Boulder Mountain Tour Wax Report
Feb 5, 2011
10AM start with waves following
Click here for the latest weather forecast from NOAA
Friday Afternoon: A slight chance of rain and snow. Cloudy, with a high near 41. North wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Tonight: A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. North northwest wind between 6 and 10 mph.
Saturday: A 40 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. North northwest wind around 10 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Today we tested at Prairie Creek at about the 10km mark. There was another large inversion with temps at just above 15F in town, but 40F at Prairie Creek. Snow temp was 0C when we started testing at 9:15AM.
Test Fleet 1
||Holmenkol Matrix Blue
||Holmenkol Mid 08
||Holmenkol Mid 02
||Holmenkol Matrix Red
||SkiGo HF Violet
Test Fleet 2
||SkiGo HF Violet
The conditions were tough today and the variation was so high that it is really tough to make a call on this race. We had some wind during our glide test, and we decided to throw out the C105 results because everyone who got on the skis felt that they were terrible. There was one data point in the C105 results that skewed the results, so we guess that we had a big tailwind for that particular run. The conditions were quite dramatically different at different parts of the course today and the best approach is going to be to find waxes that have broad ranges and are good in everything.
For the fluoro powders, everyone picked the Mid and Mid 02 for feel, which matches up with the test results. We did not test it, but we heard that Swix Super Cera was also great today, so that would also be a good choice.
For the glide paraffin, we were surprised to see Holmenkol Matrix Blue win the test today. It didn't just win the test, but it felt amazing on the snow and blew everything away in the speed trap. It should be a good choice and is a safe bet unless the weather changes dramatically and warms up. Swix HF7 has been consistently in the top of our results, so we also think that is maybe even a better choice than the Matrix Blue since HF7 has been among the top results in every test we've run so far, while Matrix Blue was in the running yesterday, but amazing today. Either one of those is probably a good call.
SkiGo LF Graphite and Holmenkol waxes are available for sale in Hailey at Sturtevants. Nathan Schultz is doing a wax clinic at Sturtevant's Ketchum store at 2PM Friday.
Prepare skis by brushing and cleaning with a fluoro cleaner (glide wax cleaner, not kick wax solvent) or hot scrape with a warm wax.
If you have two or three pairs of skis, this would be a good time to hedge your bets and wax up multiple pairs to cover all the possible outcomes. It seems likely that conditions will be much like today, but there is also a possibility that new snow will come in and the temperature could be colder than predicted. Smart skiers will wax a cold option and a warm option, and possibly be ready for it to be warmer than expected.
Base Layer: SkiGo LF Graphite ironed in at 145-150C, cool, scrape brush well with steel brush.
Base Paraffin: Swix HF7 or Holmenkol Matrix Blue (see discussion above)
Fluoro Powder: Holmenkol Speedpowder Mid or Swix SuperCera FC78. Iron, let cool, brush with a stiff nylon brush followed by 2 light passes with a soft steel micro brush, then polish with a fine nylon or horsehair brush.
Optimizer: Holmenkol Mid Block hand corked on top of the Mid Powder application. The optimizer will increase speed for about 10-15km when put on top of an ironed fluoro application. The hand-cork is the application which provides the most speed.
Structure: This is a tough call. Fine to Medium structures were running well today, even in the wet sections of the course. Adding hand structure will probably make a big difference on race day, but if it cools down much over today, it could also be a liability. Among the hand structures we tested, the Holmenkol cross structure tool with two rollers was excellent, with the best being the Finite Finish V05 with L04 on top. We are going to wait until race day to apply hand structure based on the conditions.
note: BNS imports Holmenkol and SkiGo waxes, and also sells waxes from Swix, Toko, Rode, Solda, Rex, Guru, Innovax, Magnar and others. We search for the fastest waxes for our customers and our testing is professional, objective and transparent. We make our best effort to test what we think is the best from each brand. However, given that we are testing more options from Holmenkol and SkiGo, there is a bias toward those brands. With this full disclosure, you can assess the legitimacy of our testing yourself. Visit Swix and Toko for their official recommendations. If you have any questions please contact us.