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Blending hydrocarbons

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 

  This new thread is sort of a continuation of a discussion taking place in a previous thread in tuning & maintenance "How Flat Do They Really Need To Be?", in which we were discussing "base burn" (what causes it, how to help minimize it, etc....). For those of you that weren't involved/didn't read it, you should do so first, so this one makes more sensewink.gif. Keep in mind as well, this can be useful for the diy guy, but is by no means necessary for the recreational skier....

 

  So, during the last thread, discussing base burn sort of got me thinking about the way I wax my personal skis, slalom, gs, and all mountain--this thread is a continuation in my mind, because, as we all know, the effects of your skis moving across the snow generates heat/friction. In fact, that's the real reason we wax in the first place...friction increases drag--but for high end skiers/carvers/racers, who tend to ski at higher speeds/higher edge angles--it causes deterioration of the base material as well. This breakdown in my, and many others experience, generally occurs "underfoot" (a simple word to describe an area from say, several centimeters in front of the toe piece to an area a few centimeters aft of the heel piece). The reason for this is quite intuitive--it's the spot that sees the most "pressure", and thus, the most heat/friction. But again, most of you probably know this.

 

  So, to make a long story short (too late), I wax my personal skis in the following way: crayon on the soft (to protect the base from the initial heat of the iron), "hot crayon" a hard wax near the edges (as per the previous thread), drip on the normal amount of the soft from the forebody to the tip and from aft of the heel to the tail (but not underfoot), and lastly,  medium underfoot The idea behind this of course, is to wax appropriately for the areas of the ski that are going to see the most friction, of course. I wax this way nearly every time, using different hardnesses as temps change of course. Combined with proper brushing, I feel it makes them quite fast as well....

 

  There were a lot of great posters sharing their "secrets" on the last thread, so I hoped we could do the same here, as I am always open to new ideas involving this topicsmile.gif

 

 

  Stay sharp out there!

 

         zentune


Edited by zentune - 12/1/12 at 8:15am
post #2 of 64

I also do a lot of blending. But have not had a problem in years with base burn at the edges in years. Part of this is I am sure due to hot boxing the GS skis (just a few cycles but including a graphite moly in the mix). This is done after each grind by Graham Lonetto at Edgewise in Stowe. I also am very faithful about waxing pretty much after a day skiing. I also include conditioning waxes pretty regularly in the routine and, I think this is important in the base burn prevention, metal brushes. I am also fairly light (a little under 120 lbs  now after the holiday) but I ski mostly on icy man made and train usually 2 nights/week and race many weekends. Anyway, my routine:

 

Step 1 brush out the skis with a nylon brush to get rid of surface dirt. Then a brushing with steel firm but not hard to clean out the structure

For me, everything starts with the hot scrape. My favorite for a plain scraping wax is Race Service (from Race Werks) SBC. I like it because it is a light color (pale orange) so I can see when the dirt from the snow (and brushing) is gone. One or 2 usually do it except in spring conditions. If I have used a lot of fluoros, I use a graphite wax (Dominator Renew black) to help pull out the fluoros. Then, unless I need them the next day I use a conditioning wax - either the Dominator SRB base conditioning wax Race Renew I think (they don't have it on their web site yet but it is excellent) or if I will be skiing (as I often do) on a icy man made that goes through melt/freeze cycles during the day or at a hill that leaves too much water in the snow they make, I use the Swix Moly fluoro conditioner  (MB 77). I leave that on a minimum or a few hours or overnight (or more depending on when I do my finish wax). If I am training on the hill that melts and has too much water, I sometimes just leave the Swix on and scrape and brush. But most often, I do a lightish scrape of 95% of the conditioning wax then my daily. I use mostly Dominator or Holmenkol. I have a lot of the Holmenkol and have been happy with beta as a go to. I have blended it with the GW 25 flouro, with the moly/graphite additive, and with the Dominator SRB or FG additives as well as with the other two Holmenkol's alpha and ultra. Same story with the Holmenkol hybrids and the Dominator race waxes in terms of my blends. The specific blends are always complicated and, since I live several hours from any race hill, a process that involves weather forecasts and guesses: How wet will it be, how wet has it been, has it stayed cold or cycled, has there been new snow, how is the mountain's snowmaking in terms of humidity of snow, when am I racing, sunny or shady trail, weather in the days before, etc. etc.

 

If I am doing a complicated blend (more than 2 waxes) I use the checkerboard method of application, usually with a touch to the iron so that I can get something like  the right blend and with some of them, just a dry rub is fine.  However, unlike Zentune, I use a consistent blend all over the ski. If I am doing a simple 50/50 or 2 to 1 blend, I usually drip and just base the mix on the speed I move the wax but I made lots of errors with that method till I got a good feel for the melt speed of each wax and additive. If I am using additives with a cold wax like Ultra or Bullet, I always use the checkerboard or rub on method for the additive, leaving blanks and then drip the cold on over all as the iron temps are too high to use the additives without a lot of waste.

 

Then wax, cool for however long is appropriate (at a minimum) then scrape (sharp scraper) and I use what I think most people view as an excessive rotation of mostly metal brushes. (usually 5 or 6). I usually have fast skis and my issues are operator error. However, I sometimes have real misses with my wax forecasts and have gotten some of the Dominator rub on to allow course corrections if there is an unforseen warm up, new snow, or if I just missed the mark.

 

Anyway, this is my normal blending process. Not scientific. Excessively feel based. But I don't get the test data and often have to pick my Saturday wax on Thursday night. But I can usually glide right up to even a steep start platform.


Edited by vsirin - 12/1/12 at 8:28pm
post #3 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

I also do a lot of blending. But have not had a problem in years with base burn at the edges in years. Part of this is I am sure due to hot boxing the GS skis (just a few cycles but including a graphite moly in the mix). This is done after each grind by Graham Lonetto at Edgewise in Stowe. I also am very faithful about waxing pretty much after a day skiing. I also include conditioning waxes pretty regularly in the routine and, I think this is important in the base burn prevention, metal brushes. I am also fairly light (a little under 120 lbs  now after the holiday) but I ski mostly on icy man made and train usually 2 nights/week and race many weekends. Anyway, my routine:

 

Step 1 brush out the skis with a nylon brush to get rid of surface dirt. Then a brushing with steel firm but not hard to clean out the structure

For me, everything starts with the hot scrape. My favorite for a plain scraping wax is Race Service (from Race Werks) SBC. I like it because it is a light color (pale orange) so I can see when the dirt from the snow (and brushing) is gone. One or 2 usually do it except in spring conditions. If I have used a lot of fluoros, I use a graphite wax (Dominator Renew black) to help pull out the fluoros. Then, unless I need them the next day I use a conditioning wax - either the Dominator SRB base conditioning (they don't have it on their web site yet but it is excellent) or if I will be skiing (as I often do) on a icy man made that goes through melt/freeze cycles during the day or at a hill that leaves too much water in the snow they make, I use the Swix Moly fluoro conditioner  (77). I leave that on overnight (or more depending on when I do my finish wax). If I am training on the hill that melts and has too much water, I sometimes just leave the Swix on and scrape and brush. But most often, I do a lightish scrape of 95% of the conditioning wax then my daily. I use mostly Dominator or Holmenkol. I have a lot of the Holmenkol and have been happy with beta as a go to. I have blended it with the GW 25 flouro, with the moly/graphite additive, and with the Dominator SRB or FG additives as well as with the other two Holmenkol's alpha and ultra. Same story with the Holmenkol hybrids in terms of my blends. The specific blends are always complicated and, since I live several hours from any race hill, a process that involves weather forecasts and guesses. How wet will it be, how wet has it been, has it stayed cold or cycled, has there been new snow, how is the mountain's snowmaking in terms of humidity of snow, when am I racing, etc. etc.

 

If I am doing a complicated blend (more than 2 waxes) I use the checkerboard method of application, usually with a touch to the iron so that I can get something like  the right blend and with some of them, just a dry rub is fine.  However, I use a consistent blend all over the ski. If I am doing a simple 50/50 or 2 to 1 blend, I usually drip and just base the mix on the speed I move the wax but I made lots of errors with that method till I got a good feel for the melt speed of each wax and additive. If I am using additives with a cold wax like Bullet, I always use the checkerboard or rub on method for the additive, leaving blanks and then drip the cold on over all as the iron temps are too high to use the additives without a lot of waste.

 

Then wax, cool for however long is appropriate (at a minimum) then scrape (sharp scraper) and I use what I think most people view as an excessive rotation of mostly metal brushes. (usually 5 or 6). I usually have fast skis and my issues are operator error. However, I sometimes have real misses with my wax forecasts and have gotten some of the Dominator rub on to allow course corrections if there is an unforseen warm up, new snow, or if I just missed the mark.

 

Anyway, this is my normal blending process. Not scientific. Excessively feel based. But I don't get the test data and often have to pick my Saturday wax on Thursday night. But I can usually glide right up to even a steep start platform.

 Nice post visrinbiggrin.gif!!!...A few things (among many) that I really liked was how you mentioned "Not scientific. Excessively feel based"...I think that's how many of us (myself included) go about it. So much of waxing/tuning is about what the person doing it feels works best for them....The other cool topic you touched on (which I maybe should have) was brushing. I myself, am also a proponent of excessive metal brushingwink.gif ...couple of my faves are the race-place oval soft steel/horsehair, svst oval brass, and a hard to come by red creek ultra fine steel roto$$ (I feel a new brushing thread someday would be cool!!)  

 

  P.s. alright everyone else...weigh in!


Edited by zentune - 12/1/12 at 9:59pm
post #4 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

 

snip......

  P.s. alright everyone else...weigh in!

That would be like following Torvill and Dean. wink.gif

 

I understand that for racing you need your wax to perform on the first run, right away in other words. But just skiing around the mountain on a skier packed and soft day, I don't mind if it takes the wax a few runs to get buffed in so to speak. At what point, how many runs, before the texture of brushing or scraping is rubbed off by the snow, leaving mainly wax impregnated into the base? or is that how it works? Is more than a quick scrape warranted for general skiing?  That's all I do and the skis seem to run well. And is blending yellow and red Holmenkohlen to current temperature a good enough strategy for the same general use in the Sierra?

post #5 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

That would be like following Torvill and Dean. wink.gif

 

I understand that for racing you need your wax to perform on the first run, right away in other words. But just skiing around the mountain on a skier packed and soft day, I don't mind if it takes the wax a few runs to get buffed in so to speak. At what point, how many runs, before the texture of brushing or scraping is rubbed off by the snow, leaving mainly wax impregnated into the base? or is that how it works? Is more than a quick scrape warranted for general skiing?  That's all I do and the skis seem to run well. And is blending yellow and red Holmenkohlen to current temperature a good enough strategy for the same general use in the Sierra?

  Well, as visirin so aptly stated, for many of us, it's not necessarily science, it's about feel. Even world cup techs will disagree on certain issues, i.e. which brush to use first/how much brushing, stones vs. diamonds, etc...having said that...One of the benefits of brushing relevant here is that, it is used to clean out the structure of your ski bases. Base structure is to skis, as tread is to car tires, at least in terms of moisture dispersal. A completley smooth (think un-brushed) ski base will to some degree (dependent on moisture content of the snow) be subject to suction, which can affect ski performance. I once brushed out a ski for a friend, after he returned from a day on the slopes (he hadn't brushed)  as a prep for a tune. I was amazed at how much wax I removed through brushing...It is important to remember for a home tuner that skis a lot, that you want the wax in the ski not on it. A performance boost will be noticed (by brushing) for suresmile.gif  A swix rectangular nylon is a great first brush, and cheap. For a casual, not super serious skier, it's not an issue, imho...wax n go.

  Sounds like your wax selection is ok to me...just watch the snow temps/humiditiesicon14.gif

 

   .

post #6 of 64

It is pretty hard to go wrong by simply following the Swix online manual.

Some of you guys simply have too much time on your hands.

That being said, I have had a couple of opportunities to ride freshly waxed GS skis that were waxed by racing techs.

I have never been able to get the glide that the true pros can.

I'd rather ski than wax a pair or skis ten times after a grind before skiing them!

post #7 of 64
Thread Starter 

Davluri, instead of just "wax n go", I should've  said just wax, scrape , n gorolleyes.gif....

post #8 of 64

Here is the situation.  No wax penetrates the p-tex matrix; instead, it fills voids at the surface.  "Softer" waxes have shorter hydrocarbon chain lengths, so can necessarily penetrate deeper and deeper into the microscopic voids.  This is why the first layer needs to be very soft.  There are some voids a hard wax is incapable of penetrating, no matter how much or how many times you wax.

 

1000

post #9 of 64

Question from someone who is just starting my waxing life.... How do you guys get the wax out of/off of your brushes?  or do you worry about this? 
I've been brushing with brass, hot-waxing, scraping, and then brushing with plastic... but I'm finding my brushes have a fair bit of wax in/on them.  Does that compromise them?  I'm trying not to overwax and to scrape pretty well so there's not too much wax for the brushes, but ....

 

Is this an issue?
Thx.

post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

Question from someone who is just starting my waxing life.... How do you guys get the wax out of/off of your brushes?  or do you worry about this? 
I've been brushing with brass, hot-waxing, scraping, and then brushing with plastic... but I'm finding my brushes have a fair bit of wax in/on them.  Does that compromise them?  I'm trying not to overwax and to scrape pretty well so there's not too much wax for the brushes, but ....

 

Is this an issue?
Thx.

 

Use a shop vac.  You'll need one anyway to keep your wax area clean after each waxing session.

post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugBootBlues View Post

Here is the situation.  No wax penetrates the p-tex matrix; instead, it fills voids at the surface.  "Softer" waxes have shorter hydrocarbon chain lengths, so can necessarily penetrate deeper and deeper into the microscopic voids.  This is why the first layer needs to be very soft.  There are some voids a hard wax is incapable of penetrating, no matter how much or how many times you wax.

 

1000

 

Not true!

The sintered high molecular weight polyethylend that ski bases are made from has a very significant void fraction.

The low molecular weight components of the wax can penetrate many microns below the apparent surface of the base.

The reason you want to wax a freshly ground ski with pure hydrocarbon wax is these waxes have similar swurface energy to the base material and can more easily diffuse into the base than a fluoro modified hydrocarbon that is a bit like mixing oil and water.

The reason to hot box is to keep the wax and base molecules mobile to aid diffusion of the wax into the void space of the polymer.

Once the base is saturated you wax on top of that with fluoros to present a very high surface energy base to the water in the snow.

post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

Not true!

The sintered high molecular weight polyethylend that ski bases are made from has a very significant void fraction.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugBootBlues View Post

No wax penetrates the p-tex matrix; instead, it fills voids at the surface.

 

cool.gif

post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

Question from someone who is just starting my waxing life.... How do you guys get the wax out of/off of your brushes?  or do you worry about this? 

I've been brushing with brass, hot-waxing, scraping, and then brushing with plastic... but I'm finding my brushes have a fair bit of wax in/on them.  Does that compromise them?  I'm trying not to overwax and to scrape pretty well so there's not too much wax for the brushes, but ....

Is this an issue?

Thx.

For non metallic brushes , put them in the microwave, wrapped in a piece of kitchen roll!
post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

That would be like following Torvill and Dean. wink.gif

I understand that for racing you need your wax to perform on the first run, right away in other words. But just skiing around the mountain on a skier packed and soft day, I don't mind if it takes the wax a few runs to get buffed in so to speak. At what point, how many runs, before the texture of brushing or scraping is rubbed off by the snow, leaving mainly wax impregnated into the base? or is that how it works? Is more than a quick scrape warranted for general skiing?  That's all I do and the skis seem to run well. And is blending yellow and red Holmenkohlen to current temperature a good enough strategy for the same general use in the Sierra?

Good point Dav. When you brush down for a race finish, you are really setting the ski up for 2-3 runs only. And I will normally also use an overlay of some description for the second run. I will do that for race day but if I am training or free skiing I must admit I probably leave a bit more wax on when brushing. With a full race brush out, more than 3-4 runs you are getting the risk of base burn and you can actually feel the ski getting slower.

I am a holmenkol guy so red is a great all round wax here. I tend to not use much yellow in the mix until later in the season. Try playing with a red blue mix, especially through end of January. I used a lot more blue last year, even when my race buddies were laughing at my choice! , but found it to be faster. Also good for base protection!
post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

Davluri, instead of just "wax n go", I should've  said just wax, scrape , n gorolleyes.gif....


I think I'm casual enough to go with this....dull, dark, worn out clothes an' all. thanks. So I'm still: scrape 'n go.

post #16 of 64

Can someone enlighten me on ski waxing? If the base structure looks like the pic above, when I melt my wax (hot wax) onto the ski, aren't I filling up all the channels in the ski?

By channel I mean the big rectangular voids in the structure, not the small micro voids. I image the micro voids get filled as well and that would be affected by the sof/hardness of the wax, and how much you heat it and get it liquid. Once liquid, then surface tension comes into play to get into the micro voids. 

So then you scrape the excess wax off the top of the base structure with a scraper, that is pretty straight forward. Next brush, is the brushing clearing the wax out of all the channels? So now the ski looks like the waxed brushed pic and that will be the fastest surface?

 

If I am a recreational skier, I think it would be better to let the snow clear the wax out of the channels over the course of the day, and that will make my wax last a lot longer, and the snow clearing it out should take the path of least resistance, which in theory would remove the high resistance area's first. That seems better than removing with a brush that is not going after the high resistance areas. Am I missing something here?

 

I could see for a racer, he can't wait 3-4 runs for that to happen, so you need to brush. I have been told that a race wax will not last more than 1-2 runs at most. If you are going to use multiple waxs, then I see the need to brush as well, because you don't want the waxes to build up on the top of the ski only, and get scraped off.

 

So if I am using one wax to protect the ski and improve glide, hot wax, scrape, smooth and let the snow expose the channels over time to get the most life out of your wax.

 

If you want speed right away, brush out the channels at the expense of longevity?

post #17 of 64

Bttocks, your  basic understanding is right - scraping cleans most of the wax off the top leaving a "flat" surface. At this point, the ski performs like a tire with no tread, it gets affected by moisture (always there when you ski) creating suction/surface tension and also diminishes turning ability and other performance characteristics. I always like to brush although the amount of my brushing varies based on race vs. training vs. free skiing and also somewhat conditions. If it is warm, I always brush more so I avoid sticky skis. I may need in very warm conditions to put another coat of Butter or something comparable on but even on the hill I do some brushing. The structure is a major factor in ski performance and I am not at all sure that without brushing you ever get the wax out of the structure or, if you do, that it is anything like consistent over the ski's length and width.  I am sure you clean out most of the area underfoot for a few inches in. If your structure is not clear, the ski can't perform as it should. I don't spend hours brushing my skis - you can do a pretty thorough job with a hard bronze, soft brass and horsehair brushes in just a couple of minutes. A regular nylon brush takes 3 or 4X extra to achieve the same result.

 

 I like to protect the skis with off season saturation as well as routine use of penetrating conditioning waxes and frequent waxing.

post #18 of 64
Thread Starter 

  This one's for plugbootblues...aka plugbootredster (see"boots at solden" thread in racing and big mountain)  I'm sorry, but you are just spreading misinformation here. Plug-- google this sort of thing before posting,( there is all sorts of information on this that is readily available for the interestedwink.gif), you're going to cause other people here to come away with the wrong impression. True, a solid sheet ptex base, typically reserved for lower performance skis, won't absorb ....much that is. But wax does penetrate, nonetheless.

 

 A sintered base, on the other hand is considered far superior, because it is made from many thousands of "paticles" which are compressed under intense pressures, effectively binding them together (keep in mind that, for the sake of brevity, I'm keeping it simple). This allows for there to be pores in between the particles (because it's not "solid"), which, when heated with an iron, expand and thus absorb wax (yes, into the ski). As the ski cools--slowly is best!--these pores slowly contract and subsequently retain some of the wax you ironed insmile.gif...

 

  P.s. Not trying to be a know it all jerk here plug...in fact, here, checkout this link, it's a wealth of info www.pezwinter.blogspot.com  It's the site of Dave Pezek...former world cup tech/race coach

  P.s 2 Those jagged looking "voids"at the bottom and sides of the structure in your diagram can in fact be smoothed out, i.e. become less rough, through a proper cycle of hand/roto brushing and waxing (green and white scotchbrite pads also aid greatly in this)icon14.gif

 

   zentune


Edited by zentune - 12/2/12 at 8:07pm
post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post


For non metallic brushes , put them in the microwave, wrapped in a piece of kitchen roll!

 

Ever tried putting them into your hotbox , reasonably near the heater?

post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

 

 

 A sintered base, on the other hand is considered far superior, because it is made from many thousands of "paticles" which are compressed under intense pressures, effectively binding them together (keep in mind that, for the sake of brevity, I'm keeping it simple). This allows for there to be pores in between the particles (because it's not "solid"), which, when heated with an iron, expand and thus absorb wax (yes, into the ski). As the ski cools--slowly is best!--these pores slowly contract and subsequently retain some of the wax you ironed insmile.gif...

 

Yup.    And the corollary here is - water can also penetrate those same interstices, even down to the base if there is not enough wax in the base.     Hit that water with an iron and it can cause thin bases to bubble up and even delaminate.

post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

 A sintered base, on the other hand is considered far superior, because it is made from many thousands of "paticles" which are compressed under intense pressures, effectively binding them together (keep in mind that, for the sake of brevity, I'm keeping it simple). This allows for there to be pores in between the particles (because it's not "solid"), which, when heated with an iron, expand and thus absorb wax (yes, into the ski). As the ski cools--slowly is best!--these pores slowly contract and subsequently retain some of the wax you ironed insmile.gif...

 

 

Filling those pores (or voids) with wax is the process used by many when they put new skis through a cycle of different waxes - hard, med, soft - to try to fill and saturate the voids. This is the same objective met by hot boxing which also typically uses a variety of waxes. The idea is that the voids are different sizes and shapes and absorb wax differently so to pack as much as possible in, a variety is better. Filling (or refilling) the voids is also the idea of conditioning waxes which are more easily absorbed than the daily waxes.

post #22 of 64
Thread Starter 
great follow ups, visrin, n canatunamunch:-)))
post #23 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

Bttocks, your  basic understanding is right - scraping cleans most of the wax off the top leaving a "flat" surface. At this point, the ski performs like a tire with no tread, it gets affected by moisture (always there when you ski) creating suction/surface tension and also diminishes turning ability and other performance characteristics. I always like to brush although the amount of my brushing varies based on race vs. training vs. free skiing and also somewhat conditions. If it is warm, I always brush more so I avoid sticky skis. I may need in very warm conditions to put another coat of Butter or something comparable on but even on the hill I do some brushing. The structure is a major factor in ski performance and I am not at all sure that without brushing you ever get the wax out of the structure or, if you do, that it is anything like consistent over the ski's length and width.  I am sure you clean out most of the area underfoot for a few inches in. If your structure is not clear, the ski can't perform as it should. I don't spend hours brushing my skis - you can do a pretty thorough job with a hard bronze, soft brass and horsehair brushes in just a couple of minutes. A regular nylon brush takes 3 or 4X extra to achieve the same result.

 

 I like to protect the skis with off season saturation as well as routine use of penetrating conditioning waxes and frequent waxing.

 

Vsirin,

 

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. It makes sense to me now, especially about exposing the structure and when it is most important. In the past, I didn't wax much and my skis always felt the same, not slippery, but not really sticky either. I tended to ski black trails, so lack of speed was not an issue. Recently, sking with my son growing up had me on greens and blues, so lack of wax was more noticable. My son is on a race team, and I am his ski prep "slave" (funny how that works) so I am trying to learn more about how to make his skis go fast.

post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bttocs View Post

My son is on a race team, and I am his ski prep "slave" (funny how that works) so I am trying to learn more about how to make his skis go fast.

One of my saddest discovery was the limits of good ski prep. When I first started racing one of the things I focused on was ski prep and waxes. I could have perfect skis with the best wax perfectly tailored to the snow and the day's weather and still get beaten. I had to do through lots and lots of clinics, lessons, and practice to start winning (sometimes). However, fast skis is a worthwhile end in itself. Depending on your son's age and level, you probably don't need to go overboard. Holmenkol beta or Dominator Zoom are good solid waxes that cover the great majority of situations and should be fine for most local races and almost all training. Swix is good too but I find the Holmenkol or Dominator to have a wider useful range. If he starts doing speed events it becomes a different story. Technique is going to be much more important, but you don't want to leave something simple like ski prep be an obstacle. You might want to consider a tuning clinic. Graham Lonetto at Edgewise in Stowe runs them in the fall/early winter and Mike Desantis at Ski MD in the Boston suburbs might also. Both are former World Cup technicians.

post #25 of 64

Good advice to go to a tunig clinic. Our Bradford, MA race program puts on a clinic every year. I have attended before. I got the sharpeing and bevels down really well and can do it myself pretty well with my new tools. The waxing part was still confusing on the why?  I could follow the step by step directions from the clinic, but I didn't understand why I was doing what I was told. My son is young (just turned 14) and in the learning phase, so technique improvement is his number one goal. In terms of waxing, I am aiming for 80% of the benifit for 20% of the work. I think I "get it" now and can make good judgements on how to best apply my available time.  Thanks again. I will get some of the wax you suggest. Last year I bought a universal wax (forget the name) that was supposed to cover most conditions, this year will take it to the next level and use your suggested waxes. I also have molly or graphite base prep wax that I use.

post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

Ever tried putting them into your hotbox , reasonably near the heater?

Nope, but I will now!   Should work for the brass and steel ones as well

post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bttocs View Post

Good advice to go to a tunig clinic. Our Bradford, MA race program puts on a clinic every year. I have attended before. I got the sharpeing and bevels down really well and can do it myself pretty well with my new tools. The waxing part was still confusing on the why?  I could follow the step by step directions from the clinic, but I didn't understand why I was doing what I was told. My son is young (just turned 14) and in the learning phase, so technique improvement is his number one goal. In terms of waxing, I am aiming for 80% of the benifit for 20% of the work. I think I "get it" now and can make good judgements on how to best apply my available time.  Thanks again. I will get some of the wax you suggest. Last year I bought a universal wax (forget the name) that was supposed to cover most conditions, this year will take it to the next level and use your suggested waxes. I also have molly or graphite base prep wax that I use.

Yes, as Vsirin suggested I highly recommend Holmenkol Beta as your base wax,  it has a great range and makes a great all round wax. Also if you wnat to start blending for temperatures just need to get some Alpha (warm) and Ultra (cold).  Makes for a simple and effective system

post #28 of 64

Zentune, smaller waxes DO penetrate deeper, more completely, and more efficiently.  The differences in size of molecules is the basis for some chromatographic separations, in which smaller molecules can migrate deeper into micropores on columns, while bigger molecules cannot.

 

Also, I don't consider the voids in a base to be part of a the base.  Much like the air between branches of a tree is not "in" the tree.

post #29 of 64

Actually, the "solid" polyethylene particles that comprise a sintered base have porosity too.

The porosity in a solid block of any polymer is called "free volume" and it can be computed using Flory theory or measured.

The free volume is due to polymer chain entanglement.

Imagine a polymer to be a pile of squirming worms with space between them and you have a pretty good picture.

Water will not easily penetrate even the porosity between polymer particles in a sintered base.

Oil and water dont mix.

Add something that acts like a soap and things change.

Never get anti freeze or detergent on your bases.

post #30 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugBootBlues View Post

Here is the situation.  No wax penetrates the p-tex matrix; instead, it fills voids at the surface.  "Softer" waxes have shorter hydrocarbon chain lengths, so can necessarily penetrate deeper and deeper into the microscopic voids.  This is why the first layer needs to be very soft.  There are some voids a hard wax is incapable of penetrating, no matter how much or how many times you wax.

 

1000

  One more time plug.....a sintered p-tex base is porous throughout, wax does penetrate when these pores expand as a result of heating, either with an iron OR a hot box. In fact, that's why the World Cup techs use  hot boxes in the first place--to get as much wax into the ski as possible. And yes, you would typically start with a base conditioner and then move on up the "hardness scale".  Cooling the ski too quickly (ie putting it outside in the cold right after waxing) causes these pores to contract before the wax has had ample time to harden which effectivley squeezes it out...

   I do have to say that your post has inadvertently generated some good discussion on this topic, but.. believe what you will plug...judging by some of your other posts here on epic, one would have to conclude (if they didn't know better that is) that you are the most knowledgable skier posting...

 

  I will not respond further to your posts regarding this particular matter--rather letting them speak for themselves (cause many here DO know better)

 

  Good luck on the touricon14.gif

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