We have tried and tested numerous different steps and strategies for how we prep skis that have just been ground. With an overall goal of; clean, fast, and durable ski bases we have landed on a process that we have found leads to the best performance out of your newly stoneground skis. The process is designed to get the best wax adhesion out your fresh base material and bring the base consistency back to what most of us are accustomed to with seasoned skis that have been waxed and skied repeatedly.
Pioneer Midwest steps post grinding:
After a ski is ground here the first step is to clean out the structure before we start applying wax back onto the ski. We use Swix glide cleaner as the very first step in the process after the skis get any leftover emulsion(grind water) wiped off of them. We have found that the Swix glide specific cleaner does the best job of pulling any leftover base material out of the newly cut structure. We use this cleaner and a fine steel brush in a multi-step process of cleaning and brushing before we put any wax onto the ski.
The next step is to start getting wax into the ski, we have specific hotbox wax from Tazzari that we use in order to wax the ski while limiting the amount of heat that we are exposing the base and ski to. We roll the wax onto the ski with our wax roller to make application smooth and even before putting it into the Hotbox for a 2 hour cycle.
Once the skis run their cycle and cool, we take the hotbox wax off the ski by scraping, rotobrushing and then cleaning again. This time around we use Rex Glide Cleaner to get any remaining warm wax out of the structure and set up the base for hardening. (Rex’s glide cleaner has a hard paraffin in it which doesn't strip the ski and leave it dry like Swix’s if you are looking for less abrasive cleaning.) We wipe on cleaner, let it sit, then brush it out with a steel brush a few times in order to clean out any soft wax that will slow the skis down. A clean ski/structure means a fast ski and this process is meant to set you up with the best structure in order to keep it cleaner for longer.
Lastly, our hardening process is an application of harder wax to make sure you don’t damage the structure when waxing or skiing on them. It uses a very hard wax from Tazzari with a low melting point mixed with a hard green wax that we roll onto the skis and iron in. We iron this in 3 times to heat/cool the base and get the most out of the hardener application.
Your next best steps:
When you get your skis back they will have our base hardening wax on them. We do this in order to keep the hardener on the skis as long and possible as well as to protect them during shipping for mail orders. The hardening mix does not have any temperature or condition specificity to it so its important that you apply whatever wax of the day you prefer before you take them out the first time.
Your new skis are flatter and easier to work with, so you can simply scrape and brush out the hardener that is on the ski and iron in or rub on a coat of wax to them. As soon as you have the wax polished out you can head out to ski on them. We can help in the prep process as well if you need them ready to ski on!
Applying an iron-on coat of a blue or colder wax will really help the skis as you start to ski on them. After you ski and wax the structure, it will build a better base of wax that will keep the skis running well in a variety of conditions. Keep in mind that manmade snow is very abrasive in the early and late season, so do your best to limit time between waxing a ski that has just been ground if you can.
Base material and wax has seen changes as we have moved away from fluoro’s in the last few years, which has led to more hands on ski upkeep when we are skiing on new skis and fresh grinds. If your skis are drying out quickly take the time to iron in a warmer wax followed by a colder wax in order to saturate and harden the base similar to our prep process. Liquid products are great, but cycling in heated wax applications will help you get the most out of your skis.