January 7, 2009
How to maintain the kick-zone on a waxless ski: A simple guide to cleaning, repairing, and waxing
Now what about the kick-zone on a waxless ski? Many articles have been written with the assumption that if you use waxless skis, then you probably are not a competitive enough skier to be concerned with drag caused by a scratched up, un-waxed kick-zone. As such, most articles avoid treatment of how to maintain the kick-zone.
But maintaining the kick-zone is the single most important factor to avoid picking up clumps in warm weather on a waxless ski. Here's a simple way to do it: First, remove the coarse edges from scratches and gouges by lightly spot sanding with a small piece of 150 or 200 grit sandpaper, but do so sparingly, and do not round over the gripping edges of the fishscales. Often, a scratch will leave a ribbon of plastic that is only half connected to the base. Carefully remove this loose plastic with a small putty knife if the sandpaper does not do the job. Follow up each spot with 400 grit sandpaper, and then move to minor scratches with the 400 grit. Never sand across the width of kick zone! Only sand back and forth along the length of the ski.