With that said, some folks just don’t want to deal with grip wax if they don’t have to, and the good news is that you don’t have to. Waxless skis have a ridged or fish-scale pattern under the mid-section of the ski where grip wax would otherwise be applied. The ridges engage with snow crystals in a similar way that grip wax does and provides traction as you push off to move forward. Waxless skis require no prep, except for seasonal or periodic glide waxing.
So what’s best for you? Well there’s no definitive answer but we’ll offer some guidelines: If you just don’t want to deal with grip wax (e.g. if you want to ski NOW, not 10 minutes from now) then obviously waxless is the way to go. If you’re going on long back country ski trips and don’t want to worry about re-applying grip wax trailside as your wax layers wear off then waxless is also a good choice. Waxless skis also perform well in temps near freezing, where it’s harder to get grip from conventional grip wax. Ski temps in Manitoba are usually well below freezing but it’s occasionally nice and warm and waxless skis are great for a warm, sunny, toqueless outing.
Waxless skis also sometimes offer an advantage when you’re skiing in between tree-covered and exposed areas where the snow temperature fluctuates greatly. In such situations dialing in the perfect grip wax application is difficult whereas waxless skis may perform more consistently. Some competitive skiers have actually used waxless skis in such situations and performed very well against their more traditional, grip-waxed competition.
On the other hand conventional grip waxed skis usually offer the best opportunity to tune your skis to work optimally in whatever your current conditions might be. Generally speaking grip wax hooks up with the snow better than a waxless ski, and using a wax that’s specifically rated for current snow conditions provides a more consistent feel thru whatever the conditions are no matter how they change from day to day (because you’re changing the wax from day to day to suit the conditions). Put simply, grip waxed skis are a bit more work but are usually a bit faster. In other words it is to some extent a matter of performance vs. convenience, though in our opinion neither peform poorly and neither are inconvenient.
For whatever reason(s) most of our customers are in the market for conventional grip wax skis, so that’s what we stock the most of, and of course we have plenty of grip wax in stock to suit any condition. We do stock some waxless skis too, and if we don’t have exactly what you’re after in stock we’re happy to order anything in for you from either Salomon or Fischer. Bindings of your choice can be mated to either waxed or waxless skis.
So, did our explanation help? If you have more questions feel free to pop by the shop anytime and we’ll address your specific needs and get you on your way. If you’re already good to go then see you on the trails!