Ask us, We Answer
Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question?
Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hear and see more about people applying a hard kick wax over a klister base.
1.) In what sort of conditions is this generally an effective strategy? (artificial snow?)
Klisters are used for grip wax when the track is extremely icy, coarse or wet. Klisters are stickier than hard waxes. They are also more durable, adhering to the ski for a longer period of time in abrasive and icy conditions. In coarse, artificial, icy, or wet snow conditions the grip properties of klisters are often better than hard waxes. Thus, in these conditions they are generally a better choice than hard waxes.
But, klisters are much softer than hard waxes so loose snow or dirt can stick easily and excessively to klister. So if you have new snow, over icy, coarse, artificial or very wet tracks a hardwax cover to release the soft snow at the end of the kick and prevent icing is often used.
Artificial snow has its own properties, it is coarse, granular and dirty and holds allot of moisture. Its acts like transformed snow almost immediately and often turns into small ball-bearing like chunks of ice mixed with finer pieces of snow. In these conditions hard wax binder covered with hard wax is going to wear off quickly do to ice, and klister by itself has a tendency to ice up due to the finer snowmixed in. Klister covered is going to allow your kick to last the distance while the hardwax cover will stop icing.
If the track is dirty, it is necessary to apply a layer of either hard wax or a specialty finishing wax product with Molybdenum to resist dirt and debris accumulating in the grip zone.
2.) What are the mechanics of how it works, or does not work? (It seems somewhat counter-intuitive.)
Klister covered is like a cushion. The soft underlayers bend to match the track surface for great kick and the thin harder cover allows the new or sharp snow crystals to release so you get glide and not icing nor dirt pick up.
But for these difficult multi-conditions Start has a very special wax. Start Racing Oslo. It is 2 parts hard wax one part klister containing: molybdenum for dirt, fluor for dirt and water, klister to stay in place, and pine tar to prevent icing. It was made of Norway where they start down low in wet and salty conditions near the Fjords and then clime to higher elevations with newer fine snow. We recommend using this wax over the top of a thin klister binder. If the track is more icy use Start blue klister. If it is more granular then go with Start Violet. Start Oslo kicker come in three temp ranges:
|Oslo Racing; 2 parts Hardwax 1 part Klister|
We have also found that Oslo often provides better kick as well as superior glide when compared to klister by itself. In real snow where the tracks have gone through a freeze/thaw cycle and new snow has begun to fall you are going to find a similar situation where turning to Start Oslo kick covering klister would be recommended.
3.) What is the best technique for doing it?
The klister is effectively a binder so it should be put on relatively thin to prevent the ski from dragging. Iron the klister in and allow to cool and harden. After the wax has hardened you want to cover it with your hard wax. Start's Oslo line is very sticky and thus applying in the normal crayon method is going to give you a messy and slow kick wax job.
At Start we recommend using the Twist method with Oslo or any other sticky hardwaxes. Touch the hard wax to the ski with little pressure and give it a quick twist. Do this down your kick zone placing a thin layer and then cork it out. You may have to use more layers but you are going to: a) Get a race wax kick job with no gobbing in your kick zone and b) You won't waste all sorts of wax by having it gum over the kick tin. Remember twist method and thin layers, thin to win!
Start Product Manager
Get your Start weekend's race wax recs at the Start America Blog
read the Start Wax Crib Notes here
Cold Weather Tablet?
I am looking at tablets and want a tablet that will work well in the cold with Coaches Eye (Android) and a custom timing package I have. So while the rest of the world argues HD vs other and selfy ready cameras, in your experience is there any tablet that continues to work well in the cold of race day mornings and all the other times we find ourselves out there? What about rain? Best to plan on conductive gloves, or a touch friendly cover? P N
We have been using the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T for just under a year with good results. It is a Windows 8.0/8.1 tablet, but suspect the Samsung Android version will perform similarly. We have used the Samsung tablet in -4 F degree temperatures without incident, other than the frost buildup when the tablet was brought indoors. In really cold temperatures we used a large hand warmer stuck to the back of the tablet cover. We found that the conductive gloves helped keep hands warm(er), but the key to accurate data collection was using a stylus - the Samsung tablet has a really nice in-built stylus. The tablet is in a folding simulated leather case (Poetic Slimbook) with a translucent screen protector (Skinomi) on the tablet.
One of the advantages of the Windows platform for us is that we can edit the start list with Excel, save that file, then import it into the timing software (http://timestamper.webplus.net/).
LifeProof makes a wonderful cover that is waterproof and not bulky for the iPad and several other tablets (also for the iPhone & iPod Touch). Works great with tech gloves or your fingertip! My iPod Touch has gone out in cold weather but it is small enough to keep warm by tucking it under layers of clothing.
Coach Yuriy told us that none of the tablets work well. He puts a foot warmer between the cover and his iPad.
Wearing a Hat and Buff?
Would you please respond to the issue of wearing hats to help maintain core temp and thus not jeopardize performance. Our middle school & high school girls are into looking good with brightly colored headbands that leave much of their hair & head exposed to the elements. Today at the JNQ Sprint races in Wausau we had pouring rain (it could have just as likely been heavy wet snow) coming down that was totally saturating their head/hair as well as their race suits. While coaches are concerned with the wax on their athlete's skis, it does not seem like they are as concerned with lessened performance due to inappropriate dress. I am not talking about sunny 30+ race days. I was always taught that if core temp was maintained or even increased - the extremities (legs/arms and the muscles in those legs and arms) would perform at a higher level than if the body was chilled and the blood was being shunted to the core. Is this old school thinking? I believe if an expert responds to this, I have a better chance of being listened to when I tell them to put a hat on!
Yes, the human body performs best when its core temp remains around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). Too cold (or too hot) and performance quickly drops. We lose heat through conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation. We constantly release heat in the form of radiation. Conduction occurs when our bodies give away heat to that other object that we are in contact with that has a lower temp, like snow or air particles. Convection occurs when we transfer het to air particle through motion i.e. "wind chill" Finally, when as we sweat, ( or get wet) we transfer heat through evaporation, as water on our skin transforms into a gas. Since our bodies naturally give away heat to colder, active particles, air particles in wind, and water particles (snow and rain) can accelerate that effect.
To combat rapid cooling, we shiver to generating heat by exciting our muscles. In the cold many parts of the body blood vessels in our skin tissue constrict, or tighten up to keep blood away from the cold outer layer of the body and helps circulate warmer blood to our core areas. But this tightening is not good for peak performance and racing.
Why a hat? Because areas around the head, neck, chest and groin don't constrict as effectively as the smaller ones near the skin and thus more even more susceptible to heat loss. Furthermore water is denser than air, so it absorbs more heat (up to 32 times more) than air. So when you are skiing in rain or snow you can get hypothermia quicker if the rain or snow is falling on your uncovered head and neck.
That's why Nordic racing attire includes a hat and often neck gaiter.
When your core temperature down to 95 degrees or below it is called hypothermia. When your re-warming reactions are not enough to overcome the cooling process, hypothermia can set in and skiing performance will decrease quickly. Mild Hypothermia includes shivering, goose bumps, difficulty with complex motor skills Moderate Hypothermia includes violent shivering, sluggish, speech problems, difficulty with fine motor skills. Severe Hypothermia includes rigid muscles, dazed, shivering has stopped, blue skin, erratic heart beat.
So dress properly, starting with your first layers and finishing with a hat and neck gator to race better.
Andy at SkiPost
US Women Shine
US Womens 4 * 5km relay team of Kikkan Randall, Sadie Bjornsen, Liz Stephens and Jessie Diggins
placed 3rd in the World Cup relay in Lillihammer Norway last Sunday. This matches the US Team's best ever performance from 1 year ago and shows that they are a ready to fight for the medals in Sochi.
Watch highlights Here
|Team USA - Lillehammer 4x5km 2013|
By Megan Spurkland, PSIA National Nordic Team
"An Amazing Video Analysis App!"
I am so excited to share this! I have to give the credit to my husband, Jan, who discovered an app for our iPad (there is also an Android version) called Coach's Eye. I have never had such an amazing and easy time doing video analysis, and I think you will find it ridiculously easy, fast, affordable and well-received by your athletes. It is an app by TechSmith, and costs a whopping $4.99. Here's how it works:
First: You take video footage with your iPad. You can take separate clips of skiers or put them all in one segment.
Second: You go home, click on the video you want to watch and hit "Analyze." At the bottom this little reel will appear and you can drag your finger back and forth on it and watch the skier in slow motion. You will see a toolbar on the left that allows you to make circles, arrows and draw lines. You can split screen and add a second video alongside, link them together and make them ski in simultaneous slow motion. I promise that if I think this is easy, you will, too! You can play around with the video, deciding what your movement analysis (M.A.) for that particular skier is, and plan out how you want to present it to them.
Third: When you are ready to present a finalized M.A., you click on a red button on the top of the screen and it starts recording whatever it is that you do. It is also recording your voice!! So, you take the skier step by step through their movements, circling pole tips, boots or highlighting torso angles while you do it, talking to them specifically. It has a little corner tab called "Clear," so after you draw a few angles you can hit "clear" and then slow-mo the skier to the next position. Remember that you can be recording the split screen with two skiers, also! When you are done, hit the red button again.
Fourth: When you want to share it with your skier, you hit the little button that says "Share." It will take a few moments preparing the video to share, and then it will give you an option to share it in a variety of formats. We have had the most success with Facebook. If your athlete prefers privacy, you can share it to your own timeline and select "only me" as the audience. When it appears on your timeline, you can share it to them as a Facebook message, directly onto their timeline, or copy and paste the link into an email. The only trouble we have had so far is that we can't get it to directly email from the app to the athlete's email, even though it says that is a possibility. Remind them to keep their volume up.
This is the COOLEST and easiest way I have ever been able to present movement analysis. It takes minutes instead of hours. I hope you can use this tidbit; it has already changed my winter!
CXC Matching Grant: Support Our Sport!
CXC Technique Clinic for Masters/Citizen Skiers
Jessie Diggins Team Storefront Open to all at Podiumwear
Save 30% off SkiTrax - SkiPost Special Offer
SkiTrax Magazine is the #1 Nordic ski publication in North America and the official magazine of Cross Country Canada and the United States Ski and Snowboard Association. Read columns by the sport's top stars * Kikkan Randall * Andy Newell * Devon Kershaw * Chandra Crawford * Charlotte Kalla * Oystein Pettersen.
SkiTrax keeps you up to date on all the latest Nordic news, Road to Sochi 2014 updates, ski gear, adventure and recreational skiing, including race reports from across Canada, the USA, and around the world.
Visit www.skitrax.com for the latest news, FIS Fantasy Contests, Kikkan Randall's Daily Training Rap and much more.... DON'T MISS an ISSUE - take advantage of SkiPost's special discount and subscribe today...www.skitrax.com/skipost
Nordic Ski Vacation to Seefeld, Austria
Feb. 26 - March 5, 2014
Get a FREE tour when you sign up 4 friends before Jan. 3, 2014
Value $2300 for tour ( plus airfare)
Carter Active Tours
Seefeld is a quaint town in the Tyrol, the Austrian Alps with picturesque mountain views and lovely village scenes. The cross-country skiing is endless, from hamlet to hamlet, always a place to rest and enjoy a local beverage or strudel. The hotel is in a quiet location only a 3-5 minute walk away from the pedestrian zone in the centre of Seefeld, and the Olympic Village. The Geigenbühel Ski Area is a 5-minute walk away.
Come up to Galena Lodge on Saturday December 14th to try out this winters Nordic Skis, boots and poles. Is is also ski free day and free learn to ski day 10am to 3pm.
Free learn to ski day is designed for beginners and never-evers to get out on Nordic skis, have a short lesson and give Nordic skiing a try all for free! Your gear, your lesson and your pass are all free this day!
Nordic Lesson will be offered from 10am to 2pm on the hour. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to get your gear and pass (don't forget, it's all FREE)
2014 Equinox Ski Challenge
24 hour Equinox Ski Challenge March 22nd and 23rd at the Rendezvous Ski Trails in West Yellowstone, MT! Check out the website at www.equinoxsnowchallenge.com for full details
Lone Mountain Ranch
Big Sky, MT
Winter Trails Day- Saturday, January 11, 2014 10am-3pm
Winter Trails Day offers children and adults new to snow sports the chance to try snowshoeing and cross country skiing for free, and to discover the great fitness and social benefits with these easy-to-learn winter sports.Cost: Free ski pass, $5/ rentals, $5/ lessons, $10/ lunch. Contact: 406.995.4644 for more information.
Steamboat Nordic Camp - Registration Open
Women's Ski Weekend
New This Season *Women's Classic Getaway*
February 7 & 8, 2014 (Friday & Saturday)
2 classical ski lessons; 1 guided night classical ski tour; 2 yoga sessions; 1-30 minute massage; 1 night stay at the Izaak Walton Inn
All the information, including a flyer, instructor bios and detailed itinerary can be found at
Nordic Job Openings
Cross-Country skiing's community lodge. Where knowledge and stories are shared. The goal of SkiPost is to make the sport of Cross-Country skiing easier and more enjoyable for all who choose to participate. If you have questions on Cross-Country Skiing email us weanswer@SkiPost.com and visit SkiPost.com