In the early 90’s my two youngest daughters, Juli and Joni, along with my oldest son Max, and myself, packed our ski equipment and flew to Idaho to take part in the “Spring Series,” a week of ski racing at elevation. The race series began in Sun Valley and drew mostly upper level juniors and elite skiers from both sides of the pond, along with most members of the U.S. ski team.
We didn’t think the waxing would be much of an issue but just to be sure I stuffed the wax box with all the latest waxing breakthroughs which include several forty dollar a can super grips and a couple of cans of name brand fluor wax powders. If all else failed, I figured we would be rubbing shoulders with some of the best skiers in the world who could no doubt steer us in the right direction.
Our first chance to review the course was the day before the classic race, so we packed our pockets with grip wax and spent a couple of hours skiing and talking to the other racers. The Super Grips worked great but were only good for about one hundred yards, and they were gone, so we spent most of our time applying fresh wax. I knew the kids were fast, but stopping every hundred yards was probably asking too much. So on race day we put the hardest wax in the box as a base and whatever was left of the Super Grip on top. The classic race wasn’t memorable but we survived.
As the week progressed the elevation took its toll on the girls, but Max didn’t seem to notice, and even managed a third place finish on some really slow skis. Max loved hills and could climb them like a mountain goat.
When we returned from our trip we knew it was time to make some sense out of our wax box. If we were going to drive or fly all over the countryside to attend ski races, it just made sense to make an effort to have the right wax when we got there. So I removed everything from the box but the wax tools. Then we hooked up with a very small wax company in Finland that has been focusing on making wax since 1937. The chemists at Vauhti have kept the company on the cutting edge of wax innovations with very little backpedaling. If you are looking for a wax iron, or ski poles, you will have to go elsewhere, Vauhti makes ski wax.
So we filled our wax box with a variety of Vauhti waxes and spent the next several years learning to use them, adding more products along the way. By the late nineties we were importing Vauhti products and converting our fellow skiers as we went.
I have always felt we were promoting a very high quality wax, and having the Finnish ski teams support is nice, but some home grown support was really what counts. This last fall we were informed by one of the U.S. Ski Team wax tech’s, that Vauhti wax was responsible for the best skis at last years World Juniors.
So next time you visit XC Ski Headquarters don’t disregard the Vauhti products, they are some of the best you can buy.