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Do it Yourself Race Wax Suggestions?
Should I follow the wax brand internet race wax suggestions or do my own?
We would always recommend that skiers learn how to make their own wax selections. If you learn what goes into a wax selection you can make a very good selection by yourself. If we teach you then you become a wax master for life. Most people can improve their ski's speed by focusing on their wax application (and a fresh ski base) and less in splitting hairs between a various wax options.
We will start simply this week for glide and then go in great detail in coming weeks.
Your end goal, in the most simple terms, is to get a glide wax that is slightly harder than the snow crystals you are skiing over. Too hard and you do not get enough lubrication and moisture management, too soft and you get too much snow crystal penetration and dry friction.
And while at the proper hardness you can most always select a High Flour and Pur Fluor top coat to speed up your skis they will do you the most good the wetter and/or dirtier the snow and the faster and/or farther you go.
To select a wax at the best hardness you will want to know Temperatures and Snow Age and Condition .
- Race time temps and overnight low. If it will be much colder (and clear sky) overnight than the air temp will be throughout the race then the snow will act colder than the race time temp. So look at the wax temp suggestions and if between two waxes select the colder wax. If you are in the shade or wind blown throughout the race the snow will also act colder than the air.
- If the snow is new (less then 24 hours) you can add a graphite underlayer to reduce static.
- If snow is very dirty or coarse/artificial you will want to use a Molybdenum wax (ie Start BM line). Moly acts as a dry lubricant to keep the dirt off. More Fluors help in dirt.
- The newer the snow,(and the less grooming) the sharper its crystals and the more exact you need to be with wax selection. New snow is less forgiving than old snow,
To select the necessary Fluor level you will want to know:
- Air humidity (and/or snow surface moisture) low, medium, or high:
- If relative humidity is low < 33% (you cannot make a snow ball and you did not need to scrape your car's windshield) Fluor is likely to add very little speed (unless the snow is dirty see below).
- If humidity is 33%< medium > 66% (you can make a snow ball with effort and it took you 1 minute to scrape your car's windshield) use a LF glider to manage medium moisture.
- If humidity is high > 66% (you want to have a snowball fight and you spent 10 minutes scraping your car's windshield) or snow is very dirty you want a HF glider (and Pur Fluor on top) to manage high moisture (and dirt).
- Dirt level.
- The dirtier the snow the more High and Pur Fluors help.
- Distance - the longer the race the more High and Pur Fluors help keep the skis clean and fast.
- Speed - the higher your average speed the more you want flours to manage the water layer that you develop at the higher speeds. A downhill race benefits from High and Pure Fluor than an uphill race.
If unsure: always wax colder, go for more flour, and brush more.
Always apply and iron in glide wax in a warm room and allow to cool down slowly and completely before you scrape and brush.
It is much easier to make a good to great wax selection every time if you use just on one wax brand. (SkiPost chooses Start Wax ) This way you can more simply select the temp, snow condition and moisture and then not have to interpolate between wax brands.
For added support from Start Wax you can
Stand Up Straighter?
In the past 2-3 weeks I've read blog entries from at least 2 American skiers ( Noah and Jessie) mentioning that they were working on "standing up straighter" in their classic technique (presumable while striding). Since these are world-cup level athletes, I'm assuming they weren't exactly skiing "wrong" before. Is this a new trend? If so, what is the underlying rationale?
Hi Tim - It's a fair assumption that World Cup level athletes don't ski "wrong". But no matter what starting point they have with technique, they're always working on skiing better. Since I coach Noah Hoffman on technique, I'll use him as an example with respect to "standing up straighter". He is pictured here.
Noah's classic technique is built on a series of technical "cues" - bite-sized mental images or concepts that he can apply to help him ski well. The cues work like building blocks - the most basic ones provide the foundation for good movements, and the later cues help to refine the specifics of the technique. In Noah's case "standing up" is a cue that helps him stand well on the gliding ski, helps him breath well by opening his rib cage, and helps take tension out of his lower back and his butt during striding. The words "stand up" mean something pretty specific to him, but that doesn't mean that the goal for Noah is to stand upright.
In this case, some videos might help illustrate what I'm talking about. The first clip is some footage that Noah shared on his blog from the US Ski Team coaches of his first classic race in Beitostolen this season. In this clip Noah is skiing quite badly - and it won't take a practiced eye to recognize that his position is causing a lot of tension, and preventing him from getting any glide. This is a problem that can be addressed in part by returning to some of the most basic cues that Noah has used to build his technique. In this case, the first order of business was to "stand up"!
The next clip is from a 15K time trial on roller skis that Noah did this Fall during a technique training block. In this video Noah is skiing pretty well. He surely isn't standing upright, but I think you can see that his rib cage is open, and he's standing on the gliding leg well - without a lot of tension in the supporting muscles.
Without getting into a dissertation on classic striding technique, I think it's safe to say that many skiers tend to bend too far at the waist when they get tired. While they may not get as tied-up as Noah in Beitostolen, it's never an optimal position. Bending too far forward can make it difficult to get good grip on the kick, and it can contribute to a lot of tension and pain in the lower back. In general, I like to see a skier start by standing well on the gliding leg, with a relatively upright posture and an open rib cage. As the speed comes up and the stride lengthens, the body position will move forward naturally (and be counter-balanced by the kicking leg extension). As long as the move is forward and not down, the result should be more like Noah's rollerski time trial, and less like his Beitostolen race.
Race Split apps.
Can you ask your readers on what they use for Android based Race Split apps?
email answers to email@example.com
I couple of weeks ago you featured an item to warm your breath. What was that again?
Those small white things you see sticking out of the mouths of Euro skiers during their warms up in really cold days are called a Lungplus Sport unit. These skiers use these to effectively warm up the lungs so they can breathe easily and perform significantly better when the air is cold. Lungplus works as a small humidity and heat exchanger device that converts cold incoming air into warmer more humid air. Lungplus helps when you have a cold, throat pain, dry cough, for asthma and more. In the US you can find it at lungplususa
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
CXC Matching Grant: Support Our Sport!
CXC Technique Clinic for Masters/Citizen Skiers
CXC CHALLENGE GRANT
Thanks to all of you we are half way through our fundraising campaign and with your support we have raised to date $21,341 towards our goal of $40,000! All of us at CXC are deeply appreciative.
In this note, I would like to share with you an update about our CXC Adaptive Program. The CXC Adaptive Program provides opportunities to participate in the sport and offer equipment to individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairment or blindness of all ages and abilities. Just last year CXC introduced over 300 individuals (children, adults and veterans) to Nordic skiing and provided over 700 hours in programming. There is a huge need, now.
Here's a really gratifying quote.
"Brenden has really enjoyed his first year of cross country skiing thanks to Dr. Nemeth, Yuriy, Duncan and all of the volunteers of CXC. CXC has helped Brenden to achieve a consistent fitness program, socialization and introduction to a sport that can be done throughout his lifetime.
CXC TECHNIQUE CAMP
This camp is designed for citizen skiers of all ages and abilities, focuses on technique, busts bad habits, and builds new skills. During the three days at the camp participants will work on ski specific strength, agility and balance in addition to on-snow technique training.
MT Borah Pro Suits
New Pro XC Race Suit designs, individually made-to-order
The Nordic season is here and full of holiday cheer. Mt. Borah is excited to release EIGHT new Pro XC Suit designs and matching XC Tassel Hats, available now, MTO (made-to-order) from mtborah.com.
Prompted by continued demand toward Mt. Borah's made-to-order model, the suits and hats are useful for both training and racing and serve as a great expansion to anyone's Nordic apparel wardrobe.
The suits are stitched in Mt. Borah's Pro XC suit pattern, a popular and proven choice for hundreds of schools, clubs and programs across the globe, plus matching XC Tassel hats for each suit design! They say the better you look, the faster you ski, right
Click here to view the new designs.
We are excited to announce that the sixth annual international
SkiTrax FIS Fantasy Tour de Ski 2013/14 Contest is now live for team registration for contestants worldwide with over $5,000 in prizes up for grabs. This year the Tour de Ski runs from Dec. 28 to Jan. 5 covering 9 days with the first event kicking off in Oberhof, Germany.
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)
Northeast Ski Trails
In the past couple of years I've built up a database of groomed ski trails in the Northeast. From high school 5ks to the largest touring centers at www.SkiTrailReport.com , I have a list of about 250 ski trails from Northern Maine to Ohio and West Virginia. It is also a forum for first-hand trail reports to be posted. Would you share it with your readership? It would be great to get the word out, especially with snow coming our way.
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.
Sign up by January 4 to Save $10 ... PLUS Get Your Long-Sleeved T-Shirt.
This year's participants will be the first ones to ski a Birkie event that starts and finishes at the brand new Birkie Ridge trailhead!
THE BIRKIE TOUR IS PERFECT FOR ...
A Birkie skier looking for a long, supported training day
A skier thinking about the Birkie event, but unsure about being ready
A skier who loves to ski, but is not interested in ski racing
Included in this write-up:
. A New Twist This Year!
. Great Snow and Grooming Conditions Already
. Event Goodies ... Over 150 Door Prizes ... Big Chili Feed!
West Yellowstone Nordic Events winter 2014
January 4 Free Ski Day
Rendezvous Trail fee waived and free ski lessons provided by WYSEF. Also Try Biathlon Day(!), sponsored by Altius Handcrafted Firearms. Hands on learning for this unique sport. Rifles and ammunition provided. Meet at the Biathlon Range anytime between 11am-2pm.
January 18 Spam Cup #2 2k, 7.5k,15k Freestyle Race 11am start
$10 registration fee (trail pass required and not included in race fee)
Day-Of registration Download Registration Form
January 19 Biathlon Cup #2 Pursuit Format
Challenge your new biathlon skills to a longer distance -- 7.5k, 10k, or 12.5k
Learn more and find the registration form here
February 15 Spam Cup #3
Location: TRAILHEAD BUILDING
Race Start: 10:00am
Last year, WYSEF decided to shake things up for the final Spam Cup of the season and it was a hit! Teams of up to 4 people will compete in a pursuit style relay with the first 2 legs skied Classic and the last 2 legs skied Freestyle and each leg is 5k in distance. If you're not a team player, enter in the 20k individual category. Start, finish, and relay points will be at the trailhead area for optimal viewing and cheering.
Awards (one-of-a-kind cans of Spam) will be given for the following first place finishers:
Mixed Mens/Womens Team, All Mens Team, All Womens Team, 1st & 2nd Male and Female Individual Finishers
and...SPIRIT Awards (to be determined by our faithful volunteers and race organizers.
February 15 Taste of the Trails
Ski or snowshoe around a short course and delight in a progressive meal with friends and family. Click here for more information
February 16 Biathlon Cup #3 Mass Start Format
7.5k, 12.5k, or 15k Mass start to round out your biathlon season at the Rendezvous Ski Trails!
Click here for the registration form and to find more information
March 8 Yellowstone Rendezvous Race
Participate or volunteer in West Yellowstone's only marathon ski event.www.rendezvousrace.com
March 9 Youth Ski Festival
Have fun on skis with your kids! Bring the camera for tons of fun!! Click here for more info.
March 22 & 23 Equinox Snow Challenge.
How far can you go? Celebrate "Spring" with a 24-hour event. Relay teams and soloists welcome in the 6 Hr, 12 Hr, and 24 Hr divisions.www.equinoxskichallenge.com
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