Wax­worx

Pow­der and Bin­der Wax

SkiTrax - - Contents - by Jack Cook and Pa­trick Moore

In this col­umn, we com­ment on ap­pli­ca­tion test­ing, mul­ti­ple lay­ers of pow­der and the im­por­tance of bin­der wax.

Ap­pli­ca­tion test­ing

Test­ing of var­i­ous glide-wax­ing prod­ucts, such as un­der­lay­ers, paraf­fins, pow­ders and top­pings, is a stan­dard prac­tice among wax­ers and teams. Less com­mon, how­ever, is the test­ing of dif­fer­ent meth­ods of ap­ply­ing those prod­ucts, in par­tic­u­lar for pow­ders and top­pings. Over the past year, we have seen the im­por­tance of con­sid­er­ing dif­fer­ent ap­pli­ca­tion meth­ods con­tinue to grow.

In gen­eral, the stan­dard prac­tice for flu­oro treat­ments is to burn a pow­der and then ap­ply ei­ther a liq­uid or solid top­ping as a cover. While this method is low in li­a­bil­ity, there may be an op­por­tu­nity to find ad­van­tages in speed. Op­tions to con­sider in­clude: • Ap­ply­ing pow­der, brush­ing and then top­ping with a block or liq­uid (stan­dard prac­tice) • Ap­ply­ing a liq­uid top­ping, then (with­out brush­ing) burn­ing a pow­der di­rectly over top. • Af­ter burn­ing the pow­der, scrub up with a brush and iron again. • Af­ter burn­ing the pow­der, scrub up with a brush and roto cork. • Af­ter burn­ing the pow­der, scrub up with a brush and roto fleece (dif­fer­ent fleeces may yield dif­fer­ent re­sults).

The meth­ods above in­di­cate that there are many ways to ap­ply the fi­nal fluoro­car­bon lay­ers to race skis. And sim­i­lar to dif­fer­ent prod­ucts, th­ese ap­pli­ca­tion meth­ods have to be tested be­cause on any given day, one or the other may be faster.

Mul­ti­ple Lay­ers of Pow­der

This is a sit­u­a­tion where, in some cir­cum­stances, if one layer of pow­der is good, sev­eral lay­ers of pow­der are bet­ter. In par­tic­u­lar, in sit­u­a­tions where the snow is wet and/or dirty or the race is long in du­ra­tion (30 kilo­me­tres or longer), we find ap­ply­ing mul­ti­ple lay­ers of pow­der makes a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in ski speed in the later stages of the race. The ben­e­fit seems to come from the abil­ity of the pow­der to re­pel dirt and main­tain dura­bil­ity. And in the longer races, speed at the end can be even more im­por­tant than speed at the be­gin­ning!

Af­ter the ini­tial pow­der ap­pli­ca­tion, scrub up with a brush, add a bit more pow­der and re-iron. From there, you might con­sider fully brush­ing and ap­ply­ing ad­di­tional lay­ers. For marathons or in other ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances, three to five lay­ers of pow­der are not out of the ques­tion. A fi­nal ap­pli­ca­tion could be made pend­ing the out­come of the test­ing noted above.

Ap­pli­ca­tion of Base Bin­der

A method that we have em­ployed with good suc­cess when a klis­ter bin­der is too much and when a base bin­der doesn't hold up to the abra­sion would be to use the new spray klis­ters and mix with a base bin­der, heat­ing and cork­ing smooth. Op­tions to con­sider in­clude: • Ap­ply a thin, even ap­pli­ca­tion of sprayk­lis­ter base bin­der. • Ap­ply a thin layer of base bin­der on top of spray-klis­ter base bin­der. • Cork smooth af­ter heat­ing lightly with iron or heat gun. • Ap­ply one layer of hard wax while warm and cork smooth. • Let cool. • Then ap­ply six to eight lay­ers of the wax of the day. En­joy the spring ski­ing!

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