Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

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MicahE
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Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by MicahE » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:12 pm

Me: 210 lbs, been using old 210 Trek skis for past season and this one. Fell in love with xc, no groomers. Powder snowboarding for 20+ years.

in the market for xc bc set up for adventures, not focused on downhill.

Read about then found and looked at the Asnes Combat skis. Enamored by the dimensions and low price but not excited about the wax. I wax my snowboard and am not afraid but want low maintenance generally.

Should I hold off and bite the bullet for the Fischer Traverse 78s or is waxing not so bad?

Weekends, maaaybe an overnight trek once a year.

Thanks

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by fisheater » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:32 pm

You don’t need to break out an iron for kick wax. Kick wax is not Chinese arithmetic, but if those Blue Mountains offer mostly powder snow, kick wax is so easy a cave man can do it. Besides that, wax works great snow below 32 F. A lot of folks prefer wax to scales.
Go to the TeleWiki section look up Lilcliffy’s guide to kick wax. Then read the reviews of the Asnes Combat NATO ski.
You may be looking at an Asnes USGI ski if it’s $50 give or take. I own one of those. It’s a little heavy, but a durable, capable backcountry ski. They offer pretty good float for XC skiing. There are also good reviews on the USGI in the reviews section. The USGI will have pilot holes in the topsheet for placement of a universal binding.

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by MicahE » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:51 pm

fisheater wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:32 pm
You don’t need to break out an iron for kick wax. Kick wax is not Chinese arithmetic, but if those Blue Mountains offer mostly powder snow, kick wax is so easy a cave man can do it. Besides that, wax works great snow below 32 F. A lot of folks prefer wax to scales.
Go to the TeleWiki section look up Lilcliffy’s guide to kick wax. Then read the reviews of the Asnes Combat NATO ski.
You may be looking at an Asnes USGI ski if it’s $50 give or take. I own one of those. It’s a little heavy, but a durable, capable backcountry ski. They offer pretty good float for XC skiing. There are also good reviews on the USGI in the reviews section. The USGI will have pilot holes in the topsheet for placement of a universal binding.

Thank you for the thoughts and info. Do you live around here, how do you know about the Blues?

Yes, these are the USGI skis. I’ve read a thread started by lillycliff, and parts of other threads about this ski, but I’ll do some more reading. Thus far it seems like a good fit, maybe other than the lack of scales. I haven’t seen a weight on these skis yet so not sure if heavy compared to my current. Would assume so.

I’ll read the thread you suggest about waxing, thanks again.

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by lowangle al » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:47 am

Everybody needs at least one pair of waxable skis to feel the ultimate joy of skiing. As much as I like the K&G of the Voile nowax skis they don't compare to a well waxed ski.

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by lilcliffy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:07 am

Hello MicahE-

You have been using a waxless-scaled ski to date? You are happy with the grip and glide?

Where are you skiing? What is the typical snow, and temperatures like? What kind of terrain are you skiing on and do you want to take that further?

Grip-waxing skis is not a chore- it is fun and incredibly rewarding. An effectively grip-waxed ski is Nordic Magic- solid grip and wonderous glide.

A story to illustrate-
My close friend is just recently accepting that he needs to grip-wax in order to get the maximum performance out of his touring skis (as well as have any hope of keeping up to me in hilly terrain) :P ) He commented on our tour last Sunday that he felt like he could truly "feel the snow" for the first time- that he not only felt that he had better grip and stability and excellent glide- but that he felt more connected with the snow and more responsive to the terrain. I can definitely tell you that he was MUCH faster- his turns were better- he fell down much less- and he was nowhere near as tired late in the day. (My friend has been skiing with me for a couple of years and has been insisting on glide wax in the glide zones- he bought his first waxable ski last season- was insisting on scales before that).

All of this mumbo-jumbo being said-

There are definitely snow and temperature conditions were kick-waxing is very difficult and even frustrating. I have largely covered that through abandoning glide wax on my touring skis.

However- waxless scales work best on warm, wet, freeable snow. Personally, these are the only conditions where I use scaled skis for Nordic touring- and I reserve it for very early season snow and full-on warm spring skiing.
(My warm spring afternoons are followed by very cold nights. My early mornings in the spring are dominated by hard and very icy refrozen snow- if I go out on an early spring morning- I typically have to use kicker skins or klister. On warm spring afternoons I use my scaled skis).

Remember that you can grip wax your scaled skis.
Remember that people do master grip and kick waxing on warm wet and icy snow.
Remember that if you are determined to glide wax your tip/tail you will have to have your kick wax perfect underfoot and you will have to change-up your glide wax when the snow temperatures change- this, for me, is what turns grip/kick waxing into a fussy, frustrating experience.

Grip wax man- Nordic Magic.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by MicahE » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:57 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:07 am
Hello MicahE-

You have been using a waxless-scaled ski to date? You are happy with the grip and glide?

Where are you skiing? What is the typical snow, and temperatures like? What kind of terrain are you skiing on and do you want to take that further?

Grip-waxing skis is not a chore- it is fun and incredibly rewarding. An effectively grip-waxed ski is Nordic Magic- solid grip and wonderous glide.

A story to illustrate-
My close friend is just recently accepting that he needs to grip-wax in order to get the maximum performance out of his touring skis (as well as have any hope of keeping up to me in hilly terrain) :P ) He commented on our tour last Sunday that he felt like he could truly "feel the snow" for the first time- that he not only felt that he had better grip and stability and excellent glide- but that he felt more connected with the snow and more responsive to the terrain. I can definitely tell you that he was MUCH faster- his turns were better- he fell down much less- and he was nowhere near as tired late in the day. (My friend has been skiing with me for a couple of years and has been insisting on glide wax in the glide zones- he bought his first waxable ski last season- was insisting on scales before that).

All of this mumbo-jumbo being said-

There are definitely snow and temperature conditions were kick-waxing is very difficult and even frustrating. I have largely covered that through abandoning glide wax on my touring skis.

However- waxless scales work best on warm, wet, freeable snow. Personally, these are the only conditions where I use scaled skis for Nordic touring- and I reserve it for very early season snow and full-on warm spring skiing.
(My warm spring afternoons are followed by very cold nights. My early mornings in the spring are dominated by hard and very icy refrozen snow- if I go out on an early spring morning- I typically have to use kicker skins or klister. On warm spring afternoons I use my scaled skis).

Remember that you can grip wax your scaled skis.
Remember that people do master grip and kick waxing on warm wet and icy snow.
Remember that if you are determined to glide wax your tip/tail you will have to have your kick wax perfect underfoot and you will have to change-up your glide wax when the snow temperatures change- this, for me, is what turns grip/kick waxing into a fussy, frustrating experience.

Grip wax man- Nordic Magic.
Thank you for your thoughts and for sharing your experiences.

Experience: I skied "a lot" last season and have been up once this season. It's been a slow start of the season, late snow. I feel coordinated and strong on xc skis.

Current Gear: An old set of nowax Trak 210 skinny skis (with no metal edges) that I picked up for $15 at a yard sale, original SNS binding system that is out of production. Boots are like slippers, very comfortable but zero support. Poor control on downhill slopes. One of my skis with bindings weighs 1104 grams on my digital kitchen scale.

Location: I'm mostly skiing in the Blue Mountains of NE Oregon. In about a year I'll be moving to the Hood River area and will be likely skiing in the Mt Hood National Forest, central Oregon Cascades, and the Washington Cascades.

Snow conditions: Generally cold, dry, and deep but certainly experience warm conditions in the early winter and spring. We went up last weekend and were just barely in freezing temps. The snow was fresh but heavy.

Terrain: I've never skied groomers and have no desire. So far skiing on broken and un-broken forest service roads, hiking trails, and snowed over "main roads". I desire to ski more trails and cross country (no trails) with a gear capability to climb and descend moderate slopes but most use would be mixed terrain and rolling hills.

Really my only concern with getting a wax ski is not being able to easily wax/rewax for the conditions that I encounter while up in the mountains. I'm no stranger to waxing my snowboard, it's not a foreign concept to me, I've always done my own waxing. I don't want to have to change up waxes over the course of a day or feel dragged down or a lack of traction because my wax is a little off for the conditions.

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (USGI combat)

Post by MicahE » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:43 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:07 am
Hello MicahE-

You have been using a waxless-scaled ski to date? You are happy with the grip and glide?

Where are you skiing? What is the typical snow, and temperatures like? What kind of terrain are you skiing on and do you want to take that further?

Grip-waxing skis is not a chore- it is fun and incredibly rewarding. An effectively grip-waxed ski is Nordic Magic- solid grip and wonderous glide.

A story to illustrate-
My close friend is just recently accepting that he needs to grip-wax in order to get the maximum performance out of his touring skis (as well as have any hope of keeping up to me in hilly terrain) :P ) He commented on our tour last Sunday that he felt like he could truly "feel the snow" for the first time- that he not only felt that he had better grip and stability and excellent glide- but that he felt more connected with the snow and more responsive to the terrain. I can definitely tell you that he was MUCH faster- his turns were better- he fell down much less- and he was nowhere near as tired late in the day. (My friend has been skiing with me for a couple of years and has been insisting on glide wax in the glide zones- he bought his first waxable ski last season- was insisting on scales before that).

All of this mumbo-jumbo being said-

There are definitely snow and temperature conditions were kick-waxing is very difficult and even frustrating. I have largely covered that through abandoning glide wax on my touring skis.

However- waxless scales work best on warm, wet, freeable snow. Personally, these are the only conditions where I use scaled skis for Nordic touring- and I reserve it for very early season snow and full-on warm spring skiing.
(My warm spring afternoons are followed by very cold nights. My early mornings in the spring are dominated by hard and very icy refrozen snow- if I go out on an early spring morning- I typically have to use kicker skins or klister. On warm spring afternoons I use my scaled skis).

Remember that you can grip wax your scaled skis.
Remember that people do master grip and kick waxing on warm wet and icy snow.
Remember that if you are determined to glide wax your tip/tail you will have to have your kick wax perfect underfoot and you will have to change-up your glide wax when the snow temperatures change- this, for me, is what turns grip/kick waxing into a fussy, frustrating experience.

Grip wax man- Nordic Magic.


Thank you for your thoughts and for sharing your experiences.

Experience: I skied "a lot" last season and have been up once this season. It's been a slow start of the season, late snow. I feel coordinated and strong on xc skis.

Current Gear: An old set of nowax Trak 210 skinny skis (with no metal edges) that I picked up for $15 at a yard sale, original SNS binding system that is out of production. Boots are like slippers, very comfortable but zero support. Poor control on downhill slopes. One of my skis with bindings weighs 1104 grams on my digital kitchen scale.

Location: I'm mostly skiing in the Blue Mountains of NE Oregon. In about a year I'll be moving to the Hood River area and will be likely skiing in the Mt Hood National Forest, central Oregon Cascades, and the Washington Cascades.

Snow conditions: Generally cold, dry, and deep but certainly experience warm conditions in the early winter and spring. We went up last weekend and were just barely in freezing temps. The snow was fresh but heavy.

Terrain: I've never skied groomers and have no desire. So far skiing on broken and un-broken forest service roads, hiking trails, and snowed over "main roads". I desire to ski more trails and across country (no trails) with a gear capability to climb and descend moderate slopes but most use would be mixed terrain and rolling hills.

Really my only concern with getting a wax ski is not being able to easily wax/rewax for the conditions that I encounter while up in the mountains. I'm no stranger to waxing my snowboard, it's not a foreign concept to me, I've always done my own waxing. I don't want to have to change up waxes over the course of a day or feel dragged down or a lack of traction because my wax is a little off for the conditions.

The alternative to this ski would likely be some new Traverse 78s or, if I could find some, Crown e109s.

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by fisheater » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:34 pm

Hello Micah, the Traverse 78, Excursion 88, and E-109 are all fine skis. I have not skied any of these, so it would be better for those whom have skied them extoll their virtues.
What these skis do have that the USGI does not have is Nordic Rocker. I have rockered skis, and rocker does make a significant difference making turns going downhill.
Now going to your concern about having the correct kick wax on your skis. If you slip, you extend the grip wax from your heel forward. If that does not work, you crayon on a wax one color warmer. If the skis are sticky, you take your scraper out of your pocket, scape wax, and crayon on a colder wax. I live in SE Michigan, I deal with a lot of warm conditions. Warm conditions are the toughest to wax for. I use red/silver quite often. It is a wax that people in colder places like to avoid, it is used a temps people buy scale skis for. It isn’t unusual for me to have red/silver on from a ski, and go out the next weekend, have it be colder, and the wax sticks. Red/silver doesn’t scrape easy, however I use one ski to scrape the other. Five minutes and and gliding down the trail on nicely waxed skis. That’s about worst case scenario, and for me it’s no big deal. For somebody else it may be a big deal.
Why don’t I buy a waxless ski? I do own a waxless S-112 and frankly I hate the glide. Secondly, let’s say I bought a skinny waxless ski. My problem is generally when I’m using red/silver wax, the temps where waxless are effective, my trail coverage is thin. I will be doing on trail stone grinding. Last season was especially brutal. My USGI handle this abuse and keep going. I don’t think the Fischer offerings would be nearly as durable as the USGI, and I don’t want to spend that kind of money on what would be a rock ski. While I know the modern Asnes are more durable than the Fischer, I definitely do not want to spend that kind of money on a rock ski.
So if you have mostly snow 30 degrees and below, wax is super simple. If you ski a lot of wet snow around 32 degrees scales work well.
If you think waxing is a big deal and too hard it will be. I have been involved in trades for 40 plus years. I learned a long time ago, despite expert instruction, if a man thinks something is difficult, they NEVER master it. When I was a young contractor I wasted months trying to train guys with mental blocks. Years later, recognizing a mental block, the man was dismissed before the day was out, and I had good men, and didn’t pull out my hair for months.
Good luck,
Bob

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by fisheater » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:36 pm

Micah,
I don’t know how that last message came across, but maybe not good.
I don’t care how you choose to ski. I’m happy you find the joy of the trail.
Best wishes and peace.

If it wasn’t a good last message, my apologies.

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by greatgt » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:43 am

Love wax.....Especially with cambered skis....Crush the ski down and you have studded snow tire grip....let off and you tend to fly.....on skis.....in a cloud of cold smoke....With camber you tend to ski on the runner part of the ski and the wax becomes nothing and off you go.....Wax just plain works....have an old set of Rebounds waxless....Slower....less grip.....but a wonderful turner....Don't know how many of those suckers we have broken...but I have destroyed three sets and Teleking at least one with Telerock another....In fact Telekikng had one set of Salamon orange ski..(rebound by another name)....and a Fischer in grey...To top it all off.....they were different lengths.....Skied great....Waxable would have been better....TM

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