Volume 15 Issue 50: April 10, 2014
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Summer Ski Storage  


How should I put my skis away for the summer?


Spring Cleaning, Base Refreshing, Base Saturation, Summer Storage


1) Cleaning: Use wax remover and Fiber wipe to clean the kick zone and also the glide zone.


2)  Use the finest Steel or Copper brush to clean excess dirt from base.


3)  Apply layer of Start Base (or Service or soft non-fluoro glider like SG2) to glide zones.


4) While wax is still soft use scraper with low pressure to "hot wipe" wax and further dirt away.


5) Follow with Fiber wipe and then finest steel brush again to remove dirt while refreshing base further. Repeat steps 4 and 5 as necessary until no more dirt is seen coming from base. 


6) If you suspect your skis have any base damage (i.e. base sealing) consider having the skis stoneground to reveal a fresh base in the spring before summer storage.  A fresh base is the most import feature in a skis ability to hold wax and to glide. Ski shops in most every ski town offer great stone grinding services.    


7) Once you have a clean and refreshed base it is time to saturate the base with a summer storage wax.  In the glide zones melt in a thick layer of Start Base (or Service or soft non-fluoro glider like SG2) and let it cool. If all the wax has been absorbed into the base at any point add another layer on to. Let cool leave it on the ski all summer.


8)   Skis should be storage in cool, dry place, out of sunlight and not near heating elements nor not near the roof where temperature can rise over 50C degrees. Skis should be stored loosely strapped with no pressure on camber so that there is no risk that heat and pressure can alter any of the skis camber characteristics.


9)  Better to do something than nothing. So at the very, very least crayon your softest glide onto your glide zones right now. 


Andy at SkiPost/Start

Kick wax to Glide Wax Transition


I have a question regarding waxing classic skis. More specifically, how do you transition between glide wax and kick wax at the front and back of the wax pocket? Do you try to have the kick wax meet the glide waxed surface at an exact point? Do you hold the glide waxed surface a few centimeters short of the kick wax? Or do you overlap the kick wax over the glide waxed surface slightly?

Also, are there any techniques to make this transition as smooth as possible? Thanks.



You have the Kick and Glide wax meet but you feather the kicker with the most layers under the peak of the camber (just ahead of the toe) and the fewest layers (just one) at the very transition from kick to glide. You also put binder under the kicker wax all the way to the rear. The binders job is to keep the kick wax in place and stops the kick from moving into the glide zone.


Andy at SkiPost.


Confidence on Fast Icy Trails


In post-Birkie Hayward we have had some warm days and frigid nights leading to concrete-hard trails. I've done a few races over the years in those conditions and it seems paradoxical that nice fast conditions can cause difficult balance issues for skating in flat terrain. Climbing is improved due to the better glide and slower speed but at higher speeds I feel uncomfortable. I'm sure this is because I don't have perfect weight transfer - I see that the best young guys seemingly don't struggle. So my question is: are there drills and/or equipment that could improve my performance in this situation?


SS, Hayward, Wisconsin



  Jessie Diggins/ Photo Nordic Focus/Salomon

 Confidence on Fast Icy Trails


Hi SS!


You cite balance challenges on icy trails in fast conditions, and there are a host of drills you can use to enhance balance in tricky hard snow conditions. One big issue comes up when the ski you're gliding on 'wanders' or suddenly slips sideways, moving out from underneath your core, affecting balance and timing. Three ways you can practice re-balancing:

  1. Move the unweighted leg in or out/up or down to re-center your core over your gliding foot. Practice gliding straight, on one ski, on any long straightaway, first in, then out of the tracks.
  2. Using the same muscles as in #1, the adductors and abductors, move the ski you're gliding on left or right to bring it back underneath you. This is a far more difficult skill to learn and master, as the ski must be very flat to be moved laterally. The other subtle effect in play is that the same muscles that move the ski under your core will move your core over your ski. Probably both effects are in play.

To practice the movements, stand on very flat terrain with smooth snow, with your poles planted to the sides. Move both skis toward each other, then away, slowly at first, then quickly, essentially narrowing and widening your stance with increasing tempo. The reason for doing this faster is that you will strengthen the muscles and reflexes needed to carry out the re-balancing movements when the chips are down.


Take careful note of catching an edge, and work to flatten the ski to allow for the lateral slip. You may even be able to develop a 'treading water' movement, alternating inside and outside edges. When you can move both skis about 2 inches laterally, try increasing the range to four or more inches. Often this is enough to re-balance mid-glide.


Next, try it with weight on one ski only, at first standing still and using poles for balance. When you can move the ski you're on both left and right, practice on the other ski, and then without poles. You may now be ready to try it with glide. Good luck, and have fun!

  1. Practice your Recovery Hop to get back into balance. Stand on your right ski. Tip to the right. Before you fall, or plant your pole (potentially hazardous to your shoulder - not to mention your pole), hop a few inches to the right to bring the ski under your core, or beyond, bringing you safely back between your feet. Repeat on the left ski. Practice for mastery, until you can routinely incorporate this into easy V2 and V2A skiing without elevating your heart rate.

Probably the best way to stay lined up over the gliding ski is to get really accurate about projecting your core in the same direction as the ski you're gliding on. Practice no poles skating with the goal of gliding as far as you can on each ski. This will combine the skills of push-off with directional accuracy - just what you need on those icy trails in a race.


Ultimately, what will keep you upright, and allow you to maintain uninterrupted flow in hard snow conditions are light-footed rebalancing reflexes. The key here is to make rebalancing reflexive. Practice rebalancing enough that the movements needed to rebalance don't mess with your mojo, but instead allow you to keep on chugging ahead as if nuthin' ever happened.


Have fun cruising the hardpack!

Scotty McGee

PSIA Nordic Team Coach


Ski Fit


I'm considering purchasing a new pair of skate skis.  I'm curious about skate ski length recommendations.  I'm 5'8", but under 130#.  Yeah, that's with ski attire and breakfast in me!  Been racing 25+ years.  Take for example, when I check Fischer's website (I'm using Fischer as an example just because most of my and my wife's skis are Fischers), ski length recommendation for my weight is 177cm stiff or 182cm medium/soft for their racing skis.  When I've purchased skis and/or questioned ski shops, I'm usually steered toward 187cm length with Fischer skate skis.  The ski experts at the shops, whether in person or via phone, have made good argument that one should always go with the longest ski available for your specific weight as it will be faster and more stable, like a longer wheelbase bicycle.  I've also been told that at 5'8", a 177cm and even the 182cm length is too short.  I ride a large frame on a bicycle due to long legs and short torso, but I don't understand how a skier's height should dictate ski length, as the ski can only "feel" my weight.  


I own and race on 182 and 187 Fischers and feel that the 187 length at times feels more stable on a course with variable surface conditions and on hardpacked conditions, but I can maneuver the 182 more easily and climb with a quicker, more efficient, cadence.  So, maybe the course determines ski length?  (I remember those 147cm "Revolution" skis, real fun on narrow snowmobile trails, but quite twitchy at faster speeds.)  177cm Fischers I've tried have just seemed too soft.  But I'm not sure if it's just the specific skis' characteristics I've sampled?  Do the manufacturers, since they're designing and building the skis, know something that the shop personnel aren't aware of?  Does real world experience with a ski line (the ski shops and veteran racers) trump manufacturer recommendations?   Does racer technique and speed, or lack thereof, play a role in determining ski length?  Do light world cup racers, men or women, use longer skis than the manufacturer recommends?  And what about a significantly heavy racer, as some muscular racers I know are near 200#.  Fischers' longest skate ski is (I believe) 192cm, only one size up from 187cm.  Is there a point where ski length becomes a non-issue?  I would appreciate any insight.  Thank you.

Dazed and confused.      




Ski length is determined primarily by your weight because as you say, the snow cannot tell how tall you are.  But your legs and body and technique can feel how long your skis are. Long legs make the ski feel shorter.  As far as control goes shorter skis are slightly easier to V1, climb and often descend with, especially on steep, narrow trails. Longer skis feel slightly easier to run straight thus feel more stable under long V2 and V2 alternate type skiing sessions.


Ski manufacturers do know what they are talking about regarding their ski's fit. Manufacturers ski fit recommends and all around race ski for junior, senior and master racers with good technique and good fitness. 


A skate ski is fast over varied terrain because it has a front and rear glide zones connected by a middle bridge that suspends the skier above the snow and springs up and down over the slight variations in terrain or weight transfer changes without bottoming out scrubbing speed.  A properly fit ski will ensure that the bridge is always suspending the skier and distributing loads front and rear and not bottoming out and transferring the load straight down at one location directly under the skier. If this happens the ski will slow down dramatically and often pivot under the foot like hands on a clock. If the ski is too stiff all your weight will just be transferred to a small front and rear glide zones and you will be riding a very long bridge that will be unstable from edge to edge and plow in softer snow. 


As you said with Fischer for a 59kg skier you could find skate skis in 177 (super) stiff or a 182 medium, a 182 stiff or 187 medium (super soft).  But soft, medium and stiff are like small, medium or large in a shirt's fit and you should be fitting with Mid Flex (MF) sizing like a dress sits chest size. For Fischer you want a ski with a Mid Flex around 120% of your body weight. You weigh 59kg thus your MF # should be around 71kg. +- 3 kg.  So for Fischer this flex is common in 182 mediums and 182 stiffs. It is a super rare flex in 187 mediums and it is common but at the extreme edge for 177 stiffs.  So this would push you toward 182. If you found a 182 medium and a 182 stiff both with 70-73 flex the difference would be in their residual camber which is like your arm length after you get the chest size correct. The 182 stiff would have a higher residual camber under the same MF so this ski would be slightly more energetic and lively and snappier when you are fresh but perhaps take a bit more energy to ski when you are tired. The 182 medium would have a slightly longer contact area be more forgiving in all conditions. As far as 187's go, 187s do not generally come do to the low 70's in MF. So to get a 187 you would likely find only skis that are slightly stiffer than Fischer recommends. This would make the ski less suited for all condition skiing for a fit lopper racer with good technique.    I would say 182 medium with a MF in low 70's is best all condition ski for you a 59kg fit loppet racer with good technique in a Fischer.

  Good technique allows one to get 100% weight transfer as our reference point. And good fitness allows one to ski with good technique (and thus good weight transfer) throughout your entire race. Good fitness without good technique (ie weight transfer) does not suggest a stiffer ski.  So ski fit does come down to weight transfer. The higher or lower your final weight transfer the higher or lower the Mid Flex % fit could be but only say +- 10%. 


 World Cup racers have a quiver of skis for every condition and only ski one length. On the World Cup most all women ski 182, most all men ski 192.  This is where most R & D is done so these are often the best lengths from every manufacturer and the most common length made and also sold.  And they ski flexes similar to what is outlined here but as they have great fitness and technique they may at times ski slightly stiffer perhaps 10% stiffer skate skis or skis with slightly higher cambers as discussed. We used to have to select skis for super soft conditions and super hard conditions by changing the MF flex % up or down. But now most every brand makes specific skis for Soft Ground, Cold, Warm, constructions so now most often stay with similar flexes across condition and let the ski construction do the snow specific work rather than just the ski flex. This results in much better performance in every condition.


The farther a skier is outside the norm the harder it is find the ski with the perfect fit. Skiers over 90kg require a special ski to distribute their weight and ski brands make such skis, not by lengthening the ski gut by creating special layups and flexes to accommodate.  


The biggest improvement in skis over the past decade is in quality control so that pair after pair is arriving at the stores as designed and the MF #'s tell you who it will fit.  So you can be confident that if you stay within the brands recommendations you will have a great ski on the snow.


Hope this helps


Andy at SkiPost





Thank you for taking the time to answer.  I've felt best in most conditions skiing 182's, and your answer explains why quite well.  When I've raced my 187s, I always seemed to favor slower, longer technique, and now it makes sense to me.  Explaining about the different flexes within the same ski length, and how it affects the "bridge", makes sense.   I will now feel more confident asking for the 182 length if someone attempts to sell me longer/shorter, as my weight hasn't varied significantly since high school (42 years ago), and I don't expect it to change soon, unless I give up skiing and training.



Regarding a past note, since making sure I change to a fresh battery in my Polar watch at the same time as changing the chest strap battery, my HR monitor has given me no more problems.  Again, I really appreciate the information available in Skipost questions and answers.  You're offering a great service, especially to those of us without local ski shops and without many competitive skiers nearby to discuss issues.



Events and Destinations 


CXC team application



Motivated athletes wanting to inspire to athletic excellence and realize their DREAM.

- Must be willing to be a part of the TEAM that is building and expanding the sport of Cross Country Skiing in the Central Region.
- Must have a purpose that is fired by a passion.
- Must have a commitment to goals, team, and community.
- Must be willing to give, learn, and grow as an individual and athlete.

- Must commit to finding your ultimate potential within.

With one Olympic cycle ending and a new one beginning, now is the time to create your new vision and goals, make your plans, and start to realize your DREAM!!  With every Olympic cycle that passes, a new generation of athletes step into the process of achieving their full potential. Don't miss the opportunity to pursue your heart and DREAMS! Get ready to discover your maximum potential.

Learn more and apply today,- find out if dreams do come true!


AXCS National Masters Returning To Craftsbury In 2015

Next season Craftsbury, Vermont will once again play host to the AXCS National Masters -- January 30 to February 1, 2015. or complete updated information this spring/summer please visit


A Special Spring 2014 Offer On AXCS Membership

The American XC Skiers (AXCS) non-profit masters association currently has a very special offer for all master skiers. Join AXCS by April 5 and you will not only be included in the mailing list of the exclusive AXCS Spring Digest print issue, but AXCS will also extend your membership "year" all the way until October 31, 2015! Visit today for both on-line and print-and-mail membership options.



Nordic Job Openings

Nordic Job Opening? email to post

 US Pole Company


The United States Ski Pole Company is seeking one summer employment position. At least 18 years of age, located in either the U.S. or Canada, and have excellent organization and communication skills. The position is commission based with incentives, which can lead to other future business opportunities within the skiing industry. A good job for a post-college or current student. If you're looking for flexible hours that will mesh well with your training schedule, this would be ideal. Please send resume's and/ or questions to Andy Liebner at


Backwoods Mountain Sports


Backwoods a nordic, backcountry, bike, water sport and camping specialty shop in Ketchum Idaho is looking for a lead buyer and manager for its hard goods department. Experience necessary. Please send resumes and questions to 

or call Andy Munter at 208-726-8818.



Job Opening






               American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

Now Accepting Applications for Position Of:


Race Operations Event Operations / Race Director

Applications Due by May 1


Our long-time Race Operations Director, Shellie Milford, has announced that the 2015 American Birkebeiner will conclude her career with the Birkie. While she is looking forward to a well-deserved retirement, we are now looking to fill a position that she has run with consummate skill and wisdom for more than 20 years.


This is a key, full-time, year-round position at the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. We are interested in hearing from individuals from a variety of event planning and operations backgrounds who can bring those skills and that experience to the Birkie.


We hope you will assist us in this search by helping us get the word out about this position opening and also sharing it directly with anyone you know who may be interested.


See details here about the positions and where to send a resume and cover letter:



Warmest Regards,

The Staff and Board of Directors of

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

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

Image at top is courtesy Salomon/NordicFocus
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In This Issue
Ask Us
Summer Ski Storage
Kick Waxing
Icy Confidence
Ski Fit
Events & Destinations
Nordic Job Openings

25 Medals for Bliz Athletes 


Start Kick Waxes

Start Wax  and Poles Explained

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