We received some excellent questions from someone who saw the Birkie tip posted on TokoUS.com. Here are the questions and answers:
I have a couple of questions regarding the wax recs for the american Birkebeiner Sat. 2/21:
Any downside to mixing x-cold powder with the HF blue? XCold Powder is best to mix in with HF Blue when conditions are slow. Things being the way they are, there is no need to mix it in. The possible drawback would be a sacrifice on the high end speed.
Performance/durability differences between the jetstream blue/iron & fiberlene method vs. rotocork application. They are similar, but we found the iron/fiberlene to be superior or as good in all kinds of snow. Compared to rotocorking, the differences were a little more durable and better in wet snow.
Performance/durability differences between Helx 2.0 vs. jet stream. HelX 2.0 and JetStream are probably about as durable as each other (assuming the HelX is applied indoors on a dry ski). HelX runs best in snow that is glazed or at least fast. HelX will probably be quite good on Saturday for the Birkie. (Note the HelX 2.0 is both faster and more durable than the earlier version)
Any subtle alterations to these recs for us folks in the middle waves (5-6)? No, this time around, the wax recommendation is the same for all waves.
The Best Way to Apply JetStream Bloc
We are comfortable recommending this method for all Nordic ski racers from weekend warriors to the highest level.
We are assuming that the skis have had the appropriate HF wax applied, scraped, and brushed out well.
Set iron to 320f (160c). This is full blast on the T14 Digital Iron.
Rub as much JetStream bloc as you can on the base.
Take a 10 inch strip of fiberlene and hold it under the base of the iron such that when the iron comes onto the ski, the fiberlene will be between the ski base and iron base thus insulating the ski base and preventing “sticky spots”.
Iron the ski from tip to tail in a slow pass (20-30 seconds) keeping the fiberlene under the base of the iron
Inspect the base. The base should look mostly black with small white areas. If most of the base is white, take another pass concentrating on the white areas. If the base has become very hot, let it cool before taking the second pass.
Brush out with Nylon Polishing Brush. Polish with Thermo Pad.
Using HelX 2.0
HelX 2.0 is a different animal from the previous HelX versions. It is more concentrated (use less – just a light spray is perfect), is faster, and is far more DURABLE.
There are two types of people that enjoy this new and very successful wax.
High end racers who want the fastest skis
Racers who don’t want to expose their bases to high heats or who don’t want to have to deal with ironing or rotocorking topcoat, but still want very fast skis. HelX is not flammable and is about as durable as ironed in JetStream. It is a great solution for those who want fast skis, but don’t want to iron pure fluorocarbons!
Watch this video to see how HelX 2.0 is applied
Toko Wax Report: Craftsbury Supertours
With marginal snow conditions in most of the West, we were treated to some fantastic skiing the last two weekends in Craftsbury, VT. Here are some of waxing observations from the winter wonderland of Northern Vermont.
For the first classic mass start, a cold overnight low with snow throughout the day forecast lead us to put Toko HF Blue with the Jetstream 2.0 Blue powder on top. We also ironed in a layer of the Green Base Binder to help with kick durability over the longer race. Even as temperatures reached the mid teens and the tracks started to glaze a bit with the new snow, we were impressed how this straight Toko Blue combination stayed fast as we tested slightly warmer glide options.
While none of the Far West Elite Team did the Craftsbury Marathon on Saturday, I lent a hand to my parents who both raced. The colder temperatures and sharper snow crystals really slowed conditions down. We found that adding X-Cold Powder to the HF Blue layer helped mitigate this. Additionally an ironed in layer of the Green Base Binder kept wear minimal through 50km.
With continuing cold temperatures for the Classic Sprint we stayed with the HF Blue/X-Cold Powder combination. We found that the Blue Jetstream Bloc and Powder tested very similarly and went with the Bloc. We reapplied the topcoat after quarterfinals just to make sure our skis were extra fast for the semi’s and final.
The second weekend of racing was a wax tech’s dream with cold and consistent conditions. The combination that performed best for us was HF Blue and X-Cold Powder. It stayed the same all weekend. As with the previous weekend’s sprint, we went with the Blue Bloc over the Blue Powder. We continued to stay with the Blue 2.0 Powder for the distance races Saturday and Sunday as it offered better durability over the longer distances.
As during U.S.S.A Senior Nationals in Houghton, MI, we were continually impressed by the Toko Arctic Mitt and Glove. They kept our battered hands warm, cozy, and dry through a week straight of near constant use. Finally we wanted to recognize how well these races were organized. In particular how they organizers had the foresight to delay the start of the Sunday sprint, due to cold temperatures, the day before the race instead of the morning of. This made the day far less hectic for both our athletes and wax crew and we really appreciate the logistical work that allowed this to happen.
-Far West Elite Team Member Spencer Eusden
Race Wax Tips
The Toko Tech Team, a regional team of wax technicians almost all of which have been working for Toko for over 10 years, have tons of experience, and have been very well trained, research and prescribe race wax tips for you. There is a local and respected name behind every wax tip. Toko race wax tips are generally posted 2 days before an event and updated if needed. This is the most important thing that we do in the Nordic market.