Review: Toko Nordic Wax Bench

The wrong wax ruins a day of skate skiing before it even begins; but at $25 a pop ’round town, consistent waxings really add up. For avid recreational skiers, an at-home setup from Toko makes daily touchups easy and saves you a pile of money. The first thing you’ll need is a Nordic Ski Vise ($130) to secure your skis in place. This three-piece kit uses screw-on clamps that mount to any workbench or table. A center pin locks onto the ski’s binding, while the outer two “wings” provide support for all the scraping and brushing you’ll have to do.

Once the ski is locked in place, next comes the hot wax. Toko’s Base Performance Wax Kit has a selection of blue, red, and yellow waxes. Which you select depends on snow temperature, but here in Bozeman, most skiers swear that you’ll never need anything but blue. Drip the wax on with a T8 Wax Iron ($88), using the precise temperature controls from 212 to 320 degrees to melt the wax into the base of the ski. A couple passes should do it—careful not to overheat the ski. Then, using the scraper and nylon brush (also included in the Wax Kit), give the ski a good brushing. A single pass with the scraper and a few hard brushings is all it takes to purge any excess wax from the base of the ski.

A hot waxing will last maybe two to three short ski outings (or one long one), but to extend the life of your efforts, spray on Base Performance Liquid Paraffin Wax ($28) is about as good as it gets. Either immediately after your hot-wax job, or at the trailhead before a ski day, spray the wax on the ski base then immediately brush it off with a Polishing Brush ($26). For the Bozeman town trails, my go-to is a blue base wax with a red spray-on paraffin wax. If it’s really cold I’ll use a blue spray, but typically the red-blue combo keeps my skis slick in most conditions.

There’s a reason dozens of local world-cup-caliber skiers use Toko waxes: they work, and damn well. Us recreational skiers would be wise to learn a thing or two from them. This winter, consider setting up a Toko wax bench to make the most of this Nordic wonderland we call home.

All products available at

Crosscut Mountain Sports Center Bozeman Montana Nordic Ski