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
bgregoire
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 1219
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by bgregoire » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:27 am

Nothing beats skiing WAX on snow. If you are regularly skiing near zero C or above, waxless is acceptable in my books.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

User avatar
Johnny
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1942
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:11 pm
Location: Quebec / Vermont
Ski style: Dancing with God
Favorite Skis: Redsters, Radicals, Objectives and all Asnes skis.
Favorite boots: ALFA Guard Advance, Scarpa TX Comp
Occupation: Full-time ski bum

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by Johnny » Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:22 am

Wax and waxless, two very different uses, two very different personalities...

WAX: Best for XC skiing and skinny skis. When speed and efficiency is needed. Perfect glide and perfect speed for hard-charging explorers. The smoothest ride for distance oriented tours and serious mileage, but you need to carry sticky stuff in your pockets. Think Red Baron:

s1.jpg

WAXLESS: Best for XCD and wider skis when touring for turns is the main idea. For yo-yoing around your favorite mountains. Smooth and cool ascents and descents. Climb and zig-zag up, go down while whistling, repeat. Bonus: your hands are still clean at the end of the day by the fireplace. Think Joe Cool:
s2.jpg
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

User avatar
lowangle al
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 1334
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:36 pm

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by lowangle al » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:54 am

I don't know Johnny maybe you need more experience waxing fat skis. When conditions are right, which is most of the time, wax will out perform scales regardless of ski width.

User avatar
bgregoire
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 1219
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by bgregoire » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:28 am

I agree with Al on this one.

Yes waxless is simpler, no brainer, but waxing wide skis for yo-yoing is great when you get it right and big bonus, hardly no slowing down or whizzing sounds as how enjoy the down.

You need real snow to enjoy the FREEDOM of wax though...

and some good WAX friends cause the zig-zag route up is not the same as with wax less skis!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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 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.

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 12:49 pm

Thanks, everybody. I appreciate the differing opinions/experience, helps me see it from different perspectives.

I've decided to hold off of the battle skis (wax) and buy some waxless when I take the plunge on the BC rig. It sounds like it'd fit my lifestyle a bit better. I think simplicity is better than efficiency, in my situation. If I continue to xc ski and really settle in on a way of skiing that favors wax, I'm sure I'll pick up a pair just to learn the ropes. Otherwise, less fiddle and more diddle sounds good to me.

My likely rig will be 199 Traverse 78s and Fischer BCX5 boots, depending on how they end up feeling.

User avatar
Johnny
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1942
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:11 pm
Location: Quebec / Vermont
Ski style: Dancing with God
Favorite Skis: Redsters, Radicals, Objectives and all Asnes skis.
Favorite boots: ALFA Guard Advance, Scarpa TX Comp
Occupation: Full-time ski bum

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by Johnny » 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...
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

User avatar
lilcliffy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2443
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 8:05 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.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

User avatar
bgregoire
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 1219
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar

Re: Talk me out of wax skis (combat)

Post by bgregoire » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:12 pm

MicahE wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:49 pm
Thanks, everybody. I appreciate the differing opinions/experience, helps me see it from different perspectives.

Happy you have decided. Keep in mind with questions like waxable or waxless, 3-pins or system (NNN-BC), the quiver of one ski, storms of unbounded proportion may hit the world of telemarktalk. Be prepared!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

User avatar
lilcliffy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2443
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 8:20 pm

I think we all need some snow and some skiing!

We all need to avoid making absolute statements about anything. There are conditions where waxless scales are excellent- there are conditions where grip wax is the bomb- and theses conditions aren't defined or constricted by "XC" or "downhill" or "XCd/xcD/XCD" skiing.

My preference for grip wax in the heart of my winter does not make me a second-class "XC" skier- it is a reflection of my local snow.

When the conditions are ideal for waxless-scaled grip- then I am truly thankful to have them.

I personally think that both smooth waxable bases and waxless scales are the "future" of Nordic ski touring...

And as far as wax and "hydrocarbons"- I am assuming that all of us are using grip and/or glide wax. I am not using fluorocarbon wax- neither grip nor glide- on any of my skis- because it is highly toxic- both personally and environmentally.

Is hydrocarbon wax toxic- or an environmental contaminant?

And for those of us using waxless-scaled skis- are you not using glide waxes?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

Post Reply