Volume 15 Issue 45: March 6, 2014
We answer your skiing questions email us 
Subscribe Here                    Old Issues Archived Here
Ask us, We Answer

Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question? Just email us at 

The Heart of Trained Athletes

Cardiac Remodeling and the Risks of Sports, 

Including Sudden Death


A few people found the article linked last week regarding skier's hearts misleading and wish to state that "Correlation is NOT cause-and-effect" . It was suggested those interested in the Heart discussion read the in-depth discussion on "The Heart of Trained Athletes" article linked here.


excerpt below "...Over the last several years, sudden deaths of trained athletes, usually associated with exercise, have become highly visible events fueled by news media reports and with substantial impact on both the physician and lay communities.Interest in these tragic events has accelerated owing to their increased recognition; awareness that underlying, clinically identifiable cardiovascular diseases are often responsible; and the availability of treatments to prevent sudden death for high-risk athlete-patients. In the present review, we offer a comprehensive assessment of many issues that target the interrelation of intense physical exertion with cardiac structure and function, as well as the rare, potentially adverse consequences of sports. ....." Read the complete article here . 

Kick Wax Durability

Hi Andy;


The last 3 citizen's races I've done here in New England have been on very old abrasive snow which had probably been run through the pisten bully countless times.   So, each time by about 10-12 kilometers into the race my kick wax was pretty much gone.  When I looked at the skis afterwards there was just alittle of the VG35 basebinder left.  Any ideas on how to deal with this problem? 


First, let me eliminate a few variables.  The skis were thoroughly prepped beforehand in a controlled environment.  The kick zone was thoroughly cleaned, lightly sanded, and cleaned again.  Then the VG35 basebinder was ironed in.  Next I applied 5 layers of blue kick wax - thoroughly corking in each layer.  The skis were perfect at the start - and more or less useless at the finish.   I wonder if klister would be a more effective basebinder? Any suggestions? Keep up the good work;



Hi RV,

You came to the right place these difficult conditions are a specialty for Start wax. Abrasive conditions can be tricky because you are in between when hard wax provides optimal kick and glide but is not as durable as klister that may be too draggy.

First thing first it is important to remember that not all binders are created equal. Everyone has a binder that can be effective in new snow when snow is not abrasive however it is less common to find one that works in abrasive snow short of using klister binder.

Start offers two binders for different conditions. Base Wax for regular snow and Base Wax Extra for abrasive conditions. Base Wax Extra has blue klister added to it which increase it's durability. Vauhti also makes a similar wax for these type of conditions. We recommend Base Wax Extra over klister for it's superior glide properties.

Second you need a more durable kick wax than your typical synthetic or synthetic fluor waxes. These kickers are going to be stripped from the ski too quickly and leave you with nothing but binder. We have two waxes for these conditions. Oslo Racing Kick and RF Kick wax. Oslo is a wax for variable conditions where you may be skiing in a mix of old, new, or icy conditions. We have been finding that Oslo wax often outperforms ours and other waxes in a multitude of conditions because of it's versatility. Oslo is 1 part klister and 2 parts hard wax. This can be scary to some that think it may be draggy but skiing is believing and if you haven't tried this wax yet you need to.

For granular conditions when artificial snow has lost moisture and has become small chunks of ice we recommend RF kick wax over a klister binder. RF kick has thermoplastic properties that allow it to be very sticky and elastic on the under layers and hard on the outside providing superior glide and grip. For klister selection we recommend using a thin klister binder that coincides with the RF color kick. For RF blue use blue klister, for red and violet RF use violet klister.

I hope this answers your questions and keep the kick where it belongs on your skis.

Evan Pengelly

Product Manager Start America

Its Raining its Snowing

Its been raining and snowing this week. I am racing the Rendezvous classic Saturday. Anything that works when it is both raining and snowing and ice?

If it is raining and snowing you should have harries or Zero skis available. If it is raining snowing with section of icy tracks the zeros will not work on the pure ice. Under these conditions I would suggest Start Racing Oslo waxes Blue or Purple. It worked great in Sun Valley yesterday when it was raining snowing and icy because it is 1 part klister and 2 parts hardwax and lots of Fluor and ... Best of all worlds.. 

Good luck
Andy at SkiPost/Start

Having skied the Birkie for the 12th time and having struggled with a stiff ski this year, I am finally convinced that I need a soft flex ski for this race. I am a wave 1 skier and would like to know what you would suggest for a soft flex ski? I know that both Atomic and Salomon have soft flex skies that they advertise, and it seems that whomever I discuss this with they have a distinct preference. What are your thoughts on the best soft snow ski available for me? I would rate my skiing skills as good and I try to V2 as often as possible. I am 5'10" and weigh in at 160 lbs


I greatly appreciate your thoughts!




I consult for Salomon globally so I am biased but also knowledgeable about the Salomon Soft Ground. For me it is the most pleasant ski I ski, and it would have been a perfect for the soft track of the Epic Birkie. The Soft Ground is unique in that it increases its torsion from tip to tail creating a snake effect that allows it to float over cold powder like you had Saturday along with wet mash potato mush like you get at the end of many Birkies. It is also the lightest ski made. It is easy to race on or to just cruise along on. The Soft Grounds will excel in all but super firm/icy tracks where they will be less stable and less edge hold than Salomon's Warm or Cold ski. You can read more about the Soft Ground success at the Birkie here.


Andy at SkiPost

Kikkan wins the World Cup Sprint title
for 3rd consecutive season

Kikkan Randall "Winning the sprint overall title is a very meaningful achievement for me because in order to win it you have to be strong over the whole season, not just one day. To have been able to put together three solid seasons now is a great accomplishment for me, my team and for all those that helped me on this journey!...While the Olympics were my biggest goal this year, trying to defend the Sprint Cup was also big in my mind. It's nice to be ending the season on a high note!"
Wax Hardness


I found the wax hardness chart published in the last SkiPost ( below) issue to be really helpful.  Is there a way I could access a larger, higher resolution version that I could print?


Thanks and keep up the good work!




The wax hardness graph that we posted last week can be found at . 


But note that the chart is is very incomplete as it only shows the hardnesses of select waxes. If they had tested Start Blue (SG6) they would see it is as hard as many other brands greens and thus the ideal wax for 10-20F. 


But please realize that wax hardness alone is not the only attribute to wax. On really cold and dry new snow this hardness is the key attribute but as the snow gets older and or wetter there are many any other variables in the wax composition to consider.


When there is medium or high moisture present then moisture management becomes as vital as snow crystal management.

This is why Start has 6 grades of glider (SG. FG, LF, HF, BM, FHF) at basically every temp. While Start keep the hardness across the grades  it adds additional ingredients based on moisture, snow age, dirt, coarseness etc..  You can keep it simple and use Start LF over all conditions, but if for you every second matters you can tweak your wax grand selection based on the exact snow type.


(Also for the really wax techies note if you ski a ski designed with a pressure distribution for Cold snow, you would theoretically wax slightly warmer than a ski designed for warm snow, in the same conditions.)


Andy at Start/SkiPost


Waxing for future Polar Vortexes.


Dear SkiPost,


Polar Inversion #2 just passed and temps have moved into the double digits so I went out for a noon ski and found that I was skiing on Styrofoam.  No glide, very noisy snow.  The snow fell fresh/cold on Sunday and then double digit below zero temps on Monday and Tuesday.  And very dry.  My thought is that we should use the coldest wax available for this snow even though air temps are up to 20 today.  But alas my wax tech failed me again.  Can you advise, is there wax that will work on this cold cold snow and what are some specific waxes (brands and grades) that would work in these conditions. None gliding Nora,


Hello Nora,


We understand your pain. Skiing in very cold dry snow can be a very slow and grinding experience but there are ways to improve glide and we are here to help!


Probably the best thing you can do for yourself in cold dry conditions is to use a ski with the proper structure. This means going to your local ski shop and asking for a stone grind with a very fine linear structure. Skis do not come from the factory like this so it is something you need to do aftermarket. If you have too much structure you will have increased friction and travel even slower. 


The next step is to properly prepare your ski base. Let's assume this is a relatively new ski. First step is to get soft wax into the base followed by a harder wax. Start makes waxes just for this purpose. We recommend 3 layers of our Service wax followed by 1 layer of Base Wax LF, 1 more layer of Service Wax, followed by 1 layer of Base Wax LF. After this your skis are ready for action and the wax of the day.


For Polar Vortex temps you need very cold and hard wax. Start makes the hardest wax on the planet SG8 Start Green and its Fluor brotherin FG18, LF08, HF80. Test into the hardness of waxes have proven this true see chart below.


As you can see a hardness test show the hardness of each brands wax. Notice that not all green and blue waxes are created equal.

We recommend 1 layer of Start SG8 Green wax for the coldest conditions to provide optimal glide in Styrofoam type snow.  Start Green is going to work well all the way up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit so in the Midwest it is often a go to wax.


  Image and Data "The Ski Test Guys"


For racing we recommend using a Start Green wax with some fluor in it. Fluor is going to help repel the small amount of moisture in the snow and it is also going to repel dirt over the course of a long race. The longer the race and the more road crossings you have the more important it is to have higher fluor content. The great thing about Start Green is that it remains the same hardness all the way up to Start HF Green.


To recap have a pair of skis with fine structure, properly prepare the ski with service and base wax. Put down the coldest wax on the planet, Start Green and then go skiing. It may be slow still but you should be faster than those around you without the proper preparation.


Note: One common mistake people make is to continue to just put layer after layer of very cold hard wax into their base after skiing without ever adding a softer wax. Because the ski does not easily absorb this wax they begin to fry out. Make sure that in between skis you use a softer wax like Start Base Wax or a violet wax to prevent you base from drying out.


Enjoy the Glide


Evan Pengelly

Start Product Manager



Thanks, he did pretty well for the Birkie but this is good info.  This waxing issue can really lead to marital stress!  But the rule is I do the cooking and he does the waxing - I just have to keep him using the right ingredients and the right cook book! 




Nordic Dave and "The Birkie"


It's been one of the most robust winters in the upper Midwest in recent memory and it has no foreseeable end. If it isn't polar cold it warms up and is a blizzard. Many times it was both at the same time. If you live in Minneapolis or North of that latitude you would swear the next Ice Age is upon us.


Naturlich Nordic Dave sought out 3 races this winter in the upper Midwest to experience such truly memorable winter conditions in which to race but also to seek out a bit of elan and panache in this historic winter centered around the Great Lakes. The typical morning was "oh gee  it's dang cold but at least there is a stiff north wind to liven up your senses " if you had not already noticed the full on winter swirling all around you. These are surely the days the next generation of das kinder will tell you that they walked uphill both ways to and from school in waist deep snow and howling winds and they have the internet to prove it.


The first two races, the Noquemon 50k skate and the Mora Vassaloppet 35k had promising results for old ND and it looked like he was getting more fit and faster for the mother of all master blaster races, I.e. The American Birkiebiener, a World Loppet race and the Holy Grail to any Masters skier hoping to say they are legit to any other Masters skier.


Of course Nordic Dave does something different 3 days before this mother of all throw downs of 8,000 skiers, 200 hills, 51k kilometers, zero degree temps, 15 inches of new snow and 30 to 40 mph head winds. Yup he eats some Thai food at a restaurant he isn't familiar with. GROANNN! Almost two weeks later there are still issues best left unsaid.


Ya yoo betcha salmonella poisoning is the added on board ski racing dimension. By 25k into the race ND is no longer racing but focusing on finishing. He is cold, his water bottle froze in the first 15k of the race and each hill with transition off the top works the core muscle group he would prefer not to grind on. Eyes swirling back into the head, skis skiing on autopilot fortunately they are really fast skis because the motor is kaput. Just finish this thing ND thinks. He is getting passed like an under powered VW microbus left and right as the race goes into the later stages. First it's the higher numbered elite wave skiers then a dozen or so wave one skiers.


Just before Bitch Hill at 40k ND gets some good feeds and starts talking to himself...self...this race isn't good is it? Response...No Nordic you really suck at ski racing today! ....Oh thanks self umm I was hoping for more positive vibes. Then Bitch Hill loomed into view and ND thought of every corny thing he could think of that he saw in WW2 John Wayne movies or that he heard from his old dad. Yeeup ...."when the going gets tough the tough get going"... ND knew the elite wave status was bye bye if he didn't get it going now!


Bitch Hill is skied with purpose ....the pain subsides, the end is near and so is the urgency to rally on the day. There are exactly seven hills from Bitch Hill to the finish, count them Nordic, get them, transition off the top and carry your speed! Soon skiers who passed ND are getting passed back, some fight back which only raises the urgency to finish with elan.


The hills all 200 of them finished, what awaits us is Lake Hayward and a full on 40 mph headwind. Many are staggered skiing V1 like they are skiing uphill. ND has been on many frozen desert windy lakes in Finland and knows cadence is key in V2 don't try to power it just keep your tempo into the wind. His eyes by now are frost bitten, hypothermia very real but the finish is 2k or 3k away. Must finish well keep passing stragglers shell shocked from the carnage of soft new snow, cold temps and a biting wind.


It's done. Now the real carnage of hypothermia sets in for an hour shivering uncontrollably. No idea of the result. Cold and the eyes hurt wicked bad. Yes he finally figures out at 185th place ND will ski another day once again in the Elite wave of 200. His worst result ever in 12 races at the Birkie and quite possibly one of his best efforts to be proud of.


Many hours later Nordic Dave gets his just reward of pizza and too many beers with his good friends Tony Wiedekehr, Jon Engen, Rick Knoebel, Santi, Carolyn and Sonia Ocariz who each have their own Birkie story to tell. It was the beginning of a good night regailing with friends the struggle and accomplishment we each experienced. Jon faired possibly the worst with hypothermia but was not daunted to get the race done regardless of circumstance.


It is why we compete, the outcome is not known regardless of fitness and to strive to do your best even when clearly disappointed, it makes us better people for making the endeavor. The Finns call it Sisu, ND believes he understands what the words means.


Translation, the beatings will continue until the morale improves....


Stay tuned for these and other exciting stories as told in the Nordic Dave Adventure Series. 


Nordic Dave (AKA Dave Knoop NNF Director)



Salomon unveils the CARBON.

The 1st boot pair that weighs less than a pair of skis.
The 1st boot with a complete custom fit removable liner.
The First boot.....the list goes on 
check out more CARBON details here

 Race Wax Suggestions


follow this link 


For added support from Start Wax you can 

Events and Destinations 



The Great Bear Chase


March 8th


The Portage Health Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon has something for everyone and enough snow to go around, even in March! We have distances for all racers, from our signature 50 km races, to 25k or 10k events that are great for skiers of all levels. The Great Bear Chase has earned a nation-wide reputation as a laid-back, skier-oriented weekend that allows racers of all experience levels to finish their season with a high quality event.  


Yellowstone Rendezvous


The 35th Annual Rendezvous Race March 8, 2014

Youth Ski Festival Sunday, March 9th


Race registration deadline is Thursday March 6th at 12 noon. Please visit  for more information, and find us on Facebook for the latest grooming reports and updates on the race. 


On Sunday, March 9 th, the West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation will host their annual Youth Ski Festival where kids 13 and under can participate in a variety of ski games including relays, musical chairs and more! Bring the family and experience winter this year.  Day-of registration.  Please visit for more information.
As the title sponsor of the Yellowstone Rendezvous Race, Holiday Inn West Yellowstone offers a variety of lodging facilities in West Yellowstone and is your hub for registration, many meetings, events, clinics, and tasty vittles and drinks in The Branch Restaurant & Bar. For more information and to learn about special skier rates, call (406) 646-7365.

Equinox Snow Challenge


March 22-23, 2014

Rendezvous Ski Trails, West Yellowstone, MT.

Race Type: team relay or solo / 3, 6, 12, or 24 Hour / fatbike or Nordic ski

Contact: Sam Newbury                                                      

Phone: 406-209-3533



Lake Placid Loppet

March 8, Mt Van Hoevenberg

The Lake Placid Loppet is one of the best events of its kind in the country. Over the past 30 years, thousands of skiers have enjoyed skiing and racing on the challenging Mt. Van Hoevenberg trails at the Olympic Sports Complex. The Lake Placid Loppet is conducted by the Olympic Regional Development Authority on the Olympic Sports Complex Cross Country Ski Trails.  The Loppet and Kort-Loppet run on a slightly modified version of the 50km course constructed for the 1980 Winter Olympics making it one of the most challenging citizen races in the world. Skiers should consider carefully whether to enter the 25km or 50km event.  However, many recreational skiers do participate at a less strenuous touring pace. 

Birkie Virtual race bag still available.


Birkie's virtual race bag closes Saturday, March 8. 

Some offers are over, but many are still in place and a couple are post-Birkie specials. Good way to get Start out one more time.





Check out the 2014 Birkie Video by Yahoo sports.


  Birkie 2014 Video


The Giant Ski Race



Nordic Job Openings

Nordic Job Opening? email to post

About SkiPost


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 and visit


Enjoy Winter,

Andrew Gerlach
Director/Editor- SkiPost


Like us on Facebook
In This Issue
Ask Us
Athletes Hearts
Kick Durabaility
Kikkan Wins again
Wax Hardness
Ask Us
Nordic Dave
Salomon's CARBON
Race Wax Recs

25 Medals for Bliz Athletes 


Start Kick Waxes

Start Wax  and Poles Explained

start poles

Start Wax and Poles Explained

Start Wax & Pole Catalog 1314 

Salomon Nordic
nnf word
Support Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today
New World Wax table foot clamp

Noname Banner Final

Get your team custom unis from NONAME
 and separate yourself team from the pack.

CXC Academy


Get Lungplus to preheat your breath and save your lungs. Get a Lungplus and ski like the Norwegians!
For more information go to 

ski erg

Bliz Active Logo


Keep Focused




Bliz America Blog

BLIZ America Dealers



For more BLIZ USA info 


proflip marit
find the time
The one gift you receive at birth is time.  You'll never have more  than you have today.  Find the Time.
Salomon Nordic
Like us on Facebook