The different kinds of grip wax
The grip wax is only used on classic skis to wax, without scale nor skin. It is what we use to replace them on classic skis when you are seeking performances in classic style.
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The stick wax is the wax used on classic waxable skis when the snow is still fresh, before it becomes warmer and the snow crystals start to transformate. It is advised for snowy conditions or the following days if the weather forecast remains stable.
You simply put it on by rubbing the grip zone on each side of the central groove. For smoothing it out, you usually have to use a natural or synthetic cork according to the hardness of the wax. For a durable waxing, it is advised to apply and smooth two or three layers of stick wax.
Made for the same conditions as the regular stick wax, the fluorinated version is designed for racing and seeking higher performance. The addition of fluorine will have the same effect than a glide wax used for a hydrophobic treatment on the grip zone. The seeked effect is to limit the friction to the maximum on the grip zone and extend the gliding motion to save as much energy as possible.
Like the stick wax, you will rub the base on each side of the groove. The smoothing can be made with a cork for soft stick waxes, made for warm snow conditions, or with a synthetic cork for harder stick waxes. To limit the wear and tear along the way, it is advised to apply and smooth two to three layers of stick wax.
Fresh snow: fresh snow can be cold and dry, really thin and crystalline. You can also encounter rough fresh snow in the end of the season, you can recognize it by the size of the snowflakes that are way bigger, the flake keeps it original aspect and mixes with other flakes to give a cotton aspect to the snow which feels wet. It is still fresh snow because the grain of the snow is not round yet. You can find a round grain in transformed snow when the snow became warmer and has filled with humidity.
The klister is a grip stick wax you can use on waxable classic skis when the snow is transformed. After a mild spell, when the grain of the snow becomes from crystalline to round. It is usually the wax we use on hard and packed snow on the morning which becomes softer as soon as the sun comes out.
We use it 70% of the time by making it run diagonally along the grip zone and can be smoothed two ways: with the palm of the hand or with a kister metal brush you warmed up with a heat gun or a blowtorch. To make the waxing last longer don’t hesitate to repeat the process two to three times.
The fluorinated kister is used in competition. It enjoys the fluorine characteristics to remove the humidity under the base as quick as possible and the limits the friction effect. You use it as a normal klister on transformed snow with a round grain but will be more efficient on the gliding motion. The application process is the same as the normal klister. It is useful to apply and smooth the klister two to three times in order to limit the wear and tear and the back step at the end of the session.
Transformed snow: when the snow conditions become warmer, the snow transformed and the fine and crystalline grain gets round. The humidity level of the snow increases and the snow becomes wet. In this snow conditions, the snow is usually icy and very packed on the morning and gets warmer in the afternoon where the grain becomes bigger after the passage of the skiers.