Which ski waxes are best?
Similar to goggles or gloves, ski wax is another accessory that is commonly overlooked until it’s too late. However, it’s an essential product if you want to maximize your performance on the slopes and get the most out of your skis.
The best waxes, like the Hertel Wax Super Hot Sauce All Temperature Ski Snowboard Wax, not only prevent snow from sticking, but also preserve your equipment and keep you safe.
What to know before you buy ski wax
When looking at ski waxes, you’ll come across glide and grip waxes. Grip waxes are used for cross-country skis to create traction. Glide waxes are used to maximize your speed.
Hot wax is the most traditional and the best performing application method. It’s applied by using an iron to melt the wax onto the base of each ski and scraping off the excess. The scraping process ensures a smooth layer and attempts to fill in the pores to repel moisture.
Rub-on wax is much simpler and can be applied within a few minutes. However, it will also wear out much sooner. It’s an excellent touch-up option between hot wax sessions because it provides some protection and performance enhancement.
If you require a quick touch-up, paste, gel and spray-on wax are great options. They’re rapid to apply, but they give subpar performance and require daily reapplication. Additionally, they don’t provide any of the protection you get with the alternatives.
If you have hot wax, it’s best to double-check the instructions for what temperature the iron needs to be. An overheated iron can ruin your wax and your equipment.
Safety always comes first, and one shortcut to avoid is using the wrong temperature of wax. Many are designed for specific temperature ranges, and using them outside that range can lead to potential injury. Universal wax is an alternative that performs well in all weather conditions.
Even with the best anti-fog ski goggles, it’s difficult to notice dirt collecting on the base of your skis unless you use light-colored ski wax. For peak performance, the best practice is to clean the base of your skis every third time you apply hot wax.
What to look for in quality ski wax
A vast majority of ski waxes use additives to help boost performance. While many companies use hydrocarbon as a primary ingredient, it’s not environmentally friendly. If you prefer ski wax that is free from toxic chemicals and offers top-tier performance, check out PURL Ski & Snowboard Wax. The wax may not be as fast as chemical-based waxes, but it is 100% biodegradable.
If you’re looking to maximize your performance and speed, you want to look for ski wax that contains fluorocarbon. It offers optimal speed in dry and wet snow. In addition to repelling moisture in wet snow, it also prevents moisture absorption, which increases your skis’ lifespan.
Similar to hydrocarbons, fluorocarbon isn’t entirely eco-friendly. In fact, many international winter sports federations have come together to ban fluorinated wax use in competitions.
A frustrating issue familiar to any avid skier is electrostatic buildup. Ski wax that contains graphite and molybdenum helps curb that buildup from occurring. Molybdenum offers more than graphite because it also repels other particles, such as dirt, from sticking.
How much you can expect to spend on ski wax
Depending on the weight, brand and chemicals, you can expect to spend between $13-$30 on quality ski wax.
Ski wax FAQ
How often should I wax my skis?
A. That depends on the application type. Rub-on wax will require reapplication every one to two days, depending on how frequently you’re skiing and the weather conditions. Hot wax, on the other hand, can typically be applied every four to six days. However, if you notice your skis slowing down on a flat surface, it might be time for a touch-up.
Why are there different temperature ski waxes?
A. Snow crystallizes at different temperatures. When it’s colder, the crystals become harder and more jagged. In response, harder and flakier wax is required to help protect the base of the skis. In contrast, higher temperatures require softer wax to repel water and moisture and create a smooth layer. If you want to avoid carrying several blocks of wax around, you can always find high-quality all-temperature wax tested and proven as safe for the temperature range you expect.
What are the best ski waxes to buy?
Top ski wax
Hertel Wax Super Hot Sauce All Temperature Ski Snowboard Wax
What you need to know: This wax performs in temperatures as low as 6 degrees and as high as 52 degrees and for up to 36 days of non-stop skiing.
What you’ll love: You can either rub it on cold for a quick run, or you can take a traditional approach and iron it onto your skis. When consistently used, this wax ends up preserving your skis to make them last multiple seasons. There’s no need to pack several bars of wax in case the temperature changes; throw in a bar of Super Hot Sauce, and you’re ready to go.
What you should consider: It won’t fill any significant gaps or cracks in your skis.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top ski wax for the money
DEMON UNITED All Season Ski & Snowboard Speed Wax
What you need to know: This pack includes five individually wrapped and scented wax bars, with a mix of cold, warm and universal temperature varieties.
What you’ll love: This wax pack has the best value for the price, with each bar weighing 133 grams. It has a warm bar with an orange scent designed for Spring snow and a cold bar with a berry scent for colder snowy conditions. The universal bars come with cinnamon, coconut, and vanilla scent if fruits don’t get you excited. It’s not only a budget-friendly gift for a die-hard skier, it’s one that can potentially last for several years.
What you should consider: This product is not recommended for freezing temperatures.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a 100% biodegradable wax for the environmentally conscious skier.
What you’ll love: This wax is 100% biodegradable, free from toxic chemicals, fluoros and PFC. It’s perfect for use in snow temperatures between 10 and 32 degrees. The final product truly shows the quality and care found in a family-owned business.
What you should consider: The eco-friendly formulation may not deliver the same speed as chemical additives.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Christopher Lee writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.