How to Repair Cross Country Skis
If you love the vigorous sport of cross country skiing, sooner or later you will notice holes or gouges in your cross country skis. When you hit a rock—and you will—your skis will show damage and require repair. It’s important undertake this repair in a place with a concrete or dirt floor, rather than over a good wooden floor as the P-Tex can damage floors if it drips.
Step 1 - Set Up
Begin by bringing the ski inside the house or building, and make sure the heat in the building is on. Place the ski, bottom side up, across two saw horses (you can also place it over a pair of chairs, although you should cover the chairs in newspapers first. Leave the damaged cross country skis to warm up to room temperature.
Step 2 - Cleaning
Once the cross country skis have warmed up, look at the holes and gouges. The first thing to do is to remove any debris—this will usually be tiny pieces of rock and stone. If the edges of the gouges are rough and splintered, use the knife to remove all of the splintered wood. Keep going until the edges and insides of the gouges and holes are smooth.
Step 3 - P-Tex
Light the P-Tex candle. This is a special type of candle whose wax will sit firmly in the gouge. It’s an item that most ski equipment shops should carry. Don’t use normal candles for this job. Once the candle is fully alight it will begin to drip wax. Very carefully, drip the wax into the hole or gouge.
If you drip wax on other part of the skis, don’t worry, you can easily remove it later. In places where the holes seem especially deep you can hold the candle right against the skis to fill the holes with wax. You need to keep filling the area with wax until the wax level is higher than the material of the skis.
Step 4 - Finishing
Allow the wax to dry so you can comfortably touch it. At this point you’re ready to level the P-Tex wax with the surface of the cross country skis. To do this you’ll need to a metal ski scraper, which is a specialized tool available at outdoor stores. Run the scraper along the surface of the ski. Go slowly, pulling the scraper toward you and only taking off a little at a time. It’s important not to rush this stage of the cross country ski repair.
It’s easier to pull the scraper at an angle across the ski at first. To finish, reverse what you’d been doing and push the scrapper across the bias of the ski. After you have the repair level with the rest of the ski, scrape off any wax that might have dripped elsewhere on the surface. Leave the ski for a few hours and then inspect again. You might need to wax the cross country skis before using them again.