Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wax Clinic Materials

Tonight the first wax clinic of the season gets underway at 6:15. We will be discussing a variety of topics to introduce you to the joy of making fast skis:
  • improving speed
  • skiing with less effort
  • developing good habits early if new to waxing
  • making skiing more fun!
Check out the following links for the handouts we will be using during the clinics:
a) One slide per page - handout
b) Three slides per page with room for notes - handout

The clinic costs $5 or free with coupon. Please call the shop in advance to sign up.

Friday, 25 November 2011

West Yellowstone - skate race and pictures

Today was the distance skate race here in West Yellowstone. Conditions were consistent with previous days and the forecast snow from yesterday didn't materialize... until partway through the men's race when there was an utter squall for about ten minutes.

We had really good success with skis today and it was one of those races where you really knock it out of the park. The powder of the week continues to be C105, however the real surprises were in topcoats and hand structure. For topcoats, Ski*Go C44 block was the clear winner. This topcoat is never good - except for when it is. And when it is good, it is really good. For hand structure the Finite V05 won the day, beating out the Holmenkol Cross Structure tool (which was actually pretty bad).

Click here for the full article and pictures -  West Yellowstone - skate race and pictures

Thursday, 24 November 2011

West Yellowstone - brief update from Patrick

I have been in West Yellowstone since Monday working with some of my American friends at the Super Tour opener. There is a ton of snow and the conditions are amazing. I even managed to get out for a great ski both yesterday and today.

Our days have been filled with testing, working on test skis, and making race skis. The weather has been warm (highs well above zero) and the sun has been shining bright. This has made for glazed conditions and hard tracks. In terms of materials, we have been liking the following:

Paraffin - Swix HF8
Powder - Ski*Go C105

Yesterday was the sprint race and tomorrow there is an individual start skate. I skied the course today and it looks to be a lot of fun with rolling sections, some big climbs, and some ridiculously fast downhills.

I don't have any pictures to post just yet, but here is a stolen photo from the Middlebury team. Needless to say the skiing is decent!

Amazing conditions.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Brushes - powder

The second instalment in our mini-series on brushes. Tonight we talk about brushing powder. As a best practice, it is a good idea (although not crucial) to have a set of powder brushes and a set of paraffin brushes.

1) Swix Stiff Black Nylon (T0194O) - You only need this brush if you are burning FC7 or FC78. Useful to brush up (but not brush away) the powder before ironing for a second time. Gently scrub back and forth. For all other powders skip to #2.
2) Swix Wild Boar (T0164O) - After lightly scraping, use this brush to clear away the powder. This is easily the best brush for the task and it works quickly and efficiently. Make 5-10 strokes.
3) Swix Fine Blue Nylon (T0160O) - The best finishing brush out there. Scrub back and forth to bring a nice polish to the base.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Brushes - paraffin

On the weekend I had a request for a post about brushes. We will start with paraffins in this post and review powder brushes next time.
1) Swix medium steel brush (T0179O) - The best all around brush you can own. If you only have one brush, it should be this one. Use in one direction only and requires a break-in period to soften up. Make 5-6 strokes before waxing to clean and open the base.
2) Swix medium steel brush (T0179O) - After ironing and scraping, make 10-12 strokes to remove the majority of the wax.
3) Holmenkol Steel Micro Finish - Ultra fine steel brush to remove any remaining wax and to clean out the structure. Especially important in cold conditions. Use in one direction only. Make 4-5 strokes to remove the remaining wax.
4) Swix Fine Blue Nylon (T0160O) - The best finishing brush out there. Scrub back and forth to bring a nice polish to the base.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

2011-2012 Fast Trax Sponsored Athlete Team

Looks to be another exciting season for our Fast Trax Sponsored Athlete Team, with Patrick selecting skis, Jack trying to get everything here on time and Matt, Ember & Lukas training hard preparing for the upcoming season. The first on snow camp for these three will be in Lake Louise this coming weekend for the annual Lake Louise Camp put on by CCA and as luck would have it the grooming on Moraine Lake Road has begun. 

Lake Louise grooming equipment ready to go

The group have already been on snow as they were down in Canmore last weekend skiing in the 2km man made loop.

Everyone is looking fit and ready, this is going to be good!

Matt Saurette
Ember Large

Lukas Mark
Check back regularly for updates on these young skiers progress as they look to battle and find their very best.

Here is an summer update from Matt;

As summer and fall training are wrapping up, and the anticipation of the upcoming season build, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on the summer. Ironically, the start of my summer program was a ski camp in Silver Star BC. The camp, run through the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA), was a good kick in the butt to “shake the legs out” after a rest month and start to focus on technique again. It felt difficult to go from a relatively easy month to double training days in a matter of days. The camp had some great workouts in an amazing setting, skiing in June with a ton of snow, and got me excited for the months of training to come. After returning from BC, I continued with regular training and appreciated the fact that there was no school which allowed me to recover really well in between workouts.  I was also fortunate enough to go up to the Haig glacier a couple times throughout the summer and fall. Life on the Haig is something different; living on the Haig is a skier’s vacation and exemplifies the saying “Eat, sleep, ski” which we did while we were there. A week after the first Haig camp, the Alberta ski team left for Whistler. Besides the long drive, which wasn’t that bad due to the multiple monopoly games we played, the camp was awesome! We had perfect weather and completed many a long rollerski up to the Nordic center. However, one workout in particular was not so pleasurable. We were doing a ski bounding workout with the AWCA and on the very first interval I fell. You may be thinking “that’s not bad, especially when you are running”….well somehow I tripped on another athletes ankle and skidded one the only patch of pavement around in 500 meters. It wouldn’t have been that bad but I didn’t have a shirt on because it was extremely hot out. Needless to say it hurt, and after completing the workout my sweat drenched road rash burned. The positive was it was a good opportunity to improve my pain tolerance, as well I could barely felt my lactated legs. All in all it was a good summer of training and I am excited to start the season!