Ski wax can be the difference between a great day on the slopes and a struggle with conditions that reduce the performance of even the best equipment. Ease of use and variety of formula allow skiers to apply the right mix to quickly get on the slopes and down them.

The History: From Pitch to Slip

Prior to the mid-20th century, pine pitch was the ski sealer of choice since ancient times. After 1950, the industrial/technological boom brought petrochemical waxes to the forefront, beginning with paraffin, and moving into microcrystalline waxes. Innovation continues now with synthetic waxes that offer a broad palette of options. Ski wax has moved from the simplicity of keeping the ski bases from wearing away to trimming milliseconds from run times to win medals, and the waxes that feature in those formulas are reliant on the proficiency of the experts who blend them.

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Modern ski waxes are technical systems in which different combinations of waxes are used to generate the varying hardness and stick required for all possible snow conditions. Koster Keunen offers a strong stable of waxes and wax chemistry expertise to help develop ski waxes to suit your customers’ performance demands.

Ski Wax That Works Using New-traditional Ingredients

Whether you are looking at making a whole line of finely tuned waxes or a more “universal,” rub-on wax, you will be wanting a range of wax options to make your ski wax perform. Koster Keunen offers multiple lines of synthetic and petrochemical waxes that create the base formula, while bringing the consistent quality to allow your chemists to create your products’ signature effectiveness.

Koster Keunen offers our Koster Keunen Ski Wax Blend Wax #142 as an example of a rub-on wax that combines technical skill with ease of production. This ski wax is a complete product, designed for production efficiency.  Melt and pour into molds, add color and fragrance as desired. 

Ski Wax Formula

Formula#:  7/21-142-4

Ingredient Trade Name %
Phase A  
Koster Keunen Ski Wax 98.9
SynCrystal Jade 0.1
Fragrance 1.0

Synthetic Wax Options

Wax Name Benefits Melt Point Structurant / Plasticizer Film Former
Paraffin Wax Cost effective; stick hardener Wide range + penetration range Structurant checkmark
SynKos Family of Waxes Cost effective; stick hardener Wide range + penetration range Structurant checkmark
Microcrystalline Wax Cost effective; improves malleability, penetration Wide range + penetration range Plasticizer checkmark

Moving into a New Era of Ski Waxes with Sustainable Waxes

Natural waxes have been making a strong return to the slopes over the last decade. This has come from increased awareness of outdoor sports enthusiasts and professionals that their sports have an impact on the environment. Choosing products made from sustainable and natural ingredients is one way consumers have been expressing a desire to reduce their petrochemical footprint.

Koster Keunen offers the following sample formula for an effective, easy to apply natural ski wax with a formula that features Candelilla wax and White Beeswax.

Natural Ski Wax Formula*

Formula#:  7/21-419/329-8

Ingredient Trade Name %
Phase A  
Candelilla Wax NF 70.0
White Beeswax 17.5
Vegelight 1214LC 12.5

*This formula has not been tested outside of the lab.

In nature, waxes are produced to meet an extraordinary variety of needs. As a result, the chemical signatures of those waxes, and their associated functions, create wide latitude for applications. Koster Keunen offers a range of natural waxes for primary structural use, and a slate of natural waxes that complement the structurants, giving your chemists plentiful options.

Natural Primary Structuring Waxes

Wax Name Benefits Melt Point Structurant / Plasticizer Film Former
Sunflower Wax All-natural wax for structure High Structurant checkmark
Rice Bran Wax All-natural wax for structure High Structurant checkmark
Candelilla Wax All-natural wax for structure High Structurant checkmark

Natural Waxes That Provide Secondary Attributes

Wax Name Benefits Melt Point Structurant / Plasticizer Film Former
Castor Wax All natural wax; adds hardness High Structurant checkmark
Beeswax All natural structurant; adds some plasticity and creaminess   Structurant checkmark
Soy Wax All natural; adds hardness   Structurant checkmark
Vegetable Wax All natural; some structure; adds creaminess and slip   Mild Structurant checkmark
Orange Wax All natural; adds creaminess and some slip     checkmark

Note: Caution should be used when using natural waxes in ski wax. Due to the polar nature of natural waxes, they can interact with snow differently at different conditions.

Although we were unable to test these formulas in a real-world scenario, in the lab we were able to show that both the standard ski wax and the natural ski wax had similar water repellent properties and slip that would mimic simple friction of ski to snow. In our lab tests, the natural formula performed similarly to the standard formula.

Ski waxes function as lubricants to help skis glide, stop snow from sticking, and act as a sealant on skis and snowboards. The hardness and glide of a ski wax varies to suit different snows and temperature conditions. If you have questions about formulations or wax recommendations, feel free to contact us.

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About Koster Keunen

Koster Keunen has been working with wax since 1852 and has used our extensive experience and knowledge base to continuously develop new chemistries. Whether you are developing a new product, or need help with a reformulation or replacement, contact us to learn more about how we source, refine or develop waxes so you can create the perfect formula.