Tag Archive | "waxing"

Boulder Nordic Sport Offers Race Service, Wax Recommendations at Upcoming Events

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January 28, 2013 – While it sometimes doesn’t feel like it with the lack of snow, we’re jumping into the thick of the race season and there are a lot of events in the coming weeks. Over the next two months, Boulder Nordic Sport (BNS) will be providing race service around the United States, at Masters’ World Championships in Asiago, Italy, as well as providing wax recommendations for a huge selection of races, big and small. Check bouldernordic.com for the latest wax recommendations and racing updates.

The BNS Service Team brings an superior level of experience and expertise to these events (including work at the Olympics, World Championships, World Cup and NCAA Championships). Our goal is to provide World Cup-level service so you can relax and prepare for your event, confident that your skis will be the fastest they can be.

BNS Race Wax Service is $85 for domestic events with a $10 discount for signing up early online. This service includes: full base preparation, HF paraffin, pure fluoro powder, top-coat, and structure; we always test extensively to determine the fastest wax and structures. Not only do you get fastest skis possible prepared by professionals, but you don’t have to lug around your wax gear or buy expensive waxes. You can relax and prepare for your race while your competitors stress about their skis and spend hours on their feet waxing.

If our service staff is not at your race or you prefer to wax your own skis, no problem – just check bouldernordic.com for our latest wax recommendations and/or visit us on-site at the BNS Mobile trailer to pick up the waxes and tools you need to complete the job.

BNS Race Service Director and two-time SuperTour champion David Chamberlain just hit the road in the BNS Mobile trailer heading for the Midwest. Look for David at these races:

– Noquemanon Jan 26
– City of Lakes Loppet Feb 2-3
– Mora Vasaloppet Feb 10
– American Birkebeiner Feb 23

BNS founder Nathan Schultz, will be covering:

– Colorado Governor’s Cup Jan 26
– Master’s Nationals in Sun Valley Jan 30-31
– Boulder Mountain Tour Feb 2
– The Owl Creek Chase Feb 9-10
– World Masters in Italy Feb 15-22
– Snow Mountain Stampede March 2

We will also be covering local events and offering race wax service out of our shops in Boulder, CO and Portland, ME, so bring your skis in and we’ll make them fast.

Also, to help you save on the cost of shipping your skis to our Boulder location, skis can be dropped off for stone grinding at the Boulder Mountain Tour, the American Birkebeiner, and any events BNS is covering in Colorado. We can also deliver skis to races if you need some fast new boards or grinds before your big event. Enjoy the racing, and let us know how we can make it more fun for you!

Toko Coreteam Meets to Develop New Products

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April 03, 2012 – I just got back from a product development trip (Coreteam meeting) in Switzerland. These were the best meetings that I have ever taken part of as part of this team. Generally we have meetings in November to initiate the next 2-3 years or more products and direction.

These meetings involve 15+ countries (Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Canada, US, Austria, France, Italy, Czech, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and then some other countries like England, Belgium, etc). The focus here is to see what the different markets need as they are different as well as to try to develop a consensus as to what is needed for the future. Then in late March we have another meeting where things are really decided more specifically.

At this meeting, fewer countries are represented. This year we cut the number of participants way down and had a core group with super high competence. Product manager Thomas Knecht, Events manager Christian Stalder (with Toko for 15 years), Swiss sales rep and WC racing service icon Heinz Kolly (with Toko for 15 years), head of Toko Austria Christoph Schober, and head of Toko USA (me).

Before attending this meeting, I compared ideas and findings with Doug Hartwick from Canada and John Vickman from Sweden. We all had great cooperation and moved forward really well. Thomas Knecht also did some great work in the meantime since our meeting in November.

Developments were made in grip waxes, klisters, vises, glide waxes, irons, brushes, workbenches, and stones. We also have new top coats on the way that are being worked on now, but will be released later.

That’s it for this season from Toko. See you in the fall!

Need to Storage Wax your Skis or Board for Summer? Click HERE to learn how.

Kick Waxing Tip from Marty Hall

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December 06, 2011 – Here is something I’ve just started doing with Toko Base Green. I did this twice last year with huge success – both for kick and glide. I decide on the kick wax of the day for kick, let’s say blue to make it easy. Then I’ll put on a coat of the base green and heat it with a heat gun and then cork it in real good.

Then I add another coat of the base green for the needed thickness to make it thru the race – thicker – and cork it well. Then I add another thin layer of the Base Green and cover it with the wax of the day (Blue). I cork them in together. I add another light coat of Base Green and cover it with a coat of Blue and cork them in together again. I like to recork the skis outside when they are colder to get them even smoother.

Man, I had great kick and a ton of wax left at the end of the Birkie and it was very aggressive snow. I will do more of this as I think manmade snow or transformed snow reacts very positively to this combination. Great kick and great wear!

See you this winter,


(Note from Toko’s Ian Harvey: I think this works especially well in snow that is especially abrasive or partially transformed or for very long races)

2011 Yellowstone Ski Festival – Nov. 22-26

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September 28, 2011 (West Yellowstone, Montana) – Everyone is invited to West Yellowstone, Montana Nov. 22-26 for the Yellowstone Ski Festival, a week-long celebration of cross-country skiing. Each year thousands of skiers, from Olympic athletes to first timers, descend on this small mountain town to make their first tracks of the season over the Thanksgiving holiday on perfectly groomed corduroy.

The Yellowstone Ski Festival offers a diverse schedule of events, with one to five day Nordic ski clinics offered throughout the week. Classic and skate specific options, as well as multi-day combination clinics, provide an opportunity for all skiers to kick-start their season on the Rendezvous Ski Trails. West Yellowstone will also host the USSA SuperTour opener, beginning with the “Sprint Showdown,” on Wednesday, Nov. 23. The 10/15 kilometer freestyle race and 5/10 kilometer classic race will happen on Friday and Saturday. A “Try Biathlon Day” will be held on Nov.22, and Biathlon Sprint on Nov. 23.

Skiers will have the chance to test skis, boots, bindings, poles and wax at the On Snow Gear Demo. New this year, the “Passport Program” will enter skiers who demo gear from all participating companies and attended one evening wax clinic into a drawing for a $750 gift certificate to their choice of local ski shops Freeheel & Wheel, Bud Lilly’s, or Altius Handcrafted Firearms. Second and third prizes will also be awarded. The festivities continue after dark at the Indoor Expo, where skiers may visit with company representatives, fine tune ski prep techniques at wax clinics, and enjoy a variety of lectures, presentations and films. The expo will be held at the Yellowstone Ski Festival’s headquarters, the Holiday Inn.

Bring the whole family; there are plenty of options for kids. The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center has scheduled daily activities and family-friendly evening presentations include the Backcountry Film Festival, a Birds of Prey exhibit featuring live raptors, a hands-on lecture from the National Park Service, and a good, old-fashioned s’more party. Let the Yellowstone Ski Festival become a new Thanksgiving tradition.

Think snow and make plans now to attend the 2011 Yellowstone Ski Festival. For more information, clinic registration, or to find out about early trail pass discounts, visit www.yellowstoneskifestival.com.

CXC Academy’s Training Season IV Kicks Off

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April 26, 2011 – April 25th highlighted the beginning of Training Season IV in CXC Academy. As always, we strongly suggest you start your training year by working through the Yearly Overview Steps 1, 2 and 3 to determine your annual training volume. It is a good idea to come back to these simple steps periodically throughout the year to make sure that you are progressing through the periods in a way that will help you ski FAST!

Period 1 is about reintroducing the body to training. Before this, you have likely been taking some time off. Rest is very important, but at some point, you need to make a stand and regain activity. Spring time is an excellent chance to do exercises you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to stray from the training plan slightly if a good opportunity presents itself. Maybe it’s a group bike or an ultimate Frisbee game. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s fun. It’s a long training year and a spring smile can go a long way come wintertime!

New this season, is a “WAX ROOM” section on the website. As you all know, waxing and caring for your skis are basic skiing fundamentals. Every month we will be featuring videos on waxing and maintenance techniques for your skis.

– “Wax Room”: Summer Ski Storage
– “Wax Room”: Cleaning Off Klister
– “Ski Technique”: Improving Glide on One Ski – skate rollerski progression on balance and coordination
– “Ski Technique”: Improving Glide on One Ski – classic rollerski progression on balance and coordination

We’re currently finishing our 13th final training period of the Season III. Please take note of some of the changes that will be taking place shortly. Just like in any training we will be starting over with Training Period 1 due to be published on April 25. Because there is no practical reason for our members to have access to all of the training plans of Season III, we will be disabling links to Training Periods 1 through 12 shortly meaning you will no longer have access to the training plans from last Season. Like always, each new period will be published one day prior to the actual date the period begins and offer three training plan samples based on 250, 400 and 550 training hours a year. Starting in October the American Birkebeiner Training Program and High School Racing Training Plan Samples will be added to the list of training plans.

All of the Video Extras will remain in the CXC Academy Video Library available to be viewed on demand 24/7. With each period we will be adding something new, depending on the time of year the training period falls into there will be new interviews with professionals, videos on waxing, technique and more.

Our CXC Academy Team is excited to get started on a new Season. We’d like to extend our thank you to all of you who have subscribed and trained with us in the past. We’re also happy to welcome the many of you subscribing right now to get an early start. We’ll work hard to live up to your expectations and demands.


Toko End of Season News

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April 05, 2011 – I just returned from product development meetings in Switzerland. As a company, we meet a few times each year to look at opportunities to go in new directions and take advantage of opportunities. The World Cup race service team is there as well as the team of scientists. Additionally there are representatives from the major markets. There is always a great synergy and passion. There were follow ups on initiatives that were taken since the last meeting. Also, some new ideas. Most exciting are some new products that involve some new technologies (new raw materials that nobody else has). Good stuff!

Summer Storage Waxing
Here are Toko’s recommendations for storage waxing of skis. First, brush the base out with a copper brush. Then drip on a generous amount of System3 or LF Red. Iron it in making sure that there is enough wax to provide a thick layer on the base and that the iron is hot enough to ensure a good bond between the wax and the base. This ironing procedure is normal, but sometimes a person rushes through storage waxing and the wax is not really heated outside of that it becomes liquid. The ski bases often times don’t even become warm. This will result in air between the base and the ski and less protection.

Red is our choice for storage waxing as Blue is so hard that it is more difficult to make sure that there is no air between the ski and base and Yellow is so soft that it gets “eaten away” quicker. System3 Red is good, but LF Red is even better as its consistency is perfect. If waxing skis or a board with metal edges, slop the wax over the edges and cover them too.

1. Brush skis out well with Copper Brush
2. Iron in System3 Red or LF Red making sure adequate wax is used and that the wax is heated in well.

See you on the Flip Side!
It was an epic season. The US had a super winter in terms of snow coverage. The industry posted some very good numbers. Toko USA had an all time record year (and the 4th in 4 years). The US had some solid results internationally in all disciplines. Gotta love it!

This is the final Toko newsletter for the season. Thanks for your interest! We’ll leave you alone until the late fall unless something remarkable happens.

Have a good one!

Ian Harvey, Toko USA

Ski Wax May Pose Health Risk

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March 18, 2011 – New scientific studies have found that chemicals from ski wax can build up in the blood, causing potential health risks, according to an article recently published at scientificamerican.com. The studies tested wax technicians of World Cup ski teams and found they had high levels of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in their blood. PFCs may lead to cardiovascular disease, liver damage, hormone disruption, and cancer.

Read the article HERE.

Toko Race Wax Tips for this Weekend’s Events

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March 11, 2011 – The Toko Race Wax Tips have been posted for this weekend’s events. Our goal is to have the tips posted 48 hours or more before each event. There are some events (that are on Sunday for example) that we have not received good information on yet. These recommendations will be posted in the next day. Also, should the situation arise that we need to update the wax recommendation, we will make the changes directly on the website. The Toko Race Wax Tips can be accessed directly HERE.

Toko Race Wax Tips have been posted for the following events:
– Friday, March 11: MWC Long Classic, Sovereign Lake, Vernon, B.C., Canada HERE

– Saturday, March 12: Wilson Cup, Vail Nordic Center, Vail, CO HERE
– Saturday, March 12: Big Shooter Bonk, Latigo Ranch, Kremmling, CO HERE
– Saturday, March 12: Pole Pedal Pant Winter Triathlon, Elm Creek Preserve, Maple Grove, MN HERE
– Saturday, March 12: Great Bear Chase, Swedetown Ski Trails, Calumet, MI HERE
– Saturday, March 12: Carl Johnson Memorial Ski-a-Thon, Great Glen Trails, Pinkham Notch, NH HERE
– Saturday, March 12: Gallatin Glissade, Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky, MT HERE
– Saturday, March 12: Bjornloppet Skate, Bear Valley XC, Bear Valley, CA HERE

– Sunday, March 13: Last Ditch Switch, Elm Creek Preserve, Maple Grove, MN HERE
– Sunday, March 13: Springloppet, Sugar Hills, Grand Rapids, MN HERE
– Sunday, March 13: Bjornloppet Classic, Bear Valley XC, Bear Valley, CA HERE

Oslo – A Debrief

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March 10, 2011 – The 2012 Nordic World Championships proved to be one of the best championships in Nordic history. Great crowds, spectacular racing and beautiful tracks. The Nordic community expected nothing less when the event took place in the acclaimed birth place of skiing. We contacted Atomic’s Nordic Race Director, the outrageous Roman Toferer, to get his perspectives on what it is like to be a technician at the World Championships.

Congratulations, you turned in some pretty impressive results. Your boys and girls from Norway, Sweden, Germany and Finland won Gold, Silver and Bronze. Are you happy with your results?
Roman Toferer: Sure, we are happy with the results. The Atomic athletes we thought would win medals did win medals except for Hanna Falk in the Sprint. It means that selection of athletes has been well done, that we need more is clear but that is in progress.

Roman, a lot of people wonder what it is that company reps do at an event like the World Championships. The national teams have their own wax technicians and equipment coaches. What did you and your team actually do at Oslo?
RT: It is Nordic skiing. The conditions change every day. The job of our team is clearly to test new things like adjustments in wax pockets, new bases, new grindings every day. We react on change of conditions and we are in close contact with the National teams to adapt to those changes.

So, we will primarily test grinds and choice of wax. This is done first within the staff of Atomic. When we have data and decisions, we meet with the national team coaches. We discuss what is working best. Of course, the technicians from Atomic and the national teams will ski together and test what is working. But you know, the final decision is the athletes. They ski and test one more time, they choose what is working best for them.

Tell us about the facilities that the organizers provide for the ski companies for waxing and working on skis?
RT: Was done very good in Oslo. We worked in a 30-square ft room with air-conditioning, cleaning equipment already there, we brought our own measuring instruments, waxing facilities and approximately 400 pairs of skies with us.

400 pairs?! Was that really necessary?
RT: Yes, we have developed a new Hard Track Skating ski and this was our opportunity to put athletes on this ski. We also have a new classic ski with synthetic kick material. This ski was very popular with athletes.

So you brought the new Skintec waxless skis to Oslo. What were some of the reactions by coaches and athletes to this new waxless technology?
RT: They want us to provide them with these skis as soon as possible. Spring classic races are soon, very hard to wax for. But Skintec is for all conditions, not just Spring.

Did any of the wax technicians react negatively to Skintec because no more kick waxing might jeopardize their jobs?
RT: No. Much classic racing will still be on waxable skis.

It was the World Championships. Not only was it a very major event, but it takes place toward the end of the year. It must be very difficult to get athletes to try new gear at such a major event at the end of the season.
RT: No not at all, skiers always want to test when there is new things, especially now when everyone saw what skis Tord had at 50km.

It is a pretty amazing setting with the world’s best athletes on perfect tracks as well as the most knowledgeable equipment coaches. Can you take advantage of all of this to test new designs and technology?
RT: That’s the reason why I spend so long time up there as well, this is the place where a lot of new experiences get born to develop further. This is why I just arrived to Khanty (Russia for the IBU Worlds) today directly from Oslo. It must go on!!!!!!!!!!

Did you learn anything at these World Championships about the new gear that you did not already know?
RT: Yes this is a never ending process, anyway conditions were really not easy, I think everyone saw how difficult some races were. Details out from new experiences need to be worked out now after season.

What is the next event for you and your team?
RT: Like I mentioned above, I am in Khanty now for IBU Biathlon World Championships. Our Nordic service team is testing at home and then they will go to the finals in Falun, Sweden next week. Then, the whole team will again go to Scandinavia after the season, recruitment and testing goes on!

Toko Field Report and Compton Skier Diary from the Birkie

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March 01, 2011 (Hayward, WI) – All winter long, we’ve been testing and finding HF Blue with Jetstream Blue over the top to run extremely well in cold weather, and at the 2011 Birkie, this was proven once again – We went with HF Blue covered by JetStream Blue and had fantastic skis.

Looking at forecasts a few days out, we knew that the weather was going to take a dive from Thursday night until Saturday, so we held off on testing too much until 6am on Friday morning. After some quick runs on the skis at Boedecker, I came back to Telemark Lodge, assembled CXC’s crack team of waxers, and we started running through skis. Part of the privileges of being on the CXC Master Team is getting your skis waxed for the Birkie, so we had 50+ pairs to wax for them, plus the CXC Elite Team skis. Between good organization, good tools and good workers, we were able to get the skis glide waxed before 7:30pm.

The Birkie classic has definitely grown, and we had about 20 pairs of skis to binder and wax. We used a mix of hard-wax binder and a few drops of green klister ironed in with it. Between the forecast and the length of the race, we went slightly warmer than starting conditions would call for — a few layers of blue hard wax covered with green. As it turned out, the weather didn’t warm up as much as we expected, but the kick definitely stuck around.

All in all, I was pretty pleased with the CXC Team’s results — wins in the women’s skate (Caitlin Compton) and classic (Jennie Bender), with Maria Stuber coming in 5th. On the men’s side, Karl Nygren and Eric Wolcott went 2-3 in the classic and in the skate, Bryan Cook came in 5th, with Brian Gregg 8th, Matt Liebsch 9th and Santi Ocariz 17th.

– Jason Cork, Head Coach, CXC Elite Team

Report from the Winner – American Birkebeiner
Heading into the Birkie I had a plan that I set up with my coaches over two months before. We sat down and laid out both the races and the travel that I would be doing in preparation for my peak at the American Birkibeiner.

The weeks before the Birkie were the most important. I was entered in both Super Tours and Marathon races and had a heavy training load. My plan included a two week altitude camp in Aspen, CO. I raced my Hometown City of Lakes Loppet the day before I left and ran into a lot of mishaps along the way. I felt great at the start and was ready to go. The men and women start together which leads to a very tight and busy first couple of kilometers. I was swallowed up quickly in the crowd and proceeded to try and maintain contact with the other women in the race. Unfortunately I maintained too much contact and a little tangle with another woman left me without the bottom half of my pole. I went on to race without a pole for the next couple of K, then with a long pole for another couple of K, before getting a pole that fit for the remainder of the race. I stayed relaxed and was able to hold onto the lead to the finish despite my pole mishap.

When I got off the plane in Aspen I knew I was in for a treat. The mountains were beautiful and there was plenty of snow. I was staying with a fellow racer’s parents and they were some of the best host parents I have ever had. After only a few days I knew I made the right decision to train in Aspen and race the Owl Creek Chase. The altitude was very high but the terrain and ski trails were incredible. The morning of the Owl Creek Chase came and the temperatures were soaring into the upper 40’s. I chose a pair of skis with more structure anticipating a slushy finish of the race. At the start I was on the front line ready to go. I wore my drink belt in preparation for the Birkie and took of double poling when the gun fired. I found a great spot in second place behind a fellow competitor but suddenly I was swallowed up by the girls charging behind me. I went down and found myself leaving the stadium in last place. Thankfully I had both poles intact but I had a lot of work to do to get back up with the lead pack. I made my way up through the women’s field and found myself with the lead group at the 5K mark. Suddenly the altitude caught up with me and I felt like I was carrying a load of bricks on my back. I watched as the other girls skied away from me and those who I had just passed pass me back. I stayed positive again and focused on skiing the rest of my race within my limits. During the last 5K I gave a final push and found that my body had recovered and could respond. I was able to pass seven women and finish the race strong and happy in 7th place.

The week of the Birkie quickly approached and I realized that I hadn’t skied much of the Birkie course in the last 6 years. Brian Gregg took me out daily to the key locations and as we trained we discussed strategy and tactics. As the Birkie morning approached I was feeling great and ready to go. The only question was the temperature. At a frigid -8F I arrived at the start having left one of my Toko mittens at home in Minneapolis. I did however bring my Toko Windstopper gloves and knew they would work well. But how well??? My excitement was high and I found myself jumping and jogging around a lot before the start, swinging my legs and arms often to keep the blood flowing. I have had problems with my feet hands and face in the past when the temperatures have dipped below zero and my fear lay in the fact that I had 50K to ski with temps remaining frigid the whole way. As I approached the start I strapped on my poles as the gun went off and the banner went up I found myself double poling to the best start position yet this season. I ducked into second place behind a Swiss woman and suddenly realized just how fast my skis were moving! I easily free skating behind her and standing up on the slightest of down hills to avoid colliding. Awesome!!! As we cruised through the first part of the race I was also psyched to realize that my hands and fingers were warm and cozy! I stayed at the front of the pack through the entire race avoiding collisions but never pushing too hard to bury myself. My skis continued to soar along the snow without the slightest hesitation and my hands were so comfortable even on the longest of down hills. I was able to get every feed I needed and respond to all attacks that were made.

With 10 kilometers to go I decided to make my move. I knew my skis were awesome and my body was ready so I took off at the front of the group. The other women responded and stayed close behind but I could sense that I was gliding a little further on every downhill and could rest a little longer. As we approached the final 2 kilometers three other women were still with me and the snow began to fall as we were crossing Lake Hayward. Amazingly I felt my skis speed up even more! Wow I thought my skis are still rockets after almost 50K of skiing. I pushed hard and felt the gap between myself and the other women starting to widen. I upped the tempo and power and found myself in the lead as we headed up Main Street. As I approached the finish I saw Brian waiting on the other side. Nothing could have made me happier and ski faster then seeing his smiling face. I charged to the line and realized I had just won as I gave Brian a huge hug.

The weather was still frigid but I couldn’t even tell through all of my excitement and happiness. A little frostbite on my nose was the only effect the cold could have on me that day. My fingers were warm and my spirits were high.

The plan worked and despite setbacks along the way everything went seamless on Birkie morning.

– Caitlin Compton, Women’s Race Winner

Razzle your Drink Belt Contest
Decorate your Toko drink belt and post the image on the Toko US Facebook Page. On 15 March, we will select our favorite. The winner will receive $500 worth of Toko product in the fall when we have everything in stock. Here’s the link to the Toko US Facebok page.

Race Wax Recommendations for the Masters Cross Country Ski World Cup 2011 will be posted on www.TokoUS.com. Direct link to the page HERE. They will also be tweeted (TokoUS) and posted to the Toko US Facebook page HERE.

For Toko Wax Tips for Canadian Cross Country Ski Races, go to the Toko Canada Facebook Site HERE.

Swix’s American Birkebeiner Preliminary Wax Recommendations

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February 23, 2011 – The wax techs at Swix US have compiled a preliminary wax recommendation report in anticipation of this weekend’s American Birkebeiner, taking into account current weather forecasts and course conditions. Stay tuned with more updates at Birkie Expo, SwixRacing.us, and Facebook/SwixNordic.

– Thursday Feb. 24th- Mostly Sunny throughout the day with a forecasted high of 28ºF.
– Thursday Night- Mostly Cloudy with a low of 8ºF. North wind between 5-10 mph.
– Friday Feb. 25th- Cloudy with a 20% chance of snow showers. Forecasted high of 19ºF.
– Friday Night- Mostly Cloudy with a slight chance of snow showers. Forecasted low of -4ºF.
– Saturday Feb. 26th- Mostly Cloudy with slight chance of snow showers. Forecasted high of 17ºF.

The track should be hard and compact. Snow crystals will be a mix of some new and fresh snow crystals (types 1 and 2 in the Swix Classification System), along with mostly old, transformed snow crystals (type 3) making up the majority of the snow crystals in the track . Tilling should mix these snow crystals together. The snow will be abrasive with some dirt present in the snow pack, due to the freeze/thaw cycle of last week.

1. Base Preparation
Clean glide zones with Swix Base Prep 99- BP99 using the “hot scrape” method. Scrape the BP-99 while still molten with a sharp, clean plastic wax scraper- T0824D. Let the skis cool, then brush out the skis with Swix Fine Steel Brush- T192. This will open the base pores of the ski.

If you will be using or use Swix Cera F and or Swix HF waxes, we recommend using Swix Cleaner for Flour Glide Wax and Conditioner- I0084. Wipe the base with I84 using a piece of Fiberlene. While the base is still wet, brush and scrub from tip to tail with a Swix Nylon White Brush- T0161. Using a new, clean piece of Fiberlene, wipe the ski base clean and let dry for 5-7 minutes, then brush with the Swix Ultra Fine Steel Brush- T191. The very fine steel bristles of this brush throughly clean the base structure of the ski base.

2. Durability
Given the length of the race and the aggressive nature of the snow crystals on the race track, it will be important to build strong and solid base layers into the ski base, prior to the HF and Cera F wax layers. The first step is to use Swix Moly Flouro Wax- MB77. Apply one layer of MB77, let cool then scrape and brush. Brush with the Fine Steel Brush, then polish with the Swix Blue Nylon Brush- T0160

Next, apply one layer of Swix LF4, scrape and brush, using the same method as the MB-77. NOTE- because LF4 is a hard glide wax, it is possible and recommended to scrape this wax while it is still warm to the touch.

3. Ski Selection and Structure
Expect the race track and snow to be firm. Use a medium to stiff flex ski that will be stable in hard pack snow conditions. Fine to medium fine base structures will work well. If you need to add structure, use the Swix T0403 Economy Structure tool with the 0.3mm Broken-V structure roller. Apply the 0.3mm Broken-V structure roller after final waxing and brush with Swix Blue Nylon Brush- T0160

FAST LANE TO HAYWARD Waves Elite & 1-5
Base HF wax layers:
Apply one layer of NEW Swix Marathon Wax- DHF104BW. The Marathon Wax is a highly durable wax for aggressive snow crystals and has a High Flouro content and BW additive to resist dirt. Iron at 140ºC, let cool 4-6 minutes, then scrape and brush using first the Swix Fine Steel Brush- T0192 then the Swix Ultra Fine Steel Brush- T0191. Using both brushes properly removes all excess wax and reveals ski base structure. Polish with Swix Blue Nylon Brush- T0160.
Apply one layer of Swix HF4BW. Iron at 150ºC, let cool 4-6 minutes, then scrape and brush using above method.

Race Cera F layer:
Apply Swix FC7 Cera F Powder. Iron in with one pass (5-7 seconds) with iron temperature at 160ºC. Let cool 3-5 minutes, then brush up the ironed in powder using Swix Black Nylon Brush- T0194. Iron a second time using the same process. Let cool 5 minutes. Brush out with Swix Wild Boar Brush- T0164 and polish with Swix Blue Nylon Brush.

Base HF wax layers:
Apply one layer of NEW Swix Marathon Wax- DHF104BW. The Marathon Wax is a highly durable wax for aggressive snow crystals and has a high Flour content and BW additive to resist dirt. Iron at 140ºC, let cool 4-6 minutes, then scrape and brush using first the Fine Steel Brush- T0192 then the Ultra Fine Steel Brush- T0191. Using both brushes properly removes all excess wax and reveals ski base structure. Polish with Swix Blue Nylon Brush- T0160.
Apply one layer of Swix HF6BW. Iron at 140ºC, let cool 4-6 minutes, then scrape and brush using above method.

Race Cera F layer:
Apply Swix FC78 Super Cera F Powder. Iron in with one pass (5-7 seconds) with iron temperature at 165ºC. Let cool 3-5 minutes, then brush up ironed in powder using Black Nylon Brush- T0194. Iron a second time using the same process. Let cool 5 minutes. Brush out with Wild Boar Brush- T0164 and polish with Blue Nylon Brush.

Base HF wax layers:
Apply two layers of Swix HF4BW. Iron each layer at 150ºC, let cool 4-6 minutes, then scrape and brush throughly using the Fine Steel Brush- T0192 first, then the Ultra Fine Steel Brush- T0191 second. Polish with the Blue Nylon- T0160.

Race Cera F layer:
Apply Swix FC7WS Turbo Solid Block. Rub on one thick layer and iron in at a temperature of 160ºC with one quick pass tip to tail. Let cool 5 minutes and brush out with Wild Boar Brush- T0164, then polish with Blue Nylon. Run on a second layer and hand cork in with Swix Natural Cork- T0020 or T0021. Brush out with Wild Boar then polish with Blue Nylon.

Base HF wax layers:
Apply two layers of Swix HF6BW or HF6. Iron each layer at 140ºC, let cool 4-6 minutes, then scrape and brush throughly using the Fine Steel Brush- T0192 first, then the Ultra Fine Steel Brush- T0191 second. Polish with the Blue Nylon- 0160.

Race Cera F layer:
Apply Swix FC7WS Turbo Solid Block. Rub on one thick layer and iron in at a temperature of 160ºC with one quick pass tip to tail. Let cool 5 minutes and brush out with Wild Boar Brush- T0164, then polish with Blue Nylon. Run on a second layer and hand cork in with Swix Natural Cork- T0020 or T0021. Brush out with Wild Boar then polish with Blue Nylon.

Base LF wax layer:
Apply one layer of Swix LF4. Iron at 150ºC, let cool 4-6 minutes, then scrape and brush throughly using the Swix Fine Steel Brush- T0192. Polish with the Blue Nylon Brush- T0160.

Race HF wax layers:
Apply two layers of Swix HF4BW. Iron at 150ºC, let cool 4-6 minutes, then scrape and brush throughly using the Fine Steel Brush, then polish with the Blue Nylon. Repeat the process.

Base LF wax layer:
Apply one layer of Swix LF6. Iron at 140ºC, let cool 4-6 minutes, then scrape and brush throughly using Swix Fine Steel Brush- T0192. Polish with the Blue Nylon Brush- T0160.

Race HF wax layers:
Apply two layers of Swix HF6BW or HF6. Iron at 140ºC, let cool 4-6 minutes, then scrape and brush throughly using Swix Fine Steel Brush- T0192. Polish with the Blue Nylon Brush- T0160. Repeat the process.

As the race is still 4 days away, it is difficult to predict the exact kick wax for the Birkie. There are two main options that are possible based on the developing weather: hardwax binder and hardwax race kick wax or klister binder and hardwax race kick wax. See the details below for the recommended waxes on both options. Swix will be at the Expo for waxing advice, tips and clinics.

Remove old kick wax with a kick wax scraper and clean the kick zone with Swix Wax Remover and Swix Fiberlene. Let the base dry. Use 80 or 100 grid sandpaper and texture the kick zone by sanding the zone in a manner parallel to the groove in the ski base. The Swix T0011 Cork and Sandpaper combi tool is ideal for this process. A typical adult kick zone is 65-75cm from the back of heel forward. A typical adult klister zone is 60-65cm from the front of the heel forward.

BASE KICK WAX- Hardwax binder (if the surface is mainly fresh snow)
Apply one (1) solid and even layer of Swix VG35 Base Wax. Iron in at 110ºC. The binder should have a smooth and even consistency after ironing. Smooth out any lumps with a thumb or cork. Make sure that the binder layer in the front and the back of the kick zone makes a smooth and gradual transition with the glide zone. Let cool 5-10 minutes outdoors. Apply one (1) layer of Swix V40 Blue Extra. Cork smooth.

BASE KICK WAX- Klister binder (if no new snow is present)
Apply one (1) thin, even layer of Swix KB020 Base Klister Spray. Smooth even with a thumb or cork. Let cool 5-10 minutes outdoors. Apply one (1) thin, even layer of KR35 Violet Special Klister. Use an iron set at 110ºC to smooth even. Let cool 5-10 minutes outdoors. The klister layer should be hard and leave a finger print when touched. Apply two (2) thin layers of Swix VR30. Cork very smooth and be gentle when corking. It is best to cork the hardwax layers outdoors, to keep the wax from becoming too warm. For Waves 6-10, use VR40. These skis are ready to race on!

RACE KICK WAX- For Hardwax Binder
Waves Elite & 1-5: Apply 5-7 thin layers of Swix VR30. Cork smooth. If added kick is needed, add one layer of VR40 underneath the foot to 15cm in front of the binding. It is recommended to cork outdoors to keep the wax cold.

Waves 6-10: Apply 5-7 thin layers of Swix VR40. Cork smooth. If added grip is needed, add one layer of VR45 underneath the foot to 15cm in front of the binding. It is recommended to cork outdoors.

Information on Fluorinated Waxes from Toko

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February 08, 2011 – There are three main types of glide waxes used in ski racing. They are hydrocarbon waxes, fluorinated hydrocarbon waxes, and fluorocarbon overlays. Hydrocarbon waxes (System3) are simple paraffin waxes that have varying amounts of oils and synthetic hardeners in them which determine their hardness and what conditions they might be best suited for. Fluorocarbon overlays (JetStream and HelX) are the most expensive sprays, powders, and blocks. These products do not penetrate the base the way hydrocarbon waxes do and are also more challenging to work with. One quirk about Fluorocarbon waxes is that they do not “like” hydrocarbon waxes (think oil and water). Fluorinated hydrocarbons (Dibloc LF and HF) are the link between them. They are a hybrid between the two types (hence the name Toko Dibloc). A fluorinated hydrocarbon is not simply a block of wax containing a mix of a hydrocarbon and a fluorocarbon wax. The combination is actually at the molecular level.

Chart #1 on the top right shows a hydrocarbon molecule on the left and a fluorocarbon molecule on the right. The molecules can be combined forming a fluorinated hydrocarbon molecule which is shown at the bottom.

Additionally, the respective lengths of the hydrocarbon part and the fluorocarbon part can be varied which changes the properties of the resulting fluorinated hydrocarbon wax. Fluorinated hydrocarbons with longer fluorocarbon parts are more expensive and also more “potent” than those with shorter fluorocarbon parts. This is illustrated in Chart #2 on the left.

The upper type shown has a long fluorocarbon chain on the left coupled with a shorter hydrocarbon chain on the right forming a fluorinated hydrocarbon molecule that would be more expensive and also more potent. The lower one has shorter fluorocarbon and longer hydrocarbon parts resulting in a less expensive and less potent fluorinated hydrocarbon molecule. What can you learn from this? When a wax company representative tries to fill your head with stories about what a “high percentage of fluorine” his brand contains, you can probably assume that they are using the cheap and less potent type of fluorinated hydrocarbon. How to cut through the rhetoric? I recommend skiing on the products that seem to perform well and not to base decisions on talk.

Here are some other noteworthy characteristics of fluorinated hydrocarbon waxes:

1. They are generally more resistant to dirt than hydrocarbons. Of course any soft wax contains more oil than a harder wax and would thus be worse against dirt, but given a similar hardness, the HF waxes are far more dirt resistant than hydrocarbon waxes.

2. They are also more durable than hydrocarbon waxes. Given the same hardness, an HF wax is more durable than a hydrocarbon wax.

3. They are more hydrophobic. Given the same hardness (soft waxes are generally more hydrophobic than hard waxes), an HF wax is better in wet conditions than a hydrocarbon wax.

4. Generally speaking, the harder fluorinated waxes such as HF Blue contain less fluorine in them than the softer ones such as HF Yellow. The harder waxes also contain synthetic additives which make them better in the cold which the softer waxes do not contain. Despite it containing fluorine, HF Blue is not close to as fast when the snow is wet as HF Yellow. HF Blue is specifically formulated to perform in the cold.

5. In the Toko line, given the proper “color” for the condition, the HF wax is generally faster than the hydrocarbon wax. One thing that people seem to overlook is that fluorine is not just good in wet conditions. Fluorinated hydrocarbon waxes are simply very slippery far so more than hydrocarbon waxes. Hold one of each in your hand (of similar hardness, let’s say Red) and rub your thumb over them. The HF wax feels more like soap (and slipperier) and the hydrocarbon wax feels more like wax. One factor in determining whether a wax is fast or not is simply “slipperiness”. The HF waxes are slipperier than the hydrocarbon waxes.

6. There is another reason that we use HF waxes constantly besides them being faster in general. HF waxes are the idea platform to put a fluorocarbon overlay on. Pure fluorocarbons (overlays such as HelX and JetStream) do not “like” hydrocarbons. They try to get “away” from them in any way that they can in a fashion similar to when two positive sides of a magnet come together or when oil and water are attempted to be mixed. However, the HF wax bonds well to a base (and to hydrocarbon waxes) and fluorocarbons bond far better to HF waxes. It is also worthwhile to note that when a ski is waxed with an HF wax, the molecules align them selves such that the hydrocarbon part angles down toward the ski and the fluorinated part angles up away from the ski. For this reason, when a fluorocarbon overlay is applied over an HF wax, it is almost entirely on the fluorocarbon part of the molecule. The picture to the left illustrates this. The squares represent the hydrocarbon part of the HF molecule and the small circles the fluorinated part of the HF molecule. The big circles represent the fluorocarbon overlay that is being applied. The ski base is represented by the entire big rectangle. Hopefully this chart helps illustrate this truth. The bottom line is that when a fluorocarbon is applied over an HF wax, the fluorocarbon wax job will last far longer than when it is applied over a hydrocarbon. Obviously when using an LF wax, the durability is somewhere between the two extremes.

So, we use HF waxes because they are faster in general and also so our fluorocarbon overlay performs for us for a longer period of time.

Field Report from CXC at the SuperTour

With three races in less than 48 hours at the Michigan Tech SuperTour, having fast skis and good was important — we really wanted to avoid unnecessary energy expenditure. We tested Friday morning and afternoon, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday morning to find the best skis possible for the CXC Team.

All three days, we based with an HF Blue/Moly mix and powdered with Jetstream Blue. Friday’s sprint was at 3pm, and the tracks were glazing a bit — there’d also been a little bit of freezing rain on Thursday afternoon that got groomed in. We ended up waxing a bit warmer than we’d assumed we would for kick — various combinations of Violet, Red and Yellow, depending on the skier’s needs.

For Saturday’s 5/10 classic race, we found the Red Bloc was running really well for glide, and Violet and Red with some Blue cover worked well for kick. A few inches of snow fell before the race on Sunday, and HelX Blue was ridiculously good. Ridiculous. We ended up with three wins (Maria Stuber 5km classic, Garrott Kuzzy 15km skate, Caitlin Compton 10km skate), seven top-threes and 13 top-sixes (SuperTour paying) for the weekend.

Thanks to the Michigan Tech organizing crew for the awesome races and facilities!

The Toko wax tip for the Boulder MT Tour held up well. Key was stiffer skis (glide well on icy snow and also stay cleaner than soft skis) with a fine structure. The LF Moly, HF Blue, JetStream Blue with Blue Structurite was great despite the warmer temperatures.

Toko WaxCoach now available as an iPhone app!
Click HERE to check it out.

US XC Ski Nats – Toko 20/30k Freestyle Wax Report and Photos

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January 07, 2011 (Rumford, ME) – The waxing for yesterday’s skate races was predictable and straightforward. The organizers did add a bunch of freshly shot new snow overnight which made it necessary to add XCold to the HF Blue. So the wax was LF Blue, HF Blue/XCold mix, followed by a top coat of JetStream Blue. The Blue structure was excellent. Most people do not understand Nordlite XCold even still. XCold is an additive that increases durability and hardens the base, but that is not the most important thing that it does practically. What it really does is make the skis faster at slower speeds (ie breakaway speed). For this reason, it is superb in freshly shot man-made. If conditions are simply fast and cold, it is not needed. If it is slow and cold, it is the ticket (either mixed with Blue or as its own layer in extreme cases).

This was one of the most exciting and stimulating race days that I can remember. In the men’s race, there were 3 skiers who battled it out: Lars Flora, Noah Hoffman, and Tad Elliot. These three were very close throughout the entire race, despite the individual start format. On the last lap of the 30k skate, with about 1.5k left, Tad was 2 seconds up on Noah and even with Lars. I was happy for Tad that he finished .10 ahead to take the win. The impressive thing was that Noah and Tad had excellent information and simply kept doing what they had to do in order to win. Unfortunately for them though, Lars is skiing fast! They kept on having to suffer more and more in order to match Lars. It was an extreme game of “up the ante”. I am sure that had Lars followed the other two in the start order, he would have won. Congratulations to all 3 of these warriors on a great day and thank you for inspiring those who witnessed the battle.

The women’s race was another story. Evidently Liz Stephen skis really well when she is pissed. She took the race out with intensity and simply took the race. Her effort level, tempo, and will to win was simply unmatched today. She earned the big win, that’s for sure.

Swix US XC Ski Nationals Day 1 Report and Photos – Managing Dirt

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January 04, 2011 (Rumford, ME) – The USSA National Championship classic sprint race in Rumford, Maine lived up to expectations as an exciting and challenging event. The organizing committee did an amazing job given the prevailing weather conditions over the past week and Sunday’s race was fair for all the racers competing.

The weather forecasts were as predicted for Sunday with warm air temperatures and wet corn snow crystals. Track conditions were extremely dirty and keeping ski bases as clean as possible was one important aspect to having fast skis. Structure also played an important role in the ski preparation process, as the snow was very wet due to temperatures not dropping below freezing for the prior 48 hours before the race. Glide wax selection was straight forward, as the weather and snow conditions did not drastically change prior to or during the race.

Swix racing service was present at the event and ran a number of on snow tests to determine the optimum combination of glide wax, base structure and kick wax that was used by many top competitors in the classic sprint.

Starting with glide testing, we tested base and mid layer paraffin waxes. MB77- Moly Fluor Wax was an ideal base paraffin for these dirty snow conditions. On top of the MB77, testing found HF8BW to run the fastest, with the BW additive aiding in repelling the considerable amount of dirt on the race course.

Once we had our base paraffin and layer paraffin waxes identified and applied to our skis, the next step was to find the ideal Cera F top coat. Testing found that FC8X was the fastest Cera powder. The combination of MB77, HF8BW and FC8X is a widely used in World Cup racing with a history of providing excellent race results.

The morning of the race, Swix RS tested final layer Cera F liquids and base structure. We found FC8L to be the best liquid to use over the top of FC8X. The structure test revealed that the T401 Swix Super riller with the 1.0mm coarse bar combined with the 1.0mm Broken V structure roller over the top greatly reduced the wet friction created by the moisture in the snow. Also, this structure combination did not collect dirt, keeping the skis as clean as possible in these extremely dirty snow conditions.

Kick waxing was very straight forward, given the snow crystals present. A thin klister base of KR20, covered with a thin layer KR35 provided a strong binder layer for the top, race wax layer of KR70 with just a few dots of K22n mixed into the KR70. The KR70 provided great kick and the K22n added toughness to the KR70, reducing wear and icing. It was important to make sure the race wax layer was not too thick, as this would collect dirt and slow the skis down.

Weather conditions look to improve as the temperatures will be dropping below freezing for the next week. The snow guns are running and we are looking forward to testing in the new conditions. Look for updates at www.SwixRacing.us and SwixNordic on Facebook.

Only Swix’s Cera Nova wax matrix takes the guesswork out of waxing by creating a perfect wax for each snow condition.

US XC Ski Nats – Toko Sprint Wax Report and Photos

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January 04, 2011 (Rumford, ME) – Conditions were as forecasted – warm, wet, (although during race times there was no precipitation) dirty, and soft. The wax recommendation held up all day and as we recommended, more structure was needed as the day went on. Attention to detail proved to be very important today as well. Small things made a difference especially in a short race with extreme conditions (wet and dirty) and with a finishing section consisting of a downhill with a long run out!

The wax needed to be brushed and polished off the ski very well today to prevent dirt build up. That applies to fluorocarbons as well. Even a slight greasy sheen on the base will attract dirt in such dirty and wet conditions.

The kick zones used today were pretty short as glide was so important. It was important to clean up the exposed sanded area so it wouldn’t attract dirt.

The Yellow Structurite bit proved to be really good over a 1mm linear structure as we recommended. After a few runs (including qualifying), it needed to be reapplied as it only got wetter out there.

Many had success with JetStream Red (as well as the more obvious Yellow). JetStream Red is surprisingly good in wet snow and is generally the call when conditions are wet and dirty. If wet and clean, JetStream Yellow is best. Sunday was a short race and of course people rewaxed for the heats, so Yellow was good despite the dirt.

Toko Race Wax Tips for This Weekend’s Events

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December 23, 2010 – The Toko Race Wax Tips have been posted for this weekend’s events. Our goal is to have the tips posted 48 hours or more before each event. There are some events (that are on Sunday for example) that we have not received good information on yet. These recommendations will be posted in the next day. Also, should the situation arise that we need to update the wax recommendation, we will make the changes directly on the website. The Toko Race Wax Tips can be accessed directly HERE.

Toko Race Wax Tips have been posted for the following events:
– Sunday, Dec. 26: Snowshoe Thompson Classic and JNQ, Auburn Ski Club, Soda Springs, CA
– Sunday, Dec. 26: West Itasca Xmas-New Year Ski Festival Time Trial I, Rainbow Resort, Waubun, MN
– Sunday, Dec. 26: Como Championships, Como Park, St. Paul, MN
– Sunday, Dec. 26: Holiday Classic, Boyne Valley Lodge, Walloon Lake, MI
– Sunday, Dec. 26: Bozeman Creek Climb, Sourdough/Bozeman Creek, Bozeman, MT
– Monday, Dec. 27: Christmas Classic, Lost Creek Trails, near Ketchum, ID