Applying Sticky Kick Waxes

Applying Sticky Grip Wax

Some grip waxes that come in kick wax tins are very soft, stringy, or tacky. This doesn't lend themselves well to an easy crayon and cork application. Although there's not much difference in the process of applying sticky hardwaxes, there are a few tricks to applying them correctly. You'll run into snow conditions requiring sticky hard waxes if the snow is wetter, or icier but not wet or icy enough for Klister. Often, these sticky hardwaxes have some Klister mixed in the recipe to help bridge the gap between hardwax and Klister snow conditions.

How-To Video


1) Check your skis for grip zone markers on your classic wax skis. Kick wax is only applied to the zone under the binding of the ski leaving the tips and tails of the ski free for glide waxing. A good grip zone is between 45cm and 70 cm long but will vary depending on the stiffness of your skis (the camber). Your local ski shop can help you find your grip zones, or you can use the zones pre-marked on the sidewalls of your skis. Use a permanent marker to redefine your grip zones as often as you can and experiment with extending your grip zone further forwards or backward to find the right feel while skiing.

2) Prepare your grip zone by cleaning it with wax remover and roughing it with sandpaper. If you're unsure how to do this, check out the instructions here:

To prevent grip and glide wax from mixing, you can use masking tape to separate your grip zone from your glide zone.

3) If the snow is icy or you plan on skiing more than 10km, apply a base binder by following the steps here:

4) At room temperature, apply the sticky hardwax by dabbing the wax on the ski with twisting motions (without dragging it along the ski base - dragging stick hardwaxes will cause them to glob). Continue down the ski, twisting as you go, until the entire grip zone is evenly covered with stringy wax. This process is more difficult if the wax is too cold or you're doing this outside when the thermometer reads below room temperature. Make sure the wax is warm and you're indoors.

5) Using a cork dedicated to warm kick wax, (it's a good idea to have a couple of corks: one for warm wax and another for cold wax to avoid cross-contamination between sticky and not-so-sticky waxes) cork in the layer of wax. The goal is to make each layer of wax good and smooth. Some waxes will become transparent when they are adequately corked.

6) Apply and cork 2-6 layers of the sticky hardwax until you reach the desired thickness. With kick waxes for warmer temperatures, having thicker layers than you'd normally use is important to achieve the same level of grip. After several layers, you'll be ready for the trails!

7) Once you've wrapped up skiing, it might be a good idea to clean the grip wax off your skis. Check out the instructions on how to clean up sticky grip wax pockets here:

Wax & Tools for Applying Sticky Grip Wax

16 products

Ski Waxing Safety Measures

When applying ski wax products, it's crucial to prioritize safety to minimize exposure to potentially harmful dust, fumes, or residues. By implementing proper safety measures, you can enjoy a safe and successful waxing process.

Follow these Safe Waxing Guidelines:

  1. Choose a Well-Ventilated Space: Opt for outdoor waxing whenever possible to ensure proper ventilation. If indoors, make sure there's adequate air exchange, such as using range hoods or fans. Notify waxing facility staff or race organizers if ventilation is lacking.
  2. Use A Respirator: The ski waxing process produces smoke, dust and fumes. Respirators that cover your eyes are best and check the cartridges for a fluorocarbon rating. Be mindful that smoke from waxing irons & waxing machines, dust from scraping and brushing, evaporating solvents in liquid waxes, dust from wool-apply waxes, and fumes from heating grip waxes and klisters are all present in the wax room. 
  3. Minimize Skin Exposure; Wear Gloves: Chemical compounds present in various wax types can be absorbed through the skin. Wearing gloves not only keep your hands clean, but it is essential to reduce exposure to potentially harmful compounds.
  4. Limit Wax Room Access: Ensure that only authorized individuals involved in the waxing process are present in the wax room.
  5. Proper Wax Waste Disposal: Dispose of wax shavings and dust responsibly by collecting them in a plastic garbage bag.

Prioritize Safety for Your Well-Being and the Environment

With a commitment to responsible practices, any wax can be utilized safely while minimizing harm to both your well-being and the environment. By adhering to the recommended safety protocols every time you enter a wax room and equipping yourself with the appropriate safety gear, you can confidently achieve optimal results and fully enjoy the performance of your fast skis.

Remember, your safety is paramount, and responsible waxing ensures a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Enjoy your skiing adventures to the fullest!