EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › What's the difference between CH and Fluoro waxes?
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What's the difference between CH and Fluoro waxes?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I race, and ski at least 4x a week and I'm looking to start waxing my own skis. I'm trying to save money, and the CH waxes are quite a bit cheaper than LF in Swix's line. I'm wondering if I'll be able to distinguish a real difference between the two, enough to justify the nearly 150% price jump. My skis seem fine after I send them to the shop and get whatever generic shop wax they slap on.

Thanks for your help
post #2 of 14
Stay with CH.

Buy more brushes.
post #3 of 14
Wax often, brush thoroughly, and use cheap wax.
post #4 of 14
CH for dry, semi dry days, fluoros for humid days. Stick with hydrocarbons, fluoros really aren't useful unless you have a humid early season day or a wet spring day. Like UP said, its all in the brushing.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks folks, that's great. I had a feeling there'd be only small differences...
post #6 of 14
We've been having a nice, cordial discussion here:
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=76396

Basically, the fluoros are needed if the humidity is high. In low humidity they suck. In average humidity they can be slightly better. In new wet snow with fog in the air they make an enormous difference, can turn a slow ski into greased banana peels.

Even then, the low fluoro waxes can be pretty close to the cocaine priced powders.

As UP racer points out, application, base structure, and brushing are a big part of the equation.
post #7 of 14
If you want really fast skis, I cannot stress enough the importance of waxing often. If you wax after every single time out, your skis will become very fast, regardless of the wax you use. They will get to a point where it will be difficult to miss the wax.

The key is to ski on them between waxings, though. Using the Richie-Rich technique of scraping and waxing 20 times in a row before actually skiing does very little other than use up your wax and give you something to take your mind off the fact that you aren't out skiing!! (I do it too....) The important thing is to have the snow "polish" the bases between waxes.
post #8 of 14
+1^^^^^

If you're not racing, then anything but a Hydro wax {CH in Swix lingo} is probably overkill, and not worth the money. I'm being polite, I didn't say a complete waste of money. If you check out the thread for which Newfy provided the link, you'll get the drift on the value of the flouro.

I would buy the most simple hydro wax that I could find, in terms of minimum numbers that cover the whole temp range. With many companies, it's just three: a yellowish soft wax for warm, a blue or green hard wax for cold, and a pinkish/red medium for most conditions. Everybody has some variation.
I use whatever scraps my kids have left me. When I need to reload, I normally buy the big bricks of Dominator for the parents, as it's simple and cheap. If I were starting out, I'd buy two each of yellow and pink, and one green. Any good wax company has the basic stuff.

As UPR and Newfy point out, get in the habit of waxing often, so that your skis take on that greasy polished feel that UPR mentions. No need to go through all of the process here, but wax and hot scrape to clean, brush out the base, wax, let it harden, scrape, brush and ski. When a ski is brand new or bone a dry, a few "layers" help, but after the base gets saturated, the multiple layer approach doesn't yield much.

Waxing on a consisitent basis is key, and becomes a fairly easy and quick process. Pretty enjoyable and relaxing for most of us, too. Rarely do my skis go more than two days without a quick run over the edges with a Moonstone, and fresh wax. Often it's every night. You don't want to let them look dry, at all. Don't wait until they look like they need care, stay well ahead of it.

Skip the flouro. Have fun. You'll be amazed at how fast your skis will feel under your feet.
post #9 of 14
A Swix LF has just a few % fluoro so technically there is not much difference.

Regarding the comments of overkill, I have many customers who love the high fluoro waxes I make even though they don't race. I make several very affordable fluoro waxes that allow people to enjoy their skiing experience more at a very affordable price. Swix CH sells for about 20 cents per gram and my HF fluoro wax is about 30 cents per gram, as opposed to Swix LF for over 40 cents per gram and Swix HF for over $1 per gram. You get more speed and glide for a small amount extra, not 2 or 5 times the cost. I also use a different kind of fluoro that does not have the drawbacks and limitations cited here by others.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
We've been having a nice, cordial discussion here:
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=76396 Basically, the fluoros are needed if the humidity is high. In low humidity they suck. In average humidity they can be slightly better. In new wet snow with fog in the air they make an enormous difference, can turn a slow ski into greased banana peels.
Newf,

Your analysis is spot on for high-fluoro or 100% fluoro, but he asked about low fluoro.

Swix LF is only 2% fluoro, I believe. About the only effect I have noticed for LF is that it seems to last a good deal longer than CH (about 3 times the $, and about 3 times as long). FWIW, I run LF as a base wax, standard, in all but super cold, dry conditions.

But as you stated, fluoro + dry snow = slow.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
Swix CH sells for about 20 cents per gram and my HF fluoro wax is about 30 cents per gram, as opposed to Swix LF for over 40 cents per gram and Swix HF for over $1 per gram.
I use Dr. Ds low fluoro regularly (don't know if he makes it anymore). I would certainly recommend it as a top coat for the little more than I paid. It does make a difference. How much though I can't really quantify.
post #12 of 14

great response

Thanks guys. these responses were very helpfull.

James
post #13 of 14
Several of you emphasized the importance of brushing. Could you provide details on what you consider a thorough brushing?
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buster22181 View Post
Several of you emphasized the importance of brushing. Could you provide details on what you consider a thorough brushing?
It is important because of base structure and that is explained here:
http://www.racewax.com/category/tuni...base_structure

A racer will brush untill no more wax is removed, the casual skier can decide when enough is enough because this surface wax will wear off, creating drag at first though, so your call. Just try it and see at what point it is good enough for you.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › What's the difference between CH and Fluoro waxes?