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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rain-X For Ski Topsheets



Rain-X keeps snow off your topsheets


Snow build-up on your topsheets is a fact of backcountry skiing, and spring is probably the worst season for snow build-up on your topsheets. Warmer temperatures mean heavier snow. Heavier snow on your topsheets means you are dragging more weight up the hill than you need to.  K2 tried to address the issue wth p-tex topsheet material on their backcountry skis, and it helps reduce build-up, but even the p-tex topsheets benefit from some sort of additional coating to help shed snow.


I have tried a variety of things over the years to reduce snow build-up on my topsheets while ski touring. On the advice of a buddy, I recently began using a product called Rain-X. It is one of the best and least expensive options I have tried. It was developed for car windshields and works great at making rain bead up and disperse on your car windshield. Well, it turns out that it does a pretty damn good job of keeping snow off your topsheets while ski touring, too.


Every topsheet material is a little different, but Rain-X is super easy to apply. Just squirt a small amount on your topsheets and rub it around with a cloth or paper towel. It does not take too much, but you have to apply it every day or two to maintain its effectiveness. Longevity of its effectiveness is dependent on your topsheet material and the snow conditions. I recommend applying it in the morning before you head out the door.


You can find Rain-X at auto parts stores, gas stations and even some grocery stores. The 4-ounce bottle pictured runs around $4 and will last quite a while.




1. steve said...

sounds worth a try. big skis offer a lot of area for snow to build up on. it really adds up in weight. I have tried F4 rub on wax, but it does not work that great.

2. dave said...

I have found that the rub on waxes like F4 tend to leave a film or residue on the ski and do not really eliminate the snow build-up issue. The Rain-X leaves no visible film on the topsheet at all.

3. another steve said...

sounds great and cheap ! how would it work as a de-icer on the pattern base of x-c skiis ?

4. dave said...

i have never tried it on the base, but my guess is that it would not last long. i am always weary of putting unknown chemistry on my bases. i would not recommend it.

5. Paul said...

Is there any chance of damage to the ski? I thought about this but was a little weary after reading the warning label.

6. dave said...

Reading warning labels? That is like reading directions; I didn't think anyone did that anymore.

Seriously, I have not had any issues with damage, and I have applied it to wide variety of top sheets.

I think the warning is just about the denatured alcohol content. Even base cleaners use alcohol, so I think it is fine. It has not altered any top sheet that I have applied it to.

You can always test a spot on the corner of a tail or such. Let me know if you have any issues.

7. Luce said...

I have used rain-x on my skis a few times over the years, and had no idea that any one else was using it. I found that polishing the top of the ski with a plastic polishing compound helps a lot and makes the rain ex last longer. I bet there is a hydrophobic material our there just waiting to be discovered.

8. Chris said...

Armor-All works FANTASTIC for this same problem. Never tried Rainx but it might be a cheaper option

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