Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

This is the World Famous TelemarkTalk / TelemarkTips Forum, by far the most dynamic telemark and backcountry skiing discussion board on the world wide web. We have fun here, come on in and be a part of it.
User avatar
lilcliffy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2436
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 » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:25 pm

MicahE wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:49 pm
My likely rig will be 199 Traverse 78s and Fischer BCX5 boots, depending on how they end up feeling.
Very cool man! Just for interest- why would you choose the 78 over the 88?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

User avatar
MicahE
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:43 pm

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by MicahE » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:33 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:25 pm
MicahE wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:49 pm
My likely rig will be 199 Traverse 78s and Fischer BCX5 boots, depending on how they end up feeling.
Very cool man! Just for interest- why would you choose the 78 over the 88?
Well I haven’t bought any skis yet but between the two, the description/reviews of the 78s that I read SOUND more in line with what kind of skiing I expect the I’ll be doing.

Maybe more suited to what I expect I will mostly do.

I’ve been back and forth between the two a good bit. My current skis (all I’ve ever used) are about 50mm wide in the nose so I would imagine 78 would give me substantially more stability and float.

User avatar
connyro
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 800
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:46 pm

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by connyro » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:49 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:05 pm
connyro wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:24 pm
I don't prefer waxing fat skis for yo-yoing. Even in cold deep snow, I've found Voile scales out-climb wax by a long shot. Another thing about waxing is that if your ski group is all on waxless and one person is on wax and they don't quite have their wax right, the rest of the group either has to wait around while the wax issue is resolved or the waxer is left behind. Another issue that I don't like much is that if you are waxing fat skis for yo-yoing and you need to whip out skins for a steep climb, the kick wax can and will gunk up the skin glue.

I hate fiddling with equipment when I am out yo-yo skiing, be it bindings, boots, wax, skins, etc. I just want to climb and descend in one smooth, uninterrupted effort as much as possible. Scales eliminate one major point of fiddle IMO. For speed and distance, hell yes wax is superior to waxless (if you get the wax right) but IMO, waxless is less fiddle, climbs better, and is just more useful in more situations.
Connyro-
Great to hear from you man!

Any good snow in the UP yet?
We had excellent BC skiing- starting at the end of October- leading to a day of hero snow conditions last Sunday! We have had a ton of rain this week- completely destroying it!!!! We now have a sheet of ice everywhere.
.................
I think that your cold snow must be different from mine...
Waxless scales are completely useless in my typical cold, deep, soft snow- I mean completely useless- both for XC skiing and climbing. It is precisely why I have not been using my Koms much during the heart of winter- I simply cannot get enough grip and end up having to use skins- which is a pain in the arse to yo-yo a mere 150m vertical hill!

The lack of fiddling and need for skins is precisely why I prefer grip wax for my cold, deep, soft snow.

I have recently grip-waxed my Koms in preparation for my steep and deep skiing.
We have an enormous amount of snow here for this time of year. It's been a continuation of last season which featured too much snow. Yes, too much snow. By March we had a solid 6 to 7 foot base in the hills: almost too much to get around in! This year it's up to a good 4 to 5 feet at ski camp and the top foot is super soft powder currently. Unbelievable.
Our snow must differ considerably. Waxless works well here. I recognize that climbing using wax vs waxless is a slightly different technique so I wonder how much that plays on our respective opinions regarding wax vs scales for climbing...

User avatar
lowangle al
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 1331
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:36 pm

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by lowangle al » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:10 am

Johnny wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:24 pm
lowangle al wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:54 am
I don't know Johnny maybe you need more experience waxing fat skis. Wax will out perform scales regardless of ski width.
Thanks Al. But I guess I didn't express myself properly because what you just said was *exactly* the point I was try to make: When I do that XCD thing, I do NOT care at all about performance. When I am alone on top of a mountain under the trees beautifully filled with snow, I only care about silence, communion with nature, enjoying God's creation and dancing my way down thru virgin forests while meditating on all that great beauty. PERFORMANCE, efficiency, speed, time, wax color, corks and temperatures are the very last things on my mind, and I try to avoid those mental distractions (vrittis) at all cost.

For me, the essence of telemark and XCD is all about FEELING, grace, beauty, finesse and nature. Speed and especially performance are not part of it at all. I can climb any 40deg slopes on fishscales without any problems, and I can slap on kickers if I feel too lazy, so why would anyone bother with dirty, sticky fluorohydrocarbonanatas to get on top a few minutes earlier than the slow mo pink hat clown?

Which makes me think... It's quite funny that you have just bought a pair of 700$ WAXLESS Ultravectors while you already owned a pair of 700$ WAXLESS Vectors. I really wonder why you didn't spend all those big bucks on the smooth, wax bases ones instead? Because you know, they outperform scales regardless of ski width. Maybe you need more experience waxing fat skis..? 8-)

I like flying Red Baron style when XC or Nordic skiing on skinnies... But for cross-country DOWNHILL, I much prefer the Joe Cool way... ;)

Wide waxless skis are the future of XCD, especially with all those superlight rockered planks. Thank you Voile for making all those awesome skis available in WL versions. Thank you SO MUCH! Thank you! Thank you! We LOVE you, no matter what a few distance-oriented XC skiers here and there are saying about scales...
It's certainly not about speed Johnny, nobody is in less of a hurry than me. I'm all about the total BC experience and I am out enjoying the woods even when there isn't any snow.

I agree with most of what you are saying but I have to correct you on my recent ski purchase. My second pair of voile bc skis are hyper vectors for $795.00 not 700.00. I was going to sell my original vectors but decided to keep them for an East Coast ski.

I agree that quality wide waxless skis are the future of xcd. The voiles(the only one I've tried) perform well enough that waxing may be an uneccessary hassle, especially in the warming temperatures I've experienced the last several years. When the wax is right though it just feels better.

I never notice much difference in the climbing ability of wax and waxless but I have noticed that on wide skis on unconsolidated snow I need to extend the wax pocket to the entire ski base.



A smooth based ski glides better

User avatar
Cannatonic
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 896
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:07 pm

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by Cannatonic » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:52 pm

kickwax is much easier than glide-waxing a snowboard - there's no iron, no covering the big surface and then scraping it down. You just chalk-on some hard wax to the middle of the ski and rub it with a cork a few times. You can lean the ski up against a tree and do it in a few minutes in the field.

For cold weather it's the best. The fishscales can stick to dry powder and really slow you down at times. For warmer snow and rolling hills or skiing laps of downhill the fishscales are the best. Rex Wax Universal Pine Tar is good if you want to simplify kickwax, it has a wide temperature range:

https://www.akers-ski.com/product/501.html
"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)

User avatar
satsuma
XCD Pinhead
XCD Pinhead
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 10:31 pm
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Occupation: retired(?) chemical engineer

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by satsuma » Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:21 pm

I have skied the 88's on unbroken snow near here, and they are just as fast as my Discovery 68's. However, I couldn't say that they were significantly better at trail breaking. I haven't skied the '78s.

I was up at Horseshoe Prairie on Tuesday and there were tracks on some of the trails (which were the ones we skied!).

Whitman College actually has some of the 88's for rent at a reasonable price, but that might be a bit far for you to go.

User avatar
MicahE
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:43 pm

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by MicahE » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:59 pm

satsuma wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:21 pm
I have skied the 88's on unbroken snow near here, and they are just as fast as my Discovery 68's. However, I couldn't say that they were significantly better at trail breaking. I haven't skied the '78s.

I was up at Horseshoe Prairie on Tuesday and there were tracks on some of the trails (which were the ones we skied!).

Whitman College actually has some of the 88's for rent at a reasonable price, but that might be a bit far for you to go.
Thanks, that's a great idea...checking in with Whitman. I'd need to rent the boots too because my boots are a somewhat obscure, out of date, binding system but it'd be great if I could experience them before dropping that much coin.

Edit: Yep, looks like they rent the 88s and even the same boots that I'm interested in. They have weekly rates and open until 6pm so I'll be able to make the drive after work. The drive will be worth it for me to test the gear before buying. Thanks again for the heads up on that.

Post Reply