Alright…so…we’ve already discussed that I am not a good cross country skier. Moving on.
Stealing a little list that Ian Harvey, ski gear god posted a few days ago.
Want to go fast? Follow this list.
1.) Be light and strong. I’ve got the light(ish) figured out. Strong is an (ish) as well
2.) Improve your technique. This…isn’t even an (ish). Kool-aid man style.
3.) Have skis for the specific conditions. I’m working on this. See last Monday’s post and the collection in the cold room. Also don’t try to use cold cambered classic skis in 40 degree weather. K thanks.
4.) Don’t ski on your good skis in rocky conditions. Um..Okay. I get it. I just don’t have that many skis.
5.) Wax. My precious….
When I should be spending time on things that are important, my obsession is the bottom of the list. Wax.
I won’t bore you with the stories of my initial wax attempts. Like most people, when I first started casually skiing, I thought waxless skis didn’t need wax. Then when I realized they did, I moved up to paste waxes. Swix F4, Toko TF90. About a year ago, I made the jump to the real waxes. I sent Amy down to Cross Country Ski Headquarters on a mission. Buy me the hot wax start-up kit along with the Swix Travel Profil set. Things just got real.
The first time I waxed a pair of skis, I didn’t realize just how much brushing you had to do after your scrape the skis. Newsflash, if you don’t get the wax off the ski, the ski will be scary slow. You can thank me for that tip later. It’s kinda become my obsession to learn everything there is about having fast skis. I’ve bought obscure equipment from across the ocean (my Madshus clock flex tester) and read every piece of information I can find on the subject. Most nights you can find me with a pair of skis on the wax bench (aka my wife’s dining room table) cleaning groves, scraping, and brushing. It’s what I do.
Wax…is kind of this black magic land of information and deception. Everyone has their own favorite waxes for individual conditions. They will tell you to use this, or use that. And then you have to decide if they are telling you this to help, or to make you slower. What time of day are you skiing? How skied in is the trail? What’s the moisture content of the snow? Is the snow dirty? Has anyone sacrificed a baby goat while playing Madonna recently? Some day I’ll figure it out. And then it will all change on me.
What did I put on last night? Everything I touched got a liberal application of the greatest training wax ever. Rex Blue. It’s $9.99 and I’m waxing for my entire family plus whatever friends drop their skis off for a quick coat. Rex Blue it is. My HF wax game is strong (there’s currently three different bricks in the box) but you don’t get the good stuff for a friendly training session.
In a few days, I’ll outline some of my epic mistakes. Some of what I’ve found works. The difference in waxes. And why waxing really is the bottom of the list on things to make you go fast.