The US Senior National Championships just wrapped up over the weekend and I finally found some time to spend on a write up with the final test results from the two classic races.
January 4th – Classic Sprint
This was the second time this year I have ran into very tricky waxing conditions. The overnight low was right around freezing and there was a little bit of new snow, but not enough to fully change the track conditions. The groomers also had a tougher time and made the conditions even more variable. It looked like it was clearly going to be klister cover, klister, or zeroes conditions through the morning until new snow started falling during the heats which allowed hardwax to also work. Working on my own through the day I had to change the approach to how I normally would test skis. I had two different test fleets to use which allowed me to split up my testing. The first test I looked at a combination of product and application, trying to find a good option to start with. The second test only focused on the application knowing that my time would be better spent there than chasing down a different product option.
1a – Swix VP65
1b – Rex N11
2a – Swix K22
2b – Swix KX35
3a – Rex Gold Hand Applied
3b – Rex Gold Moly Hand Applied
4a – Rex Gold Roller Applied
4b – Rex Gold Roller Applied + Vauhti GT Pink Cover
I put in VP65 and Rex N11 as the two hardwax options just in case they would feel good. They didn’t, so I stopped looking at hardwax completely. All of the Rex Gold options felt fast, but not quite enough kick. The two Swix Klisters felt pretty good for kick, but were maybe a little slower on glide. I opted to look closer at K22 as that felt like the most balanced option for kick and glide.
1a – Swix K22 1 Pass on roller
1b – Swix K22 2 Pass on Roller
2a – Swix K22 2 Pass on Roller w/Vauhti GT Pink Cover
2b – Swix K22 2 Pass on Roller w/Rex Grip Powder
3a – Swix K22 2 Pass on Roller w/Vauhti GT Pink + Rex Grip Powder
This was a very interesting and important test to run. In these tricky conditions, it is just as important to get the application correct as it is to get the correct product. The initial test I ran looked at wax thickness going between 1 or 2 passes on the roller. 2 Passes felt really good on kick, without any real differences in terms of drag or glide. I also wanted to look at ways to speed the klister up and Vauhti GT Pink cover was the best option. I have had a lot of success running Rex Grip Powder on klisters to help prevent icing and speed up the kick. It didn’t seem to make a noticeable difference in the skis so I decided to keep them as is for the race.
January 5th – Training Day
It snowed pretty much this entire day making testing nearly useless. We got a test set up and prepared, but by the time we were able to get on it we decided to move onto some other projects for the day.
January 6th – Mass Start Classic
This was a long day for me. I was supporting a couple of junior girls whose race didn’t start until 2:30 meaning I had a lot of time to test and prep race skis. I did a glide test earlier on in the day to get an idea of if the new snow and colder temperatures from the day prior made any changes to our race waxes. I ended up moving towards Swix Marathon White Powder as the base layer.
1a – Swix TS6 Liquid
1b – Rode RL Med Liquid
2a – Rex N-Kinetic Cold
2b – Star Next Cold Liquid
1b > 1a
2a > 2b
2a > 1b
This was a small test that was easy to run through on my own. Going just by feeling, I went towards Rex N-Kinetic Cold. I have had a lot of luck with this wax in Houghton previously, but it wasn’t quite cold enough until this day to throw it on snow.
1a – Rex Liquid Base
1b – Vauhti Base Super
This was another really quick test to run through on my own. I ended up skiing a full lap on these skis to get an idea of both durability and speed. Neither option wore down at all, but Vauhti Base Super felt a little faster while kicking so I ended up on that as my race option.
1a – Rex -2/-8 Blue
1b – Rode B17
2a – Guru Special
2b – Rex Blue Klister + Rode Blue Super
Conditions were really good and stable through the day. I tested mostly the blue kick waxes I have liked, but decided to add in a blue klister cover to see if some of the transformed snow was still sticking through. The klister option felt really slow, but the three hardwax options were great. I leaned towards Rode B17 as the fastest option as they all had really good kick. I added in some Rode T-Line VO as a bump for those that needed some help with securing their kick.