My favourite backcountry ski area has a really long approach along a groomed trail. I started putting a bit of kick wax on the base of my skis so I could make better time on the flat instead of skinning in to the base of the mountain. It works great, and I don't notice any loss of speed on the downhill (not that I go very fast in tight trees). I thought I was pretty brilliant until a guide told me that it ruins the base of my skis. Is this true? I would imagine that the solvent used to remove the wax would ruin my bases, but I don't use that much wax and usually just ski it off instead of using the solvent. Am I going to ruin my bases?

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    I know nothing about kick wax in particular, but in general you should not use wax with fluorides in it, as it will deteriorate the glue on your skins.
    – imsodin
    Dec 16 '16 at 0:03

Yup works fine, not as effective without the wax pocket...but way faster than a skin slog...maybe 70% of a great wax job on classic skies.

Skins are not damaged by kick wax....I used skins and nordic skies for a decade back in the eighties...no problems.

Just use the right temp kick wax and apply exactly like a nordic job....

Downhill is not affected unless your wax job starts ti ice....the scrape off.


Nordic skis and alpine skis have very similar bases, and kick wax doesn't do any damage to the P-Tex bases of classic nordic skis. It's just wax. If anything, one might argue it's somewhat good for your bases, in that it keeps them covered, but I don't want to get dragged into debating to what extent ski bases actually oxidize or age in the air.

The guide may have been saying that built-up layers of kick wax are not exactly ideal for alpine skis, because by its nature, kickwax creates drag. As you know, it's meant to stick to the snow. And as you ski on it, it spreads somewhat to the tails. But once you scrape it off the bases (even if you use solvent), your bases are the same. The chemicals used in waxing will not harm them or deteriorate them.

I think your idea is good, and based in tried and true nordic ski practices -- use kick wax to move cross country. I've done it with backcountry and telemark skis, and it works. When the climbing gets really steep, put on skins.


I think it's good to have first a normal wax as base on you skis and on top of that you can add the sticky wax. So you don't ruin your skis. But it's also good to remove the sticky wax if not needed and have faster skis.

And this don't work well if you have climbing skins :)

  • ... Not sure you understood my question, you answer isn't helpful either way. Have you ever used kick wax before? You only put it on the kick area beneath your feet, not on the whole ski. You still glide with kick wax on, it just gives you a little stick to kick off of and get gliding. I still use skins on the climbs, the kick wax doesn't come off onto the skins when I peel them off. and the kick wax scrapes of real quick when skiing in fresh sharp powder, so I don't even need to bother removing it, it scrapes off on it's own.
    – ShemSeger
    Nov 11 '14 at 15:14
  • Sorry that my answer was not clear. I know what kick wax is and where to place it. I know this from cross country skis. My suggestion was only to apply this kick wax after applying normal ski wax on your skis to not dry out the base of the ski. They're protected by the thin normal wax. I also understood that you first walk on the flat, then go with skins up and in the end you ski down so you have kick wax on your skis when going up with skins.
    – ibex
    Nov 11 '14 at 15:42

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