Weekend warriors: How do you choose a wax?

Discussion in 'Tuning Techniques and Tool Information' started by Plai, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Plai

    Plai Paul Lai Skier

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    I've been skiing 5-6 years in/near Tahoe.. Pretty much the sterotypical weekend/holiday warrior getting maybe a dozen days a year.
    Can now ski most of the mountain and can go stupid scary (to me) fast on groomers. [The racers on the hill still blow by though.:-]

    I've been waxing n-1 of those years. Have only tried 2 waxes. One generic shop wax and Hertel Hot Sauce.

    The generic shop wax was soft, easy to put on but wore off after a handful of runs. The difference in the runs was noticibly slow, more difficult to slide. It was more a feeling than than a visual/scraping inspection of things.

    The Hot Sauce seemed harder than the generic shop junk and gets me through my 2-3 day trips. Except for late in the day spring like melting snow conditions, my ski slide well. I think I got some Swix yellow for warm spring situation, but can't remember if I used it or if it worked well enough.

    Anyways, the $20 block (20oz?) of Hot Sauce is probably still at 80%. I always wax all the (used) skis between trips. I crayon to hot wax, so not much waste. This block will probably last another 5 years or more at this rate. But I find myself wanting to explore.

    For me, it was durability and a decent enough slide that determined the selection of Hertel. I don't want to go flurocarbon. Got ample ventilation just don't need the risk.

    So what wax should I consider? What would it bring to the table? Go temperature specific? What be noticed?
     
  2. Jacques

    Jacques Workin' It on Skis Best I Can Skier

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    Keep it simple. Loose the "H" wax and try the Dominator Zoom Series of waxes. :micdrop:
     
  3. Jersey Skier

    Jersey Skier aka RatherPlayThanWork or Gary Skier

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    Then after what he said, go back to the hot sauce and see if you can tell the difference. As a WW having wax is good. Not having wax is bad. I have a hard time telling the difference other than spring conditions.
     
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  4. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Getting off the lift Skier

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    Hot sauce is good but doesn't hold up well. Swix universal is better and more durable but costs more. At the beginning of the season i go with one or two cycles of swix CH4 to get the bases in shape for northeast man made snow, ice, and cold weather. I ordered some hard and soft blocks racewax house brand on sale so will report back later. Haven't tried dominator yet in a blind test I doubt I could ever tell the difference with swix.
     
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  5. Thread Starter
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    Plai

    Plai Paul Lai Skier

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    Anybody know how to get a list of our wax selling pug sponsors? I'd like to do the "right thing".
    [I'd rather not drive from my memory/guesses right now.]
     


  6. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    @Philpug
     
  7. Near Nyquist

    Near Nyquist At the edge of instability Skier

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    Dude !!!!!

    For Tahoe super hot sauce is perfect, it will last 3 days with the op's lifestyle and work in all conditions Tahoe will throw at it.

    In the spring I like the spring solution but have also toyed with swix fx universal too

    Best of all hertel is a Bay Area business
    So support the local economy

    And yeah dominator is pretty good too
    But hertel is a lot more cost effective for me
     
  8. raytseng

    raytseng Getting off the lift Skier

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    On this note;
    Hertel hot sauce is currently on sale for $19.99 for a brick.
    However, also note, the FC739 is also on sale for $29.99 a brick,
    At that pricing over your time/labor; you can use FC739 as bulk/commodity wax as well (and hotsauce becomes hotscrape/baseprep saturuation wax and lower on the wax totem pole).

    For those worried about health/safety or environment, I think I remember from one of their blog posts that FC739 was reformulated a couple seasons back; so it only has very low amount of flouro, or maybe none; even though it still uses FC in the name. It feels/works as slightly harder than hot sauce.

    [edit: here is the blog link where they talk about greatly reducing or eliminating Flouro in FC739 for health/enviro concerns: http://hertelwax.blogspot.com/2012_01_01_archive.html]

    I also got a brick of holmenkol blue that i mix in along the edges..

    I think the wax technique is a issue more than the wax, as long as you use some decent wax. The rumination over wax choice has diminishing returns, if rest of the ski and process isn't also taken care of. The base structure; having ptex hairs/dirt; wax cycles, then all the scraping brushing to get the excess wax out of structure has a lot of effect on the result; over the specific wax choice for us rec skiers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  9. Sibhusky

    Sibhusky Out on the slopes Inactive

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    Like @Wilhelmson I include CH4 in my seasonal prep to underlay the later waxes. Then I use either Racewax red or green during the season depending on the upcoming temps when I wax. For here it is mostly green until spring. I own HHW, just like I own lots of others. But I'm not a fan, I reserve it for spring when things are getting tricky. And then I might be crayoning a bit of fluoro in as well. Normally I wax about every 60,000 feet. That might vary with snow conditions - powder I frequently go longer, spring crust, more frequently. I've also found that the longer you own your skis (and don't grind the bases), the longer you can go between waxings. New skis need lots more care.
     
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  10. RobSo

    RobSo Booting up Skier

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    Raytseng: I have an email from Terry Hertel that FC739 has at most 2% Fluoro. I consider that pretty much none and have added HF wax on slushy days.
     
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  11. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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  12. focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    I use Swix CH waxes and own them all. Use whatever the weather demands for the next week.

    I was my skis every 3 times skiing and my sons every 3 times skiing as well. Typcially do a baseprep (BP88) and then the swix.

    I just had my daily drivers stone ground last year and needed to wax them a ton of times to get them back to how they felt before the grind. I think I did 10 cycles of wax before they actually felt 'good' again.
     
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  13. Thread Starter
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    Plai

    Plai Paul Lai Skier

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    To summarize so far for my a check of my understanding. Use lots of cold prep layers (e.g. CH4) and then any universal or temp specific as I like. Some brands may be a little more durable. Performance-wise the difference isn't worth talking about. Spring specific is important in the spring.
     
  14. Sibhusky

    Sibhusky Out on the slopes Inactive

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    Actually, don't start with the CH4. Start with soft wax for penetration. The Ch4 needs something to bind to. Follow the ch4 with your wax for the day.

    Everyone has their theory.

    Mine is three hot scrapes or so with soft wax for cleaning and penetration. Then the CH4. Then the right hydrocarbon for the day. I'm sure ultimately they are all blending together in one mess, but that's my routine.
     
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  15. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    CH4 is not a prep wax. Doing lots of layers of CH4 is a) a completely masochistic exercise b) ineffective because they will not penetrate.

    In the Swix Range BP77 is the "cold" prep. Sure, do lots of layers that's fine.

    If you really want to punch up the abrasion resistance of your wax of the day, sprinkle some powdered hard wax like the CH4 into it.

    Some brands are a *lot* more durable - especially the ones that supply nordic glide wax because having your wax be gone 15-20km into a Birkie means no more customers. Durable in this context is similar to but not the same as abrasion resistance.

    Performance wise, you will notice the difference on the flats, on traverses and runouts.
     
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  16. raytseng

    raytseng Getting off the lift Skier

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    For Tahoe, doing any layers of ch4 is a masochistic exercise... lol.
     
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  17. Near Nyquist

    Near Nyquist At the edge of instability Skier

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    So say we all ....
     
  18. focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    CH4 is a total pain in the ass IMO but it does last a long time. I only use it when it going to be really really cold for many days in a row and I'm going to be skiing a long time on a lot of those days..
     
  19. ScotsSkier

    ScotsSkier USSA Coach Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    Not if you do it the correct way (and thanks to @BGreen for the guidance on this!) . Approximately: Iron it on, leave 10 minutes, iron again, leave for a couple of minutes then scrape and brush. And yes, i have been using CH4, LF4 and LFH4 for the last couple of weeks. I have found in recent years that I get better speed/ glide and longevity out of race skis by going a notch or 2 lower on temperature than you would expect from the stated ratings. And also on a well ( race ready) brushed race ski, performance drops off after 4 runs, regardless of the original wax
     
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  20. BGreen

    BGreen Out on the slopes Skier

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    Softer wax gives higher top speed. Harder was gives better acceleration. Adjust wax hardness for the discipline.
     
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