Stay Out of the
It’s important to note that
wax irons differ from com-
mon household irons. Wax
irons don’t have holes in
the base plates, which are
thicker than in household
irons. Wax irons also have
more advanced heating el-
ements that, in conjunction
with the thicker base plate,
produce a more even heat
across the base plate with
greatly reduced tempera-
The base plates themselves are thicker to help retain heat and prevent big
drops in temperature when the iron is touched to the ski. An inexpensive
wax iron is fine for occasional waxing, but if you’re waxing often, especially
with fluorocarbons, you should look toward the upper end for best results.
Any tool has the potential of doing more harm than good if used improperly, and a wax iron is no exception. Good technique is essential for effective waxing and avoiding damage to the ski or board base.
Heat is a necessary component of waxing; it not only melts the wax but
also encourages the pores of the base to open up and accept the wax. Too
much heat, on the other hand, can seal the pores of the base and prevent
good wax absorption. To prevent damage, make sure that the iron is operating at the correct temperature for the wax chosen. Manufacturers often
mark recommended melt temperatures on their packaging; use this as a
starting point and adjust iron temperature as needed. It’s best to use the
least amount of heat necessary to melt the wax.
Maintain a pool of melted wax between the wax iron and the base of the
ski or board; dry contact could seal the pores of the base and cause damage to the structure. Dripping the wax onto the ski in a zigzag pattern is
often preferred. Judging the correct amount is a skill that comes with time;
if you’re new to waxing, it is best to apply more than less and adjust the
amount on your next waxing.
Be mindful of where the iron is set when not in use. Set it upright on the
bench or in a specialized holder. Contaminants on an iron can mix with the
wax and scratch the ski or board base. Therefore you should occasionally
wipe the base plate with a piece of Fiberlene or lint-free rag, and remove
any excess wax build-up around the base as it tends to burn and produce
Though you may be tempted to try other methods of waxing on the menu
(and you really should) it is likely that you’ll return to your waxing iron. With
proper use and care, it will produce excellent results and last for many
seasons to come.
Scott Churchill is the owner of Tognar Toolworks ( tognar.com).
MON TANA ( 2)
The future of waxing may be Montana’s top-end hot waxing machine,
aptly named the Wax Future. This device uses an infrared heating element that travels along a track over the length of a ski or board base,
melting the wax as it goes. The infrared heat penetrates deeply into the
base, which allows the wax to flow farther than a traditional wax iron. Because the heat source hovers above the base, potential contact damage
inherent to traditional wax irons is eliminated. Any wax can be used with
the Wax Future, which is especially effective in the application of cold
waxes and hi-fluoro overlays that can be tricky to apply with a traditional
iron. Compared to hot boxing, the Wax Future is much quicker (waxing
is measured in minutes
rather than hours), with
less wax waste.