How To Wax Cross-Country Skis


For the traditional cross-country skis to perform optimally on snow, regular waxing is necessary. Cross country ski wax has numerous benefits. The most popular benefits include:

  • It helps keep dirt off the ski base
  • It ensures that the base does not dry out
  • It improves the speed of the ski

If you are new to skiing, you probably do not know how to wax cross country skis. To give you the ability to enjoy the benefits offered by ski waxing, we will show you the simple steps you need to follow when applying cross country ski wax. If you follow the steps below, your cross country ski should feature more speed the next time you decide to put on your ski jacket.

Necessary Tools and Supplies

Similar to when waxing a kayak, there are some supplies you need to invest in to make ski waxing possible. The following supplies and tools should be available at your local store:

  • Plastic scraper
  • Waxing cork
  • Grip Wax
  • Base cleaner
  • Waxing iron
  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape

Choosing the Grip Wax

In the market, you will find 3 different forms of grip wax. These are hard waxes, which look like a stubby crayon, klister waxes, which look like glue and are often delivered in tubes and spray waxes. The type of grip wax you end up choosing will be largely dependent on the snow conditions and temperature. Below, we have some additional considerations you may need to make when purchasing cross country ski wax:

  • Hard waxes – These are the most popular choice. They offer the best results when the snow crystals are sharp and the temperature is cold. The majority of hard waxes are color-coded, according to the temperature ranging between -25 degrees Fahrenheit and +35 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Klister waxes – If you figure out that when you will be removing your boots from the ski boot bag the temperature will be warmer, you should consider using the klister waxes. The wax’s stickiness and gelatinous nature make the wax tougher to work with.
  • Spray waxes – These are ideal for when you need a quick parking-lot fix for the skis. If you realize that you forgot to finish waxing the ski after packing all the necessary cross-country ski equipment in the car, spray waxes can offer you an ideal solution. The spray wax can also be a good solution if you realize that your cross country ski is not waxed completely after reaching your winter camping tent.

Kick Zone Preparation


The middle third of the cross-country ski is referred to as the kick zone. It is usually available approximately 70 cm from the ski binding heel, moving forward. If you purchase a ski whose kick is not strong enough, you can increase its strength by increasing the kick zone length by a couple of centimeters.

To prepare your ski’s kick, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Using a thin masking tape strip, mark both the back and front of the kick zone.

Step 2: Using your plastic scraper, scrape the area you marked in step 1 above. Use a small amount of the base cleaner and a cloth to get rid of the old wax and dirt.

Step 3: Rub the area in both directions using a fine grade of sandpaper-wrapped cork.

How to Wax Cross Country Skis

After prepping the kick zone, the next thing you will need to do is apply the cross country ski wax. The techniques outlined in this section should keep your skin performing optimally for the whole ski season:

Binder Wax (This is Optional)

If you intend to explore coarse snow after wearing everything you need when skiing, you should consider applying binder wax before the hard wax. This will reduce the chances of your wax being scraped off.

Rub the binder wax onto the already prepared kick zone, moving forward and backward on either side of the groove. You can heat your waxing iron to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and then melt the wax onto the ski. Allow the wax to cool for about 30 minutes before you cork.

Hard Wax

While working at room temperature, hold your cross-country ski at an angle of 30 degrees. Alternatively, you can prop the ski up on a bench, if this is possible.

Next, rub hard grip wax on the ski’s kick zone using short back and forth strokes. Rub a cork over the area. Apply another coat of the cross country ski wax and buff again. You can apply more coats, making sure that you buff your surface smooth before applying the next coat.

Klister Wax

Rub your kick zone using a sandpaper cork. Apply the base (green) klister in diagonal stripes. The diagonal strips should appear on either side of the ski’s groove.

Using a waxing iron at about 110 degrees Fahrenheit, warm and smooth out the applied klister wax. Allow the wax to cool for a couple of minutes before you go ahead and cork the area.

Next, apply a temperature-specific or a universal klister in the same pattern. Using a cork or a plastic scraper, spread it out.

Spray Wax

Before grabbing your best boots and heading to your favorite skiing track, be sure to apply the spray wax. The spray wax should be distributed evenly from the front to the back of your marked kick zone. Use a single spray per stroke. Avoid corking.

Globo Surf Overview

If you are a beginning skier, waxing your ski could intimidate you. With the right steps, however, applying cross country ski wax should become much easier for you. Note that using the right wax is as important as using the right technique when applying the wax.

If you own a waxless cross-country ski, you may not have to worry about the waxing. Generally, the waxless cross-country skis will grip the snow using their embossed base. However, although not necessary, applying a thin layer of glide to the waxless ski base can help the ski move faster and also ensure that snow does not stick to the base.

More Snow Reviews:


  1. Waxing Your Skis – a Beginner’s Guide,
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!