Glide wax

Glide wax describes a range of waxes which can be applied to Nordic and alpine skis (as well as snowboards). The purpose of glide waxing is to decrease drag (hence increasing speed or give the user better control) and also to protect the bases of skis or snowboards.

Glide wax is usually made up of hydrocarbons, but more expensive and considerably faster waxes usually include fluorocarbons. The exact science of the effects of glide-waxing is somewhat mysterious, but it is believed that in the process of waxing the base becomes smoother and gains the water-repellent properties of hydro/fluoro-carbons. This creates less drag as the ski glides on the surface of snow. In modern waxes, water-soluble surfactants are formulated into the hydrocarbons. When skiing, the non-polar molecules in the wax repulse the relatively polar water molecules between the base of the ski and the snow, reducing friction. The effect of the added surfactants can be demonstrated with a droplet of water on a clean surface; the shape of the water droplet will flatten out when a small amount of soap is added to the droplet. Although the sufactants in soap are different to those in wax, the underlaying principle is similar. This allowed the introduction of all mountain, all temperature wax.

Kick wax

Kick wax describes a variety of waxes specific to cross country skiing. This wax comes in two forms, "hard" and "klister". Hard wax is a tar-like substance which comes in a small canister, used for new snow and/or snow that is "cold". Klister is a semi-liquid which comes in containers similar to toothpaste containers. Klister is notoriously sticky and deserves its reputation as a difficult wax to use, but excellent when used in old snow or snow that's relatively "warm."

Although the nuances of kick waxing are incredibly complex, all kick waxes serve generally the same purpose. The wax is applied to the portion of the ski extended out from below the region of the foot and when pressure is applied to this areas the wax grips the snow and allows the skier to propel themselves forward. This is referred to as the classical technique. What makes kick waxing difficult is choosing the correct wax. If a warm weather wax is used in cold conditions, snow may stick to the wax and increase drag on the ski. If a cold weather wax is used in warm conditions, the ski will be slippery and will not grip well.

Ski Wax Ski Wax