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Wax Report: Timberline Lodge, May 23-25

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Bases: Dynastar 4800s, 8800, fine linear structure (east coast mid-winter), each base starting unwaxed and receiving one of the waxes below.

Air temps: 31F->62F


Moderate glide when the skis were warm (leaving lodge), no difference between weighted and unweighted skis. Glide on lower mountain slush did not change as bases cooled to snow temp. Glide mid-mountain significantly better. 5 inches new snow, no glide whatsoever on green slopes (full stop), no straightlining possible.

Swix Glacier Wax:
(application: crayon, cork to uniform iridescent sheen, brush w.nylon clearout brush, polish with white pad)

Moderate glide when skis are warm (leaving lodge). Weighted ski glides better than unweighted ski mid-mountain, difference disappears in lower mountain slush.

Zardoz Liquid:
(application: drip on and spread with proprietary pad, polish with felt block)

Warm ski does not glide well. Glide improved on lower mountain slush, significantly better mid-mountain on cold-ski.

Advantage: glacier wax>Zardoz Notwax>unwaxed

DrD's low-fluoro universal*:
(application: crayon, cork to uniform iridescent sheen, brush w.nylon clearout brush, polish with white pad)

Warm ski glides moderately well. Glide improves as ski cools, improves significantly mid-mountain. Moderate performance on new snow. Weighted ski noticeably faster than unweighted one.

Maplus P1*
(application: spray, cork to uniform distribution (hardest to do), brush w.nylon clearout brush, polish with white pad)

Good glide on warm ski. Glide does not improve as ski cools, and is indistinguishable from DrD or Swix in lower mountain slush. Glide improves significantly mid-mountain, moderate glide in new snow. Weighted ski marginally faster than unweighted one (this was imo the smallest difference)

Overall, I was quite surprised at how much better Maplus and Dr.D's were than the Swix and Zardoz; as noted above the difference among the four in true granular slush was minimal but the mid-mountain performance in corn was quite different. I marginally preferred the Maplus; it is possible that the solvent/spray/cork application was more effective at penetrating the bases than the crayon/cork of the DrD's. Zardoz liquid was by far the least worthwhile, Swix glacier noticeably better than Z, but also noticeably worse than the top two.

*obtained as samples.
post #2 of 10
Was this on the Palmer?
post #3 of 10
FTR, Maplus P1 is paraffin/HC, while the P2 is low fluoro which definitely bumps the glide a notch or two in wetter snows.

I've been having good luck achieving uniform distribution and better saturation with liquids and sprays using a felt cap applicator or felt cork:

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Palmer to Magic Mile to Stormin' Norman's. Stormin' Norman's was granular slush at the bottom half from about 9:30am onwards (lower mountain).

The mid-mountain snow, Magic mile just above timberline lodge to mid-mile from 9am to 11:30, and up to the bottom of Palmer betwen 11:30 and 1:30, was the most difficult and showed the greatest difference between waxes. Depending on line , there was salted hardpack, grabby new snow, sun-converted new snow (superglue), corn, and rain-soaked corn.

Palmer conditions were significantly drier both from the drier new snow and the drying breeze with significantly smaller crystals, closer to gelato than corn. I didn't run any of the skis unwaxed up there (it wasn't open), but the only other observation from up there was that Zardoz liquid didn't do remotely as well as the other three.

PS, Alpinord, I ran out of the P2 with hard use elsewhere. I wonder whether fluoro content bears on the weighted/unweighted ski glide difference. Pretty annoying when the inside ski gets yanked backwards under the body, not to mention highly fatiguing.
post #5 of 10
I hadn't noticed that issue using the P2 this spring. Pretty smooth and consistent transitions. (I'll have to double check here shortly ) I also wonder about your structure in that regard and feathering versus hitting the edges hard.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

the Volkl Explosivs with the spring structure (and a considerably different hot wax) were a significant improvement over any of the above.

Point well taken about the transitions; I wasn't the only one skiing so can't really draw conclusions.

Which makes the above comparo less of a "what is optimal?" to "what if you had your east coast skis and some stuff in a wax box and very little time",

particularly for a skier likely to get very defensive when the ski's line diverges from the line of the CoM.
post #7 of 10
Science at it's best here. I was also at Timberline on May 24th, which was mostly sunny. I ride a snowboard, not ski, but I had freshly waxed with Dakine Warm wax (orange). Dakine is melted, dripped, smoothed with an iron, and then scraped off when dry (full treatment).

I spent 75% of my day on either "grabby new snow" in the morning, or "sun-converted new snow (superglue)" in the afternoon off Palmer when they finally opened around noon. The other 25% was on the groomers, which had much less resistance and yes some salting around the slalom courses especially.

Dakine performed well in the morning mid-mountain magic mile and normans, from 9-12 on the groomers. Off groomers it did fairly well, slightly more stick but well traversable. By 1:00 PM everything was very difficult to ride, but the fresh stuff off Palmer became truly super-glue. On the flats it was nearly impossible to keep moving, riding back as hard as possible to keep moving.

Summary: Dakine Warm glide improves greatly in cooler snow or slush (right when Palmer opened after fog left). Within an 90 minutes of sun exposure, fresh snow off Palmer has horrid resistance and Dakine performs poorly. But don't know what board wax would perform better. Performed well (but not great) on the groomed trails all day.
post #8 of 10
How's your base structure? Could be a suction issue as well as your wax choice.
post #9 of 10
Well that's an interesting question, I don't know how to classify my base. It's just an LTD 165 snowboard, like a $250 board, nothing special. It's almost new no dings. Typical curve on the edges maybe a little aggressive for carving, but haven't seen people talk about the suction/base structure shape. I believe it's sintered, but I have enough wax on it that the core base material wouldn't be touching the snow.

I'm guessing that while it was a really tough superglue afternoon, I fared better than just about anyone else out there, and was able to ride (off piste) from 9AM to 3:00 after the lifts closed at 2:30, so I doubt I have a board shape flaw, but am curious what you have seen go wrong before on this front.
post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by Shamantiks View Post
but haven't seen people talk about the suction/base structure shape..
The link above is one resource for base structure and other stuff. There has been quite a bit of base structure discussions in this forum you can review for better understanding.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Wax Report: Timberline Lodge, May 23-25