boots. If the heel plates are worn, it can get really dangerous – because it is then possible that the binding doesn’t work properly.

Tip! Change worn heel plates in time, before the screw slots are outworn.

Generally one can say that a ski boot has a life span of about 10 years – if you wear them often, then less. Once the pasticizers are gone, there is an increased risk of shell breaking.


In the end: proper storage

After the season, the winter equipment ends up in the basement or in the garage. For storing too, there are plenty of things to be considered:

  • Dry and cool
    Avoid large fluctuations of temperature to avoid rusting of the edges.
  • Clean and dry
  • Remove rust
    Rusty spots on the edges can be removed with a hand sanding angle. Or, more conveniently: Bring your skis to servicing at the end of the season and have them smoothed by machine.

Tip! To avoid rust and drying out: Put hot wax on the base and remove and brush only before the start of the season.

  • Always store your ski boots with closed buckles for the boot to keep its shape.


All fit? Then it is time to feel glacier snow under your skis. Precondition is that your body is fit too.