Post Grind Instructions

The skis that you are receiving have been ground by the Tazzari RP-23 stone grinding machine. The diamond, the stone and the machine are as high of quality as any stone grinding procedure in the world. The cuts that the stone makes in the base of the ski are extremely clean and precise and therefore the bases of the skis do not need to be cleaned or polished after the skis have been stone ground.

After your skis have been ground, saturated, hardened and race waxed, they will not only be fast, but they will be as fast as they are going to be. Considering that the heat of the iron is not good for the base of the ski, within reason, the less you glide wax your skis the better. If you go for a very short ski, your skis are still shiny and you are planning on skiing the next day, you probably do not have to wax your skis. Otherwise, it is best if you wax your skis each time that you ski. When you are waxing your skis for training, you only need to make one pass with the iron. When waxing for races, there is no one definitive way of waxing. When using the high flouros, it is common to make one pass of the iron and then let the skis cool before ironing the skis again. When using carbon and low fluoro waxes, it is common to use 1, 2, or even 3 passes of the iron, tip to tail. It takes experience and a feel for what you are doing to determine how to iron in the race day waxes. If you are just learning how to wax, try to get someone who is experienced to show you how to do it. It helps to visually see the process. When waxing, it is significantly better and safer to use a high quality digital waxing iron. To begin with, run the corner of the iron along the base of the ski so that the wax on the base is in a line and not in drops. When applying the very hard waxes, using the iron, spread the wax on both sides of the groove over a short distance (35 to 40 cm). Fairly quickly, pass the iron over this area before the wax hardens. When the wax has been spread over the length of the ski in 4 or 5 stages, make one careful pass of the iron the length of the ski. For soft wax ( toko yellow, swix violet, vauhti violet) use a temperature of 135 °C (275 °F). For moderately hard wax ( swix blue, toko red, vauhti blue) use a temperature of 145 °C (293 °F). For hard wax ( vauhti green, toko blue, swix green ) use a temperature of 155 °C (311 °F). It is more effective to use a fairly high iron temperature in order to heat up the base of the ski which allows for better wax penetration. What you do not want to do is to heat up the core of the ski, which is what happens when the iron is passed over the base of the ski repeatedly. One pass of the iron (ski length of 195cm) done properly will take 16-18 seconds for soft wax, 17-19 seconds for moderately hard waxes and 18-20 seconds for hard waxes. Never stop and go back to 'fix' what you think may not have been done properly. Keep on going at the same even speed. When glide waxing classic skis, always start from the wax zone and iron towards the tip or tail of the ski and move the iron as soon as it touches the base.

When you are not using your skis for a period of time, you will need to apply a storage wax. If the base of the ski is clean, simply apply a moderately hard wax on the ski and make one pass of the iron the length of the ski. A moderately hard wax protects the base better than a soft wax and does not pick up dirt as easily. If there is a little dust on the ski, wipe off the dust before you wax the ski. If your skis are dirty, you will need to clean the base before you wax the ski. Put some cleaner on a clean rag or a Canadian Tire shop towel and then use the rag to wipe off the dirt. You can also put the cleaner directly on the base of the ski. If you do it this way, put the cleaner on a short segment of the ski (30 - 40 cm) and the use a rag to wipe off the dirt immediately. You are not trying to pull the wax from the base of the ski. If the cleaner is in contact with the base of the ski for only a matter of seconds, you will clean the base without pulling the wax from the base. The base may have a slight greyish look to it after cleaning, but after you have waxed and polished your skis, they will have the usual black shiny appearance. When you are storing your classic skis for the summer, consider putting a layer of hard grip wax over the grip zone to protect it.

After your classic skis have been stone ground, you may want to sand the grip zone (initially 120 grit). The majority of people believe in sanding the grip zone of classic skis. If you prefer not to sand the grip zone and have a freshly ground pair of skis with a very smooth surface, a good alternative is to iron in a very thin layer of binder in the grip zone to act as a primer. If you do choose to sand the bases of your skis, sand with care and consider sanding only for races. To determine the grip zone, wax your skis a few cm beyond (tip and tail) what you believe is the grip zone and go for a ski in abrasive conditions. Do not use binder and take wax with you. After 1 or 2 hours of skiing, back at home, look at the base of the ski and mark where the wax remains. Sand the base by carefully starting about I cm short of the wax zone marks and sand towards the middle of the ski. When sanding, wrap the sand paper around a solid flat object so as not to round off the outside edges of the ski. NEVER sand across the base of the ski.

A few words of caution: a lot of damage is being done to the bases of skis when people are ironing in the very hard glide waxes. It is difficult to wax skis with the extremely hard waxes without doing damage to the base of the ski. To help avoid this problem, in training, use a moderately hard wax ( vauhti blue, swix blue, toko red, vauhti green). For training, definitely use only one pass of the iron, and at the risk of repeating myself, iron in one direction with the iron, never stop and never go backwards to 'fix things'. When ironing in the hard glide waxes, as you are moving the iron down the base of the ski, watch behind the iron and aim to move the iron at a speed in which you see about 1 or 2 cm of molten wax in behind the iron. Done properly, it will take about 18 - 20 seconds to pass the iron down the length of the ski. Remember the fact that after your skis have been ground, saturated and hardened, the base of the ski is already hard enough. Do not go over board when you are glide waxing using the hard waxes.

There will come a point in time when you will need to have your ski bases 're-waxed'. When your skis are no longer black and shiny after waxing, your skis need some attention. What has occurred is that the soft wax in the base of the ski has slowly been 'pulled' from the base of the ski. Unfortunately, at the same time that this has occurred, the base surface of the ski has probably become even harder. You can have your skis stone ground and waxed (heat box saturation, hardened), waxed only, or do it yourself. However, the skis will absorb wax much better after they have been stone ground.

As mentioned above, a digital iron does an excellent job of ironing in waxes. It is definitely worth the money. To scrape the wax off the base of the ski, use a thick (5mm ) plastic scraper. You can sharpen this scraper by using one or a combination of a) wet/dry sand paper on a flat surface b) scraper sharpener (Wintersteiger) c) diamond stone (8" or 10", 325x, 600x, Lee Valley Tools), also excellent to sharpen roller skiing carbide tips. After scraping, remove the excess wax by using a stainless steel or a copper brush ( Red Creek- stainless steel, Swix-soft stainless steel, Toko-copper) Before using these brushes, they need to be 'detuned'. Using a piece of wet/dry sand paper (400 grit) with water on it, move the brush back and forth many times over the sand paper. Take the brush and pass it over the base of the 'old ski' to see if it dulls the base. Repeat this process until the brush no longer dulls or brings up hairs on the base of the 'old' ski. Lastly, put an arrow on the brush, pointing in one direction. Pass the brush over the wet/dry sand paper moving only in the direction of the arrow, to slightly bend the bristles. Use the stainless steel brush by moving from tip to tail, use short strokes, a fair amount of pressure and with the arrowhead pointing towards the tail. Do this until you are no longer bringing up any wax from the base. To polish the base of the ski, use a stiff nylon brush. Before using, pass it over the edge of hardwood to take the 'edge' off it. When using this brush, go back and forth with pressure, moving from tip to tail.

For those people who do a lot of race day waxing, you will need more tools and more expertise than what I have stated in this article.

Created by Steffan Lloyd