Best Ski Wax

Top 8 Best Ski Waxes: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

If you want to get the most out of your skis, you need to make sure they’re waxed. The best ski waxes improve your sliding speed, while also helping you make smoother turns.

The ski wax that you use can have a big impact on your performance. Every wax is designed for a different temperature, condition or discipline; so picking the right option is vital.

In order to help you navigate the world of waxing, we have analysed and reviewed the best ski waxes on the market. We have covered the pros and cons of every option, helping you find the wax that best suits your style.

Best Ski Waxes At A Glance

Photo

Summary

Price

    • Temperature range from 11°C to -14°C (52°F to 6°F)

    • Block wax that can be applied hot or cold

    • Non fluorocarbon composition

        

        

    • Temperature range from 10°C to -30°C (50°F to -22°F)

    • Rub on cold and buff in with supplied cork

    • Hydrocarbon composition

        

        

    • Temperature range from -12°C to -32°C (10°F to -26°F)

    • Block wax that can be applied hot by using an iron

    • Hydrocarbon composition

        

         

    • Temperature range from -2°C to -11°C (28°F to 12°F)

    • Block wax that can be applied hot by using an iron

    • Hydrocarbon composition

           

           

    • Temperature range from 0°C to -3°C (32°F to 26°F)

    • Block wax that can be applied hot or cold

    • High fluorocarbon composition

            

            

    • Temperature range from -2°C to 10°C (28°F to 50°F)

    • Block wax that can be applied hot by using an iron

    • Non fluorocarbon composition

            

             

    • Temperature range from 10°C to -30°C (50°F to -22°F)

    • Powder wax best applied hot as a finishing overlay

    • High fluorocarbon composition

             

             

    • Designed for cold dry snow or wet contaminated snow

    • Buff on cold or iron on hot as a finishing overlay

    • Graphite anti-static composition

              

                   

    Why Do I Need The Best Ski Wax?

    Waxing your skis is vital to their performance. It gives them a water-repellent layer that increases their speed and consistency on the snow.

    The more water-repellent your skis are, they faster they will slide. This means that the best ski waxes are often the most hydrophobic, giving you the fastest and smoothest performance.

    Each ski wax is designed to work best in different conditions. Temperature, snow condition and type of skiing will all dictate the type of wax you require.

    This guide outlines the best ski wax for every situation. Having a selection of quality waxes will make sure you’re prepared for any weather.

    Most ski waxes require a range of tools for application. With that in mind, we have also reviewed the best ski waxing kits and the best ski wax irons.

    Best Ski Wax
    Waxing your skis is crucial to their overall performance (Image: Santeri Viinamaki CC BY-SA 4.0)

    How To Choose The Best Ski Wax

    Temperature

    Most ski waxes are temperature specific. This allows you to best prepare your skis for the weather you will face each day.

    Warm weather skiing often involves wetter snow, while colder days will produce drier snow. These alternate snow conditions can greatly affect your sliding speed, so choosing an appropriate wax will make a significant difference.

    It’s also possible to get ‘all-weather’ or ‘universal’ waxes. They are designed to provide a consistent slide in most conditions and are popular amongst skiers looking for a simple option.

    If you are new to the ski waxing world, it’s often best to start with a universal wax. Once you have mastered the ski preparation process, you can then look to build up a selection of temperature-specific waxes.

    Best Ski Wax
    If you plan on spring skiing, the right wax will make a big difference

    Wax Style

    Ski wax can come in a range of different styles, each one having its own benefits and uses.

    Block Wax

    Most ski waxes will come in the form of a solid block. This form of wax is usually melted down and spread across the base of the skis using an iron.

    Since block wax penetrates the pores of the skis, its effects can usually be felt for a few days. It can be suited to a variety of different temperatures and ski styles, making it a popular choice.

    Liquid Wax

    Liquid wax is sometimes referred to as ‘cold’ wax. It can be rubbed into the bases of your skis using a cloth or applicator, negating the need for an iron.

    Since it’s so easy to apply, liquid wax is a popular choice amongst skiers looking for a quick waxing solution. However, its effects will only last for up to one day, making it a short-term solution.

    Paste Wax

    Paste wax, also known as ‘cream’ wax, is also rubbed into the skis while cold. It is incredibly easy to apply, but typically only lasts for less than one day.

    Paste wax is usually designed for universal temperatures. It is a popular choice amongst casual skiers, allowing them to maintain their waxing throughout a ski trip.

    Powder Wax

    Powder wax designed to be used as a finishing overlay. Once a few layers of block wax have been applied, the powder wax is then buffed into the bases using a cork.

    Due to its high fluoride content, powder wax usually comes at a high price. It’s a popular choice amongst ski racers due to its fast gliding properties.

    Spray Wax

    Spray wax is commonly used as an overlay. It is popular amongst ski racers due to its ability to increase gliding speed.

    After applying a few layers of block wax, the spray wax is then used as a finishing layer. Once sprayed onto the base, it can be buffed with a cork to achieve the desired finish.

    Wax Composition

    Ski waxes use a range of additives that make them best suited for different snow or weather conditions. Knowing which composition is designed for your situation will help you choose the best ski wax.

    Hydrocarbon Wax

    The most popular and cost-effective wax you will find is hydrocarbon. It contains friction-reducing properties that improve your gliding speed, while also being durable enough to last for a few days.

    Hydrocarbon wax usually comes in block form. It can be designed to suit a wide range of temperatures and snow conditions.

    Fluorocarbon Wax

    Fluorocarbon is a water-repellent chemical that is added to wax. Since it repels a lot of water, it allows the skis to slide faster than regular hydrocarbon wax in wetter conditions.

    The amount of fluorocarbon added to your wax can have a big impact on your performance.

    • Low fluorocarbon waxes are generally used by intermediate to advanced skiers. They provide added speed when compared with hydrocarbon wax, while still being within a ‘sensible’ price range.
    • High fluorocarbon waxes are predominantly used by ski racers. Their strong water-repelling properties make them exceptionally quick across the snow, especially in wet conditions.

    It’s worth noting that the fluorocarbon content of your wax can often dictate its price. The higher the amount of fluorocarbons in your wax, the more you should expect to pay.

    Graphite Wax

    Graphite wax helps discharge electrostatic build up while you are skiing. This reduces the friction between your skis and the snowpack, leading to an increase in gliding speed.

    Graphite wax is often applied after a few layers of block wax to act as an overlay. It is best used in cold temperatures with low-humidity, when the snow is especially dry.

    The composition of your ski wax is important (Image: Tiia Monto CC BY-SA 4.0)

    Best Ski Waxes Reviewed

    Hertel Super Hot Sauce

    Key Features

    • Wax Type: Block
    • Temperature Range: 11°C to -14°C (52°F to 6°F)
    • Composition: Non-Fluorocarbon
    • Best For: Overall

    Hertel Super Hot Sauce wax is designed to work in most weather conditions for any rider. Its non-fluorocarbon formula works by changing the structure of the water in the snow while you ski, leading to increased gliding speed.

    It should be applied hot with an iron for the most durable results. However, it can also be rubbed on cold for a quick application when you’re short of time.

    If you are looking for a solid all-round wax that will improve your speed and performance, Hertel’s Super Hot Sauce is a great option. It is one of the easiest waxes to apply and its universal properties make it work well in most conditions.

    Pros

    • Can be applied hot or cold
    • Universal temperature range suits most conditions
    • Long lasting effects after application
    • Easy to scrape off after ironing
    • Value for money choice

    Cons

    • Not ideal for the coldest conditions
    • Lacks the speed of high-end racing waxes

    ZUMWax Rub On Wax

    Key Features

    • Wax Type: Paste
    • Temperature Range: 10°C to -30°C (50°F to -22°F)
    • Composition: Hydrocarbon
    • Best For: Quick & Easy

    If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to speed up your skis, ZUMWax rub on wax has got you covered. It’s a paste that is rubbed onto your ski bases cold and then buffed in with the supplied cork, making it a minimal hassle option.

    This wax has one of the highest temperature ranges on the market and is a solid universal wax for all conditions. It’s best used as a ‘top up’ that will improve your gliding speed on a daily basis, meaning you will only require an iron on wax a couple of times during the season.

    ZUMWax rub on wax is one of the easiest ways to improve your gliding speed. It can be rubbed onto your skis daily and will keep your bases fresh throughout any ski trip.

    Pros

    • Quick and easy to apply
    • Universal temperature range
    • Great for use in-between runs
    • Convenient to carry
    • Cork included

    Cons

    • Not the longest lasting
    • Not a complete substitute for hot wax

    Swix CH4 Wax

    Key Features

    • Wax Type: Block
    • Temperature Range: -12°C to -32°C (10°F to -26°F)
    • Composition: Hydrocarbon
    • Best For: Cold

    Swix have produced the CH4 ski wax to improve your performance in cold conditions. It is made for temperatures all the way down to -32°C (-26°F), which is more than enough for most ski resorts.

    Using a hydrocarbon composition, this wax is well suited to dry snow conditions. It has proven to be a great long-lasting wax by itself, but can also be combined with other waxes to increase their durability.

    The Swix CH4 is a great option for super cold and dry conditions. It’s relatively inexpensive, provides a great gliding feel and has good durability after application.

    Pros

    • Works well in the coldest temperatures
    • Good option for artificial snow and dry ski slopes
    • Long lasting effects
    • Can be combined with other waxes to increase durability
    • Reasonable price

    Cons

    • Difficult to scrape and brush

    ZUMWax Chill Racing Wax

    Key Features

    • Wax Type: Block
    • Temperature Range: -2°C to -11°C (28°F to 12°F)
    • Composition: Hydrocarbon
    • Best For: Medium/Cold

    ZUMWax Chill racing wax is provides fast gliding in medium to cold temperatures. It’s a popular choice due to its temperature range (-2°C to -11°C) being well suited to many ski resorts throughout the season.

    This wax uses a hydrocarbon composition that is best used on relatively dry snow. It’s also environmentally friendly and does not leave any toxic residue on the snow.

    The ZUMWax Chill racing wax is a great way to improve your gliding speed in medium/cold conditions. It gives quality results when used by itself, but can also be layered with a high fluorocarbon wax if the conditions are suitable.

    Pros

    • Good medium/cold temperature range
    • Works well on dry snow
    • Environmentally friendly
    • Layering with other waxes gives good results
    • Economical price

    Cons

    • Lacking fluorocarbons for potentially wetter snow

    One Ball Jay X-Wax Warm

    Key Features

    • Wax Type: Block
    • Temperature Range: 0°C to -3°C (32°F to 26°F)
    • Composition: High-Fluorocarbon
    • Best For: Medium/Warm

    One Ball Jay have produced the X-Wax Warm for medium to warm temperatures. It uses a high-fluorocarbon composition that’s designed to provide a smooth glide on slightly humid and wet snow.

    They have also added a small amount of graphite to this wax to remove electrostatic friction when skiing. It gives optimal results when ironed on hot, but it can also be used as a rub-on if you’re looking for a quick fix.

    One Ball Jay X-Wax Warm is great at dealing with a variety of snow conditions. Its high-fluorocarbon and graphite composition will keep you sliding with speed on ‘spring skiing’ days.

    Pros

    • High-fluorocarbon for wetter snow
    • Graphite included to reduce electrostatic friction
    • Works well in medium/warm temperatures
    • Can be rubbed on if necessary
    • Great price for a high-fluoro wax

    Cons

    • Small temperature range

    Swix Racing Wax Yellow

    Key Features

    • Wax Type: Block
    • Temperature Range: -2°C to 10°C (28°F to 50°F)
    • Composition: Non Fluorocarbon
    • Best For: Warm

    If you’re planning to do some spring or summer skiing, Swix Racing Wax Yellow will keep you sliding at speed. It works well in temperatures up to 10°C (50°F), making it ideal for the warmest resorts.

    Although lacking in fluorocarbons, this wax has proven to work well in wet and slushy conditions. It’s also fully biodegradable and non-toxic, making it an environmentally friendly choice.

    Using Swix Racing Wax Yellow is a great way to improve your speed through the spring slush. It works great in the warmest ski conditions and is boosted in popularity by its environmentally friendly composition.

    Pros

    • Works well in super warm temperatures
    • Consistent sliding on slushy snow
    • Biodegradable composition
    • Easy to apply
    • Cheaper than most warm weather waxes

    Cons

    • Some may want to add a fluorocarbon overlay

    ZUMWax Nano Racing Powder

    Key Features

    • Wax Type: Powder
    • Temperature Range: 10°C to -30°C (50°F to -22°F)
    • Composition: High-Fluorocarbon
    • Best For: Speed Overlay

    ZUMWax Nano Racing Powder is designed to give that extra speed boost that can make all the difference. It is suitable for universal temperatures, making it an ideal finishing layer in any weather.

    This powder uses a pure form of high-quality fluorocarbon that repels water for maximum gliding speed. It is best applied hot with an iron, working well in combination with most high-fluoro block waxes.

    If you are a ski racer or speed enthusiast, ZUMWax Nano Racing Powder is a great way to gain an advantage. It’s easy to apply as an overlay and improves gliding in all conditions.

    Pros

    • Wide universal temperature range
    • High quality fluorocarbon
    • Improves gliding speed on any snow
    • Works well in combination with most block waxes
    • Value for money compared to other powder waxes

    Cons

    • Small speed advantage not necessary for the average skier

    PURL Graphite Ski Tuning Wax

    Key Features

    • Wax Type: Block
    • Temperature Range: Dry or Contaminated Snow
    • Composition: Graphite
    • Best For: Anti-Static Overlay

    PURL Graphite Ski Tuning Wax is a great way to gain an advantage on cold and dry days. It works by removing electrostatic friction to improve gliding speed.

    Graphite has also proven to work well on wetter ‘spring skiing’ days when the snow is full of contaminants that cause static friction. It is best used as a final overlay or can be blended with an appropriate block wax for added speed.

    If you’re looking to gain an extra speed advantage, PURL Graphite Ski Tuning Wax might be what you’re looking for. If the conditions are right, it can give you an element of speed that is not possible with regular waxes.

    Pros

    • Added speed on dry snow
    • Repels contaminants for ‘spring skiing’ speed
    • Can be used as a rub-on for fast application
    • Works well when combined with most block waxes
    • Can give you the edge on a race day

    Cons

    • Regular skiers might not need this advantage
    • Not easy to scrape

    Summing Up

    The importance of waxing your skis should not be overlooked. It allows them to glide with speed and consistency, which will improve your ski performance.

    Choosing the best ski wax can be a challenging task. Every option is best suited for a different situation, so taking the time to learn how they work is important.

    This guide is designed to make finding the right ski wax simple. It allows you to assess the key information about each product, giving you a range of options that will suit most skiers.

    Taking the time to learn about different wax types and compositions is an important part of the ski preparation process. If you follow the information in this guide, you will have no problem improving your gliding speed.