Waxless Ski Care

Quick Links: Tech Page Home


Waxless skis, often called "fish scale" skis, are used by a good number of cross country skiers. Often these skiers are youngsters and beginners since these people often have the most difficulty with waxing. However, waxless does not mean maintenance free. Nor does waxless really mean no waxing at all. Waxless skis are designed to avoid the use of grip (or kick) wax. Some proper maintenance a few times during the ski season, depending how often you ski, will make skiing more enjoyable.

There are two parts to maintaining your waxless skis: cleaning the grip/kick zone and glide waxing the entire ski.

Cleaning the Grip Zone

The grip zone of a waxless ski has many small ridges and crevices. These area will over time collect dirt, tree sap and wax (worn off other peoples skis). This gunk on the grip zone will have the effect of either reducing the amount of grip provides or allow snow to stick to the grip zone. Either way, the result is not desired.

Bring the skis into a room temperature room (~20°+C) and allow them to warm to room temperature. This may take 15 to 30 minutes depending. Using a cloth damped with a small amount of wax remover and a bit of scrubbing with the cloth will clean the grip zone. Now allow the ski to dry.

To reduce the amount of gunk that may accumulate in the waxless ski's grip zone in the future you should follow the directions for applying a glide wax to the entire base of the ski.

Glide Waxing the Entire Ski (including grip zone)

Glide waxing a "waxless" ski may at first sound a bit odd. But the term "waxless" really means "not using grip wax". The grip pattern on the bottom of the waxless ski looks after providing the grip. However, when skiing you are also concerned with the glide of the ski. It is the glide that allows you to cover a greater distance with each stride than you would normally.

By glide waxing the non-grip portion of your waxless ski you will have better glide.

By glide waxing the grip ("fish scale") part of your waxless ski you will improve the glide of your ski further and you will reduce the amount of gunk that will, over time, build up. By reducing the gunk in the grip zone you will reduce the chances of snow sticking to your skis. When snow sticks to the bottom of your skis it drags the ski making it very difficult to move.

The easiest, faster and most enjoyable way to glide wax a waxless ski is with liquid ski wax. Liquid ski wax is wiped or spread across the entire ski base (including the grip zone) and allowed to dry. Then it is done. No more muss, no more fuss. We recommend the Skigo Easy-Glide.

If you would like to use waxless skis for training or racing (yes it's perfectly fine to use waxless skis racing!) the kick zone should still be treated the same as mentioned earlier. A liquid wax is easier to deal with in the kick zone. You may use an iron on glide wax, but it is more difficult to remove execess wax. The glide zones can be treated identically to regular skis for glide wax. Refer to the Glide Wax Tech Page for more information.

SkiWax.ca Home

If you have any questions about this web site or it's content please contact with e-mail to "Askus at SkiWax.ca" (replace 'at' with '@') or telephone (519) 747-5293.

© 2002-2014