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XC grip versus glide issues

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
For eons, I've been taking the easy approach when heading out on tours to simply apply liquid glide wax to patterned based skis (aka waxless) and go with little preparation effort. Getting out the door easier and quicker has been the priority, so dealing with grip waxes hasn't been on the radar much.

So.....yesterday I finally got around to experimenting to get more focused on using grip waxes. With the benefit of about a 2k loop (and beyond) outside. The current conditions are variable with transformed, older powder, wind packed, breakable crust and snowmobile packed sections (new and old). Basically, Heinz 57, which has driven past reasoning for simply using glide wax on scales. The temperature rose during (5) laps and was between -5 to 0°C and intense sun.

First lap was with whatever wax was on previously left on. Definitely a binder and glide wax and little evidence of other grip wax layer. The grip was marginally and plenty of poling was required, but the glide was far superior, smoother and quiet, compared to patterned/scale bases. By muscling the climbs and flats, coupled with great glide I could easily circumvent the loop and keep pace with my wife on her preferred scaled skis. This was more like a skate skiing workout, which wasn't all bad in that sense.

After the first, lap I applied stick, Maplus Blue Fluor (-5 to -1°C), after 2nd lap, Maplus Violet Flour (-2 to +1°C), after 3rd, my wife's skis, and finally sticky Maplus Yellow. The Violet worked best in transformed snow, but lost grip on the newer snowmobile track and seemed to diminish over the 2k lap. I think the 'ribs' affected the grip. The glide sucked with the yellow, but the others were great and got me very interested in pursuing this further and seek tricks and steps to make sure to do the basics, but wish to keep it simple and quick.

When is it obvious to use the fluoro or not? What's the rule of thumb for the number of layers and corking? I definitely slam-dunked the applications, but have reviewed the Maplus Waxing manual and will try to spend a little more time with synthic cork and more layers. Will roto corking improve performance? Will increasing grip zone? Any insights appreciated.

At this point dealing with klisters is not appealing and the yellow sticks like dealing with bubble gum.

Here's the Maplus Grip wax chart:

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
dealing with grip waxes hasn't been on the radar much.

interested in pursuing this further and seek tricks and steps to make sure to do the basics, but wish to keep it simple and quick.

Any insights appreciated.

At this point dealing with klisters is not appealing
Me too!
Thanks for this........very timely for me.
post #3 of 9
When not racing, I only use grip wax in certain fun situations;

Packed powder snow below 30F----any hard kick wax will be great, and much better than scales

Frozen corn below 35...purple klister will give total grip and glide and demolish the scales in both. I blow past skaters in these conditions.

Any transitional conditions I skate or use no wax scales.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm definitely of a mind that a freezing and above (wet), use the scales. Usually on soft corn, I'm skating or using my rugged touring skis for corn and not keen on the klister mess......at least not yet. Maybe a sparse amount to enhance grip in baby steps?

Reading other XC forums, I keep getting the impression that in new and transformed snows, below freezing, the grip sticks (hard) were supposed to work better than scales and patterned bases. I did experience flashes of this. I'm sure a better application process would improve somewhat, at least in the durability department. We'll see I guess. Warming now with new snow later in the week to experiment with.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
When is it obvious to use the fluoro or not? What's the rule of thumb for the number of layers and corking? I definitely slam-dunked the applications, but have reviewed the Maplus Waxing manual and will try to spend a little more time with synthic cork and more layers. Will roto corking improve performance? Will increasing grip zone? Any insights appreciated.
A few more thoughts:

I hate fish scales any time the snow is hard enough to hear the things. They wear out in hard snow anyway.


The general rule is TLS- thicker, longer, softer

That is start with a wax that will give you good glide. If there isn't enough kick try it thicker. If still not kicking enough, lengthen the wax to the edges of the wax pocket. Finally, go to a sticker wax.

Some of the best wax jobs are soft wax covered by a harder one---the soft cushion layer gives good kick, the cover maintains glide.


Swix Extra Blue remains the best kick wax ever invented. Any new to untransformed snow from 20-31 it is a good place to start.

Several manufacturers experimented with fluoros in kick wax and stopped using them.
post #6 of 9
A lot of the time its hard to get grip wax right. Too soft and there is too much drag, too hard and there is no grip.

Grip wax is best used on regular flat bases. Fish scales/patterns reduce the surface contact and therefore the grip when you are relying on wax.

When you are using grip wax it is important to first iron in a base layer of medium-hard grip wax. (Swix Green, or similar.) This serves as a bonding layer. On top of this layer put on 4-6 THIN coats of the grip wax appropriate for your conditions. Cork each layer in before adding another. There should be no globs.

Where I ski the snow is artificial and rock hard - so compacted that fishscales and patterns won't work. Also keep in mind that proper weight-shift will improve grip. Grip will suck if you are basically walking on your skis.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by b31den View Post
When you are using grip wax it is important to first iron in a base layer of medium-hard grip wax. (Swix Green, or similar.) This serves as a bonding layer. On top of this layer put on 4-6 THIN coats of the grip wax appropriate for your conditions. Cork each layer in before adding another. There should be no globs.
.
That is nice to do for a perfect job but I've had hundreds of good days by smearing on one good layer on a clean ski and corking it well.

Agree with the no gob rule.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
That is nice to do for a perfect job but I've had hundreds of good days by smearing on one good layer on a clean ski and corking it well.

Agree with the no gob rule.
Sometimes when I just can't get any grip I give up and put globs on.

I've never used maplus wax. Waxes that I use and work well (for Alberta) are:

Swix Green - very cold days (under -15C)
Swix Blue - fairly cold (under -10C)
Rode Purple - normal conditions (~2C to -10C)
Swix Silver (klister-like) - above freezing or icy/glazed conditions

Rode purple is an especially good grip wax. Its cheap and works in a wide spectrum of conditions.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Has anyone tried using grip tape?
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