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Cold Weather Was Not Working?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

This weekend we had some decent snow in upstate NY but it was a little weird too.

Everyone, yours truly included, complained about the wax. I know I used cold weather wax on my skis  so did other people and still my skis felt as if they were velcroed to the snow. Skating to and from slopes was really, really hard- not bragging but usually I fly past most people when I'm skating. 

I even had a shop - they usually do good work- wax my skis to see if I did something wrong.. They too used cold weather wax too and the result was the same. On the chair lifts, in the lodge, the lift line everyone was  bitching about this.

Can anyone shed some light on this? We had some really cold weather and the cold weather wax did not work why is that? 

Cheers Chris 

post #2 of 14
The question is what temperature you're measuring. Wax only cares about snow temperature, not air temperature, so you have to predict how warm that snowpack will be; that means looking at the low temperatures the night before and the forecasted cloud cover and wind during the ski day. If you wax for the forecasted 20 degrees with a wax with a bottom range of 10 degrees, but when you skied the snow hadn't warmed up from the nighttime low of 0 degrees, the result is Velcro.

IME it's usually better to be ready to slide at the previous night's temperature, especially mid-winter when the sun angle's low or anytime if it's going to be breezy. My universal wax (Hertel) starts to slow down significantly at 5-10 degrees, so I add their Cold Snap hardener if the previous night's low is forecast to be below 15. If the forecast is for sun and no wind I might not bother with the Cold Snap, but if it's going to be overcast and/or windy I'll do a quick hot wax just to avoid dragging my ass around. So far it's worked well.

ETA: Oops, I forgot to add the caveat that everything I know about wax I've learned using Hertel for the past year and my faint memories of waxing cross country skis 15-20 years ago, so I'm almost entirely ignorant of how to use waxes with a narrower temperature range.
post #3 of 14
How cold was it? I usually don't have problems until it's like -10f or -20f. But then again, I occasionally use CH4 early season and that goes down to -25f.
post #4 of 14

- 20 at Holiday Valley NY this morning. Warmed up to 7 this afternoon. Dominator Zoom was OK but noticeably slower than usual, and yes skating to and fro was not an easy task.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

I guess the snow temp was close to negative numbers over night and single digits in the day 

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Also the silver liner is that I was able to straight-line some runs I was never able to before LOL 

post #7 of 14

Snow gets pretty abrasive and non slidey when it is really freaking cold.  

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

PAPA what are your waxing secrets for -20 ?

post #9 of 14

I have no secrets. I waxed with the wax I had on hand and prayed. I was out of Dominator Bullet.

post #10 of 14

IME:
 

1)   Snow DOES care about air temps.      If the air temp drops during the snowfall or after the snowfall and before you ski, the snow stays sharper and more abrasive.      I think this has to do with the conversion of new snow to old snow through evaporation and recondensation - lower air temps slow the process.

2)  There's cold weather wax and cold weather wax.    One combo not sliding properly doesn't mean another won't. **

3) If skating is slow you need a wax with lower breakaway speed.      Breakaway speed is how fast your leg has to move the ski to break it out of static friction and into the dynamic friction regime.  ***   

This has nothing to do with the wax's performance at top speed, nothing to do with the wax's durability, and nothing to do with static electricity.   Fluoros are generally better than ch waxes here; waxes with internal lubricants (graphite waxes, Hertel, Zardoz, moly waxes) are generally better than ones with no internal lubricants.*


4) Brushing brushing brushing - the best possible glide wax will still stick like crazy if not brushed properly, especially if the snow is needle-and-hex plate type crystals.



*One reason I don't like hardware store paraffin is because it has a high breakaway speed in all conditions.  Corollary: people who like hardware store paraffin don't skate much.   One reason I don't prefer Hertel is because the internal lubricant wears off and the breakaway speed increases during the ski day, even though the base is still waxed.
**Toko HF Blue on top of Dom Base Renew working great for me right now; haven't tried Dom Psycho yet.   Briko/Maplus green is working OK, not great - but it is so much easier to work with than the Swix counterparts.

*** This is the TOKO wax manual term; it is possible other wax manuals call it something different.     Link for reference: http://tokous.com/Manuals/Cold%20Waxing%202013.pdf


Edited by cantunamunch - 2/17/15 at 10:53am
post #11 of 14
Good point, @cantunamunch! I wasn't thinking at all about snow structure and how it changes. My obsession with brushing probably doesn't hurt performance, either.
Quote:
One reason I don't prefer Hertel is because the internal lubricant wears off and the breakaway speed increases during the ski day, even though the base is still waxed.
Is that with Hot Sauce, Hot Sauce plus Cold Snap, or the race wax? Unfortunately it's been a long long time since I skied a whole day in very low temperatures, so I can't really speak to that, but it generally takes 3-4 ski days at normal temperatures (15*-30*) for the glide to deteriorate, even on fresh or fairly fresh snow. This is on natural snow, though, so I'm not sure how solid the comparison is.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

temperatures, so I can't really speak to that, but it generally takes 3-4 ski days at normal temperatures (15*-30*) for the glide to deteriorate, even on fresh or fairly fresh snow. This is on natural snow, though, so I'm not sure how solid the comparison is.

 

It is with both the Hot Sauce and with the FC739 - I've never used Cold Snap, no experience with it.    It is true that our snow is at least 50% manmade.    It is also true that if I did less than 20-25K verts  in a day I'd never notice the difference in skateability at the start and the end. 


We're at 18F going down to ~5F.    Maplus Green is running better now.   

 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

temperatures, so I can't really speak to that, but it generally takes 3-4 ski days at normal temperatures (15*-30*) for the glide to deteriorate, even on fresh or fairly fresh snow. This is on natural snow, though, so I'm not sure how solid the comparison is.

It is with both the Hot Sauce and with the FC739 - I've never used Cold Snap, no experience with it.  
Cold Snap makes a big difference; it's applied 50/50 with Hot Sauce by holding both blocks against the iron at once. Hertel says it works down to -6, but I think last season I used it at -10 or -15 at least once with no trouble.

Hertel Cold Snap is only available on line, but someone here told me that Toko blue, which is more commonly available, can also be added to Hot Sauce to extend its low range.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post
 
 
Hertel Cold Snap is only available on line, but someone here told me that Toko blue, which is more commonly available, can also be added to Hot Sauce to extend its low range.

 

 I've done things like that.   :)  When Hertel first came out with Hot Sauce back in the 90s I used to blend it with Swix blue (CH06) to get a sort-of-CH7-with-internal lubrication.     Worked pretty well for places like 7Springs where the manmade snow was insanely high in water content.    

One year I had brought a set of skis with that specific mix on them to Colorado in March.   I was not the slowest person in the group...but the guys running Purl were both a lot faster on catwalks and making fun of my 'squeaky', noisy skis :eek

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