How to repair your ski bases | An easy guide

Freshly waxed skis

Fall-Line’s Ski Doctor explains what to do about those scratches and gouges that inevitably appear in the bases of your skis

Words by Andy Taylor from Anything Technical. He recommends Holmenkol wax for ultimate performance.

© Holmenkol
© Holmenkol

When skis are new the bases are in pristine condition. Perfectly flat, structured, smooth and waxed. Once we take the skis on the hill the condition of the bases changes slowly over a period of time. Firstly the wax will start to wear down, then inevitably you will start to see small scratches and eventually gouges appear on your bases. These have a detrimental effect on gliding as they create friction which in turn slows you down.

Deeper gouges need to be filled to enable the skis to run true once more. Polyethelene materials are used to fill the gouges and they are available in several different forms.

To ensure you get the correct results when you are repairing gouges there are several steps you need to follow to achieve a strong bond with the base material.

  • Ensure the base is clean and free of wax. Use wax remover if not
  • Slightly enlarge the gouges with a chisel to ensure you are bonding to a clean surface
  • Better results will be achieved if the skis are at room temperature
  • Apply the filling materials using the correct method and temperature
  • Let the filling material cool down before removing any material proud of the surface with the correct tools
  • To fill the gouges we can use several different products. These vary from temporary softer materials to harder more durable materials.

REPAIR CANDLES. These need to be lit with a lighter and dripped into the gouge.
Once the material has cooled remove excess with a metal scraper. Temporary repair

POLYETHELENE REPAIR STRIPS are harder and need to be melted with an iron
or a heat source that will melt and then push the material into the gouge.

POLYETHELENE RODS give a more permanent repair and can be applied using a
small repair gun.

  • Excess polyethelene material can be removed using a coarse file

For Andy’s articles on other aspects of ski servicing, click the links below:

To learn more about servicing your own skis, take a look at Andy’s how to guide with easy to follow videos and a full run down of all the kit you need.

The founder of the Cumbria ski shop and servicing specialists Anything Technical, Andy Taylor has worked in the ski trade for 30 years and knows a thing or two about servicing skis.