Friday, 7 February 2014

Fast Trax - Final Birkie Recommendation

Fast Trax - Final Wax Recommendation

Canadian Birkebeiner - February 8, 2014

Nothing beats on snow testing, and this morning Jack and I were on the race trails dialing in the final kick wax testing. Our final recommendation follows, discussion notes are below:

Test skis ready to go!
Kick:

Base: Vauhti Super Base or Vauhti K-Base

Grip wax: Vauhti K18 (alternative Ski*Go HF Violet or Swix VR30)

PowerGrip: If you prefer PowerGrip, the PowerGrip Blue was good this morning. The kick was solid, but ensure to apply thin and smooth so as not to compromise the speed. PowerGrip Green was extremely slippery. 

Glide:

Base: Rex RCF Black or Ski*Go LF Graphite (alternative Ski*Go C380)

Paraffin: Holmenkol Racing Mix Cold (formerly Matrix Blue) --> this was substantially better than anything else tested and Fast Trax just received an emergency resupply via air shipment.

Given the extremely cold temperatures, ensure that you brush and polish your skis well to remove all wax residue.  



Discussion:

Kick:

Base:

A base layer is certainly necessary to ensure the quality of the kick and durability of the application. The two base layers noted are slightly different than a traditional base layer in that they form a slightly elastic cushion that really adds to the feeling of the kick. 

Based on the conditions, a klister binder is not recommended as this resulted in very slow skis in our testing. 

Grip wax:

The good news is that most things were working quite well on the trails today and we expect this to continue for tomorrow. In general, kick was not an issue and the main differences in the waxes were the speed and free-glide feeling. 

Our testing today included the following:

Favourites: 
  • Vauhti K18 - perfect kick, excellent free glide, will continue to improve as the track gets groomed and skied in. You could consider covering with Vuahti K21 for additional speed.
  • Ski*Go HF Violet - perfect kick, excellent free glide. Very good feeling. 
  • Swix VR30 - excellent kick, excellent free glide. Consider bringing along VR40 in your pocket as VR30 has a tendency to lose grip as the new snow gets worked in.
 Very Good:
  • Ski*Go HF Blue - excellent feeling today, however due to the wide temperature range of this wax, durability may be an issue over the course of the race. 
  •  Start Racing Super - excellent kick, slightly slow
Very Reliable:
  • Rex PowerGrip Blue - apply thin and smooth to ensure appropriate speed.  
Not Suggested:
  • Guru Halgier SHL - excellent kick, very draggy. 
  • Rode Green - unreliable kick, slow. Not good feeling. 
  • Rode Special Green - unreliable kick, slow. Not good feeling.