Saturday, March 5, 2011

Canadian Natinonals - Glide Wax

Canadian Nationals begin on March 12 (my birthday!) with the skate team sprint. I have already received questions about glide waxing for Canmore, so here are a few early tips.

1. Base Layers
No matter what the air temperature is in Canmore, the snow is always aggressive. The snowpack tends to stay cold and it is very important to harden the bases sufficiently. My favourite choices are Swix LF4 or Solda S30.

2. Paraffin
In general, Canmore requires paraffins that are colder than you might initially think. Swix LF4, Solda S30, Ski*Go Violet, and Solda F31 Violet, and Holmenkol Matrix Blue consistently test well. 

Additionally, during the 2010 and 2008 World Cups in Canmore, I picked up some recipes for paraffin mixes that are tuned specifically to the Nordic Centre Conditions. While I am not at liberty to reveal the ingredients, these recipes are the real thing and have been used with great success by the Canadian, American, Finn, and Swedish teams. I have prepared a limited batch of these mixes, which are available at Fast Trax. Given the relatively stable forecast (TWN - 14 day outlook) and standard expectations for Nordic Centre snow, mixes 1, 2, and 4 should be particularly interesting. 

World Cup mixes.
Please note that you will need to test these mixes, just as you would with any paraffin solution.

4. Powder
There are a variety of powders to consider for Nationals. Good choices to test will likely include Swix FC7, Swix FC78, Swix FC7/FC10 mixed 50/50, Solda HP04, Solda HP05, Holmenkol Cold, Holmenkol Mid, Vauhti Goldfox, Briko 10.1, and Ski*Go C44/7. 

5. Topcoats
As always with topcoats, it is best to test on the day of the race. In general, look to relatively cold solutions.

6. Hand Structure
A medium v-structure from any of the tools almost always improves feeling at the Nordic Centre. However, my hands down favourite modification is the Holmenkol Cross tool with one roller removed. These tools are hard to come by, but Fast Trax has ONE left.

Given my affiliation with the Alberta World Cup Academy, I won't be posting any additional details with respect to waxes for Nationals. However, if you have additional questions, don't hesitate to contact Jack at Fast Trax.

See you in Canmore!

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