Should I follow the wax brand internet race wax suggestions or do my own?
We would always recommend that skiers learn how to make their own wax selections. If you learn what goes into a wax selection you can make a very good selection by yourself. If we teach you then you become a wax master for life. Most people can improve their ski's speed by focusing on their wax application (and a fresh ski base) and less in splitting hairs between a various wax options.
We will start simply this week for glide and then go in great detail in coming weeks.
Your end goal, in the most simple terms, is to get a glide wax that is slightly harder than the snow crystals you are skiing over. Too hard and you do not get enough lubrication and moisture management, too soft and you get too much snow crystal penetration and dry friction.
And while at the proper hardness you can most always select a High Flour and Pur Fluor top coat to speed up your skis they will do you the most good the wetter and/or dirtier the snow and the faster and/or farther you go.
To select a wax at the best hardness you will want to know Temperatures and Snow Age and Condition
- Race time temps and overnight low. If it will be much colder (and clear sky) overnight than the air temp will be throughout the race then the snow will act colder than the race time temp. So look at the wax temp suggestions and if between two waxes select the colder wax. If you are in the shade or wind blown throughout the race the snow will also act colder than the air.
- If the snow is new (less then 24 hours) you can add a graphite underlayer to reduce static.
- If snow is very dirty or coarse/artificial you will want to use a Molybdenum wax (ie Start BM line). Moly acts as a dry lubricant to keep the dirt off. More Fluors help in dirt.
- The newer the snow,(and the less grooming) the sharper its crystals and the more exact you need to be with wax selection. New snow is less forgiving than old snow,
To select the necessary Fluor level you will want to know:
- Air humidity (and/or snow surface moisture) low, medium, or high:
- If relative humidity is low < 33% (you cannot make a snow ball and you did not need to scrape your car's windshield) Fluor is likely to add very little speed (unless the snow is dirty see below).
- If humidity is 33%< medium > 66% (you can make a snow ball with effort and it took you 1 minute to scrape your car's windshield) use a LF glider to manage medium moisture.
- If humidity is high > 66% (you want to have a snowball fight and you spent 10 minutes scraping your car's windshield) or snow is very dirty you want a HF glider (and Pur Fluor on top) to manage high moisture (and dirt).
- Dirt level.
- The dirtier the snow the more High and Pur Fluors help.
- Distance - the longer the race the more High and Pur Fluors help keep the skis clean and fast.
- Speed - the higher your average speed the more you want flours to manage the water layer that you develop at the higher speeds. A downhill race benefits from High and Pure Fluor than an uphill race.
Always apply and iron in glide wax in a warm room and allow to cool down slowly and completely before you scrape and brush.
It is much easier to make a good to great wax selection every time if you use just on one wax brand. This way you can more simply select the temp, snow condition and moisture and then not have to interpolate between wax brands.