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Klister not gripping on icy snow

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I am getting super frustrated with the conditions and my skis here in SE WI. I know the best solution to my problem is to move, and I will, but I need to find a temporary solution. We haven't had snow for about 2 weeks and have had melting and freezing. The snow is pretty icy, but I can't seem to get klister to grip. Green Kick wax grips for about 20 yards of skiing and then the abrasive snow strips my skis clean. I tried some Toko blue klister but I can't get it to grip. What is the solution for this snow? 

post #2 of 19

Cover more of the ski base with blue? Yellow klister?


post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

I wouldn't think so. It's  been between -6 and +17F the past few days.

post #4 of 19

If it's not gripping the wax is too cold or you need to cover a longer part of the base. I feel your pain. I went waxless 30 years back and used the skis to make a bench.



post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tip. I will try a warmer klister. These are very soft skis and I already waxed nearly the entire length.

post #6 of 19

One thing that matters a lot with CL skis and waxing. Kick wax pocket should be perfectly clean before waxing. Wax remover is great way to get this done. Next, use sand paper on that part of ski, to make wax stick better to ski base. Just lightly "scratch" ski on 90deg angle to ski direction. Something like 100grit sand paper is normally more then enough. Otherwise when all is applied well, klister holds on for pretty long. I just made 60km in one session on pretty much total ice last weekend with Swix KX45 klister (basically only klisters I use nowadays are KX45, KX40S and KX65... they are a bit more expensive, as they are fluoro based, but work great as fluoro prevents icing so when you hit cold dry snow, it still works contrary to older/cheaper/non-fluoro klisters). On the end of those 60km, I still had most of klister on, and kick was just as good as on beginning.

Maybe one more thing... with CL skis, proper stiffness of skis is cruical. If skis are too hard, you won't have any kick, if they are too soft, you won't have any glide, and kick wax will be gone really fast. So in your case, I would say it's not wrong wax, but most likely not clean enough ski (as soon as glide wax comes to kick wax pocket, you are scre**wed), and possibly even too soft skis.

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Okay, good tips again, but I really don't understand my problem right now. This morning it was 0F, now it's 6F. I tried my skis both this morning and now. I tried blue klister, green klister, and a green klister as a base under blue klister. NONE of them stuck. My skis were just slipping backwards. These are 190cm karhu XCD GT skis and I am 150lbs. It makes no sense to me and its extremely discouraging. I love skiing but not slipping backwards. There isn't a defined wax pocket with these skis. I can stand on them both on a flat floor and CANNOT slide a piece of paper around underfoot with my weight evenly distributed over both skis. 

Like you said, wouldn't soft skis stick too much and not glide? They seemed to work well in fresh snow when I was waxing with hard waxes. I thought klister was supposed to be some versatile magic. I am going to cut up my full length skins and try kicker skins now.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

I cut my skins to about 3/4inch wide and kept the length (skinny skins) and was pleasantly surprised. I could climb hills but could still glide a little. Way better than slipping backwards. Maybe these conditions are simply unrealistic to expect to be able to wax for.

post #9 of 19

When I said I feel your pain I meant it. There is nothing better than a waxed ski that hits the mark. I recall wood skis in the rain at 40 degrees on silver klister. Velcro kick and ball bearing glide. I hit it good a couple of times by covering the correct to temp glide wax with the appropriate klister. Try a XC forum? Humidity and snow wetness plays a roll.

post #10 of 19

Joolyen I obviously misunderstood you. With "not sticking" I thought you meant that klister is gone fast, and you have nothing left on ski. Now if I understand your last post right, klister is there but you just don't get any grip. If you just don't have grip, then solution is in picking right wax, not this what I wrote before. With picking right wax, temperature only is not enough. For xc skiing, waxing is mixture of art and black magic ;) Especially for classic. For this, you need to know temperature, humidity, snow art, snow temperature and few other things if you want to have optimal wax (good kick and good glide).

But then again, I just went to google for Karhu XCD GT, and saw this are not really xc skis, at least not in that what I consider as xc skiing (xc skiing like it's on Olympics, not back country skiing, what this skis are for), so probably waxing these won't be right solution, and skins would probably be better solution for skis like this. For classic xc skiing (in my understanding of xc skiing), skis are different, with different shape and design, which enables you to use kick wax. Classic skis have different flex on front and back part, which is considered as glide part, and different shape on middled, kick wax pocket part (sort of some 100cm flat part on tip, some 40cm arc part, and some 50-60cm flat part again on tail). Skating skis are simplified said single arc from tip to tail (similar then all other skis, including alpine and back country skis), without kick wax pocket, so if you want to put kick wax on such ski, you basically need to put it on from tip to tail, which of course kills your glide completely. While in soft fresh snow, you can basically ski classic and have some kick with badly waxed skating skis already, in hard icy conditions you need to have real and right kick wax on proper part of ski. If ski is without kick wax pocket, then you experience this what you are experiencing when conditions get hard and icy.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

I see - misunderstanding. Now I think you get me...

Green hard wax gives me grip and glide, but the abrasive snow strips my skis clean.

Klister stays on my skis well, but gives me no grip.


So, the green wax is obviously the correct choice for grip, but I would have to rewax every minute.


Like you indicated, maybe if my skis were stiffer (defined wax pocket) I could use the green kick wax without the abrasive snow stripping it all away. But then the problem is that stiff skis do not work well in off-trail, soft snow - when you kick down, you just push the ski deeper into the snow. They say the XCD GT is supposed to be a 1.5 camber. Not that I have anything stiffer to compare it to. Maybe I should have gotten 200cm instead of 190cm.


Maybe that's why backcountry waxless skis are so popular? Because they need to be soft enough to not require a dynamic kick when traveling, but still require grip so you can shuffle forward. I think the lack of offerings of waxable backcountry skis is starting to make sense to me.

post #12 of 19
Originally Posted by joolyen View Post



Maybe that's why backcountry waxless skis are so popular? Because they need to be soft enough to not require a dynamic kick when traveling, but still require grip so you can shuffle forward. I think the lack of offerings of waxable backcountry skis is starting to make sense to me.


That's what I use in Northern IL.    It's so crusty right now, I just ride my Fat Bike.

post #13 of 19

XC waxes , hard and klister both grip and glide. Don't ask me how, it is what it is. Hard wax is for newly fallen snow with sharp crystal points. Klister is for old snow with duller crystal points. In addition to the correct temp and snow condition, the length and position of the klister wax is a factor.


What you may be needing is something like this BINDER WAX as a base wax under your blue or green for coarse snow.



Your skis are sized properly. You need to learn how to wax XC skis (and buy about $100 in waxes).  The web is a great place to find "How To's" that will lead you. FWIW cold, dry fresh, new snow is the easiest to wax for and get right. Klister is why waxless skis were invented.


Just noticed your choice of ski. Bought mine new in 1980?. I used them and some old Trak's to make a garden gate a few years ago.


post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

I will get some binder wax and try that out. I'm not giving up on the waxables just  yet! Nice on the Karhus - I got mine "new" vintage from eBay. I think they are the 1992 model or thereabouts.

post #15 of 19

Yeah, keep learning. I lived in a damp maritime snow that hovered around freezing and is really tough to wax for. Layering hard wax over frozen klister was too often the wax of the day. Waxing where you are should be easier. Just match the temp on the can and rub it in. Need more grip? Add another layer under foot.  XCD GT is really a single camber ski. Lots of camber is more important in a no wax. Your ski was the hot ticket for, well, Xross Country Downhill. Cambered nowax skis are generally slower and edge erratically. I had some fun times doing tele in spring corn or ankle deep fresh.

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

What is considered to be 'new' snow and 'old' snow? When does new snow turn old? I am wondering because it's necessary to know when choosing wax it appears.

post #17 of 19

New snow is pretty much everything what is not transformed yet. That means snow crystals are small, and snow looks compact without space between crystals (man made snow is exception of course as it keeps that structure almost until it melts). "Old" snow is transformed snow, where crystals are big(ger) and you can actually see space with water (if warm enough) between them. That would be very general classification, but should be enough for recreational skiers :)

post #18 of 19

I have had a lot of luck back-country touring with SWIX Universal Klister (in a can).  I tend to wax most of the ski, I'm conservative with the Klister, starting in the traditional wax pocket out to about 18" in front of  the pins, to pretty much the whole length of the ski as required.  I might not win races, but it tours nice...


Nothing wrong with old XCDs. Pretty much a great all-round ski...If you can nail down the wax and a decent tele-turn, there aren't many places you can't go on 'em...

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tip. I actually tried this a few weeks ago and it was working pretty well on my wooden skis. It was wearing down every few hours, but way better than reapplying so often.

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