wax vs. scales (THE KICK)

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lowangle al
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wax vs. scales (THE KICK)

Post by lowangle al » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:39 pm

I've been skiing waxed skis for almost 45 years. I've had no wax skis for almost as long but rarely used them. I think we can all agree that in general a waxed ski will out perform scales as far as speed and efficiency and smoothness.

The last 5 or 6 years most of my skiing has been on scaled Vectors. What I noticed was that it takes slightly less pressure to set the scales than it does to set wax. When I first start out and I'm all fresh and enthusiastic the wax kicks ass, but as I get tired I find that I'll miss an occasional kick and get some slippage. It feels like my wax is starting to wear off, but it still looks good and adding some doesn't really change things.

My conclusion is that the scaled vectors take a little less effort to get a kick without slipping than wax. This has nothing to do with which can climb steeper, but they do enable me to be a little more "lazy" in my skiing and still maintain a K&G.

Anybody else notice this?

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Re: wax vs. scales (THE KICK)

Post by HBS » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:28 pm

Totally well known - I started out xc skiing on some old scalies that were too short for me. First few times skiing on wax skis were a shocker for sure until learning to transfer weight completely ski to ski.

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lowangle al
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Re: wax vs. scales (THE KICK)

Post by lowangle al » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:08 pm

I can see that it would be more obvious going from scales to wax. You won't get anywhere until you figure it out.

It took me over 5 years going from wax to scales until I realized it, although my feet figured it out before my brain did. I think I spent more energy on my kick with scales than I needed to. I think the energy saved in the kick allowed me to put that energy into a faster cadence w/o raising my heart rate.

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Re: wax vs. scales (THE KICK)

Post by fisheater » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:24 pm

My thought on the wax slipping a bit as I get further down the trail was two fold. I tend to think the wax is getting polished up a bit. I also figure it is usually getting warmer. I can't remember this happening on a good green wax (swix) day.
You have been at this type of skiing longer, so you could be correct. I don't know what I could do about it. I usually carry a warmer wax with me, but I tend not to stop. It needs to be a problem before I stop, well unless it's a pretty long ski and I have a beer in my camelback.
I am not really a great kicker though. Most of my trails are short up and downs. I'm pretty good at kicking while carrying speed, but pretty lousy at a classic diagonal kick. Where I ski I'm usually going back up a little hill that is too steep to get much of a kick going up. It's more of a jog on the balls of my feet each step firmly setting the wax into the snow on the climb. It really seems like I get more free downhill speed, than slow climbs, so it works for me. I imagine a good backcountry skier could drop me pretty quick if they were a good strider. It just wouldn't be so easy on my local trails.

I will need to experiment a bit. It's just been a lousy snow year. I have crust over a few inches now. I'm thinking blue klister and rock skis. If it was deeper I would try Gamme and X-skin. So at this rate, it may take a season or two of playing with this. You have given me something to think about.

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Re: wax vs. scales (THE KICK)

Post by lowangle al » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:42 pm

Bob, there can be issues with wax but in this case it's me. All of the time spent on the vector BCs caused me to develop a lazy kick.

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