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A perfect wax, and structure, for each snow condition

Sat, Jan  8, 2011 - By Chris Hall and Drew Gelina

The US National Championships in Rumford, Maine moved into the freestyle skiing on Thursday, with the Distance Skate events taking place for the male and female competitors.  Due to low snow conditions, both events were switched from the scheduled mass start format to an interval start format.  However, the distances, 30km for men and 20km for women were kept the same and the 2.7km course held up very well for all the racers. 

With 3 days of colder temperatures, the Swix Racing Service test team found in testing that the wax combinations working earlier in the week needed to be adjusted.  Dirt was still a factor as well finding the appropriate base structure in order to have fast skis that held up over a longer distance.  The team ran many tests over the 24 hours preceding the distance freestyle event and was able to identify waxes and structure patterns that were running very fast and used my many of the teams and athletes racing on Thursday. 

The glide testing began with base and mid layer paraffin waxes.  The team recommended MB77 as a base layer to assist in the prevention of dirt accumulation on the ski base.  Next, testing revealed that HF6 was the best paraffin for the men’s race at 10am in the morning.  HF6 contains a blend of hard synthetic paraffin’s that have proven very effective in the abrasive man-made snow conditions present on the race course.  For the women’s race, dirt became even more of a factor due to the skier traffic on the course.  With the temperatures rising slightly, HF7BW was the best choice for the women starting at 12:30pm in warmer and extremely dirty snow conditions.

A pure Cera-F top layer was definitely needed for these conditions.  FC78 Super Cera was far and away the best Cera-F top coat in all the tests the day before the race and on the morning of the event.  Super Cera is well suited to abrasive and older snow crystals due to its hardness and durability in these types of snow conditions. 

Base structure was another factor that played a big role in having fast skis on Thursday’s race.  In testing, the 0.5mm broken-V roller was the fastest both in speed and feel.  When testing structures, it is important to not only rely on speed trap time, but also on how the structure feels when climbing.  The 0.5mm broken-V roller passed both tests and was used by many competitors.