You Still Need to Wax Your Waxless Skis

cross country skier on a hilltop
A beautiful day for skiing at Lake Elmo Park Reserve

“Waxless skis” is a term that leads us to believe these skis don’t need to be waxed. Seems obvious…but we would be wrong!

To get the best use out of them, you still need to wax your waxless skis.

When You Don’t Wax Your Waxless Skis…

Here’s Rochelle’s story:

“I learned a very valuable lesson yesterday when I went back to Wild River State Park and thought I would go skiing. It was a beautiful day—however, the snow iced up on my skis so bad I had to walk all the way back.

“I have heard it is a good idea to wax the bottoms of the ski tips and ends, but I didn’t realize how important it really was. Also, one needs to wax the fish scale portion with a liquid wax here and there. A very disappointing experience!”

Waxing Tips

According to Cross Country Skier Journal, there are two parts of waxless skis that should be waxed: the kick zone (where the fish scales are) and the glide zone (everything else). “The goal is to keep the gliding surface of the ski water resistant and ‘slippery’ and the kick zone clean.”

To keep it simple, both sections can be waxed with the same product. Toko Grip & Glide Wax, Swix Easy Glide and Maxiglide are all designed to use with waxless skis. They’re available wherever waxless skis are sold or on their websites (and numerous other places online).

If you want to learn how to wax your waxless skis yourself, there’s plenty of help out there. Some of the shops listed below offer a waxing clinic early in the season. Or hop on YouTube and type in “wax your waxless skis” in the search bar and several videos will pop up, like this one:

ski wax video sample

Have Your Skis Professionally Waxed

If you prefer to let the professionals wax your skis for you, here are local shops that offer ski waxing services:

One of my sisters-in-law has her skis professional waxed at the beginning of the season and, for her purposes, that seems to be all she needs. She’s been happy with the results.

I haven’t owned a pair of waxless skis yet, and I’m no expert—just an outdoors lover who’s very fond of recreational cross country skiing.

Beware of PFAS in Ski Wax

Thanks to Twin Cities Outdoors subscriber, Jean, for bringing this to my attention—an ingredient in some ski waxes, PFAS, is a contaminant that can pollute the groundwater from snowmelt in areas where it’s used.

There’s already legislation against its use in several countries, with more of it coming to the US. Some waxing products still contain it, though. Heads-up when you make your next purchase!

Ski/shoe guide

Twin Cities Ski & Shoe Guide

Published in 2021, our 55-page digital Ski & Shoe Guide is the easiest way to find cross country ski and snowshoe trails in all seven counties of the Twin Cities metro area.

Click here for the details…

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Sharon Brodin
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