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Waxing for very cold snow - GS races - How to avoid sticking?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi All

I welcome your thoughts on waxing for very cold (say minus 20 C) air temps. My daughter had a GS race last weekend. We waxed with Swix LF4 and Toko Cold Powder. We did not use HF. We removed all traces of the surface wax through scraping when still warm, reheat and rescrape. We copper, horsehair and nylon brushed with roto and hand brushes. We put the skiis outside and brushed again. I'm sure we got it all. Atleast I think so. But her skiis still stuck to a degree. Would using cold powder only have helped? Any other solutions? What do the Noram / World Cup race technicians do in these conditions?

I've heard of something called Molecule F Sub-Zero Hydrator. This is a "hyrophilic" substance. It is the opposite of Cera F. It apparently repels water. Anyone have any experience with this? Does it work? Does it last through the initial training runs and two race runs?

Thanks for your help.


[ January 26, 2004, 09:02 PM: Message edited by: skiracersdad ]
post #2 of 14
Hey skiracersdad,

I think you missed a couple of forums in your wild cross-posting.

You sure you don't want to post this in the Fitness forum and the Resort Forum, too? How about Consumer Gear Reviews?

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your kind words.

I didn't know where to put this. It didn't seem to fit in one or the other. And the folks who read/post in the Ski Instruction forum may not be the same as the folks in the General Discussion or Ski Gear sections.

However,your advise would be gratefully appreciated, if you wish to offer it.

Its snowing heavily outside. Should be a great ski weekend. Relax and enjoy it.

Best regards

post #4 of 14
Over the past couple of weekends I have been using our kids leftover wax. I used Dominator HX blue with HX-07 powder and iron both in. Then short nylon brush then horsehair to remove static. If you go to some wax or Tognars web sites there is all kinds of info. I have printed most of it and have a note book with all the info next to the tool box.

On our skis I don't remove the old wax, I just use the combo brush if it needs it and then just wax over the old wax. For the races we would hot scrape with yellow then use wax for the day.
post #5 of 14
My best advice is this: accept the fact that in extreme cold your skis WILL be slow. You can do everything right, but they will still be much slower than they would be at around 30 degrees. The important thing is to remember that everyone else has slow skis too, so don't get psyched out.
Cold snow is slow. Period.

If I were to give you any wax advice, though, don't use even a low flouro at temps below 15. It just isn't any faster, and in most cases it's slower. Hydrocarbon only. It's tempting to think that because it's more expensive, it's faster, but that is not necessarily the case.
post #6 of 14
I know when it's -35 up there there are those who would kill for the green Start.
post #7 of 14
With anything that cold LF or HF becomes useless. A common misconception is that because it is an expensive/flourinated wax that it is better/faster. This is true for most conditions and races, but not for anything like the temperatures you are describing. I think anything less than -10 the only wax that is useful is CH4. It's a hard hydrocarbon wax, and is very difficult to work with, but you will be better off using it. Another thing to remember is that using a horsehair brush on CH4/LF4 doesn't do too much except make the base look nice. You need some more aggressive brushes for colder waxes.

Sometimes throwing F4 over whatever you wax helps the glide a little too.

Good luck!
post #8 of 14
I know this is a dead thread & quite old (I haven't been on here in a while) but I feel compelled to reply since it is difficult to find good information on this common problem for anyone skiing in areas prone to arctic temps.

The two biggest challenges when waxing for cold temps are dealing with the aggressive crystal structures &, believe it or not, avoiding static. Fortunately, there are some very good products out there that address these probs. quite well (I can't comment on the Molec. F Hydrator as I've never used it nor had any feedback from technicians that have - sorry). Humidity is rarely an issue here but for those needing to squeeze every 10th or 100th of a second out of your wax job you may need to think about snow machine fume condensation, lift grease, tree pollen distribution - impurities such as these (there presence or lack of will help you select the proper wax).

Back to the main issues:

Aggressive Crystals - The only way to prep for this problem is using a very hard, durable wax (no brainer). The tendency is to wax too soft (even swix CH4 is too soft sometime) and this is actually one of the biggest mistakes a wax technician can make. Waxing too soft (or too warm) allows snow crystals to penetrate the wax layer resulting in a situation that would be similar to skiing on Velcro - bad ju-ju. Here's the catch - just picking the correct wax & applying it for the race sometimes isn't enough. Especially if the ski has been regularly waxed for temps above this "arctic" range you're trying to deal with. If this is the case, the ski must be "brought to temp" by repeated waxings with a product that is in the correct temp range...a surface layer of cold weather wax can be rendered ineffective if the remaining base material is saturated with warmer condition waxes. Bringing the ski to temp is critical. I can offer some application techniques for anyone interested since handling these super hard waxes is a real pain in the A$%. (sorry, this is turning into a huge post).
Another important technique is polishing. You MUST polish cold weather waxes. A good short bristled horsehair brush followed by a felt polisher is KEY - do not cut corners here for best results.

Static - First of all - never, never, never use nylon bristles for cold condition prep. This is a static generating machine & should be avoided at all costs. Metal bristles have a similar although not as dramatic effect. If you feel you must use either of these for adequate removal you have to follow with horsehair to dissipate the charge you've just loaded the base with. Second - select a racing graphite rub-on wax (not a replenishing graphite which will appear much darker than racing graphites) as your first layer - rub or warm touch rub this wax on first after the ski has been brought to temp followed by dripping or warm touch rubbing on your primary race wax OVER the graphite & iron these two in together....graphite is great for dealing with static & in conditions of low humidity / cold snow it's a must. Use a good product though, cheaper ones will actually slow you down.

Ok...there's some more inf but this post is entirely too long already & pretty much useless now that the season's nearly over....Keep it for next year though - it's valid info from good sources.

Any ?'s email me - scott@race-werks.com
post #9 of 14
Thank you!

Has anyone tried a car buffer or quarter sheet palm sander with a felt pad to polish wax? It may help with texturing too as the wax would be a bit warmer and take the texture better.
post #10 of 14
Please tell me you're joking, BigE
post #11 of 14
post #12 of 14
Got a bad infection once when I couldn't find the horse hair brush.

Damned cat bit and clawed like hell when I tried to duct tape it to the big Milwaukee oribital.
post #13 of 14
The claws would have left too coarse a stucture anyway.
post #14 of 14
Good un' ..!
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