Volume 17 Issue 38: Jan 21, 2016
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Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question? Just email us at 
Durable Poles?

I see you guys promoting Start Poles as light swing weight and durable. They are light, but how can they be durable when they are tiny (8mm I think) at the basket? 
Dubious Fred


You point at just the Start innovation that makes them durable, Start's thick wall construction. By having only 8mm at the basket Start can make the walls extra thick for the greatest impact resistance and still have an extra low weight. 

Andy at SkiPost/Start  
Start Wax Recs?

Start Wax Recs can be found at 

Noquemanonon Start's Dusty Olson will be at Expo w/ Start & Bliz specials

Also check out the Wax Genius Chooser at  
If you have Start Wax Rec needs email

Andy at SkiPost/Start

  I went to the Vasa trail in Traverse City, Mi this past Sunday for a planned hour and a half workout.  The temp at the start was around 22F.  About three inches of snow had fallen in what was to eventually be about twelve.   The snow falling was fine at times and occasionally the flakes got a little bigger but at no time seemed icy.  I decided to err on the side of caution and use Toko Blue for my kick wax.  I had no binder on my skis since I didn't plan on being out that long.  I put on one layer the length of the kick zone, a second a little shorter, and two more right in the middle third (corking between each layer). 
      There was no set track although there was a trail that other skiers had made and I tried to follow it.  If you veered off this trail at all, your ski would disappear because there was no track side wall to keep it in.  Almost immediatly, my skis started getting slower and slower til it seemed I had snowshoes.  
 I inspected the bottom of my skis and found a thick wad of densly packed snow the length of my kick zone.  The snow itself wasn't frozen onto the base but I still had to claw the stuff of my skis.  The skis would be OK for a short distance and the same thing would happen again with the same relults.  After a half hour I could no longer blame it on warm skis or warm wax.  That is what It felt like.  I've had this happen before in this situation but it usually goes away after about ten or fifteen minutes til the temperature of the wax stabilizes.   After an hour, if I so much as got into the fluffy snow, I would get that mess again immediately. 
      My question is:  Did I chose the wrong wax?  I would think if I had used Toko Red, it would have been a lot worse being a softer wax.  After my workout, I made a snowball to see how wet the snow was.  I would say the moisture content was medium.  It definitely wasn't slushy.  What can I do in the future if I run into these conditions again?  I've skied in falling snow before but never encountered this.  Any suggestions or ideas will be greatly appreciated.

You encountered new fresh fine grain snow. Which seams easy to wax for. But the new fine grain snow crystals like sticking into the wax and not releasing. This causes icing. The snow guts stuck in the wax, the heat form the kick warms it up it then freezes again and it gets worse....
We would recommend Start Terva (tar) kick waxes for this new snow condition. The tar is both water repellent but is also a thermoplastic which means it changes is hardness a great deal with just a small degrees of temp change. This allows the outer layer of wax to get harder than the identical underlayers. The hard outer layers do not allow the fine grain crystals to penetrate it but the softer underlayers bend so you get kick. Having different recipes for different snow types actually makes waxing much easier.

Andy at SkiPost/Start.

Iron Cleaning

Hi there,
I was wondering what are the appropriate steps to take to clean a wax iron between waxing for glide and applying base binders (i.e. klister or hard wax binder). Also, my iron has gobs of hardened glide wax on it. What is the best removal method for this?

It is best to have two irons. One digital one for glide and an inexpensive one for kick.
Otherwise it is really difficult to keep make sure that you do not get kick into your glide or visa versa. But if you must share an iron wipe with thoroughly with fiberlene between jobs wile the substance is still warm. If you warm up the wax you should be able to rub it off with fiberlene. Worst case, wax remover but not hot.
Andy at SkiPost
Olso Covered

We need to remind people to cover their Oslo kickers when new snow is present. 
At Seeley Hills classic this past weekend Oslo Green was a tremendous kicker but with the sharp crystals you need a hard cover to speed it up . We used Tar Black to create a hard top layer top increase speed and Oslo green as a great flexible underlayer for rollerski kick and glide.

Dusty Start Wax Genius

Cold Waxing, Black Stuff, and Uneven Bases
Dear Andy:
After gritting our teeth and skiing 25k in -5 temperatures with a good dose of a NW wind, I met with a fellow citizen skier afterward to indulge in a tasty microbrew and talk skiing. We got into waxing for cold weather (go figure) and we had some questions that we would like an expert opinion to weigh in.
We both discussed using very hard, brittle waxes (START Green) and getting the base hard. Our skis both ran fairly well on green training wax given the temperatures and wind blown snow. When scraping the green wax after allowing the wax to cool completely, we both noted that we sometimes pull up a little "blackish grey stuff." Not a lot, but enough to notice. What's possibly happening here? Is this fairly normal with very cold wax? Can this be attributed to an uneven ski base or scraping "into" the ski?
The second part of our discussion was identifying uneven bases and when to stonegrind in the presence of an uneven ski base. First, what causes uneven bases (even after stonegrinding)? Second, is there anything skiers can do to minimize uneveness? And third, what is the best way to tell if your bases are uneven and should be stonegrinded? We both thought if we are scraping a lot, perhaps have a little discoloration (shiny areas), or pulling up black stuff that our bases are uneven. But where we disagreed is that one of us said a little unevenness is okay, just a pain to scrape (and be careful) while the other said we need to get them to the stonegrinder right away to flatten out. Any recommendations or thoughts? 
As always, many thanks!

The black stuff you are scraping off the ski is most likely a bit of base (and some dirt). When you apply a really hard extra cold wax like Start Greens SG10, LF10, MF10 HF10, these waxes will harden to any base material that is sticking up (base peach fuzz) and this bond may exceed the bond between the base hairs and the base itself so you will scrape them off.  Which is a good thing. But when you apply the cold waxes you risk slightly melting any hairy base material onto the base as well and closing/sealing the base which is a bad thing. So it is better to remove this material every time before you wax at any temp. So first raise the hairs and remove any dirt with the Start Copper 5023 or Start Fine Steel 5024 brush. Then with a really sharp metal scraper (Start # 5009) you can shave off the peach fuzz base material before you wax like you would shave your beard. Just run the sharp scraper along the ski tip to tail with little pressure. You can also use coarse, then medium, then fine fibertex. You should do this every time you race wax and not just before cold waxes. You will have a clean base with fewer base hairs and more open base material ready to accept the (Start) waxes of the day.
Regarding uneven bases. Uneven bases generally develop from excessive heat being applied to the ski. When too much heat is applied by an iron, hot box, car heater, or summer storage... the different ski materials expand at different rates. And when they cool again the ski or base has a slightly new shape. You can usually see the edges are higher or lower than the interior. Sometimes you can see a honeycomb core pattern in the base etc.  None of this is good. A flat base is necessary to get great glide in cold new dry snow. An irregular base may still preform in certain wet conditions as its irregularities may break the suction between the water and the ski. But its performance will not be predictable. Its performance will be as irregular as the base.

Fluorinated Kick Waxes

Why are there Fluorinated kick waxes? I understand that Fluorocarbons in gliders help the ski glide faster in wet snow. But what does it do for kick waxes except cost us more?


Dear OP,

Fluorocarbons are hydrophobic which means that they repel water. As a ski glides down the track in most every condition a water layer develops between the base and the snow. This layer can be very very thin in low humidity dry snow conditions and very think in high humidity and wet snow conditions. When the kick wax reaches this water layer it acts like a dam and resists rolling over it so the ski looses glide and also the water layer continues so the kick wax contacts the water layer and not the snow crystals so kick is diminished The Fluorocarbons in kick waxes like Start RF line repel and break that water layer so the kick wax can contact the snow crystals so you can get better kick they also break the water wax log jam so you get better glide.  We seldom have a classic race now where we do not apply a thin layer of Start's FHF highlyfluorinated cover waxes on as a final layer to shed that water layer for both better kick and better glide.  
nnf word
Supporting Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today

National Nordic Foundation Allocates $154,280 to
2015 - 2016 Pillar Projects    read more here

Start is the low swing weight and high durability 
pole choice of  CXC

This Bliz 
 Bliz for winter are now in stores.

 Check out  the This Bliz video from Bliz World Cup stars including Charlotte Kalla, Marcus Hellner, and Robin Bryntesson. 
This Bliz

Andy at SkiPost/Bliz
Salomon Nordic

  Check out a Peter Schlickenrieder Ski Camp!



EPOC Performance Training





Gear West's Wax-A-Palooza

Thursday Feb 4th 8-9pm

With Start Wax Genius Dusty Olson





 January 29 - February 7, 2016
There's something fun for everyone!
Don't miss out on the $49 all inclusive nine-day Festival Trail Pass.  Includes the entire trail system from Bellevue to Galena Lodge, the Sun Valley Company's Nordic Trails, and the Sawtooth Valley trails. That's over 200 kilometers of cross country and snowshoe trails! Passes can be purchased at Backwoods Mountain Sports and The Elephant's Perch in Ketchum; Galena Lodge and the Sun Valley Nordic Center in Sun Valley.

 for a schedule of events for SVNF week

Saturday, February 6, 2016
Register today at
Check out the new BMT Facebook page

  also for for Sun Valley trails as the best trials in america.

Help Make the Birkie Trail #1!
The American Birkebeiner has been nominated as a contender for
Best Cross-Country Ski Location in USA Today's 
10 Best Readers' Choice travel award contest!
Show your #BirkieFever and vote today (and every day)!

An expert panel of Olympians selected the Birkie Trail
as a contender for Best Cross-Country Ski location!

Here's How You Can Help!
  • Vote once a day between now and February 8!
  • Share on social media!
  • Share with your friends, family, and coworkers!
Questions?  Call 715-634-5025 or email us!

Tahoe Rim Tour & Race 

Sunday, January 24, 2016 
Tahoe XC - Tahoe City, CA to Northstar XC - Truckee, CA). 

To celebrate the New Year and the new snow, we are offering a special deal on City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival event registration.

Sign up for your favorite event now through 11:59pm on New Year's Eve and save 10% off your registration.
Simply register online and when prompted for a promotional code, enter:
Looking forward to seeing you on the trails soon and keep thinking snow!
The Loppet Crew!

2016 Great Bear Chase!

Registration is now open for the 36th annual UP Health System Portage Great Bear Chase. The race will take place on Saturday, March 5th, 2016 at the beautiful Swedetown Trails in Calumet, Michigan.

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
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In This Issue

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Support Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today

Point6 Nordic Socks 

Bliz Active Logo


This Bliz
This Bliz

25 Medals for Bliz Athletes 

Start Kick Waxes

Start Wax  and Poles Explained


West Yellowstone





ski erg


Jon Engen

Jim Galanes


Start Genius Dealers 


For more Start USA info  



BLIZ America Dealers 



For more BLIZ USA info 





find the time
The one gift you receive at birth is time.  You'll never have more  than you have today.  Find the Time.

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Support Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today

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