by Pete Vordenberg
Compliments of the Fischer/Salomon Factory Team
If you come home from your last ski of the season and lean your skis in the corner of your garage between the bag of peat moss and the broken water
heater, next fall, when you take your skis out for the first ski of the year, they will be as slow as moss, and skiing on them will be as fun as fixing the water heater. Your equipment will perform well if you take care of it.
Fortunately, in only about fifteen minutes per pair, you can ensure that your Fischer skis will survive the summer in great shape. First clean the bases. For classical skis one should use a wax remover to thoroughly clean all kick-wax and klister from the kick zone. Next, the glide zones must be cleaned. You clean the glide zone of a classical ski (tips and tails) the same way you clean the whole base of a skate ski. This is done using a soft wax such as Swix CH-10. With your iron at a low temperature (so as not to over-heat the base) drip a generous amount of CH-10 on the entire base. Next, slowly heat the wax and the base by walking the iron from tip to tail. A generous amount of wax is used as a protective layer so the base is not exposed to too much heat. Walk your iron in a slow continuous motion from tip to tail as many times as it takes (about 5 slow passes) until the whole base is covered in a molten, liquid layer of CH-10. Fischer bases respond very positively to low heat. This simple method
allows for superior wax absorption, and the heat from the iron will open up the pores in the base allowing the dirt, grime and filth hidden therein to rise up into the molten wax. While the wax is still molten, take a plastic scraper and scrape the liquid mess off your ski. Next, while the base is still warm, use fiberlene to wipe off the remaining wax. Let the ski cool a little bit. As the base cools, the pores squeeze a little more wax and dirt out. Gently scrape the base again and brush with a nylon brush.
The next step is applying the summer layer of wax to the base. There are a few schools of thought on this subject. Many people use a soft wax as a summer storage wax because it is easily absorbed into the base. However, you are going to leave this layer of wax on your skis, unscraped, all summer long to protect the base from drying out. Since CH-10 is so soft, it easily melts in the summer heat. On the one hand, this means that your skis are absorbing wax during the summer, which is good. On the other hand, when all the wax has all either been absorbed or has dripped off your ski, the base will be left bare and prone to oxidation (which is what we are trying to avoid in the first place). To combat oxidation, simply check your skis throughout the summer and reapply a warm wax from time to time. (If you can see your base, you should have re-waxed your skis a week ago). If you're a motivated person, this route is the way to go.
However, a more maintenance-free method, (and, I think, an equally as effective method) is using a harder wax to protect your base from oxidation over the summer. A thick layer of CH-6 will protect the base and will not melt as easily in the summer heat. If you want to get fancy, you can rub a layer of CH-10 (heck, why not HF-10) on the base and then layer a healthy amount of CH-6 on top. That way you get the best of both worlds -- an easily absorbed wax plus a non-melting protective layer.
With a layer of wax on the base, store your skis in as cool a place as you can find. You do this for the sake of the base and also for the sake of the glue that holds the binding-plate down. In very warm conditions even the glue that holds the ski together can be affected by summer heat. To avoid softening the camber of your skis, store your skis with your ski-ties loosely fastened. Skis should not spend the whole summer strapped tightly together, especially in hot conditions.
If you take the time to take care of your Fischer skis, they will run fast for
you next winter.
Now, don't you need to spread that peat moss in the garden and fix the water heater?
by Pete Vordenberg (2-time Olympian & Fischer Salomon Subaru Factory Team member)
For questions, email Mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org