A white or “dry” base on your nordic ski is what occurs when the base turns white in the high-pressure areas after skiing, particularly in abrasive or cold conditions. Often you might see these white streaks near the edges of the ski and frequently in the tail where the ski bears a large proportion of the load. Some base materials are more prone to this phenomenon than others, and there is no immediate reason to believe that it is indicative of any damage.
Wax that has been absorbed into the base of your skis is gradually pulled out over time by the snow. This process is what provides lubrication while skiing, ensuring that your skis have maximum speed and maximum glide. Cold or particularly abrasive conditions will accelerate this process.
Since the act of skiing pulls wax out of the base, that means that your skis need to be maintained regularly. Unfortunately, there is no easy rule of thumb as to how often glide waxing will be required... at least not based on kilometers. Rather, a better rule of thumb is that when you are not able to bring a satisfactory shine back to the base with light brushing, it is probably time to rewax. It is important to note that under harsh conditions, this could happen very quickly. Perhaps after just one or two outings!
To improve the durability of your kick wax we suggest sanding your grip zone and applying base wax.
The first step is to lightly sand your kick zones. We suggest using 120 grit sandpaper. Run the sand paper lightly back and forth in the direction of the base, not across the base or in a herringbone pattern or other directions. You do not need to sand a lot – just enough to create some texture in the kick zone and increase the surface area to which the kick wax will adhere.
The next step is to apply a base wax. Base wax for regular kick wax generally comes in two forms:
When using the aerosol can form, spray evenly across the kick zone, lightly cork to spread, and allow to dry completely. When using the hardwax form, crayon into the kick zone, heat with an iron or heat gun to bond to the base, cork smooth, and allow to cool completely.
At its best, base wax will improve not only the durability of your kick but also the quality.