How to prepare new or freshly stoneground Nordic or Alpine skis and snowboards
This time of year many people have either new equipment or have just stoneground their skis or snowboards from last year. Here is how to get those bases running fast.
1. Wipe the bases down, brush them out well with a copper or steel brush, and wipe the bases down again. New ski bases can be dirty and also post stonegrinding, the ski bases have debris and emulsion fluid on them.
2. Wax the bases a few times with a very soft wax such as Toko Hot Box and Cleaning Wax or if you don’t have that Toko NF Yellow. The softest waxes will penetrate the deepest which is very important for new or freshly ground bases. The idea of this step is to get wax into the base deep. The wax can be scraped and brushed out well (steel or copper) between applications or just reheated. If I notice that the wax doesn’t seem to be going into the base very well, I scrape and brush well to encourage more wax absorption. If the wax is going in well, I just reheat.
3. Wax the bases a few times with a hard wax such as Toko NF Blue or LF Blue (LF Blue is harder than NF Blue). Once the soft wax is in the base deeper than the hard wax would have gone, you need to harden the base up. The soft wax “holds the space” for the hard wax to enter deeper than if the soft wax hadn’t been there. For sure scrape and brush well between applications of the hard Blue wax as this is a key step in reconditioning the base surface as well.
4. Ski or snowboard a lot while rewaxing every time afterward. The bases will only make so much progress without being skied on between waxings. This will get them how you want them quickly. If you have a few skis and want to get them running, ski on each pair for 30 minutes or so and switch them out and then rewax alll of them before doing the same the next day. This is the most important step in making your newly ground skis or new skis and snowboards fast – spending time on them and then rewaxing.
With metal edges of course, there are other considerations. Please see this video for information on evaluating edges and base flatness of new skis:
Evaluating new skis and snowboards
Additionally, here are some recommended bevels depending on the type of skis and what you will be using them for. (Best is to check with the manufacturer).