More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

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fgd135
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Re: More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

Post by fgd135 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:44 pm

So, I would consider the kicker skins only if your tours were mostly uphill one way, stop & shuffle-off-the-skins, then mostly downhill on the return, as you will have too much drag to enjoy a kick-glide tour.
I would only use kick wax over the scales in a real emergency; removing kick wax from a waxless pattern is tedious and frustrating, as even with a good solvent and stiff brush you will never get it out of the pattern. Then you're hosed in cold conditions as the warm wax remnants might cause sticking problems.
Best solution in those tough conditions would be to have a dedicated pair of waxable skis.

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Cannatonic
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Re: More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

Post by Cannatonic » Thu Oct 01, 2020 1:05 pm

IMO those BD kickers skins are half-off because the skiing community has realized how bad they are. They have a metal clip that scoops snow and becomes a nightmare when alternating climbing with K&G as the slush is forced underneath. They're only good if you need to put something on to climb a specific grade uphill & then remove them afterwards.

I think it's better to buy a new pair of skis with integrated kicker skin system, or use something that attaches at the tips.
"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)





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trite
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Re: More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

Post by trite » Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:17 pm

Cannatonic wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 1:05 pm
They have a metal clip that scoops snow and becomes a nightmare when alternating climbing with K&G as the slush is forced underneath. They're only good if you need to put something on to climb a specific grade uphill & then remove them afterwards.
Or, if you don't have Skin-Locks or Easy Skin, you could bend the plate flat, then screw the skins and plate permanently into the skis with machine screws in order to keep the plate flush, and finally just super glue the length of the skin. As I've learned from polar travelers, this makes sense if you're crossing an icecap or a lot of flat lake travel days on end with a pulk... and need that extra grip.

I emailed Asnes about best practice before doing this as I don't want to damage the core. Yet to reply. Any advice? Perhaps threaded inserts may be a better idea if you want to have the option of occasionally removing the skins?





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lilcliffy
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Re: More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:33 pm

Telecat wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:25 pm
so there were a couple times last season, mostly with icy snow where my XCd skis didn't grip very well when kicking.

I see BD kicker skins available on that website that shall not be named (okay its backcountry.com) for half off.

Being new to XC skiing in general, would these be a good solution to those icier days?
The BD kicker skins work great in soft snow- I have a few sets. My children use them with their Eons/Epochs/Annums.

When you say "icy" snow- do you mean icy transformed snow that is freeable- or icy frozen white concrete?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
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lilcliffy
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Re: More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:39 pm

Telecat wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:48 pm
I did think of kick waxing over the scales, but i assumed it would be super annoying to get out later. Waxing in front of the scales might help a bit. How would it not negatively effect the glide if its in front of the scales (where the wax pocket would be in a wax ski)?

also is there a "universal" kick wax that will work for most conditions. Assuming it's not as important to be super precise given its already a waxless ski
If we are speaking of XC diagonal stride- your weight is on your heel during the glide phase- therefore, glide is minimally impacted with grip wax ahead of the "kick zone"- nothing to worry about if we are talking about Nordic touring (as opposed to track racing).

When I am slipping on kick wax I always:
1) add another layer of the same kick wax-

if I am still slipping-

2) I extend the kick wax forwards-

if I am still slipping-

3) I consider:
a) a softer kick wax

OR-

b) a kicker skin.

The choice between A vs B here depends on the season and the weather forecast-
If the snow and weather is going to stay warm I move to the softer wax-
If the temps are going to drop I use the kicker skin.
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: More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:42 pm

lowangle al wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:53 am
TC if waxing the tips doesn't work I wouldn't be afraid to wax the scales as long as you have a chemical wax remover . Last season I had good luck on "crusty" snow using the Swix red/silver that I had on during the warm spell that preceded the freeze. On crusty snow I find wax sticks real good so you may not need to wax the entire pocket. The problem is getting it to stay on. At any rate don't be afraid to experiment.
I grip wax scaled bases. It is my standard approach.
I draw the line at Swix Blue grip wax though.
I only use scaled skis on relatively warm snow though- so Swix Blue grip wax always glides well on my scaled skis- 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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Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
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Re: More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:45 pm

fgd135 wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:44 pm
So, I would consider the kicker skins only if your tours were mostly uphill one way, stop & shuffle-off-the-skins, then mostly downhill on the return, as you will have too much drag to enjoy a kick-glide tour.
I would only use kick wax over the scales in a real emergency; removing kick wax from a waxless pattern is tedious and frustrating, as even with a good solvent and stiff brush you will never get it out of the pattern. Then you're hosed in cold conditions as the warm wax remnants might cause sticking problems.
Best solution in those tough conditions would be to have a dedicated pair of waxable skis.
If one avoids a very soft grip wax- then the grip wax does not have to be removed until the base needs a cleaning.
I haven't had to clean the bases of my E-99 Crown and E-109 Crown in 3 seasons- they both have Swix Green-Blue ironed into the scales- excellent glide, fantastic grip and no stick- and no more damn liquid glide wax!
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
Posts: 2723
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: More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:55 pm

Back to the OP-

What to do greatly depends on what is meant by "icy snow"-

There is a massive difference between icy, refrozen-transformed snow that is still freeable and has some texture to it-
versus-
icy, hard refrozen white concrete.

I know that Bob has taken soft kick wax to the next level for Nordic touring- but, I bet his icy refrozen snow in midwinter is much softer than mine-

If I get a warm spell in mid-winter, the snow refreezes as white concrete- the only kick and glide option is kicker skins or klister. The white concrete is too cold for soft kick wax and strips it off in minutes.
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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bgregoire
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Re: More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

Post by bgregoire » Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:03 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:55 pm
Back to the OP-

What to do greatly depends on what is meant by "icy snow"-

There is a massive difference between icy, refrozen-transformed snow that is still freeable and has some texture to it-
versus-
icy, hard refrozen white concrete.

I know that Bob has taken soft kick wax to the next level for Nordic touring- but, I bet his icy refrozen snow in midwinter is much softer than mine-

If I get a warm spell in mid-winter, the snow refreezes as white concrete- the only kick and glide option is kicker skins or klister. The white concrete is too cold for soft kick wax and strips it off in minutes.
There you go. I had actually assumed the OP was speaking of that "hard refrozen white concrete". I agree, no use messing with grip wax then, particularly on scaled skis. Time to try kicker skins. Not a miracle but at least you won't be slipping backwards. Don't break ya legs, ain't worh it.
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





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fgd135
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Re: More traction for waxless skis in less ideal conditions. Kicker skins?

Post by fgd135 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:17 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:45 pm
If one avoids a very soft grip wax- then the grip wax does not have to be removed until the base needs a cleaning.
I haven't had to clean the bases of my E-99 Crown and E-109 Crown in 3 seasons- they both have Swix Green-Blue ironed into the scales- excellent glide, fantastic grip and no stick- and no more damn liquid glide wax!
I agree, and in fact it was/is pretty common for nordic skiers to iron a cold temp glide wax into some waxless patterns to increase glide; gentle scraping with a plastic scraper or stiff nylon base brush will clear the tips of the scales and allow good grip in most winter conditions.
Otoh, conditions the OP mentioned seems to indicate a need of soft warm waxes, and hence my recommendation to NOT put that stuff on a waxless pattern.





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