Volume 17 Issue 39: Jan 28, 2016
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Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question? Just email us at 
Applying Oslo?
I've been using Oslo. I do struggle with applying purple without get globs of wax.  Maybe it's part of the game and I just need to schmear them out. Any advice on applying Oslo Purple?


Try the push flat,  twist off. Push flat, twist off, then Cork.

Andy at SkiPost/Start
No Cover 

I see you discussing covering kick waxes allot. One of the best thing about using Start Kick waxes is that by Start having a different kick wax types for different snow types you can have great kick waxing success without messing with covering.  

Even Pengally- Rossignol Racing Services Director (Start product manager previous years)  

Yes Evan thanks for reminding me to keep it simple and use,

Start Tar in new, fine grain snow
Start Synthetics in dry, corn snow 
Start RF in wet, glazing tracks
Start Oslo in icy tracks including artificial snow

Andy at SkiPost/Start
 Salomon bindings on NIS Plates?

Rossignol Xium classic skis have the NIS plate on the ski. I have newer Salomon SLAB boots and do not want to have to buy new boots. The local ski store says they can put a Salomon SNS Propulse  classic  binding on the skis by drilling through the plate just like they would on a ski that does not have the plate.  I know this has been done on quite a few skate skis for local racers but am not aware of any on classic skis.  My question is - do you think the performance of the classic ski will be impacted using the Solomon binding?  FYI, I am a good skier and also a CANSI Nordic ski instructor as well as a citizen racer.  Thanks for your help. J


Yes you can screw the Salomon binding directly through the plate with no adverse affect. Salomon has many racers on it boots and bindings on skis with NIS plates on the World Cup and we screw them direct.


Fractured Hand


I fractured the outside metacarpal bone on my right hand in late December. While my doctor accommodated my request to put me in a splint vs. a cast, the splint doesn't allow me to grip or plant my pole safely. I also struggle with keeping the hand immobilized. He offered to remold it, however I declined based on my current experience. With less than a month before the Birkie (I'm Classic) I've been training/skiing, classic and skate, one handed. Might there be an exercise or two you can offer to help me keep my right side from withering away? 
Lastly, I get the splint off eight days before getting on the bus.
Not Giving-up Regards,

I would suggest that you take this time to ski with no poles as much as you can Even more than with just one pole. Skiing with no poles is a great drill to work on technique, balance and power transfer. You will be amazed how much better a classic skier you will be when the poles come back on.You can then perhaps use a Ski Erg taped to your forearm to work on your arms separately with no risk of further injury.
Hope this helps.
Andy at SkiPost
BM covers etc.
Hi Andy-
-I notice that you suggest covering Oslo with Terva wax in new snow.  Would the same hold true in man-made snow?  Also, a couple of years ago I bought some flouro Black Magic.  How would that work as a cover for Oslo?  You rarely say much about it in SkiPost.  Also, when I use Oslo, if I ski a couple of kms and feel I need an additional layer, I find it difficult to apply it outside when the ski is cold.  It seems difficult to smooth out with a cork in those conditions.  Any suggestions?  What do you think of Start Grip tape as a base layer?  Some skiers have told me that they have had good success with this.
Thanks, Doug

On most man-made snow you are only dealing with one snow type and the crystals are rounder so Oslo straight will work fine.
Many waxes need a couple of Km to get freer and glide faster. But if you are experiencing this with your Oslo and need to ally more you should try an cool it by freezing it in the snow to more easily crayon it on.
Yes, BM and BMflour was the original cover wax and still used by many especially in dirty snow. I seldom mention it only because I wish to try and keep thing simple and get people to think about what is actually going on in the snow-wax-interface and what eash wax is for. If I introduce to many covers or combos people just give up. If you can think about the snow crystal type, moisture content, humidity, dirt all together than you can come up with a simple progressions of what to do.
Regarding grip tape. Grip tape is a great option for one thing that will work ok almost every day. It can convert your waxble ski into a waxless ski and last 300km and all winter long. If you had a pair of Klister skis you would put grip tape on them. And to speed them up you would add terva on cold days. We now even have a HF grip tape. Grip tape is something to have in the quiver for sure. You could use it as a first layer but make sure it is one Klister skis.
I have cc'ed Dusty Olson our Midwest Start Wax Genius as he uses Oslo more than I do in Sun Valley where we have 4 feet of snow.
Andy at SkiPost

Icing Waxless

I saw that person ask about icing...I have that happen on my classic waxless skis after I go through slush or water...I was something that you could spray on to prevent it..does that really work?
Yes Start has numerous Anti icing produst for waxless skis and skin skis.
Start Anti-ice

How important is it to use an LF wax product (as opposed to a hydrocarbon wax)  to enhance adhesion of the final HF wax?  Are there certain conditions when this becomes more important than others?
Ed Miller
The pure Fluor top coats do not like to bond to a non- fluor underlayers so having an underlayer of Fluor mix is surely better.
The higher humidity the more you need every bit of fluor.
The longer, wetter and dirtier.
You can rub on ski and iron in underlayer
You need not do full drip in.
Andy at SkiPost

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?

Today I am going to recommend that you use the  Start Wax Choose at  

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.

How does Start Graphite stacks up against other brands and when to use it?
 Thanks SM

Start Graphite waxes are very hard so they can be used in cold conditions and not weaken/soften the glide. Start uses Graphite to reduce static in new snow (less than 24 hours old)
Start BM waxes have moly which is a dry lubricant as well. Start uses Moly to reduce dirt build up and also is coarse snow including in artificial snow. We do not use Moly in new clean snow. Yes Moly feels great when scraping, and if we were gliding on plastic we would use Moly every day. But on new clean snow moly interferes with snow crystals.
Andy at SkiPost/Start
Mixing Waxes?

Mix RF and Oslo?  Hi Andy,  Can you think of an instance  where you'd mix RF (to repel water in tracks) and Oslo  (thinking of the klister component here)? If so, in what  conditions could this be done? What goes on first? Second?
 Also if FHF is unavailable/banned from a high school race,  would BM be a good substitute for a top cover? Now add the  component of low/very dirty snow to the above conditions,  with an air temp of 27 F, and wet snow temp of 31 F, and  flurries coming down prior to race time (hence no pure  klister).We  used Purple Oslo with 2 layers of BM cover, successfully,  but I'd like to know if you would have tried something  different.
 Signed,Soggy in

Dear Soggy,
Oslo works well in abrasive and man made snow conditions.  Anytime the tracks are glazed.   It's 2 parts hard wax and 1 part klister.  It has a really strong kick!  But if there is any fresh or wind blown snow in the tracks it tends to be a bit draggy.  It's best to cover it.   RF is often a really good cover.  In colder conditions tar black is better.   In more humid conditions the FHF tends to run a bit better.  The pasty composition of the FHF makes it really easy to use as a top coat. Since it spreads nicely on top.
The BM waxes work good in warmer conditions.  It helps speed up and stop icing.  If mixed right.  Yes  purple/bm would be a  good combo.
Snow conditions vary everyday.  I pretty much play around with different combos every time I go skiing.  I always test for kick, then test for the best cover. 
I hope this helps
Dusty Olson Start Wax Genius
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
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 January 29 - February 7, 2016
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