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Any holmenkol race wax fans?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've been using Swix wax for the last few seasons but after cruising a few race websites I'm thinking of trying holmenkol for next season. I used the beta red when i first started tuning skis but only for recreational skiing. I switched to swix because that is what my local shop now carries

My son came back from a race camp where the only waxes he could find where alpha mix yellow, beta mix red, graphite molybdenum and a mix pack. Of beta mix red and ultra mix blue.

After using these waxes the base of his skis have a finish on them completely different from the finish i would get when using swix lf 7 or 8.

I'm just wondering if there are any homokol wax users out there who use there waxes for both recreational racing and more competitive racing. Any tips or suggestions on which waxes and additives to get as a basic starting kit would be appreciated.

Do i need to get the hybrid waxes and or the high fluor gw 25 additiv??

Snow conditions are eastern conditions which is a mixture of man made snow, old snow and ice.

post #2 of 8

I'm not one, but quite a few should be along soon.     Please post your experiences as you learn the new lineup?

post #3 of 8

Haven't used it in decades, but remember fondly that they had the best cold weather wax in the 80s. Shops were often sold out of it in Minnesota during January.   I once traded a pro tour ski tech a small cake of HK blue for a pound of US gold.  Both of his racers won medals that weekend. 

post #4 of 8

It's very good wax, and in our experience easy to work with. My kids were both racers. The youngest is still racing at the NCAA level, the older is a coach. I met a Holmenkol rep and began to use this 20 years ago. The ski academy that the kids attended primarily used Holmenkol, as did one of their college teams. One of them was in a PG program where they used Swix. My daughter {who's a serious tuner} felt that it was confusing to adopt Swix when she got to college, and that she had to work with a lot more product compared to Holmenkol. We've had quite a bit of experience with Swix, and Dominator, and a bit with Toko. They are all good products. No question. A ton of WC races are won on all of these products.


I have mentioned on here before that an older friend of my son's skied two seasons in which he used NOTHING but Beta {with no additives} on his SL and GS skis, and won over 10 NCAA races, a bunch of NorAms, and was just off the podium at US Nationals. Later skied on the USST at the WC level. My kids {both in the east} used Beta as their training wax, and used it alone 90% of the time on their tech skis. When the snow is really cold {like a trip to Canada}, they would occasionally use Ultramix. In the late spring they might use AlphaMix, and they used that to hot scrape for the most part. In speed events, they would mix in graphite, normally in dry cold "sweaky" conditions. Similarly when the humidity called for fluoro, they would mix in a bit of GW25. In the late spring, if there was visible water in the snow, they might add the Silicon {no e}. Both these kids skied in NorAm speed events, and at US Nationals, prepping their own skis. At that level they use a variety of overlays as well, not necessarily Holmenkol products. 


When they were old enough to begin to travel, it was very simple with Holmenkol. Not a lot to pack and travel with. And not a lot to go wrong. I use it myself on my skis and my wife's, though our racing careers ended about 35 years ago. I also understand what you mean about the look of the wax. Very easy to see that your bases are nicely saturated, and greasy. I also found that once you get used to working with it, it seems like a block of it goes a long way.


As I mentioned, there are a lot of good products, and people have their own favorites. You asked for fans, and my family is one. HIghly recommend it. 



post #5 of 8
Excellent guidance from mule ski and he has more insight into top level use than most of us here. I have been using holmenkol for about 7 years now and would not switch (short of some great deal smile.gif ). Only other thing i use is race rocket as an overlay or second run top up. The beta red is an ideal base, the normal go to wax here in Tahoe, and it is hard to get caught out with it. The nearest. thing to only one wax you can get And fast as well. You would also be surprised at how wide a range the blue ulltramix actually has. Much wider than indicated. In the east in dec/jan you could almost run it straight! ( but t is a pita to scrape). When mixed with beta it can give a really fast ski. I went through a lot f it last season given how much we were skiing on man made snow and was running it at warmer temps than previously. I got a lot of grief from my race buddies who kept thinking I was nuts when I told them I was on red/blue and they were on red or red/ yellow but ihad a consistently faster ski, good enough for class win or podium inmost races and the class championship. The other recommended use for blue is torun a thin strip down the edge of the base, helps minimize base burn, especially in the east.

Never used hybrid or gw25, too spendy for me (although I do have some old gw15 that I got cheap) and, unless your son is at the very top level, suggest you save some cost and stick with the mix series, get used to the different mix options and brush well for race day. If in doubt I always go a bit colder but almost always you will use some red. (I have heard and have a hi chart that shows a mix of blue and yellow but never actually tried that). When snow gets really wet in spring, a touch of silicon really speeds them up.

Rather than going to hybrid, I suggest you look at the new(er) fluoro mix from hk as a base, with the relevant mix waxes on top. It is much more affordable and I was very impressed when I started using it later in the season last year. Will be a regulari part of my prep this year. About $10-15 a 150g block dearer than mix.

As your son has found the molybdenum is great for glacier skiing or late season dirty snow. I used it a mammoth in may and it also gave good base protection.

Hope this helps.
post #6 of 8

Back in the days when I was still in WC business (I'm out of it for some 13 years or so now), Holmenkol was more or less a joke. Sure it was still in my wax boxes, but I don't remember single race where I would use it. But lately, I got info from friends who are still in WC, they changed, and a lot, so more and more people are using Holmenkol (quite few medals in Garmisch WCH were won on Holmenkol. Personally I know for at least 3).

But there's few things... for recreational skiing, even racing, anything will do just fine. For SL, and in most cases GS, anything will do just fine, since wax is last thing that matters. For SG and DH, things get a lot more complicated, especially if you go higher levels of racing.

post #7 of 8

Agree with both Primoz and SS. Spot on. Back when my family first started using Holmenkol, a couple of the drivers were that it was simple to use {not a lot of confusion for the kids}, and the race pricing was very, very reasonable. We were going through a ton of wax, and price mattered. They also had a race rep in the US who had a big following in the ski academy world. Good guy. And when it was "tested" to the degree it could be with that crowd, it worked. It was not a scenario where this stuff was under the feet of the WC teams, so we needed it. Not at all. I've had the opportunity to watch quite a few high level techs at work, and as Primoz says, more of it seems to be in their boxes these days. My kids were not on a National Team track; they topped out at the NCAA, NorAm plateau. Up to that level, where you are almost always doing your own skis, I really think it's a good choice.  SS's points about the UltraMix {blue} are spot on. The former cold temp wax, a green, was much harder, and much less versatile, hence my comments about using the red BetaMix for a whole season. Now, being fair, I watched a guy prep his skis at our house the night before winning his second Nor Am in a row, both SG's, and he was waxing with Dominator "Zoom for old snow". Basically said he had enough other stuff to work on, and that that wax was "good enough."  Can't remember the last FIS level SL or GS race I watched where there weren't pretty visible errors by even the top skiers. The issue, IMO, is to not let it creep into the athlete's head. The skier has to believe that he has skis that run fast, so the real work is up to him/her. Getting off topic. Holmenkol worked just fine for us, and still does. Keep in mind that a lot of folks can have the very "best" and most costly products on their benches, and still fail miserably to produce fast skis. Not to beat a dead horse, but the simplicity factor was the big winner for us. My kids did ALL of their own tuning from J3 years on, with the exception of a two year period where my daughter had a tech/coach who did it all. I think the simplicity helped. They worried less about wax, and got a much better hand with the stones, and with brushing, etc. The never felt that their skis, or the wax was an issue. Just my $.02!

post #8 of 8

Have used the H. hybrid waxes often and typically have bought it for my kids who race.  Especially like the wide temp range with the hybrid white, and when rubbed on after a base of beta red, a stick lasts a long time.  I even started using it on my skate skis instead of Swix.  In a cross country venue, when the conditions are consistent with the wax, it seems that the H. hybrid white lasts longer than the hf Swix. Have tried other "high end" internet order type waxes and have been less than satisfied - sometimes too complicated and have had comments from my kids that they prefer H. waxes.  The H. waxes always seem easy to use, which is good because I want my kids to be as independent as possible in tuning and waxing.   I also agree that H. does a good job with cold weather wax.  On moist and warm days for SG races my kids add gw25 and I believe it helps.   I used gw25 on warm wet sticky snow days (just to get a sense of what it does out of interest) and the skis slide much easier with the GW25 than without - at least for a while. Use H. Beta as a daily wax.  I'm not at all an expert so take my comments FWIW

Edited by canadianskier - 8/9/12 at 5:02pm
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