Do Water Skis Need to Be Waxed? Here’s Why (and How) 

Do Water Skis Need to Be Waxed Here's Why and How

If you are familiar with other types of skiing, you know that skiers wax their skis because it improves their performance and makes the ski good as new.

However, water skiing is a bit different; for example, you wax your skis when you are skiing on snow because it keeps them smooth and prevents them from sticking to the snow.

So do water skis need to be waxed as well? This article will cover everything you need to know about water skiing waxing.

So, do water skis need to be waxed? Water skis need to be waxed like most skis. However, you can’t wax them with any wax, such as snowboard or sandboard wax, because they are not water-repellant and can damage your board and won’t work correctly, so you need a wax made especially for water skiing.

If you want to know how to wax your skis, what happens if you don’t wax them, and whether waxing them makes a difference or not, all you have to do is just keep reading.

Do Water Skis Need to Be Waxed?

Water skis can be waxed; however, it doesn’t necessarily need to be waxed; you can go waterskiing without waxing your skis.

If you want to repair your water skis, you will go through multiple steps, and one of the finishing touches is waxing your water skis for better results and speed.

However, you should ensure to use a suitable wax that will put up with the water and sun without causing any damage to your board or melting and causing a mess on the board.

Here are my three top choices for waxing my water skis.

Does Waxing Skis Make a Difference?

Waxing skis does make a difference, and the thing you will notice the most is the difference in speed, but it also prevents the skis from drying and keeps the base and the edges smooth. So, in other words, it keeps your skis in an ideal condition, lasting longer with you.

What Happens if You Don’t Wax Your Skis?

If you leave your skis without waxing, with time, they will dry out, shrink, and whiten like all the colors are fading.

However, not waxing your skis one or few times won’t affect your skis as much as you think, so the skis can be left for a little while, and nothing will happen to them; there is no need to worry.

The better you take care of your skis, the longer they will be in better condition and won’t need repairing frequently.

Here is how you can know when it’s time to wax your skis.

  • The base of the skis starts to feel rough
  • You are about to store them
  • When the temperature changes greatly
  • The base looks greyish

How to Wax Your Skis?

Waxing your skis is actually pretty easy, and you can do it yourself at home by just preparing your equipment.

Here is everything you need to prepare before waxing your skis.

  • Any large platform you can work on
  • Wax
  • Waxing iron
  • Waxing brushes
  • Plastic wax scraper

Here is a step-by-step guide for waxing your skis

  • If you have one of the waterskis with brakes, retract them before waxing your skis.
  • Clean your skis properly before starting with a base cleanser and a sponge.
  • Make sure that the base is completely flat and the edges are undamaged.
  • If the base is not flat, you can use a stone to grind the edges and the base.
  • Clean the skis one more time after grinding the base.
  • Heat your waxing iron, and ensure to use a moderate temperature, not too high and not too low (ps, if your waxing iron is smoking, it’s too high)
  • Turn your iron upside down.
  • Take the wax and gently hold it against the base of your iron
  • Let the wax melt along the length of your ski.
  • Run the iron slowly from the tip of the ski to the tail till you can see that you spread the wax evenly, and it melted entirely.
  • Let the wax cool for thirty minutes.
  • After thirty minutes, you should be able to touch base.
  • Now, use the plastic wax scraper to shave all the excess wax.
  • Use the brush to clear the unbonded wax from the pores.

Can You Use Car Wax on Skis?

You can’t use car wax on skis because skis need a wax that can work on the plastic base and remain with abrasion. It also should work in different temperatures, so car wax isn’t the best option for skis, and like I’ve mentioned above, water skis need a specific type of wax, not just any skiing wax.

Can You Wax Your Skis with A Regular Iron?

You can wax your skis with a regular iron, but only if you never intend to use the iron on clothes again. The wax on the iron will ruin any clothes you iron with the same iron, so if you have an old iron that you don’t use, you can use it to wax your skis with it.

What Is the Difference Between Ski Wax and Candle Wax?

The ski wax is rougher than the candle wax, plus it lasts longer because it’s made specifically for skis.

However, the skiing wax does contain candle wax but with many other things that make it preserve the condition of the skis and last longer.

Candle wax won’t increase the ski speed either, and using candle wax on your skis can ruin them, and eventually, your skis will become slower.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Skis Waxed?

It can cost between $10 and $60 to get your skis waxed; it usually depends on how much work your skis need.

If you want to wax your skis at home, it will cost you more at first. But, when you get all of the equipment, it will save you some money in the end.

For example, the wax iron will cost you at least $30, the wax itself can cost you at least $20, the waxing brush can cost about $30 as well, and the plastic wax scraper will cost you $10, so you will pay about $90 for the first time, but you will do it for free the next few times till you run out of wax.

How Do You Maintain Your Skis?

You can maintain your skis by following these steps:

  • Dry off your skis after each time you use them
  • Smooth any burrs you can find at the end of the day
  • Sharpen the edges
  • Wax your skis regularly
  • Store them in a dry and cool place when you are done with them
  • Finally, when you are about to store them for an extended period, wax them before storing them.

Related Questions

Can You Waterski with Unwaxed Skis?

You can waterski with unwaxed skis. Waterskiing doesn’t need waxing as much as snow skiing needs it. In some cases, waxing your skis before waterskiing can increase your speed but only if you use the proper wax.

Can You Wax Your Own Water Skis?

You can wax your own water skis. Still, you have to do your research properly and choose a water-repellant wax for waterskiing because regular wax can melt in the sun and get all over your boat; plus, the wax can damage your water skis and may affect your skiing.

How Often Should Skis Get Waxed?

Skis should get waxed twice during each season if you ski often; however, if you ski every once in a while, you can wax them once at the start of the season, but if you feel that your skis need to be waxed more often then there is no harm in waxing it, it will only make it faster.

Can You Wax Skis in A Cold Garage?

You can’t wax skis in a cold garage. If you use a hot iron to melt the wax, it will cool too fast in a cold garage and won’t have enough time to soak into the skis. So, it’s better to choose a warmer place or fire up a space heater.


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