Volume 17 Issue 47: March 24, 2016
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What Rollerski?

The snow is gone. What rollerski should I get? 

SkiPost recommends Swenor rollerskis, we loved them so much we started importing them. Swenor is the world's #1 rollerski brand because of the deliver "The Ultimate Ski-Feeling" The composite shafts make rough roads feel smooth and reduce leg fatigue. The #1 choices are the Swenor Skate Elite and for classic the Swenor Fiberglass. They also make the best rollerskis ferrules in every diameter. Swenor Catalog Here  email rollerski questions to

Summer Ski Storage 
Clean the base cover the Base
1)  Cleaning: Use wax remover and Fiber wipe to clean the kick zone and also the glide zone.
2)  Use the finest Steel 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.


I have read a number of articles related to stone grinding benefits.  My question is how often? I have seen comments to do it every year but my concern and question is how  many times can I grind my skis.  I have a pair of Atomic WC that are only 4 years old.  They have been ground 3 times.  The last time the shop said the bases are getting thin and they do not recommend another grind.

It all comes down to the grinder and grinding from day 1.A ski can be ground 10 times if they are just taking off a micro layer. 1 time if taking down hunks
If the grinder says it is thin, then it is likely thin.
Summer Ski Storage

Hi. Love Skipost, and have been an avid reader for many years.
This past season I could only ski 5 races, and maybe 7 or 8 'training' outings. My two pair of skate, and two pair classic, skis are well prepped and waxed for every event, though I only ski that one pair, warm or cold, based on conditions.
Do I really need to follow the full cleaning process, or can I simply add a warm wax, and leave them coated and sealed until next season. I really would like to keep the deep waxing in these skis, especially the HF and top coats.
Thanks, R, from the GRNST team in MI.

If the skis are in good shape with clean soft bases that absorb wax, then you can just add a thick top coat for summer.  Also make sure to store in a cold environment in a ski bag.
If you have skis that are not in good shape it is best to have the bases stoneground now to expose fresh base material and then treat them for summer storage.

Andy at SkiPost

Nano Grip?
complete answer

1) I might have asked you this before, but here goes.  I have a pair of Peltonen nano grips classic skis.  I like them a lot.  I live in central PA, snow conditions are even more variable than most places and they are great in warm conditions and new snow, I have bomber kick and good glide.  However, when it gets lower than about 28 F, they get very slick, kick wise.  I have talked to some people on the web, it may be that my kick technique is not the best.  I have never used a waxable classic ski, all of my prior experience is on fishscales.  One suggestion was to put NIS plates on and move the binding forward 1-2 cm, this would help the kick.  I am planning on doing a ski marathon next Winter in celebration of my 50th birthday and will have to do it in classic style (see question 2) and I don't have a budget to buy another set of classic skis.  Any suggestions?  I have thought of using kick wax on them when it gets colder, but am unsure what that will do to the nano grip.  

Thanks.  I enjoy reading your messages.

Hi Andy,
We have sold Peltonen Nanogrips as well as YOKO Optiwax skis and have some suggestions to improve both the kick and glide. 
First, the key is to be sure to cool the skis to the temperature of the snow.  The easiest way to do this is to put the skis on the snow while you go into the chalet, your car, etc to put your boots on.  3-5 minutes is usually enough. This helps eliminate typical icing as well as "nano-icing".  The typical icing is something we are all familiar with when using too warm a wax on a waxable ski; you get NO glide!  Nano-icing, or micro-icing occurs at the microscopic level and decreases the kick because the Nano- or Opti- surface cannot make a connection with the snow. 
The second key is to be sure to clean the surface of the skis any time you feel you're losing kick and/or glide.  Microscopic dirt/debris can build up on the base and inhibit the glide and grip; and this becomes a much bigger issue when it gets colder.  I skied the Birkie this year on YOKO Optigrip skis and had perfect kick all the way to "OO" when I had my first slip (no herringbone at all before this!), so I pulled over, wipe the skis aggressively on my shirt-sleeves and they were perfect again.  While my shirt worked OK to clean them, the best cleaning is done using a specific cleaner for nano/opti treated skis (like Optiwax Grip Cleaner) or using a Anti-Ice product.  We've found the best "application" method is to brush the skis with a medium brass brush taking several passes from tip to tail, then apply a thin layer of the cleaner or Anti-Ice and brush aggressively with a nylon brush, finishing by wiping clean with fiberlene. 
The final key as you suggested is to use an Anti-Ice product, but for that product to work the best, it is critical to clean the surface of the skis or the product will not adhere properly.

Andy at SkiPost

Bliz Optical
Bliz RX?


I met you at the Birkie and you guys said you could get Bliz in RX.
How do I proceed?

Yes we have most every Bliz frame available in with in the lens Bliz RX

Start Pole complements.
Baskets that do not fill.

BTW, The Start poles have been great to use this season! They do have a very low swing weight and I like how wetter snow doesn't ball up in the baskets like in other well known name brand poles.

Keep up the good work

Muffy Ritz
Sun Valley Vamps
Kids Straps

I like the Start straps a lot for the kids program we run. They work better than most other brands...When coaching kids, you end up having to help them most of the time with getting their poles on and off. So much so, that it actually effects how much no-pole skiing you do, bc its such a pain to get the whole group to get their poles on and off. The Start straps do not pull out and have a large enough opening, where some kids can actually do this by themselves! The Yoko straps pull out (major bummer) and and Madshus straps (though I like their loop) are these crazy heat-formed grips, even on kids poles. They are fine once they are on, but its like a corset!

JR Ski Program director
I am a citizen racer and completed my second Birkie this year. Both last year and this year my legs started cramping up during the second half of the race. I never cramped any other time in my life, including during ski training, triathlons, etc. I know the Birkie is a grueling race, but what suggestions do you have that can improve my off season training? I am a skate skier; do you have any specific drills I should do?

Cramping most often comes from muscle fatigue. Your muscles need to get used to the 2,3, 4 hours of marathon skiing. I do not know how much your train now of what your long days are and if you do intervals etc. But the only way to hope to avoid cramping in next year's Birkie is to replicate your Birkie effort in training leading up to the Birkie, to train your body for that effort.  You need to get some long days in skiing replicating the efforts that you will be racing the Birkie. Up hills, down hills and balancing on one ski over uneven terrain and in sloppy Birkie snow.

I think the unusual nature of the Birkie with the often sloppy snow and the stop and go nature of maneuvering around other skiers adds additional strain on your muscles. So you should try and replicate that effort. If you do not already do it, you should start rollerskiing in the summer, and increase your long days come fall. In winter do one LSD day a week and increase that throughout the winter. Race other ski marathons before the Birkie and then peak at the Birkie. There are no secrets. It just takes time.  

The difference in a ski marathon to a triathlon or a running marathon is the unpredictability of the snow condition. On a bad/sloppy snow day it takes allot more muscle work to remain balanced. That, plus skiing in a huge crowd wears on you. And this is why I believe you may be cramping at the Birkie but not at a triathlon. So work on technique so you can ski more relaxed. Skiing faster, easier can be done with fitness and also with technique. Many people focus on fitness not enough people focus on technique. So learn how to glide father faster.
I hope this helps
Andy at SkiPost

The thing that I do to prevent cramping is supplement my diet with potassium and magnesium. I take some before and during the race as well. This has stopped my cramping all together. Ted Romportl  Rice Lake WI

Yes diet can help a bit.
But Muscle memory is the #1 cure.

Cleaning Skins
Waxing Skins

You mentioned how to anti ice skis. But how do I clean skins?

You want to use Start Polymer Cleaner to clean skins that have dirt and or klister on them. Do not use harsh wax removers but use our gentle Polymer cleaner. You can also use the Start Polymer cleaner on your glide zones to remove dirt, klister and kick wax from the glide zones without removing all the glide wax.

Dear Andy, 

My skins skis worked great for the first half of the wet Birkie and then the kick diminished to next to nothing.  We used the Start Anti Ice rub on. At the finish line I looked at the skins and at first I thought the skins has dissolved and disappeared. But examining the skis at Gear West I discovered that the skins had become matted down to almost no hairs visible which reduced their kick. The skins had picked up klister and dirt along the way. The anti-ice worked for about 25km and then gradually diminished its effectiveness  What could be dine in future make skis work longer when it is that wet, dirty and klistery?

I had a few people who let e know they had good ski kick for the 50k using just the Start Anti Ice. Some who just put on one treatment and one who puts it on each and every outing. So it can work for 50km of wet slog if the skis are super saturated with anti ice form day 1.

I did have a few racers use the Start FHF 1 and FHF 3 or SFR 300 fluorcarbons. 

You can use Start Polymer Cleaner (our most gentle cleaner-not wax remover) on the skin. Do not use a wax remover.

For next year Start has developed a new Start HF Skin treatment that will be the go-to Skin solution. 

Andy at Start/SkiPost

White Bases?

Do white base on high-end skis really make enough of a difference? Just wondering how many pairs of skis I should get for next year's race season.

Dear CR,

White base skis are most often wet snow skis. But it is not just the white base (or grey base in Salomon's warm carbon ski) but the entire camber and pressure distribution that is different on the skis to deliver optimal glide in wet snow. Is it noticeably faster in the right conditions, yes. Do you need it? All depends on your goals and budget. Do you do your own hand structuring now? If not that would be your next step of improvement in glide.
Andy at SkiPost

Marathon Taper-Peak

I'm an avid ski racer and most of my races throughout the ski season are marathon (~50km) skate races. This season I have been thinking more about how to properly taper and rest between marathons without loosing fitness. For example, the Birkie is next weekend, followed by a two week break until the Yellowstone Rendezvous on March 5th. I'm hoping to feel fast at the Birkie, and peak for the Rendezvous. What types of workouts do you recommend to make sure I recovery from the Birkie but peak (instead of loosing fitness) going in to the Rendezvous? I'm very comfortable with interval training, but am not sure what types of intervals (duration/ intensity/ reps), if any, are appropriate in this late phase of the season. 
Thanks for your help!
K Bean

Hi K-Bean,
First of all I am impressed that you are prioritizing a race in your schedule.  It is easy to want to do well in every race you enter, but prioritizing one race each month can help you to have a truly great race rather than a bunch of so-so races.  I would recommend maintaining your average training load up until Tuesday before the Birkie, then I would recommend reducing your training load by 50 percent for the next three days.  Keep the training frequency the same, but just make each workout a lower load.  If you normally ski for an hour, just go for a half hour.  If you noramlly do 6*4 minute intervals do 3*4 minute intervals.  Maintaining the workout frequency will help you to still get the hormonal and physiological benefits of the training but the lower load should help you feel good and fresh for the race.  You will not loose any fitness over three easy days.  After the Birkie, feel free to take a day or two off, or better yet get out for a super slow recovery ski, walk, bike, yoga or jog.  Keep the intensity super low as the purpose of any training is to help your body recover.  Hopefully by Wednesday you will begin to feel good again.  Resume your normal training load and frequency.  Since you have already had a hard race effort, I would reccomend threshold interval workouts with burst of speed thrown in.  A favoring of mine is 6*8 minutes at level 3 with 2*15 second bursts in each interval.  The focus of this workout is helping your body to buffer lactic acid and to improve your comfort and technique at speed.  If you still feel the load from the Birkie, just do easy distance skiing with 10 x 8-12 second bursts of speed at 10 km race pace. Give yourself a good 2-3 minutes between each burst.  The entire week of your target race drop your training load by 50%.  If you get that restless feeling, that is a good thing, just save that energy for the race.  March is one of the most fun times to be a skier as you can essentially rest and race.  Good luck,
Brian Gregg
2014 Olympian XC Skiing

 Wax Recs

All Start Wax Recs can be found at 

Many more Start Wax recs are posted at 
Also try out the Start Wax Choose at  

Andy at SkiPost/Start email questions

Start is the low swing weight and high durability
from thick wall construction.

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
Jessie Diggins

"This photo says it all. Last brutally hard World Cup of the year...done!" 
"I was so happy with this tour and the season as a whole," said Diggins. "I'm so proud to be a part of this team! I had great skis today and although I woke up with the start of a cold, I knew I could fight it out one last time.We caught Astrid and I ended up in fifth place, and was psyched to learn that I got my first classic podium ever with third-fastest time of day!" 5th in the Tour of Canada and 8th in the Overall FIS Cross Country World Cup
"Jessie Diggins"



Birkie moves Korte to Friday

American Birkebeiner® Ski Foundation Announces 2017 Schedule of Events
America's 2nd Largest Ski Race Moves to Friday

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) board of directors today announced the 2017 American Birkebeiner schedule of events slated for February 23-26, 2017. North America's largest cross-country ski race, the American Birkebeiner, is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2017 with the Kortelopet, North America's second largest ski race, moved to Friday, February 24, 2017.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 The American Birkebeiner week of festivities will begin on Thursday with several events returning to their original Thursday schedule. The day kicks off with the Birkie Adaptive Ski event, followed by the Barkie Birkie Skijor, the Barnebirkie Youth Ski Tour, the Junior Birkie, and the Birkie Junior-Elite Sprints, culminating with the ever-popular Giant Ski Race.
While youth participation was strong in 2016, in past years Barnebirkie participation was strongest when the event was held on a Thursday. Additionally, returning the races to Thursday allows more families to participate in the downtown Hayward experience with a full schedule of events for skiers and spectators alike. Lastly, 2017 will be the first year that junior skiers and elites will combine for the sprints, an event certain to provide inspiring moments for junior skiers and mentorship opportunities for elite racers.

Friday, February 24, 2017 The most significant changes in 2017 will be on Friday with both the Kortelopet and Prince Haakon races moving from Saturday to Friday to provide for a better overall race experience for all Birkie, Korte, and Prince Haakon skiers. Both races will finish in downtown Hayward with the 28K Kortelopet starting at the Highway OO Trailhead and the 15K Prince Haakon starting near Mosquito Brook. Skiers will be greeted by the ringing of cowbells, cheering fans and the post-race celebratory atmosphere that was lacking at the current race start and finish.

"Our decision to move both the Prince Haakon and Kortelopet races to Friday was made with thoughtful consideration for all ski participants," stated Ben Popp, ABSF Executive Director. "As part of the decision making process, we surveyed our participants, talked with the community, and gathered insights from key stakeholders. From skiers and their families, to business owners and volunteers, it became clear that a move to Friday would allow us to provide the best possible Birkie moments for all."
The Kortelopet has grown 40% since 2006. With current and future Korte trail access and maintenance issues top-of-mind, the ABSF was in need of making necessary changes to ensure the viability of the race both now and in the future. Previously, Kortelopet and Birkebeiner skiers were on the course at the same time, creating concerning course congestion. Moving the Kortelopet and Prince Haakon to Friday allows for strategic and measured growth for both the moderate length Kortelopet and shorter distance Prince Haakon races.

"One of the primary comments we heard from Korte and Prince Haakon skiers was that the finish line experience was underwhelming. We took that to heart," Popp continued. "By moving the race to Friday all skiers will experience the excitement that comes from having the support of family, friends and spectators there as skiers cross the finish line. The infrastructure in Hayward will allow for a much-improved overall event feel for skiers and spectators alike."
"We are excited about giving the Korte and Prince Haakon skiers the opportunity to shine on their own race day," said Allan Serrano, ABSF Event Director. "Now Korte and Prince Haakon skiers will experience a better course, better recognition, and better finish line moment. It is really about providing the best possible experience for every skier."

Saturday, February 25, 2017
For the first time ever, on Saturday, February 25, 2017, the 44th Annual Slumberland American Birkebeiner skiers will line-up at the new Birkie permanent start, made possible by Phase 1 of the ABSF's first-ever capital campaign which launched in 2015. The 2017 American Birkebeiner will christen the start as skiers embark on an over 50K journey (50K skate/54K classic) to their final destination at the finish line in Hayward, WI.

"We've heard from many Birkie skiers, who have family or friends in the Kortelopet or Prince Haakon, that they are excited to be able to cheer on their traveling companions on Friday, and in-turn have their family and friends cheer for them during Saturday's race. We've been talking for some time about what is best for all Birkie, Korte and Prince Haakon skiers and we feel confident that this is the best next step," mentioned Popp.

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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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Bliz Active Logo

Bliz RX now available
Email for details

Bliz ULS
One fogfree lens 
that does it all

This Bliz
This Bliz

25 Medals for Bliz Athletes 

Start Kick Waxes

Start Wax  and Poles Explained


Point6 Nordic Socks 
West Yellowstone








Jon Engen

Jim Galanes


Start Genius Dealers 


For more Start USA info  



BLIZ America Dealers 



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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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