or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ethica Waxes?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was placing an off-season order on REI.com and saw that they had a ski wax brand I'd never heard of called Ethica. Instead of using a petroleum base, Teflon, or the like, they use "vegetable-based glycerides and natural polymers" and subscribe to the "Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry." Sounds great, right? And at $10.93 for 150g, reasonably priced.

So I gave it a shot. I bought two bars each of the Terra Nova (universal; 18F to 38F), Terrapin (warm/spring; 35F to 68F), and Terra Firma ("rugged terrain"; 14F to 32F), and one of the Sub-Terrain (cold; <23F). Seemed like a good Tahoe wax quiver.

This weekend, I needed to put storage wax on some skis, so I tried waxing with the Ethica waxes for the first time. I used the Terra Nova universal wax on most, and the Terra Firma on one pair. And I was very surprised.

First of all, both had a very high melting point. I'm not an experienced waxer, but I've used Holmenkol, Dominator, Maplus Universal, and a couple of others. I usually put the old clothes iron on the silk setting and go to town. For the Ethica waxes, I had to keep raising the temperature, eventually up halfway between wool and cotton. Wow.

They also cooled very quickly, almost to a hard plastic consistency more than a wax. Mind you, I was working in 80-degree weather in sunny Northern California, on bases that I had left exposed to the afternoon sun before working on them, so I can only imagine that it would be far worse in the winter. This made it extremely difficult to work on them, because I'd drip wax down the length of the ski, and by the time I got back to the tip to start smoothing it out and working it in, it had cooled into dots that I really had to work on to get them to spread. And because I had to spend so much time warming the wax up, it took me much longer to wax than I anticipated.

I haven't scraped these yet, since I was storage waxing, but after all that, I wasn't confident that the bases had absorbed anything.

So now I'm trying to decide whether to return the unopened boxes to REI.

Does anyone else have any experience with these waxes? What about other high-melting point waxes? Am I doing something wrong?
post #2 of 11
Are you sure your iron is still performing the same as it did when applying the other waxes?

Assuming it is, and you did achieve good flow with the high melt wax, you may also be surprised that you may need to wax less often. The Maplus Performance waxes are high melt and are also more 'difficult' to work with, but the benefits of the higher grade, high melt paraffins makes for far less frequency and excellent results. Your description sounds similar to the Race Base medium and I'd expect the colder wax to be somewhat like the RB hard. With the hard I actually needed a metal scraper and a steel brush.

One trick to minimize scraping may be that you can absorb excess wax by putting a paper towel or fiberlene between the iron and base. When applying the harder waxes, I definitely try to put on as little as possible. Also, you might try dripping and ironing in smaller sections and then go over the whole ski multiple times.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Terry.
post #4 of 11
I just use regular parafin from the grocery store. Dirt cheap and good for storing your skis over the summer. It's good for snow just below 0 celcius.
post #5 of 11
Crayoning the wax on (as recommended by Holmenkol and Dominator ie touch to iron then rub on base) uses far less wax, avoids the spots effect and therefore tends to iron in more evenly with less effort. I am using half as much wax as I used to use with the same quality finish on my bases.
post #6 of 11
alpinedad, is your question really directed towards how much absorption into the bases you're getting with the harder (and, presumably, less flowing) waxes?

I'd be interested to hear about the base wetting properties of this Ethica stuff, i.e. how much does it bead up when dripped on the base, and then also perhaps a look at the beading of water on a finished wax job?
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I don't really know what my question is, because I'm terribly inexperienced. I've only waxed at all the past two seasons, and most of last season, I traded cooking for waxing with the snowboard racer with whom we share our ski house, so I've really only done one season.

Yes, I think that at least part of it is the absorption issue. But I don't know what else I'm asking.
post #8 of 11
Temp also depends on the wattage of your 'old' iron. It is worth getting a proper waxing iron but I managed to find a 1000W travel iron (dual voltage) at Target for $26.

The dual voltage/ travel bit is important for me obviously.

Just given the new skis another wax session (and some base repair - it is still a bit rocky here in NZ at the moment) so that makes three in the past week for only four days skiing.

I really do need therapy (it was fun and very relaxing however).
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Understood. But we normally use Holmenkol or Dominator, and used the Maplus universal once as well. We set it on "silk" for those without a problem.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
So I waxed another pair this morning. I started by putting them base up (black bases) in the sun for 20 or 30 min to get them nice and warm, then waxed by covering the surface of the iron and working on a section of the ski at a time -- I guess that's called "crayoning"? It went much better -- much less time and less wax. Obviously, time will tell, after I've scraped these and skied them, but it looks like it's at least one way to go.
post #11 of 11
Crayoning is when you touch the block of wax to the iron ( a quick rub) then rub it on the base. It looks like you have rubbed a wax crayon onto the the base when you have done this. I am sure that the Dominator website has a description and perhaps a picture. I will try and fid it later but I am off up the hill now.

Obviously your wax is too hard but with the softer waxes you can just rub it (crayon it) onto the base directly.

Once you have an even thin layer crayoned onto the base you iron it all in.

Sorry of my description of crayoning was a bit imprecise.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs