US Nationals Wax Report
Cold temperatures made it important to have the bases hard. We used Toko LF blue and XCold powder for our base layer covered with JetStream Blue 2.0 block. The XCold powder made a big difference in our testing.
Fresh falling wet snow, Red 2.0 Powder won our test and put Caitlin on the podium.
— Report from Brian Gregg
(By the way, congratulations to Caitlin Gregg for qualifying to represent the US at the World Championships!)
US Nationals Wax Report
The first races of the week, 10/15km skate distance races, brought us temperatures in the single digits and a 5km loop with some man-made and some natural snow. Many waxes were fast in the man-made so we made sure to test in the natural snow section to make sure nothing was a liability. Toko Blue 2.0 powder tested well for us, and for a topping we found JetStream Blue 2.0 block fleeced together with a cold liquid to be very fast, especially at speed.
The classic sprints on Day 2 was one of those days it seemed like snow conditions were changing every 20min. We had snow and rain swapping back and forth all day and athletes skiing hardwax, zeros, double poling, and by the end, klister skiing. We found Zeros to be very fast in the rounds, but it seemed like the guys with klister were able to run the hills a bit better. We had Toko JetStream Blue block mixed with JetStream Red block testing well for glide early in the morning on fresh snow in the mid 20’s, and by the end of the day we were on warm liquids.
For the 20/30km Classic mass starts we lucked out a little bit and had pretty stable klister skiing conditions all day on a man-made 3.7k loop. We powdered our skis with a Toko JetStream Red/Yellow mix, which felt really good, and by mid day we were adding Toko Helix Yellow as conditions got above freezing.
In the final race of the week, a skate sprint qualifier, a warm snow storm rolled in about an hour before the race, really slowing trail conditions down. The forecast called for this so we left off the black underlayer and based with Toko HF Red. The JetStream Red/Yellow powder mix again felt really good, but with such a short race, we opted for a block/liquid combo instead. Cole, Jack and Kelsey all skied well, getting themselves on the U23 Team!
— Chris Mallory, Sun Valley Gold Team Coach
(Congratulations to Cole Morgan for being named to the US World Championships team as well as World U23s!)
Wax Report from Eastern Cup Races in Waterville, ME
Saturday, Freestyle Sprint:
Conditions went from warm all week to single-digit temps the night before the race. The snow was icy and fast with a marginal amount of dirtiness. A skier in our group who attends Colby had been sending me photos all week showing some rocky and dirty snow but the organizers did a great job and things were very clean and beautiful on race day!
All skate skis were prepped with a very hard graphite underlayer from another brand and then received Toko HF Blue as the paraffin layer.
This combination was fast right out of the gate, and sped up even more significantly with a layer of HelX Blue for the qualifier. The skis also received a quick hand-corking of a block on just the tails of the skis which we felt improved top speed. I stuck to “cold” hand applications of everything due to the short nature of the race and because I was concerned that changing the already-fast nature of the graphite/HF Blue paraffin layer with too much heat from an iron or rotocork could slow things down in the cold snow.
Our skis were running well and we had a male and female Junior advancing to the Open heats which was great. We also had 3 more skiers in Junior heats so a long day was in store. Skis were a huge factor here, as stiff boards could really help a racer stay confident, balanced, and powerful on the fast icy snow.
With the help of some new matched test skis (thanks Rossignol and Skirack!) we were able to retest a lot going into the heats, but despite slightly warming temps the moisture content and consistency of the snow remained similar. The course ended with a fast downhill and long flat portion so we really went for top-speed and just hand-corked a layer of the morning’s block on all skis. We liked a 1mm structure that was half of a cross-hatch pattern (“Screw Left”). I applied the structure after the block was corked in, but before it was brushed out, to slightly dull the structure. Skiers advancing to further heats had a quick layer of block re-applied and brushed.
Skis were great and we had several breakthrough performances which really got momentum swinging for the next day!
Sunday, Classic Mass Start:
Very similar conditions with a frigid night and slightly warming daytime temps. Cold klisters were the name of the game, and durability was key. The night before all skis received a klister binder and an application of HelX Blue or HelX Red depending on start time. We knew from the day prior that the HelX would run well, and with almost 20 skiers to get klistered up on race day we wanted to make sure we had adequate time once things got rolling. Toko HF Blue was the paraffin on all skis.
We tested both blue and purple klisters from various brands in the morning, and Toko Blue klister was doing well although we ended up on a blue klister from one brand mixed together with a purple klister from another brand. Even as the sun warmed the spectators and coaches, the snow remained cold and this was the combination we stayed on from the first race at 9:30AM to the final race at 12:45PM.
Kick was fantastic and several more skiers had breakthrough performances! There were a few skiers who mentioned a little dragging, and if that was the case the skis received a dusting of Jetstream Blue Powder over the front of the kick zone.
Things really got going in the action of the day and I am disappointed that I neglected to test structure or even apply a structure that would’ve been a safe call like the Toko Blue Structurite the night before, or the pattern that had worked well the previous day. I think we generally do a good job with structure so this was a big mis-step on my part.
Waterville is a long drive for us, but the great atmosphere an strong results made for a very memorable weekend for MNC.
— Adam Terko, Head Coach Mansfield Nordic Club