YOUR SKI EQUIPMENT!
KNOW THE TERMS
Classic Ski. This is a double or single camber ski that is designed to support your weight until you kick. When you “kick” your ski will flatten, allowing the grip wax to hold the snow.
Skate Ski. This ski can also have a single or double camber. However, the ski should be stiff enough that when you skate (kick) you cannot flatten it.
Camber. The camber is the arc that is built into the ski. This arc can be of varying degrees of stiffness. The stiffness is what carries your weight.
Insert camber illustration
- Poles. Ski poles are usually made of aluminum or different types of fiberglass. A rule of thumb for determining pole length would be chin height for skating poles and below your armpit for classic poles.
Glide Wax. Glide wax is applied to the glide zones of both classic and skate skis to enhance the free glide abilities of your ski. These waxes are designed for the whole spectrum of snow conditions.
Grip Wax (kick wax). Grip wax is used for classic skiing only and is designed to permit the ski to “grip” the snow when you put your weight on it. It is applied in layers to the middle portion of the classic ski. Grip wax comes in different levels of hardness so that the wax can be matched to the snow conditions. Since the snow crystal must penetrate the grip wax for the wax to hold, the grip wax must match the hardness of the snow crystal.
Klister. Klister is used as a grip wax. It is applied in a single layer in the middle section of your classic ski and it is used to provide grip when the snow is melting or has melted and re-frozen. The klister must always be allowed to cool before you ski on it
Base Binder. Base binder is used to help the kick wax (either hard wax or klister) stay on your ski when the ski track is abrasive. Base binder is not designed to provide kick.
Plastic Scraping. Scraping describes the process of removing the excess glide wax from your skis.
SELECT YOUR EQUIPMENT
Following are some general guidelines to assist you in determining which kinds of equipment you need.
Levels 1 & 2. For learning the skills required at these levels, it is preferable to have waxable skis, even if they are your first pair. Your skis can be dual purpose (classic skis that can also be used for skating), but your poles must remain “classic” length.
Levels 3 & 4. At this point you will be introduced to the skating technique. You can learn skating technique skills while using classic, dual-purpose skis, but you will now require both skating length poles and classic length poles. For skating technique sessions, if you are using classic, dual-purpose skis, you must remove the grip wax from the kick zone and have the entire length of the ski prepared with glide wax. For classic technique sessions, the kick zone must be in place again, and grip wax must be applied. It is also important that you are using bindings that do not rub the track when your ski is on edge or when you are using the skating technique.
By the time you have completed the Jackrabbit Program, you may wish to have two sets of equipment (both skating and classic), especially if you plan to continue on to the next stage in CCC’s skill development progression, the Track Attack Program.
- Classic skis should reach just below your wrist when your arm is stretched out, and the camber should be suitable for classic skiing.A basic test can be performed to see if the camber is appropriate for you.When standing on one ski the ski base should fully contact the flat floor under the foot; when standing on both skis at the same time, a piece of paper should be able to slide between the ski and a flat floor for about 15-20 cm. This movement indicates that the ski’s “camber” is appropriate.
- Your skating skis should be 3-4 cm above your head, and the camber should be suitable for that technique. When you are standing on one ski on a flat floor, a piece of paper should be able to be pulled out from under the foot with a gentle tug.
- If you choose dual-purpose skis they should be a length mid-way between the length of a classic ski and a skating ski, but the camber must be determined by what is suitable for classic skiing.
- If your skis are not the correct length and camber you will have difficulty mastering the technical skills necessary to become competent in the sport.
- Your poles must have adjustable straps.
- Classic poles should fit snuggly under your arm when you are standing on the floor.
- Skating poles should be the same height as your chin.
- If your poles are too long or too short, you will have difficulty mastering the technical skills necessary to become competent in the sport.
- Your boots should be comfortable. If the boots are too large, they will be awkward to ski in and if they are too tight, your feet will not stay warm.
- Select bindings that will not rub in the track when the ski is on edge or when skating technique is used.
- Salomon and NNN are two commonly used, suitable boot/binding systems. Both are good and equally functional.
LEARN TO PREPARE YOUR OWN SKIS
The following instructions are for cleaning and preparing the full length of your ski. Note that base preparation and wax application should always be done under the supervision of your parents or coach.
- Place the ski firmly in the form.
- Clean the ski top, sides and bottom with wax remover.
- Dry thoroughly.
- Using a plastic scraper, make a couple of passes from tip to tail in a continuous motion.
- Take some fiberlene or paper towel and wipe your ski.
- Your coach or parent should check the ski to see if it needs work, and make any repairs that are necessary.
- Your ski is now ready to wax.
- The first step is for your coach or parent to apply a glide wax. Once this process is complete, you can begin applying the kick wax.
- Take some sandpaper (80 grit) and rough up the kick zone of your ski.Note, however that you should be cautious about how you apply this step if you plan to use your classic skis for both classic and skating techniques.
- Make sure the kick wax is cold. This is especially important with the softer waxes or base binder. “Freeze” the wax by leaving it outside while you get ready to begin. This allows it to be rubbed on in thin layers and avoids big lumps that are difficult to spread out with the cork.
- Rub a thin layer of the kick wax onto the kick zone of your ski and smooth out each layer with a cork.
- Start with 3-4 thin layers of kick wax. If the ski is not too stiff and the wax is right, that will be enough.
- If you do not have adequate grip you can add one or two more layers, or a slightly softer wax.
- The next step is to lengthen the layers.
- Finally, if the grip is still inadequate, you should scrape it all off with a plastic scraper and repeat the process with a softer wax.
MAKE UP YOUR OWN WAX KIT
Your “kit” can be a small plastic box with a lid, a little cloth bag, a fanny pack, etc. This kit helps to reduce the chance of items being lost in the wax area during the ski session or workshop.
- Cork and plastic scraper.
- Paper towel or fiberlene.
- Grip wax: one package of a recognized brand that covers the full temperature range (approximately six grip waxes).
- Klister: universal klister.
- Glide wax: one warm range and one cold range non-flouro paraffin glide waxes.