JN / Western States Wax Testing Recap

Posted by Jacob Huseby on Mar 17th 2022

JN / Western States Wax Testing Recap

Day 1:

Arrival Saturday Afternoon and setup. Heavy rain.

Day 2:

Sunday, first day of testing. I woke up to a few inches of snow perched on top of my Subaru. There are worse things to wake up to.

This day was for preparing the test skis and testing paraffin. I tested a few combinations including our RG Ultra glider vs our RG Race molybdenum followed by the RG Ultra Gliders. I found the RG Ultra Purple ran best alone as opposed to the mix with the moly. The Molybdenum +Purple was close to the Purple.

After visiting with the different regions wax trailers, I found no consensus between using a “black” wax vs a “regular” wax. The split was about 50/50. On one hand, a black wax can serve as a liability if it is not necessary for the conditions. On the other hand, it is also reasonable to assume the snow may get dirty after a few hundred people finish doing laps.

You can read more about black waxes here: Graphite or Molybdenum.

Day 3:

Monday, the 5/10km Freestyle.

I retested paraffin and found the same results from the previous day. The primary focus of this day was to test top coatings. We have 3 different colors of gel to choose from and can layer them to achieve different results. The RG Ultra Finish Gel Purple tested best. Hand corked and brushed with a stiff nylon. This tested the best all day despite the warming conditions. This tested best on sections of the course in the sun and out of the sun as well as uphill and downhill.

In the afternoon, I noticed there were quite a few of the gels in use in the different wax trailers. After this, my glide waxing gear was packed up and shipped out to Bogus Basin. More on that later.

Day 4:

Classic training day. Most regions had their athletes on Start Oslo Violet. Oslo had solid kick and was quick to boot. As things warmed up, I found the Oslo Purple below and on top of Wide Klister to run well. This is a popular combination for some of our friends out in new England. Almost like a “Oslo Yellow”. Click here to learn about Start Oslo.

Day 5:

Classic Sprints. There are about a million unique words in the English language, two of my favorites being “Classic Sprints”.

The day Started with Oslo blue. I was early on site and tested a few unique combinations of hardwax/klister but found blue to be my favorite. Later, this turned into purple Oslo with a Terva cover. This quickly became too slick and went to a close match between blue klister or BM klister with a BM Hardwax cover. Admittedly the test hill for kick was not a great representation of the entire course, but from watching the races most every athlete had solid kick and was striding up the big hill.

Day 5 (1/2) ?

I then drove out to Green Bay that evening to join our Central u16 group at 5:15am for a flight.

Day 6

Western State Championships/ Bogus Basin Day 1

Practice day, this was really for getting settled and scraping off travel wax. My coach skis were waxed with RG Blue (the cheaper version of our RG waxes) and it was fun to ski on.

I should mention I was head tech for this trip, however there was a mandatory Swix glide wax policy so for the rest of this I’ll only cover hand structure and kick wax. Waxing policies only save you time if you’re lazy!

Day 7

Skiathlon day. This meant preparing twice the number of skis for 16 athletes in an unfamiliar environment. It was a hoot! We prepped skis in the hotel parking lot in 60-degree weather the night before. The morning was dedicated to applying klister and hand structure.

Hand structure – I went out and tested hand structure and found the red creek +15c…-5c with light pressure and linear pressed on top to run the best.

Kick – Universal Wide with Special 50/50 and Terva cover ran well. We ended up going with a different combination of klister + cover. Strong pick would have also been Universal Plus with a hard cover as well.

Day 8

Freestyle Day.

Hand Structure – The same structure tested well as the previous day. We had good skis with our crew. After talking with the other teams, they all seemed to have come up with a combination of semi-coarse and linear pressed on top. We made some friends with some skiers from Mammoth by helping with their skis. We left our structure tools out on the bench all day for anyone to see, so it’s not like we were keeping ours a secret.

Our crew secured 3rd overall for the weekend while competing in ¼ categories, and more importantly the sportsmanship award.

One of these days I’ll write about hand structure (when we start bringing in some new structure tools perhaps)…. For now, check out this article on why alpine skiers don’t talk about structure as much as Nordic skiers.

Day 9

5:45am Depart for Boise Airport and drive home from Green Bay.