NewsSki Base Preparation for the American Birkebeiner

FasterSkierFebruary 19, 2008

Based on the forecast, everyone can go through this base preparation process several days before heading to the Birkie. Keep the MB77 on the base until you are ready to apply final race layers and structure.

If using classic skis, final base preparation of the kick zone is required. The main reason for this is so the kick wax will adhere well enough to the base for the duration of the event. Swix suggests using the T0011 synthetic cork w/ #100 grit sandpaper attached to rough up the kick zone. For hardwax, the kick zone is approximately 65cm beginning at the heel and moving forward up the ski. For Klister wax, the zone is shorter typically about 45-65cm. These measurements vary according to ski flex and skier weight. A good shop or good experience can help you dial these measurements in. To sand the kick zone we only pass the sanding cork in parallel fashion to the ski base, not across the base. If you will be applying Swix HF or Swix Cera F glide waxes, it is now best to wait before applying the base kick wax. Continue with your final race waxing of the glide zones.

Complete ironing, scraping and brushing. If applying Cera F powders, it is a common practice to tape over the kick zones to prevent the Cera F from getting into the kick zone pores as the kick wax will poorly adhere to this area. Iron and brush out Cera, then remove the tape and make sure kick zone is clean of wax and tape residue. The kick zone is now ready for application of the kick base wax sometimes referred to as “binder”.

If kick wax is going to be hardwax, apply a generous amount of Swix VG35 and then iron this in. Let cool 5 minutes and cork smooth. Do not over cork. If possible set outside to cool before applying the several layers of race waxes for the event. If the race wax is klister, apply a layer of Swix KR20. Iron this in. Again, let cool, and lightly cork smooth. This takes a firm yet subtle grip of the cork. Let base cool before applying the race klister layers. The more the KR20 has a chance to cool, typically the easier it is to apply the layers on top without mixing occurring. This requires patience and practice. A very nice video demonstration w/ voice queue can be found at at “Swix School of Waxing”.

A few simple steps and your bases have been refurbished and are now prepped to receive the final race wax layers. While you are at it, inspect your ski sidewalls and surface for cracks or holes. Inspect bindings, check for loose screws, cracked plates. Also check your poles for cracks, loose or broken pole tips, handles and for worn straps. Be ready for a great day!

Base Preparation products required for glide zone:

BP99 base cleaning wax BP099
MB77 base wax MB077
Swix waxing Iron T72, T73 or T74
Swix 3mm wax scraper T0823D
Swix groove scraper T0087 or T0088
Swix Fine Steel Brush (T1088B pro oval) or (T0192NB rectangular)
Swix T401 Hand “Riller” structure tool

Base Preparation products required for kick zone:

Swix wax remover I0062 Fibertex T0266N and Fiberlene T0151
Putty Knife
Cork & sanding block T0011
VG35 hardwax base wax
KR20 klister base wax

Swix Sport's partner Team, The Factory Team, has had outstanding results this year using Swix waxes and poles. Below is a summary of results and wax combinations provided to Swix courtesy of Factory Team wax technicians Kevin Johnson and Fabien Blondeau.

Place, Race Type, Air Temp (°C), Snow Snow Temp (°C), Glide Wax, Kick Wax, Grade, Best.

Factory Team Results

WY Supertour, Sprint Sk, -14, New Cold and dry -16, LF4+LF3 for qualify then + FC7 Corked for heat, X A, M Sinnot : 2nd – K Unerwood : 6th.

WY Supertour, Ind Cl, -15, New Cold and dry -16, LF4+LF3, VG35 + combo V40/V20, A, K Strandberg : 1st, VG35 (Iron) + V40, A, M Sinnot : 5th.

Bozeman Supertour, Sprint Cl, -10, New Cold and Pretty Dry -12, HF4BD + FC7, VG35 corked + Combo VR40/VR30, A-, K Strandberg : 5th.

Bozeman Supertour, Ind Sk, -16, New Cold and dry -17, HF4BD, X B+, K Strandberg : 4th, E Dong : 7th.

SH Supertour, Sprint Cl, -10, Cold Artificial -11, LF6 then LF6 + FC1S Corked, Special green corked + VR40 then VR45, A+, K Strandberg : 2nd, I Babikov : 8th,

SH Supertour, Mass S Sk, -8, Cold Artificial -9, LF6 + FC7, X A-, E Dong : 6th, K Stranberg : 7th I Babikov : 1st, LF6 + FC7 + FC1S corked.

Houghton US Nationals, Ind Sk, -8, Falling and Cold -8, HF6 + FC7/8 mixed then HF6 + FC040, X A, I Babikov : 1st, L Flora : 6th, A Golovko : 9th, J Freeman : 10th.

Houghton US Nationals, Ind Cl, -8, Cold New then getting warm -10, HF4BD + FC7 then HF6 + FC7, Special Green corked + Combo VR40/VR45, A+, I Babikov : 1st, L Flora : 2nd, A Golovko : 3rd, M Sinnott : 9th, -5, -6, Special Green corked + VR45 B-, K Strandberg : 2nd.

Houghton US Nationals, Sprint Sk, 1, New getting warm : pretty wet -1, HF6BD + FC7 Corked then FC8L Corked, X A, M Sinnott : 4th, Flora : 6th, K Strandberg : 9th.

Houghton US Nationals, Team S Cl, 5, Very Wet 0, HF6BD + FC8L then + FC10L corked Combo KR60/K22n Under Foot, B, Flora/Golovko : 2nd, Strandberg : 4th.

Seeley Classic Hills, 42k Cl, -6, Old and New mixed -6, LF4 + HF6BD + FC8BD Binder Old Grün/KR30 mixed (iron) + VR45 and KR50 Cover UF, A+, A Golovko : 1st, A Larson : 1st.

Marquette College Race, Ind Cl, -20, New -20, HF4BD + LF3, Special Green corked + VR 30 cover by V20, B+ A Golovko : 3rd.

Duluth Supertour, Sprint Sk, -17, Old and new mixed -18, HF4BD for qualify then + FC7/LF3, X B+, K Strandberg : 3rd A Golovko : 10th.

Marquette Noque, 51k Cl, -9, New and falling -15, HF4BD + FC7, VG35 (Iron) + combo VR30/VR40, A+, K Strandberg : 1st, A Golovko : 1st.

Telemark Supertour, Mass S Cl, -1, Old and New mixed -10, HF6BD + FC7, VG35 (Iron) + combo VR40/VR45 (40%/60%), A, K Strandberg : 1st.

Madison Supertour, Team S Sk, -1, Artificial Dirty and new snow mixed -2, HF8BD + FC8BD + FC8L corked, X A, Flora/Golovko : 2nd.

Madison Supertour, Sprint Cl, -1, Artifical Dirty snow 0, HF8BD + FC8BD + FC10L Black corked, Double Pole Only but K21n/K22N mixed was Ok, A+, K Strandberg : 1st, L Flora : 5th.

Boulder Mountain Tour, 30k Sk, -14, New Cold and dry -15, CH4+LF4, X A+, M Sinnott : 1st, E Dong : 2nd.

City of Lakes, 35k Sk, -5, Old dry and cold -5, HF6BD + FC7 + FC1 corked, X A+, A Golovko : 1st.

Crafstbury, 50k Cl, -6, Ice and New Mixed, Falling -4, HF8 + FC8, KR 20 (iron) + KR40 + VR45, B, J Freeman : 2nd.

Aspen SuperTour, Ind Cl -10, Cold and Dry -15, CH4 + LF4, Binder V20 corked + VR30, A, K Strandberg : 1st A Golovko : 1st.

Aspen SuperTour, Mass S 25k Sk, -8, Cold and Dry -10, CH4 + HF4BD, X A-, E Dong : 1st, K Stranberg : 2nd, A Larson : 3rd.

Lake Placid Loppet, 50k Sk, -8, Cold -10, HF6 + FC7, X A, K Underwood : 1st, J Freeman : 2nd.

Mora Vasaloppet, 35k Sk, -24, New and cold (wind) -20, LF4+CH4+LF3/CH4, X B, C Giese : 9th.

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