NewsRacingUS NationalsToko’s Perspective on the 2010 US Nationals Classic Sprint

FasterSkier FasterSkierJanuary 9, 20107
Reese Hanneman 4th place.
Reese Hanneman 4th place.

The conditions made for some great skiing conditions. It was fast and the snow was easy to kick on. Wax selection was not so important today as pretty much every product out there performed well. Far more important (as very often is the case when classic waxing) was how well the wax was applied and with what strategy. Glide was at a premium especially as the last 1/2 of the sprint course was pretty much downhill or flat. Kick wax needed to be applied strategically and not at all the way it may have been done for a distance race on a difficult course. The course was a good uphill followed by lots of downhill and flats (and another pretty short uphill that could be double poled if necessary).

FAST's Tyson Flaharty.
FAST's Tyson Flaharty.

The better a classic skier a person is, the easier it is to organize superb skis for him or her. A great skier can ski on stiffer skis than other skiers who may be the same weight. They can also ski on less kick wax (or a harder kick wax). Both of these positive scenarios yield faster gliding skis than the not so proficient or fit classic skier. For this reason, the solutions that a waxer had before him varied somewhat based on the ability of the skier as it usually does.

Steinbock Racing's Chris Cook.
Steinbock Racing's Chris Cook.

For qualifiying, for a traditional solution, Carbon Grip Blue was the best option. Air was dry and 22F pretty much all day. We finally got some blue sky. Viola was also OK, but not as fast gliding as the Blue. So, one option was to ski on Blue on some hard track skis. Another option was to put straight Base Green very short on a stiff pair of skis which would keep them completely off the snow. The straight Base Green option is super grippy and slow gliding, but if you can keep it off the snow like this, and the skier is able to get the camber down, you can achieve rollerski kick and skating ski glide. The issue is whether or not the skier is capable of getting the camber down or not.

Mike Hinckely 3rd place.
Mike Hinckely 3rd place.

In the afternoon, some switched to Viola as it warmed some momentarily, but then it seemed to cool and dry slightly and Blue continued to be best for most.

FAST's David Norris and CXC/USST Garrott Kuzzy.
FAST's David Norris and CXC/USST Garrott Kuzzy.

For glide, we ran LF Moly, HF Blue/Red mix covered by JetStream Blue/Red mix all day. Again, the main factor was how people waxed with the idea of getting adequate kick with maximum glide. The better skiers were able to achieve this better than the less able skiers.

Laura Valaas 2nd place.
Laura Valaas 2nd place.
Rebecca Dussault 5th place.
Rebecca Dussault 5th place.

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7 comments

  • Avatar
    skierout

    January 9, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    It’s interesting how Toko’s perspective on waxing is to dismiss the importance of wax on a day that UAF had surprisingly good results on Swix wax.

    And to suggest that skiers and wax techs are more important than wax itself? Does that mean Toko wax techs and Toko sponsored athletes are inferior in classic races? I don’t think so, but maybe Toko does. If the podium was stacked with Toko sponsored athletes, would the message have been the same? I don’t think so.

  • Avatar
    ianharvey

    January 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I don’t know what UAF was using. They do buy and use a lot of Toko wax though. They did have a great day and I wish them well.

    Toko was well represented OK in the results with at least 3 skiers finishing in the top 5. There are some athletes where I don’t know what they were using (such as UAF for example). Also, much of the time, a team will use one brand for glide and another brand for kick. I don’t really worry about who is using what so much, but rather what our best solution is for the day.

    My comment was basically that there were many products that were working well and the discrepancies seemed to be more of a question of application than the products themselves. This showed itself not so much in how the skis kicked, but in whether or not glide wax compromised or not from the kick wax application.

  • Avatar
    peloquma

    January 11, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Skierout, does the word naive ring a bell ? This is ridiculous, you actually think that sponsored teams use only one kind of wax ??? MOUHAHAHA HAHAHA HAAHAHAHA.

  • Avatar
    skierout

    January 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    jeez, thanks for educating me. I never imagined that. I didn’t really suggest that sponsored athletes only use one wax. My point was that after it became known that UAF skied on Swix Glide, Toko came on and dismissed the importance of wax.

  • Avatar
    nordic_dave

    January 11, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks for posting this Ian. It’s good information and fun to look at pics of some great skiers.

    Skierout: some of us can actually form an opinion based on the information provided on our own, sometimes it comes from multiple sources. Personally I don’t give a rip who ski’s on what poles, or gloves, skis or boots or even wax. I will also assume they know what the temprature is race day morning. I do pay attention to how people apply wax to their skis in certain conditions and how the ski reacts to it. Understanding snow crystals and how to apply wax and ski prep can always always be improved upon.

    Decades ago it was all a secret, you couldn’t even get a grunt out of someone at a citizen’s race as to what they were on.
    Today thanks to all the wax techs and wax information out there from many sources, the average skier has access to information and can have good skis on race day.

    Once again there is no evil diabolical plot here just some free information should you choose to accept it. If you have Swix tatoo’d somewhere on your body, well good luck with that!

  • Avatar
    ianharvey

    January 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    People try to make something out of nothing. They want to see a rift between competing companies. They want to see friction and a bitter rivalry. The truth is, the people who are out there working for their respective companies are mostly friends and wish each other well. Most of us have a lot of respect for each other. We have fulfilling lives outside of skiing and don’t get bent out of shape by some small thing that people with no perspective on things might get cranked by. Basically, it’s all good. So, chill out and just enjoy the sport and stop trying to make trouble.

  • Avatar
    skierout

    January 11, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Man, you guys are condescending. “Don’t get bent out of shape.” That’s funny. Didn’t this company competition get sparked this year by Ian’s earlier article listing athlete sponsorships.

    I didn’t intend to cause riffs or make trouble, I just thought Toko’s recent article sounded a little sour. That’s just one man’s opinion though, so don’t get bent out of shape.

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