So again, not a necessity, but it is more thorough and long lasting, and your bases appreciate the conditioning. Hot wax soaks INTO the pets; corking sits on it.
One could of course go with a sexier base prep and hot wax tips and tails with glide wax, and kick zone with polar (kinda like what bauerb was saying) if one wanted maximum kick and glide, but for more casual xc/bc, ya can't go wrong with full length polar.
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Really I’m a bit cheap, I just imagine going through a lot of polar using an iron. Someday I may iron on some polar and think to myself that I should have been ironing for years. Since I haven’t tried the iron, I am quite happy corking my polar base.
I use the tool linked to below that allows you to work in the wax better than a cork and w/o an iron.
Phoenix, it sounds like it's a little easier and quicker than doing the tips and tails with glide wax and better than just corking, I'll have to give it a try.
As far as corking goes, that's an interesting invention Andy, To generate more heat I finish corking with the rounded edge of the cork, having less surface area than the flat side. This year I started taking polar with me on tours after having to reapply on the trail one day when my skis were dragging. At first I thought it was weird snow because I thought my wax was still good, but after rewaxing, my glide returned to normal. It made me think of all of the times towards the end of long tours when I thought my skis were slowing down, but I thought it was just fatigue or in my head. I guess that's a good enough reason to iron in right there.
"It made me think of all of the times towards the end of long tours when I thought my skis were slowing down, but I thought it was just fatigue or in my head. I guess that's a good enough reason to iron in right there." Right again Al.
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If it's cold enough that polar will be both your grip and glide du jour, I'd do two coats again. Same as above for the first. Second coat you could either just crayon on and cork, or, you could hot wax over the first (kinda light coat), and just clean up the edges and sidewalls and go.
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(I crayon and cork Polar when I am using it as a kick wax).
I hot wax Polar for a number of reasons:
1) better wax absorption/retention.
2) better finishing/polishing
3) I actually find I waste less than when I have tried to cork the entire base.
Whether I scrape and polish Polar depends on snow conditions-
The harder, colder and drier the snow- the more I scrape and polish Polar.
Warmer than -20C I simply melt- let it cool- and then buff with cork.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.