Public Health Alert!
There's a big problem nobody is talking about: the worrying number of Multigrade addicts out there on the ski trails. If you look closely you can spot them by their bulging oversized fanny packs full of duplicate Rode tins. Often it's more blatant: They'll corner you in the chalet wax room and expunge Multigrade dogma until you try it yourself. I tried resisting but it was only a matter of time before I succumbed to a Rode addiction. I will do my best to be a responsible friendly neighborhood Rode dealer, but people, please! Exercise some self-restraint! At least tins are only $13 a pop so it's not the most expensive habit to feed.
The Rode hardwax line is the largest family of waxes I've come across. It has it's weird uncles and obscure second-cousins twice removed, but it has some real gems in the mix. Some of the most famous family members are as follows:
The Blue Special Multigrade is a pleasant kickwax for cold but has scandalous origins because it came out green. It seems to work great in the Rockies. I think the Rockies remind it of home since the alpine climate is similar to where it hails from in Asiago, Italy.
The Rode Blue Super won the genetic lottery. It is a mix of all the desirable traits you want from a blue kick wax. It should consider a career in modeling.
And then there's the Viola Special Multigrade. This is the "Multigrade" people are talking about when they say "Multigrade" and they won't shut up about it. Sure, the kick is great, but it doesn't glide fast! What a Diva.
The Momma is called Rode Viola. Well established and dignified, this wax commands respect. You can share in this wax's respect by recommending it to a friend instead of Multigrade as long as temperatures are around zero.
Rode's klister family has its variety of characters. Rode Rossa is probably the most well-know Rode klister since it is a swiss-army knife in wet snow.Violet klister has a wildly successful career in icy snow going with no signs of retiring. But Multigrade klister remains the head of the household and is in charge of any kind of coarse-snow klister condition.
Top line (aka T-line) waxes are the upperclassmen of the Rode waxes. These waxes are born and bred for racing. The Top Line hardwaxes are all for newer snow just below zero which was always a tricky snow type to find a wax having both good glide and grip at the same time. The Top Line Hardwaxes come in three types of stickiness: VO is the least sticky, VPS is somewhere in between, and VXPS is the stickiest. There's not much difference between the Top Line waxes as they are designed for fine-tuned race ski wax jobs. Experienced techs will fiddle with Top Line find the right blend of grip and glide.
The TLine Klisters are more different from each other than the TLine hardwaxes. Whereas the TLine hardwaxes all work in the same field, one TLine klister is a doctor, one's a lawyer, and one's an engineer. They each have specific roles in specific snow types. But don't forget they're all purely top performance racing klisters. The breakdown of 'when to use which' is simple: The K3 klister is for wet snow, KR3 is for icy snow turning wet, and the KM3 is a universal klister for any kind of coarse snow.
World Cup 2018 - Period 1
In other news, I'm back home in Canada for the Holidays after enjoying a stint on the World Cup over the last four weeks. As usual after racing world cups, I'm shell-shocked from the speed and effortlessness of the performances I had to try to keep up to! The best placing I managed was 60th place on two occasions over the eight races I competed in. Some of the coolest things on the world cup are the waxing trucks most nations bring. I had many opportunities to snoop through the Canadian truck and talk to the techs about modern waxing methods. I'll have to write some blog posts! I have to thank everyone for their patience with things as some of my energy was diverted to racing over the last few weeks in Finland, Norway, and Switzerland. See you on the NorAm!