How to maintain downhill skiing without waxing

How to maintain downhill skiing without waxing

Among the different steps to maintain your skis, waxing is a must. So how do you care for them without waxing them and is it even possible? We tell you all!

You maintain your downhill skis by sharpening, cleaning, repairing and storing them properly. But there’s still one step that bothers you a bit: waxing. If it seems too complicated, we'll save you the suspense... You can't maintain your skis without waxing them regularly. Don't panic, it is possible to do it yourself with a little bit of material and the right actions. But if not, you can always entrust them to specialised technicians.

Why is waxing required?

Waxing your skis (or snowboard) consists of applying a suitable product, the wax, to the base of the ski, the part of the ski that is in direct contact with the snow. The wax maintains the sole to prevent it from drying out and gives you a better glide. Without it, the skis will lose performance and the base will deteriorate, shortening the life of the skis. Several types of wax exist: liquid, solid and designed for different temperatures.

👉 Different types of wax
👉 Choosing the right wax
👉 Discover the ski glossary

Good to know: Perhaps you’ve heard of "no-wax skis". This type of cross-country ski doesn’t need to be waxed on the grip area of the base, under the binding. This area includes an anti-slip system with scales. But you still have to wax the glide area, located under the tip and tail of the ski. Recently, some downhill skiing brand shave also developed a sole technology that does not require wax. While still a minority, they are an alternative to classic skis with less maintenance.

How to maintain downhill skiing without waxing

How do I know if I should wax my skis?

Your skis should be waxed at least twice during the season: : before your first run and after your last. It is also possible to re-wax them during the season if you use your skis intensively or if you notice a loss of efficiency of the soles.

Not sure if you should wax your ski soles? Just look at them! If they have turned white, if you see stains or scratches, they need a proper waxing. Make sure you choose a wax suitable for the type of snow in the season. You can learn how to wax your skis yourself by following our dedicated tutorial or leave them to the technicians in the workshop of a DECATHLON shop.

How to maintain downhill skiing without waxing

Sharpen your edges and prevent rusting

In addition to waxing the soles, sharpening the edges of your downhill skis is a necessary step for enjoyable and controlled descents. Edges are the sharpened metal edges around your skis at the base. They allow you to grip the ski in the snow when you turn and eventually deteriorate with time and use, so they are said to become dull. To get your edges back in shape, you need to sharpen them.

Rust may also impact the performance of your edges. To avoid this, be sure to wipe your skis clean after a trip and store them in a dry place.

Maintain your bindings to extend their life

Unlike soles and edges, ski bindings require very little maintenance. The main action is to loosen the bindings with a flat screwdriver to relieve the spring when you store your skis between seasons. We also advise you to raise the heel of the bindings, like when you put your ski boots on.

You can also check that there is some grease left on the heel carriage (the back part of the binding, where you put your heel), so that it slides well. This is especially true for rental skis that are subjected to high-pressure cleaning. Fastener manufacturers usually put a lot of grease on them before selling them so that buyers don't have to add any.

How to maintain downhill skiing without waxing

Why should you wax you skis at the end of the season?

After enjoying the snow on your skis, they need to be cleaned, sharpened and waxed for storage until the next winter. End of season waxing is very special, it protects your soles from moisture, temperature changes and dirt during their storage period between seasons. It also preserves the edges and prevents the development of rust. For this type of waxing, we recommend using a universal wax.

👉 Why should you wax you skis at the end of the season?

Storage conditions are also important to preserve pairs of skis and snowboards. Store them in a dry place, away from light and moisture. To carry out a complete end-of-season maintenance, follow our dedicated tutorial.

How to maintain downhill skiing without waxing
How to maintain downhill skiing without waxing

How to care for your skis for cheap

Regular maintenance of classic, touring or cross-country skis can quickly add up. To keep it to a minimum, you can do it completely or partially yourself with a few suitable tools and products, which you can use several times. For operations that you prefer to avoid, do not hesitate to make an appointment in the workshop of a DECATHLON shop. Our technicians will take care of maintaining and repairing your ski equipment so that you can get back on the slopes with peace of mind.

How to maintain flake skis and wax cross-country skis

The maintenance of classic waxed, flaked or skinned cross-country skis is not quite the same as that of downhill or touring skis. The first big difference is that they don't have edges, so there is no need to sharpen them. The waxing of skis with scales and skins is only done on a part of the base, unlike the waxing of skis to be waxed. To discover the maintenance secrets of the different types of skis, follow our tutorials!

👉 How to care for your classic skinned cross-country skis
👉 How to care for your flake and skinned cross-country skis
👉 Caring for your skating skis

To reduce the impact of sports equipment on the environment, we do our best to help you extend its life. Do not hesitate to ask questions in shop if you have any doubts about the maintenance and repair of your equipment.

How to maintain downhill skiing without waxing



Dancer, hiker and former judoka, I’m a big Fit’Ballet enthusiast, an activity that combines fitness and classic dance. I love giving you my tips to help you with your sporting activities!