Thursday, March 08, 2007

No-wax Expectations

To wax or not to wax? New ski purchasers ask this question all the time.

I'm spoiled, working beside a top-quality trail network all winter. I hate to use no-wax skis on groomed trails when I know how much better the skiing will be with appropriate wax. But sometimes the skating is bad when the waxing for classic is also bad.

When both skating and classic waxing are tough, head for the great ungroomed with your mechanical-grip skis. Smear them liberally with Swix F4 or a similar product, and go to places where you wouldn't expect to stride hard and glide long anyway.

Spring brings the widest range of variable conditions. It also sees the deepest snow cover. In recent years that has not been very deep, but it's as good as we're going to get. So grab the wide boards, whatever that means to your particular ski quiver, and scale back your top speed. It's time to explore, and to visit those private preserves of fun terrain.

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