How to wax downhill skis

How to wax downhill skis

Are your skis less responsive and do you feel like you're dragging on the piste? It's time to turn them over to see if their soles could use a little waxing. We’ll help you.

Do you want to wax your skis yourself? Great idea! We’ll give you all our tips for a successful waxing. And if you ever change your mind, the workshops in your Decathlon shops are at your disposal for the maintenance of your ski equipment!

How to wax your downhill skis yourself

To wax downhill skis at home, all you need is a bit of equipment and some technical knowledge.

The wax will be applied to the part of the ski that is in contact with the snow: the sole. The edges, the steel rods on either side of the sole, may need sharpening. If necessary, the edges are sharpened before the skis are waxed. Here, we prefer iron waxing. 😉

How to prepare your skis for waxing

The soles of the skis are put to the test. Pebbles, dust, tar and wax residues can be found on your base. 
Cleaning is essential to rid the board of these impurities before waxing it. Otherwise, they will remain embedded in the sole.

Therefore, a dusting cloth followed by a wax remover will be necessary before you start waxing.

How to wax downhill skis
How to wax downhill skis

equipment for waxing your skis

To do this, you will need a waxing iron, a wax bar, a plastic scraper and a brass or nylon brush.

To set up the skis and hold them in place during waxing, a table and a ski vice.

the different steps for ironing your downhill skis

👉 Heat the waxing iron.

👉 Run the iron over the sole of one of your skis in the direction of the glide (from front to back). This allows the sole to expand and the wax to penetrate more easily.

👉 Melt the wax to drip it onto the sole. Put drops on the sole at regular intervals. Space them out as it is not necessary to put a lot of wax on the skis.

👉 It's time to spread the wax by ironing it on the sole of the ski (always in the direction of the glide). As when ironing clothes, avoid leaving the iron in one place for too long. This could damage the sole of the ski.

👉 You can now move on to the second ski. When both skis have been waxed, you should let them rest at room temperature.
Go for a walk or read a book, you have nothing to do for at least the next 30 minutes.

👉 Now you can scrape off the wax with the scraper to remove the excess. Then use the brush, in the direction of the glide, to create small grooves in the wax to optimize your glide.

Your iron waxing session is over!

  • How to wax downhill skis

    Heat the iron and run it over the sole of your skis

  • How to wax downhill skis

    Melt the wax to drip it on the sole of your skis

  • How to wax downhill skis

    Spread the wax on your skis

  • How to wax downhill skis

    Scrape off the wax with your scraper


The frequency of waxing is important to keep your skis in good condition as long as possible.

The first thing to consider when deciding if your skis need to be waxed is how you feel.

If the sole looks white, it is dry and it is time to wax it, even a little late.

Competitors and free-ride enthusiasts wax their skis on almost every outing!
Without going that far, remember to wax your skis at least once a season. This protects your skis and allows you to have fun on the slopes!

How to wax downhill skis


If you are going to wax your skis, you will have to choose which type of wax to apply. But there is a lot to choose from! As we recommend hot wax for a thorough maintenance of your skis, we will not use liquid wax or cold sticks. They allow you to make touch-ups when necessary without having to take out all the equipment, but their effectiveness is less durable over time.

Then you have the choice of wax depending on the weather conditions in which you will be skiing.

➡️ If you are planning to ski in the spring, you should choose a yellow wax: for warm temperatures.

➡️ If it is very cold, you will ski on cold snow. You should choose a blue wax (for temperatures below -12 degrees).

➡️ Between -15 and -5 you will take the yellow wax.

➡️ If you want a wax that is suitable for all situations, you take a universal wax.

How to wax downhill skis

our additional tips for waxing downhill skis

Using an iron: yes or no? In absolute terms, you can replace the waxing iron with a clothes iron, set on a very low heat. But beware, you will not be able to use this iron for anything other than waxing your skis! This is a tip to be reserved for those who are used to waxing skis or snowboards.

How often should I wax my skis? This will depend on the intensity of your practice and your preference. Some do it at the beginning of the season without question. Others prefer to wait until they feel the need. One thing is certain: if you ski a lot, one waxing per season is necessary.

Can I use the same wax for downhill skiing and cross-country skiing? If you also have cross-country skis and are looking for a wax that can be used on both cross-country and downhill skis, we explain everything in our tip on how to maintain your classic cross-country skis with wax.

what is the price of a workshop waxing?

If you don't have the time or inclination to wax your skis yourself, you can request an estimate from our Decathlon workshops. For a simple waxing or for the complete maintenance of your skis, the choice is yours. Waxing services start at €18. If you want to have your skis waxed before you leave for winter sports, you should plan ahead, as the workshops are obviously full as soon as the first snow falls.

Some shops also offer training to learn how to do it yourself or find out if it is something you enjoy doing.

Once your skis are waxed, your riding sessions will become more colourful! 
Be careful, sometimes the ski can be a bit tricky on the first run before it gives you all its power. This may come as a surprise... but now you’ve been warned!


Why wax your skis at the end of the season?

Why wax your skis at the end of the season?

Before storing your skis until the next winter, it is essential to wax them to protect them from temperature variations during storage. We’ll be your guide!

Our guide to waxing cross-country skis

Our guide to waxing cross-country skis

Protecting and maintaining your cross-country skis involves regular waxing of the base. HOW TO DO IT Which wax to use When should I wax my skis? We tell you all!



To maintain the performance of your cross-country skis, looking after and waxing the sole is essential.Check out our tips for looking after your classic waxable cross-country skis and for grip waxing.