Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

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Musk Ox
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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by Musk Ox » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:29 am

Skiing on waxed skis is more fun than anything else I know.

The main thing is to ignore the dorkery. It's unnecessary. That way madness lies.

All of my Norwegian friends literally don't care. If you go out in the same conditions for a couple of days in a row, just use the same wax: give it a rub to even it up and go. If you start slipping, give another smear. All this religious base cleaning and haute-dorkerie isn't strictly necessary at all. If you get into it, it's clearly a pleasure in its own right. But it simply isn't required.

Blue, red and violet Swix and a cork's the way forward.

The only thing that's tricky is temperatures one degree around freezing and new, wet snow. In those conditions I use my skin skis or stick a skin on if I'm out on my waxable ones.

I'm not massively experienced but I do know that you go a little bit faster and turning is much easier.

Best of all, you can really feel where the skis stop and the snow starts – all the woody rigidity of the flex and the pleasure of controlling your pressure and all of that good stuff.

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

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:48 am

MicahE wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:57 pm
Thank you for your thoughts and for sharing your experiences.
You are welcome! Thank you for sharing yours!
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.
What do you like/not like about this setup?
Grip? Stability? Flotation? Boot support?
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.
This sounds similar to my season- but my snow is surely more moisture-rich than yours- even in the cold heart of my winter.
However- I wonder what the snow is like in the Cascades...I have some work and play experience in that country back in the 90s- doesn't it depend on what "side" of the Casacades you are on- isn't the western side of the Cascades wet, and the eastern side dry?

Regardless- if you are skiing on deep, soft, cold dry snow- with a narrow scaled XC ski- I cannot understand how you are getting any grip at all...Are you using skins as well?

Deep, soft, cold snow is not the stuff for waxless scales...I have an Altai Kom ski- that I love- but the scales are useless in this snow (which is when I want to use it most)- I am now grip-waxing my Koms.

Grip wax is the stuff of dreams in cold soft snow.

The USGI Asnes Combat ski offer excellent stability and decent flotation in deep soft snow. It can be a real handful/footfull to turn in deep snow though- it has significant camber- little sidecut- it can be done, but you need a lot of room for them to "come around"- and they are heavy enough that they are not easy to do step/jump turns, especially in deep snow. The USGI Combat ski is easier to turn on consolidated snow.
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.
My response above probably covers this in relation to the USGI ski...I would suggest that there are other skis that are more manageable and fun on the hills than the USGI ski- but they are a LOT more $$$$!
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.
4 points of advice here if you are going to use grip/kick wax:
1) Avoid glide wax.
2) Err on the side of hard grip wax- extend it forwards if needed- add another layer if needed-
3) Carry kicker skins and slap them on for temporary snow conditions where you need extra grip.
4) Soft, warm grip wax as a last resort and only for extended skiing on warm snow.
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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lilcliffy
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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:51 am

In the heart of winter- I can go weeks- skiing most every day- without having to do any waxing other than a little touch-up and cork buffing here and there (i.e. a few minutes each tour).

(Icy, refrozen, abrasive snow- on the other hand- requires more wax maintenance, and at times is bad enough that I heavily rely on kicker skins when XC skiing and climbing.)
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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lilcliffy
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:54 am

Musk Ox wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:29 am
but I do know that you go a little bit faster and turning is much easier.
Yes.
Best of all, you can really feel where the skis stop and the snow starts – all the woody rigidity of the flex and the pleasure of controlling your pressure and all of that good stuff.
Nordic magic man.
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 STG » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:26 pm

Insightful comments. With waxable skis you also have the option of using skins. Waxable skis are versatile.

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by sparker1987 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:24 pm

Anyone ever used this stuff?
http://www.startskiwax.com/en/skiwaxes/ ... -grip-tape

From the site
"Well tested Start Grip Tape and Start Grip Tape Sport are easy toadjust by following the application instructions in the package.They are well suited for all skiers who appreciate reliable anddurable kick waxing. For most skiers it lasts the whole season."

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by MicahE » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:01 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:48 am
MicahE wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:57 pm
Thank you for your thoughts and for sharing your experiences.
You are welcome! Thank you for sharing yours!
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.
What do you like/not like about this setup?
Grip? Stability? Flotation? Boot support?
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.
This sounds similar to my season- but my snow is surely more moisture-rich than yours- even in the cold heart of my winter.
However- I wonder what the snow is like in the Cascades...I have some work and play experience in that country back in the 90s- doesn't it depend on what "side" of the Casacades you are on- isn't the western side of the Cascades wet, and the eastern side dry?

Regardless- if you are skiing on deep, soft, cold dry snow- with a narrow scaled XC ski- I cannot understand how you are getting any grip at all...Are you using skins as well?

Deep, soft, cold snow is not the stuff for waxless scales...I have an Altai Kom ski- that I love- but the scales are useless in this snow (which is when I want to use it most)- I am now grip-waxing my Koms.

Grip wax is the stuff of dreams in cold soft snow.

The USGI Asnes Combat ski offer excellent stability and decent flotation in deep soft snow. It can be a real handful/footfull to turn in deep snow though- it has significant camber- little sidecut- it can be done, but you need a lot of room for them to "come around"- and they are heavy enough that they are not easy to do step/jump turns, especially in deep snow. The USGI Combat ski is easier to turn on consolidated snow.
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.
My response above probably covers this in relation to the USGI ski...I would suggest that there are other skis that are more manageable and fun on the hills than the USGI ski- but they are a LOT more $$$$!
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.
4 points of advice here if you are going to use grip/kick wax:
1) Avoid glide wax.
2) Err on the side of hard grip wax- extend it forwards if needed- add another layer if needed-
3) Carry kicker skins and slap them on for temporary snow conditions where you need extra grip.
4) Soft, warm grip wax as a last resort and only for extended skiing on warm snow.
I really don't expect to be doing much, if any, big downhill trips. Really only downhill as a function of returning to where I came from than seeking out downhill opportunities.

My current setup feels very unstable when I'm on anything other than flat ground. When I go off trail to visit a creek or head up a hill to see what's there I don't have any support from my boot/ski when things get dicey.

Perhaps surprisingly, I feel like I'm able to grip fine with my current skis. Granted I weigh 210 lbs and haven't gone up challenging slopes. Last weekend we skied out to cut a Christmas tree down. The snow was on the heavy side but not wet. The tree was extremely heavy but I was able to have good traction on my current skies while dragging it out. I wish I had thought to bring a sled or tarp!
IMG_3891.JPG
IMG_0212.JPEG
IMG_0205.JPEG

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by satsuma » Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:04 pm

I live close to you and also xc ski in the Blue Mountains. I ski on waxless skis (Alpina Discovery 68), but I think waxable skis would work fine here, as the snow is powder and temperatures usually consistent in the 20's until March. In fact, metal edges are of marginal use.

The other thing you mention is you plan to move such that you would be skiing in the Hood River area. I have skied there some time ago, also in the Snoqualmie Pass area in Washington. Snow if the Cascades can be quite wet and unpredicable, I think that waxless skis would work far better in the Hood River area.

If you look at some of my old pictures (on the picture thread), you may recognize the locations.

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by satsuma » Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:11 pm

Micah E, your pictures look at the route from the Balloon Tree road snowmobile trail to Spout Springs (but could be anywhere).

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Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by MicahE » Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:35 pm

satsuma wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:11 pm
Micah E, your pictures look at the route from the Balloon Tree road snowmobile trail to Spout Springs (but could be anywhere).
Good eye! This is the Horseshoe Prairie trail/road system.

You make a good point about planning for the future with waxless, in terms of desiring a less complicated experience.

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