New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Preparing new DH/SG skis

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi, will you experts be so kind as to answer my questions? I am trying to learn what is the current best practice, in an area where there are many traditions of unproven value.
Assuming you have new, never used, skis, a clean flat base, proper structure, edges, etc. and you are going to start their preparation for the new season,
1. Do you really have to scrape and brush every time you wax them, or is it sufficient to scrape, before waxing again? Or not even scrape, but just re-heat the wax and add some more? Please explain.
2. Now that hot boxes are available, is there still a place for doing the multiple waxing cycles? Why?
3. Is there a reason for using a colder wax, after the first few cycles?
4. Is it true that after a number of waxings (15-30?) using the ski and continuing with skiing/waxing cycles makes it faster? Why?
post #2 of 14

First, make sure....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missile View Post
Hi, will you experts be so kind as to answer my questions? I am trying to learn what is the current best practice, in an area where there are many traditions of unproven value.
Assuming you have new, never used, skis, a clean flat base, proper structure, edges, etc. and you are going to start their preparation for the new season,
1. Do you really have to scrape and brush every time you wax them, or is it sufficient to scrape, before waxing again? Or not even scrape, but just re-heat the wax and add some more? Please explain.
2. Now that hot boxes are available, is there still a place for doing the multiple waxing cycles? Why?
3. Is there a reason for using a colder wax, after the first few cycles?
4. Is it true that after a number of waxings (15-30?) using the ski and continuing with skiing/waxing cycles makes it faster? Why?
...you have the basics, meaning flat base, bevel where you want it (either 1 base 2 side or 1 base 3 side for most speed event skis), structure is right before you do anything else. Almost all speed event skis are race stock, and Atomics, for example, come through very clean...usually very little to do, but I just want to make sure of what I'm getting. Also, most race room skis are very sharp, so I generally detune with a gummi stone or very fine diamond stone on the snow the first time out. Also make sure to use a sidewall scraper to strip back the sidewall so you can get at the edges. So that's #1.

...Second, ya gotta do a few hot wax/hot scrape cycles, like maybe 3 or 4. Use something in the red range, where Toko Moly Graphite works fine...or a lot of manufacturers have a wax for hot scraping. This is just to get out whatever dust and junk is in the base.

After that, I take the bindings off and hot box 'em. If you wanna know all about hot boxes, see the following:

http://www.rmmskiracing.org/articles...-03-Hotbox.pdf

http://www.rmmskiracing.org/articles...tbox-Part2.pdf

If you're not gonna hot box, then it's wax, let it set up, then scrape...repeat 5 to 10 times. Again, use a warm, hydrocarbon wax. I made myself a hot box, because I got tired of the "repeat 5 to 10 times" part. You have to scrape every time, just piling more wax on top isn't going to do anything, You're trying to get the wax to penetrate the ski, 4 to 6 mm. Then, when the ski creates friction on the snow, the wax comes out.

There's an incredible amount of friction on a ski at 60 or 70 miles an hour, especially in harsh, dry snow like the get in the Rockies. You never want to let any ski, but especially a speed ski, dry out and burn the base. That's why all the attention to waxing.

I never put cold wax into a ski until I absolutely have to. As opposed to a warm wax, it is harder to get into the ski (requires higher temps), and is harder to come back out...requires more friction to liquify. When I need a blue top wax, for example, I wax first with red or moly, let it set up, scrape and brush really think, then a blue coat on top, scrape and brush really thin...
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post
I never put cold wax into a ski until I absolutely have to. As opposed to a warm wax, it is harder to get into the ski (requires higher temps), and is harder to come back out...requires more friction to liquify. When I need a blue top wax, for example, I wax first with red or moly, let it set up, scrape and brush really think, then a blue coat on top, scrape and brush really thin...
Have you tried cold, high melt liquid waxes or powders?
Maplus options: Race Base Hard, P1 or 2 Cold or P2 Ice.

In general the high melt liquids will reduce the number of typical wax cycles and are a great complement to hot boxing for quicker and more thorough saturation. This also requires far less brushing (seconds with a roto brush) and likely no scraping. Here are Wax Application Procedures.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post
You're trying to get the wax to penetrate the ski, 4 to 6 mm. ...
I don't believe wax penetrates anywhere near that far; You'd be pumping wax into the core material!
That would be nice, though - wouldn't have to waxcycle after a stone grind.

Hot boxing is certainly a good way to saturate the base with wax, but I still believe there are benefits to the old waxcycle-scrape-brush routine as far as speed prep goes (microhairs lifted off, structure smoothed, etc.).
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Excellent; very nice links and information; thanks very much. Am I correct in answering my own questions as:
1. No need to brush every time, just scrape.
2. If one has access to the hot box there is no need for multiple waxings
3. No use for colder wax for impregnation, only as a final layer before race
4. No comment on the contribution of using the skis to their final speed.
Cheers. Thanks again
post #6 of 14

Coolness...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Have you tried cold, high melt liquid waxes or powders?
Maplus options: Race Base Hard, P1 or 2 Cold or P2 Ice.

In general the high melt liquids will reduce the number of typical wax cycles and are a great complement to hot boxing for quicker and more thorough saturation. This also requires far less brushing (seconds with a roto brush) and likely no scraping. Here are Wax Application Procedures.
...thanks for the info, I will definitely give this stuff a try...
post #7 of 14

You're probably right...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NE1 View Post
I don't believe wax penetrates anywhere near that far; You'd be pumping wax into the core material!
That would be nice, though - wouldn't have to waxcycle after a stone grind.

Hot boxing is certainly a good way to saturate the base with wax, but I still believe there are benefits to the old waxcycle-scrape-brush routine as far as speed prep goes (microhairs lifted off, structure smoothed, etc.).
...I thought I read the 4 to 6 mm somewhere, but that could just be flashbacks from the 60s. And yes, there are beaucoup benefits to the standard routine. Lemme put it this way: when I get a pair of new speed skis, first I do the prep/hot scrape routine, then I hot box them, scrape, brush, then I ski on them to see if I need to detune, to make sure they're running okay, etc. Then I immediately go back and wax, scrape, brush...I won't seriously race or train on a pair of speed event skis until I've been on them 3 or 4 times. I have a pair of Atomic 195 Super Gs, two pairs of Atomic 201 Super Gs, and two pairs of Atomic 205 Super Gs, and they all get this treatment...
post #8 of 14

See below...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missile View Post
Excellent; very nice links and information; thanks very much. Am I correct in answering my own questions as:
1. No need to brush every time, just scrape.
2. If one has access to the hot box there is no need for multiple waxings
3. No use for colder wax for impregnation, only as a final layer before race
4. No comment on the contribution of using the skis to their final speed.
Cheers. Thanks again
1. Ya gotta brush every time. I converted to rotobrushing a couple of years ago, which makes things go faster. After you brush, buff the base with a white Beartek pad. I have 3 brushes, a horsehair/brass for opening up the structure before waxing, a stiff nylon for first brush after scraping, a soft nylon for final buff...but for training I usually just use the stiff nylon for everything.

2. See above, what the other posters said. Hot boxing is definitely going to cut down on the amount of waxings you do. The point is, if you can initially get a ski where you want it, it's going to be a lot easier to maintain in the long run. I saw an article in Ski Racing lately where they were actually doing multiple hot boxings on each pair. I'm into maintaining my stuff and going fast, but I have other things to do in my life, so I try to strike a balance. BTW, if you think World Cup techs spend the summer surfing in Hawaii, they don't. They spend the offseason testing, waxing, testing, waxing...and testing and waxing again new skis, plus dealing with Mt. Hood and all the national team camps.

3. See what Alpinord said, above. I stand corrected, warm wax might not be the only way to go.

4. Not sure what you were saying in #4. I didn't get into overlays, which is a whole other subject. Overlays are expensive, and most racers will tell you that they really only help the ski break loose (break friction) at the top of the course where you are starting to pick up speed. But that's important, too, isn't it?

It's extremely cold and dry, most of the time, in the Rockies. I use mostly hydrocarbon, and usually only lo-fluoro for hot waxing. I like Toko red, graphite/moly, and occasionally yellow low fluoros as a top layer when it's warm enough and there's enough moisture. Remember, for speed events, you can generally wax a little warmer because of the greater friction. But when in doubt, in the Rockies, I go with warm base, blue top layer, and maybe no overlay. I have had good luck with Toko Helix warm (spray on fluoro) if I'm within the temp range. Only other thing I'll use when it's colder is Dominator R6, which seems to work.

As far as final speed, most people will tell you...and I agree...that structure is as important as wax. Most of the Atomics I've been getting have a fairly fine cross hatch pattern...and it looks like there's some linear in there, too...which is what I stay with. If you try to go with a coarse or even medium structure, in the Rockies at least, most of the time, you'll stick like glue.

My best Masters events are DH and Super G because I'm fairly solid but relatively short, so I can get down out of the wind. Also, I've been doing it for long enough and have had enough coaching so I have reasonable skills at gliding, dealing with terrain, and making long radius turns. Also I've been on the same venues for a long time, so I already pretty much know what the set is going to be like and how I'm going to ski it.

But structure...and yes, wax...is very, very important. And the investment you make in repeated waxing, hotboxing, scraping, brushing, etc., will, I promise you, pay off in training and on race day.

I'm a fairly conservative waxer, because of the cold, dry nature of the snow in the Rockies...but I always want to have what I consider to be close to the optimum without taking a chance on being too warm...which is far worse than being too cold. A couple of years back, for example, at a Masters DH at Ski Cooper, where I've run a bunch of times, we had a front coming in on Saturday after training. Some folks figured it would pass through, and some of us figured it wouldn't. I went cold, a good plan, because we ran an average of 8 seconds a run slower in cold, falling snow the next day. I skied pretty well, but I was glad I waxed cold. I made the top 8 or so in the men's overall, and beat a guy in my class...whom I had never beaten before, and who waxed warm...by 6.5 seconds in one race and 8 seconds in the next. If you're in doubt, wax cold. Words to live by...
post #9 of 14
Rightly or wrongly, it makes more sense to me to apply (and err) towards colder/harder base waxes below warmer waxes of the day/race, especially for the added base protection benefit.

Think of the wax cycles (wax, scrape & brushing) and then skiing part of the 'seasoning' of the ski. (Just like you might for a well seasoned cook pan. ) The more, the better, the faster.

Missile, since you are in Italy, you should consider contacting Maplus (possibly, Guido the Product Manager) for further info. The waxes are certainly extensively tested and on elite alpine and nordic racer's skis in your area:

MAPLUS by MAFLON SRL
VIA A.MORO 80/82
24060 CASTELLI CALEPIO (BG) - ITALIA
phone: +39 035 4494383 fax: +39 035 4425443
e-mail: info@maplus.it

FWIW, a paraphrased quote from the Maplus Product Manager: "From our testing, applying our liquids and hot boxing is the ultimate method for base saturation and new ski or freshly ground prep. If the market only cared about performance and durability we would only make liquid waxes."

In other words, the tradition and old habits of hot waxing solid waxes drives the majority of the current market. As I've been told and understand it, this is changing on the upper levels as the benefits of high-melt paraffins and overlays are being realized.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all of you. I know Maplus and this is what they say in their 2008 manual:

"...saturation occurs normally with about 30 waxing treatments, waiting from time to time that the base cools down, in order to prevent the ski internal structure from heating excessively. For high-level, saturation is carried out in 2 or 3 times through the thermo bag, MAPLUS THERMO WAXING BAG, that allows distributing the temperature evenly, and consequently the paraffi n across the base. Just leave the ski covered with a thick layer of paraffi n in the bag at a temperature of 55 ° / 60 ° C, for a period that can range from 24 to 36 hours according to the type of ski construction.
The temperature should not be higher than the one indicated, as excessive heat can damage the internal structure of the skis. MAPLUS SOFT RACING BASE shall be used because, during the saturation process, it remains liquid at the temperature
indicated. The process is repeated 2 or 3 times..."

In some other place they state that from their electron microscope studies, the wax penetrates up to 15-20 microns (thousandths of millimeter)

I am aware that there is research (mainly from Maplus) that shows the superiority of liquid waxes; on the other hand still the majority of technicians and racers here prefere solid wax, and indeed Maplus have gone back and produce a lot of solid waxes, which they did not do in the beginning.

Perhaps this has to do with the prevalent attitude, here, that liquid or spray waxes do not last for long and that are not "professional" but a thing for tourists.
post #11 of 14
Interesting. Do you have a direct link to the manual you are referencing? Was the Race Base Soft solid or liquid? Kind of makes sense for hot boxing then to protect skis, since the recommended iron temps for the Race base Medium (my favorite) and the Hard are pretty toasty:

-120°C (248°F): Universal;
-130°C (266°F): (Soft – Soft Graphite)Racing Base, (P1-P2-P3) Hot;
-140°C (284°F): (P1-P2-P3) Med;
-150°C (302°F): (P1-P2-P3) Cold;
-160°C (320°F): (Hard – Hard Graphite)Racing Base, P4.

FWIW, here's the Maplus 2008-09 Catalog where it shows new liquid container options for their Performance waxes, P1, P2 & P3, paraffin, LF & HF, respectively. Kind of a mixed message here if they've added performance liquid options. I know there was at least a couple WC wins (nordic, for sure was spray & alpine, not 100% sure on liquid or solid or both) and a fair amount of national team testing with liquids and sprays and the word passed down the line was: "They think it's the $h!+!" , partly because of the ability to micro-adjust the wax just before the start.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Good; let'see if the link works (the text is in several languages, including english):
http://www.aqsonline.it/ski/preparazione/WaxingManual2008.pdf

The article on wax penetration where it is stated that the wax penetrates only 10-20 microns and that the penetration of one session of thermo bag is similar to about 20 waxings with the conventional iron, is by Guido Chiarle.
It is in italian only; if you wish, I can send it to you.

I am also aware of at least one WC victory in DH with Maplus this year: a very simple combination of some racing base plus an LF overlay. I think I saw mentioned that it was a liquid wax.
Alex
post #13 of 14
Looks like I'm the one who stands corrected SkiRacer55.

Looks like the RB Soft solid is the call for saturation in 2 or 3 cycles since it'll stay liquid (though RB Soft liquid should be fine), followed by RB Medium or Hard for protection, then overlay for the wax of the day.

Thanks Missile. Some of the information in the Maplus Waxing Manual, used to be in the North American product catalog (which I had not seen previously), but there is some additional excellent info like:

Quote:
PROFESSIONAL WAXING
INTRODUCTION
Before applying the ski wax, the ski base and ski
edges must be prepared carefully.
Currently, grinding C.N.C. machines are available,
combined with high-quality grinding stones and
diamonds and low operating temperature, allow
the users to obtain high-sliding surfaces through
a clean polyethylene cut instead of a tear. The ski
bases grinded with such machines show lower
roughness and consequently they are immediately
sliding, without need for ski “running” to reduce
roughness before racing.

High level of ski edge sharpening is traditionally
done manually, by using high-precision tools that
allow creating real edges, perfectly sharp, without
need for deburring.

After the ski base and ski edge grinding, it is necessary
to remove the traces of dirt left from the
processing and residues of the emulsion used in
grinding machines by means of the cleaner MAPLUS
CLEAN.

Then, you can proceed with polyethylene saturation.
Please, remember that without preparation and
proper cleaning of the ski base, it is not possible
to guarantee the best result of waxing based on
the most advanced chemical research on sliding
products.
Quote:
PROTECTION
After the base saturation, proceed to the base
waxing maintaining and protection during transport.
It is the waxing that is carried out each time
between a race and the next, or between a training
and the next; it differs from waxing saturation
because it is done with high melting paraffi ns and
therefore harder, such as MAPLUS MED BASE or
MAPLUS HARD BASE. The characteristic of these
paraffi ns is their very wide application, in other
words, they are high quality products that offer
good sliding in all conditions and high abrasion
resistance.
Over this resistant and performing paraffin protection
sub-layer, it is possible to carry out the race
waxing, making sure that the base surface (surface
empty micro-spaces) is perfectly brushed and
polished, and ready to be saturated by race wax.
Quote:
SATURATION
The racing ski bases are generally made of ultra
high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)
loaded with graphite.

The bases in UHMWPE are realized through sintering.
It is a process that consists in melting under
pressure high molecular weight polyethylene
powder mixed with additives in a cylindrical mould.
Once cooled down, the cylindrical shape obtained
is cut to the desired thickness by means of a peeling
device, thus generating the sintered base.

During the polyethylene cooling process, some
empty micro-spaces will originate at the points of
contact among crystalline microspherulites. The
base saturation is possible by spreading the liquid
paraffin in these empty micro-spaces. The heat is
crucial, because it keeps the paraffin liquid and generates
micro-movements of polyethylene, that facilitate
the final saturation of empty micro-spaces............
I'll see if I can get any additional English resources from Guido & Maplus via our North American supplier, Tools4Boards in Calgary. Please send the article by Guido, it may help me track down an English version. Thanks.
post #14 of 14
Skiracer55 made an important point when he said he removes his bindings before boxing his skis. Warning: often shops will not do this so take your own bindings off before bringing skis in to get boxed. That heat can't help but cook the grease on the bindings.

- Fossil
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs