What Wax? Why?

Whether you’re new to Nordic skiing or an old pro, you’ve probably had the experience of slipping your skis into the track, poling hard, expecting that you will glide quickly across the snow—and finding, to your disappointment, that the sticky snow is holding you back. This less-than-ideal situation happens whenever there is too much friction between the snow and the ski: this might be because the snow is so dry that it grinds against the ski base, or because it is so wet that the skis get suction-cupped to the slushy stuff.

To oversimplify, ski wax minimizes this friction. The wax makes the ski slippery, which lets it glide over any type of snow, while also making it water repellent—which keeps the ski from getting bogged down in wetter trail sections.


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