LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

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Nick BC
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Nick BC » Fri Dec 24, 2021 11:11 am

Thanks fisheater and Krakus for the input on klister. I’ll give it a try and post back.

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Krakus
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Krakus » Sun Dec 26, 2021 4:26 am

Lilcliffy,
What is the method for Polar waxing of the scales section on waxless skis? I understand that you use hot waxing?
Another question - I noticed that you separately use terms "grip wax" and "kick wax". I always thought that these are synonims. What is the difference then?



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lilcliffy
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by lilcliffy » Mon Dec 27, 2021 9:59 pm

Krakus wrote:
Sun Dec 26, 2021 4:26 am
Lilcliffy,
What is the method for Polar waxing of the scales section on waxless skis? I understand that you use hot waxing?
Another question - I noticed that you separately use terms "grip wax" and "kick wax". I always thought that these are synonims. What is the difference then?
I "drag" hard grip wax over the scales and then melt it into the base with an iron.

By "kick wax" I mean grip wax that is selected for pure grip and applied only from the heel forwards.
From my perspective "kick wax" is only worth it for a ski that actually has a "wax pocket" (i.e. the ski underfoot releases from the snow when one strides forwards).

Grip wax always offers some grip and glides as well (as long as it is not too soft for the given snow temperature)-
grip wax works on all touring skis- but I don't personally think that kick waxing is worth it for a ski that doesn't actually have a wax pocket.

Hope I am making sense here...
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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Krakus
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Krakus » Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:26 am

lilcliffy wrote:
Mon Dec 27, 2021 9:59 pm
I "drag" hard grip wax over the scales and then melt it into the base with an iron.
But - doesn't excess melted wax go between scales, and thus interfere with mechanical action of the pattern? Or do you clean it in some way? I've read that someone was using a paper towel to wipe excess wax fro scales when still hot. I also thought about using nylon brush for the same purpose.
Sometimes I use Swix Grip Spray (V40LC, V50LC, V60LC) over the scale zone to add more grip, especially for my kid skis, which have a not well working negative (cut) pattern. I choose spray for the reason I mentioned above, I was afraid to block pattern with excess melted wax.
but I don't personally think that kick waxing is worth it for a ski that doesn't actually have a wax pocket.
I've been using grip wax, selected as a "wax of the day", on single cambered skis and I'm quite happy with the results. Of course, these skis don't offer much of a XC performance, but are OK for shuffling in my mountains. If wax is properly seclected, they glide well. I remember that Pinnah in his "Simple Grip Waxing for Touring" was in favor for grip waxing of single cambered skis, maintainig that wax pocket or nordic camber is quite a modern concept.



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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by fisheater » Tue Dec 28, 2021 10:54 am

@Krakus I am not a fan of waxless skis. I have hot waxed scales then wiped with paper towel. It works with glide wax.
By the time Lilcliffy started writing about grip waxing scales, I had shifted over to only using waxable skis. I too, have been curious as to the technique used to grip wax scales. I think I would be confident using a hard wax such as Swix Polar White, and wiping lightly over the scales and ironing, could provide a coating without filling the scales.
I think your solution of using spray on grip wax is brilliant! It is such a simple solution, however this is the first time I have read of this application.
As grip wax and kick wax are the same thing, and we know grip wax works on single camber skis, I would not be concerned when Lilcliffy differentiates between grip wax and kick wax. I don’t say that to minimize what Lilcliffy is writing, but rather that I believe what he is writing is that grip wax does indeed grip and glide when used on any ski including single camber skis; but only a double camber ski “kicks”. I don’t have any authority to speak for anyone else. I only offer my understanding.



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lilcliffy
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by lilcliffy » Tue Dec 28, 2021 1:46 pm

Grip wax and kick wax are the "same thing"-

I personally use the term" kick wax" when I am almost exclusively looking for grip in the "kick zone" of the ski (i.e. whether it has a wax pocket or not)- and I err on the side of grip vs glide- and am very cautious about extending this grip forwards- so as not to negatively affect glide.

As a note- with a hard-grip-waxed base, I can often go for an extended periods of time without needing much of any kick wax underfoot (or occasionally a touch of green, but no need of going to the full stick/grip of the temperature-specific kick wax).

I do grip wax my single-cambered skis as well- with great success and much love!
I just find that there is so much base in contact with the snow when gliding forwards- on a single-cambered ski- that not only do I rarely need a temperature-specific kick wax underfoot, but it can create too much grip at the expense of glide.
Please note that I am speaking of XC skiing or long gentle approaches here↑ If I need to climb something steep then I will certainly quickly add a layer of softer grip wax for the climb (but I again I rarely need the grip of temperature-specific kick wax...)

I am sorry if this is confusing, but I do grip wax my single cambered skis- but I rarely need to kick wax them underfoot.

It is important to remember that much of the kick/grip waxing guidelines assume that one is using glide wax everywhere other than the kick zone. If one is using glide wax outside the kick zone- one needs to have the kick wax dialed-in alomst perfect in the kick zone. This is too much fussing and tweaking for BC touring in my personal experience and it often leaves me with a ski that does not have enough grip in continously changing terrain (hilly topography), and especially once I am skiing through the woods on deep snow and skiing over the constantly variable microtopography as a function of the forest floor. For example- with only kick wax underfoot, I have myself- and watched MANY others- stride onto a hummock or over windfall (buried under snow) to slip and slide as only the kick zone is provinding any grip at all.
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: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by lilcliffy » Tue Dec 28, 2021 1:54 pm

Krakus wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:26 am
lilcliffy wrote:
Mon Dec 27, 2021 9:59 pm
I "drag" hard grip wax over the scales and then melt it into the base with an iron.
But - doesn't excess melted wax go between scales, and thus interfere with mechanical action of the pattern? Or do you clean it in some way? I've read that someone was using a paper towel to wipe excess wax fro scales when still hot. I also thought about using nylon brush for the same purpose.
Hard grip wax does not melt like hard glide wax- it does not pool in between the scales- it melts evenly and coats the scale- both ridge and valley. I have never had to clean out the valleys when melting hard grip wax on scales.
(I have certainly had to clean out the valleys whem melting hard glide wax on scales (can be a bit of a nightmare)- which is why some remove excess glide wax while it is still hot so that it does not pool and harden in the valleys).

I will try to remember to record and post a video/photos of this on the next scaled base I prep.
Sometimes I use Swix Grip Spray (V40LC, V50LC, V60LC) over the scale zone to add more grip, especially for my kid skis, which have a not well working negative (cut) pattern. I choose spray for the reason I mentioned above, I was afraid to block pattern with excess melted wax.
This is a cool idea- I haven't tried this. I have no experience with spray-on grip waxes. What is the coldest-rated spray-on grip 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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Krakus
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Krakus » Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:46 pm

Lilcliffy, the coldest is Blue V40LC, -2 to -15C.
Thank you, and fisheater, for this detailed explanation. Tomorrow (at last) I am going to the mountains, and will try if your waxing method works in my condition. However, it is going to be difficult, judging from the forecast - snow is old and I expect it be partially refrozen, temperature around melting, with some precipitation.



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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by worsthorse » Tue Jan 04, 2022 8:46 pm

I've been through all eight pages of this thread (and other threads here on waxing)... lots of good information and ideas annnnnd... all of it leaves me just a bit confused. If I try to distill all this down, at least for waxless bc touring skis, what I think I am hearing is:

- glide waxing is un-necessary,
- a hard grip wax, tip to tail, is the way to go,
- apply it as a base, ironed in, and you are done,

or

- you aren't done, and as conditions require, apply an appropriate softer grip wax to the glide zones.

and it sounds like the standard brush, wax, scrape, brush routine still applies with appropriate modifications for waxing the scales in the kick zone.

Did I get this even remotely right?



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lilcliffy
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Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by lilcliffy » Tue Jan 04, 2022 9:23 pm

worsthorse wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 8:46 pm
I've been through all eight pages of this thread (and other threads here on waxing)... lots of good information and ideas annnnnd... all of it leaves me just a bit confused. If I try to distill all this down, at least for waxless bc touring skis, what I think I am hearing is:

- glide waxing is un-necessary,
- a hard grip wax, tip to tail, is the way to go,
- apply it as a base, ironed in, and you are done,
Yes- this is my approach- though one occasionally has to strip the base with goo-gone after one's wife has strode through a cow pie! ;)
or

- you aren't done, and as conditions require, apply an appropriate softer grip wax to the glide zones.
I have never used soft kick waxes or klister on scales.
When conditions are right for soft kick wax- the scales should work!
Kilster would be a way to force scales to work on icy refrozen snow- but I don't know what it would be like to remove it from scales...
and it sounds like the standard brush, wax, scrape, brush routine still applies with appropriate modifications for waxing the scales in the kick zone.

Did I get this even remotely right?
Don't need to scrape grip wax prep- just buff it with a cork.
........
I scrape and polish grip wax to:
a) remove very hard grip wax in VERY cold temperatures that is too grippy
b) remove kick wax underfoot that is too soft/warm

As I don't use scales on cold snow- I have never had to scrape and polish hard grip wax off of a scaled base to improve glide.
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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