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Sticky Spring Snow

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
What causes skis to stick in warm weather? You know, you cruising along and you hit a sunny spot and you go flying over your skis. I think last time it happened I had a colder than recommended wax on. Is it a wax mismatch? If the cold wax is hard and doesn't bleed out of the base, I am skiing on ptex and that sticks? I am thinking a warm wax would be more fluid and keep the base surface fresh with wax.
post #2 of 13

You're experiencing "wet friction"...

...according to the Dominator site:


...and yes, you need to wax warm/wet for those conditions, for example, Toko yellow hydro (TOK-0431) or, better yet, Toko LF yellow (TOK-415) or HF Yellow (TOK-405)...and, if you really want to glide, spray some Helx Warm (TOK-9722) on top of that...
post #3 of 13
Also make sure you have very structed base grind.

Notwax works wondeer for few hours some other no convential but better working than anything else I have found(may strip wax) is spraying WD40 on your bases.

I used WD40 today at Squaw and had some very quick skis for a bout 10 runs.
post #4 of 13
Isn't the sticky feeling the water creating suction ?Structure will help but using edges might help more. I was told to not waste time in transition and be on edge and stay a bit longer in the fall line. Deb Armstrong's advice of showing arches to the sky helps keep edges engaged. It worked wonders for me at Alpental in heavy, wet, sloppy but fun snow
post #5 of 13
The miracle compound.......Rain-X. For best results-stay on your edges and stay light.
post #6 of 13
Even crossing a flat, ride the edges with equal pressure to keep going straight.
post #7 of 13
I have found that Swix F4 bar wax, which is lo-fluoro and still pretty cheap, works better than the yellow hydro waxes.
post #8 of 13
If all else fails, carry a bar of wax in your pocket. When snow gets wet, draw XXXXXXXs down the bases of your skis, it will break the suction but only last for a few runs...
post #9 of 13
Dominator has a wax called "Slush" works great
post #10 of 13
When you hit those sunny spots especially on the flats, they are so saturated with water that even base structure is useless.

A few years ago I was witness to multiple ejections ..... right out of the bindings, so being smug .... cause I had added structure and a blend of floro and graphite .... started across. As soon as I felt the pitch forward I got on the edges and was the only one to make it across.

It was quite a spectacle watching people hit the wet (not actually visible either) ..... I just knew that section often held water under the snow cover, and come to a dead stop and leave their skis behind.
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by Ski on Mars
What causes skis to stick in warm weather? You know, you cruising along and you hit a sunny spot and you go flying over your skis...
Take two pieces of smooth plate glass (or microscope slides). Put some water between them and they slide over each other easily. Now, squeeze out most of the water. If the remaining layer of water is thin enough and the glass smooth enough, it can become almost impossible to slide one piece of glass over the other - they feel almost stuck to one-another. The rate of mechanical shear has become so high that the viscosity of the water has become the dominant friction mechanism. If you want more info, the various physical mechanisms that cause friction are discussed at length in "The Physics of Skiing" by Sanders and Lind:



Tom / PM
post #12 of 13
PM--you are the man. I knew the answer, but could not have described it in such a visual way. I will use this (permission?) example next time a student asks me. Hope they took biology. I have spent many of moments trying to free stuck slides.
post #13 of 13
Greg - Thanks for the kind words. Obviously, please feel free to use that analogy, however, even as I was writing it, I was starting to worry about how few people probably ever experience two smooth pieces of glass sticking to each other, and hence, it might not be that useful an analogy.

BTW, the Dominator website,
http://www.dominatorwax.com/snowfriction.html, fails to mention two other energy loss mechanisms critically important in soft snow: displacement drag and compaction drag. The first is the energy it takes to move soft snow out from under the ski as it moves forward by a specified distance onto new un-displaced snow; whereas the latter is the energy it takes to compress the snow under the ski as it moves forward by a specified distance onto new, uncompressed snow.

Tom / PM
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