How to Improve Your Ski Glide
When the goal is to get skis to glide faster, wax is often the focus and ski selection and structure are overlooked. Waxing is the easiest way to change the condition a given ski will function but is in fact the last and least effective solution. Changing the wax will only make a small difference in the function of your skis.
When taking glide into consideration the following guide should be followed.
Ski selection (flex) refers specifically to what condition the skis are designed to function best in. This is important to understand because, regardless of structure or wax, your skis were designed to perform best in ether general all-around conditions or they were designed to perform in specific conditions, limiting their performance in others. These limitations are due to the pressure distribution of the ski when it flexes, specifically the length of the high and low-pressure areas of a given ski.
Soft Track - pressure distribution is set back further from the tip of the ski allowing the tip of the ski to float up and over soft snow
Hard Track - pressure distribution is set closer to the tip, driving the tip into the snow giving you better control
Warm - shorter higher pressure areas vs Cold - longer lower pressure area
Wax is the easy part of the whole glide solution because it can be changed from day to day based on conditions and can even give marginal improvements to incorrect ski or structure selection. It is important to keep your ski base clean and stone grind your race skis at least once per year to avoid throwing good money after bad, as you will not get the performance out of expensive wax if your ski base is not able to accept the wax.
Remember the order of importance:
Ski selection - Structure - Wax
Keep these factors in mind and your skis will be gliding quickly in no time.