The first step is to make sure your damaged ski is at room temperature. Base material expands as it gets warmer, so if the ski is too cold when the repair is done, the new P-Tex can easily pop out when the base warms to room temp. It will also cause the dripped P-Tex to undergo a larger temperature swing, which is detrimental to its physical and chemical properties (more on this in the next section) and will further increase the chances the repair will fail.
Clean the Wound
Core shots can often be fouled with dirt, gravel, and bits of rock from the impact that caused the damage. It is important to get all the crap that isn’t P-Tex or core material out the gouge, including along the edges. You want the P-Tex to be able to fill the entire gouge without any air pockets, so it is also important to clean up and remove any small crevices, gaps, and loose shreds/flaps of base material from the edges of the gouge. I use my razor blade scraper to clean out the damaged area, taking care not to enlarge the effected area. A retired, stiff toothbrush is also useful for clearing dirt and grime from the gouge.
If you have base cleaner, use it now. Follow the steps on the package and allow the ski to dry completely.
It also helps to mark the areas of the ski you intend to fill. It can be difficult to see them when you’re bent over the ski holding a P-Tex candle, and it’s a pain to be constantly relighting your P-Tex, so I generally place something that I can easily see near the gouge. Pieces of scraped off wax, rubber bands, or some strips of masking tape work well.
After your ski is warm, clean, and dry, you’re ready to light the P-Tex.
NEXT: FIRE IT UP