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Base Green Binder wax of the day at Nationals

US Cross Country Ski Championships

Thu, Jan  6, 2011 - By Ian Harvey

Jesse Diggins. Photo by Ian HarveyConditions for the 10/15k Classic Race at the US Cross Country Ski Championships matched what we expected when doing the original wax tip:

"Overnight low of 13F expected with a high of 30F on Wednesday. 30% chance of light flurries tonight and tomorrow. There is transformed snow machined and skied into sugar snow mixed with some manmade powder on the course. There is also dirt on the lower sections and on the back hill."

The only thing was that light snowfall fell sometimes, but didn't affect conditions really and it didn't accumulate at all.  Being that there was so much sitting in a tuck on this course, ski speed played an even more central role.  You had to have fast skis. 

Our glide wax tip was straight forward and held up well.  For kick, it was more complicated as there were various conditions on the course.  Parts were deep sugar snow, parts were sandy dirty mostly transformed snow, and parts were made up of a high degree of manmade snow. 

Our wax tip was for a super thick and short application (in multiple layers) of Base Green Binder.  Simple as that.  In testing, this solution went about as well as the best klister wax solutions.  One team that had excellent results actually put klister on the front and back of the kick zone and thick Base Green in the middle.  This was really intelligent as the "Straight Base Green" thing only works well when applied thick in this type of snow.  The klister can go thinner on the ends of the kick zone without sacrificing speed, but enhancing kick. 

Due to the loose sugary nature of the snow, shearing was also a factor today in some areas of the course (where the snow breaks underfoot creating a slip even though the wax holds). For that reason, it was better not to have a really short wax zone.  Others used Viola klister covered with Viola.  In short, it seemed that there were a lot of solutions that yielded good results today.  It seems as always that ski selection and matching the wax application to the ski camber and skier ability was the key component in having good skis.

Despite this being an "easy" course (there was no steep hill out there), evidently it was a challenging race as there were some really tired racers out there as well as an obvious selection.