So, you want to make your skis goes faster? Besides the obvious
(hard work and smart training in the physical, tactical, and mental
realms) what can you do to make your skis go faster, while keeping your focus on your goal of long-term development — without
The answer is better scraping and brushing. You’ve probably heard
this before. But most ski racers probably haven’t learned some secrets to finding the most speed possible in a scraping and brushing
First off, let’s get a basic understanding about the wax that you
are scraping and brushing — it’s designed to minimize friction between the base and snow, and it’s designed to reside within the
porous base of the ski, not on top of it. That’s why we scrape and
brush — to remove what’s above the porous base of the ski. Your
sharp scraper peels the wax from the top surface of the ski, and
your brushes remove the wax from small channels that are carved
in to the base (the structure).
More Speed, Less Money
TIPS FOR A BETTER SCRAPING AND BRUSHING ROUTINE BY DAVE PESZEK
Tip No. 1: Hardened wax
vs. cool wax. There’s about
a four to six-hour difference.
You want to work with hardened wax, not cooled wax.
Get some rest. Go to bed and
do your scraping and brushing
in the morning.
Tip No. 2: The sharp, burr-free scraper. For alpine, use
a three-millimeter scraper.
Sharpen it constantly using
a 90-degree guide (a simple
piece of cut-down alum angle
from the hardware store works great) and 220-grit drywall screen.
Use a Scotchbrite pad or your fingernails to ensure that there is no
You don’t need a big
expensive room like this one
at the Center of Excellence
to find fast skis.
Tip No. 3: Keep scraping. You don’t need much pressure at all,
just lots of long, smooth passes. Keep scraping until your scraper
literally glides along the base and you have zero resistance. If you’re
seeing any white or milky streaks on the base behind your scraper,
then you need to keep scraping.
Tip No. 4: The heavy steel brush. Oval brushes are alpine brush-
es. Period. Square brushes are for nordic skiers and always will be.
And until we can figure out a way to “sharpen” the steel brush, you’ll
need to replace it fairly regularly. For example, in late November
I received three new oval steel brushes that should last me until
February. Then I’ll get another three or four more to last through the
spring. Use your oval steel brush after scraping to pull the bulk of the
wax from the structure of the ski.
Tip No. 5: Keep scraping. You’ve just done a whole bunch of
passes with your steel brush. You should be sweating. If you’re not,
you didn’t brush enough. Now you need to go back (with a sharp
scraper) and scrape some more. The brush has lifted the wax from
the structure, and you need the sharp scraper to remove it.
Tip No. 6: Repeat with each successively smaller diameter
brush. You’ll continue the cycle of scraping, brushing, then scraping more, then brushing with the next brush in sequence (steel, stiff
brass, fine brass, stiff nylon, boars hair, horsehair and finally, for cold
wax, the micro-steel brush). This will allow you to pull all the wax
from the structure of the ski, leaving an even, hard, finely polished
layer of wax in the three dimensional top surface of the ski’s base.
You should be wearing shorts, a T-shirt, Todi USA tuning shoes, and
have the windows open. The dog has crawled into bed to stay warm
but you’re sweating like it’s the first day of dryland. See Tip No. 2.
Tip No. 7: For mid and cold temp waxes, repeat the whole process with a cold ski. That’s right — put the completely scraped and
brushed ski outside to freeze, then do it all over again. I personally
guarantee that you’ll find a whole bunch of speed this way.
Sound like hard work? It is. But so is being a good ski racer. Yes,
expensive waxes with the process listed above will give you amazing results, but basic waxes with the process listed above will give
you nearly the same amazing results. And unless you’re a World
Cup athlete, you can be certain that your competitors have most
likely skipped the simplest way of making fast skis.