Originally Posted by BigE
Can you elaborate on this?
What's the connection you're making between "don't care about racing" and hot waxing?
Sure... ski waxes, with fluorocarbons, etc. have better water repellant characteristics, and are tuned for different snow conditions. This is to make your skis faster. I feel that most of speed differences are mostly of concern to racers. A racer can lose a race because of using the wrong wax. I am a recreational skier so I don't care about these fine differences. Sometimes, though my skis can feel a little sticky and I might have wished I had a different wax on my skis.
Ski waxes have a more complex molecular structure than straight paraffin and therefore don't break down as fast. However, I tend to hot wax often, so I always have a good coat of wax on my skis. If I couldn't get a wax job after more than two ski days, then I would definitely use the more expensive ski wax. I carry a small bottle or tin of swix glide wax in my pack just in case I need a fix.
My experience seems to be that paraffin will work in warmer conditions and well packed snow, but I prefer a harder ski wax in cold (below 30 degrees F) conditions on fresh layers of snow.
I would suggest that most ski waxes start with paraffin as the main ingredient, then Microcrystalline waxes and other items may be added to create a formulation. One of the problems is that hydrocarbons and fluorocarbons do not combine easily, they tend to repel each other, so there is an expense to getting these materials to get along together, hence the expense of formulated ski wax.
I do not oppose normal ski wax, I just think there is a place for paraffin in the lineup, especially as the deepest base layer, like on new skis.