STAR Buyer's Guide

Out of the gate, STAR has stood out as the leader in producing the fastest skis in the fluoro-free waxing paradigm. When FIS first announced the fluoro ban, STAR got to work earnestly developing their Fluoro-Free wax line for the highest level of racing. The first significant discovery was this: With the new materials, ingredients, and additives, the exact product applied using different methods on the ski base performed differently. This means that the application method is really important for fluoro-free products. The insight is core to the STAR "NEXT" wax line you can buy today.

Star NEXT: Born Fluoro-Free


The video below is excellent viewing for those interested in leaning how to use the STAR NEXT waxes. The methods outlined in the video offer a great set of general rules of fluoro-free waxing that can be applied to most other brands as well. There are four main types of wax in the NEXT line: Melt wax, powder, liquid, and wool-apply block.

Fluoro-Free Ski Wax for Racing: STAR "NEXT"

1) NEXT Melt Wax (Base Wax): These are the traditional waxes we're all familiar with - applied with an iron, cooled, then scraped and brushed. They are excellent for protecting and maintaining the ski base, helping with lubrication, and improving the glide and durability of "Top coat" waxes. Race ski waxing begins with a layer of NEXT melt wax, and a maintenance layer of these waxes every 100km keeps your ski bases in good condition.

2) NEXT Powder (Race Wax): Best used for icy, dirty snow conditions or when skiing long distances when durability is a crucial factor. They are applied in micronized powder form and melted onto the ski base with a hot iron. These powders can be used as a base for "Top Coats" or on their own. You will have to test if top coats improve the powder. Sometimes, the powder on its own is the fastest!

3) NEXT Liquids (Top Coat): These are the best fluoro-free liquids we've had the pleasure of testing. They're also the most friendly to work with owing to their rubbing alcohol solvent. They dry very fast - a welcome feature on race-day morning. The NEXT liquids are used as top coats to add extra speed or to adjust your wax to a specific temperature range. Remember to shake the bottle well before using the built-in sponge dabber to apply it to your skis. After the 1-2min dry time, STAR recommends brushing with nylon and then running a long-hair wool roto attached to an impact driver at 2900rpm to 3500rpm to finish. Sometimes, 2-3 layers of liquid in a "sandwich" format (e.g. Cold-Med-Cold) can produce lightning-fast skis. Blending with a layer of the wool-apply top coat can be fastest.

4) NEXT Wool-Apply (Top Coat): Wool-apply waxes are applied by mounting the roller on a drill and rotating it, rubbing the wax onto the wool roller. Then, the rotating roller is applied to the ski base with light to moderate pressure and moved back and forth along the length of the ski, finishing by moving from the tip toward the tail of the ski. In one step, you apply the wax and polish it onto the base. Proper application should produce a shiny base and a small amount of "dust" but no smearing. It is best to finish the job with a nylon brush. In general, liquid top coat waxes are best for new snow, while wool-apply block waxes are best for old snow. However, it would be best to experiment with both wax form-factors to see which type performs better in your particular snow conditions.

STAR PRO CASE Roto Brush Kit

STAR Roto Brush System

We are enthusiastic supporters of the STAR Roto Brush system, considering it to be the most well-designed range of brush products for fluoro-free waxing. Our inventory exclusively features the 70mm brushes paired with 140mm handles, as we believe these sizes offer the optimal solution for our cross-country skier clientele.

One notable advantage is the ability to dual load two 70mm roto brushes on the 140mm handles, providing an ideal setup for wool-apply waxing. This is particularly useful in common practices like dual loading a nylon and wool applicator. The versatility of these brushes caters to various waxing techniques.

Additionally, the hex axels adhere to the industry-standard 10mm width, ensuring compatibility with roto brushes from any other brand. It's important to note that while these brushes offer versatility, the width should not exceed 140mm to fit perfectly on the handles. This feature enhances convenience and allows for seamless integration with other tools in your ski maintenance kit.

Roto brushes perform several functions in ski waxing. STAR breaks these functions down into 4 categories:

Surface Wax Removal: To break up and remove excess wax left over after scaping.

Cleaning Structure: To expose your ski bases' stone grind pattern.

Wax Film Management: Very important in fluoro-free waxing; getting the right thickness of your fluoro-free wax layers can have an outsized impact on the speed of your skis.

Polishing/Finishing: For the final arrangement of the wax material over your ski bases.

Exploring More from STAR

STAR BETA Glide Wax Line:

In addition to the STAR NEXT line, there is the BETA Research Program Race waxes we're now able to purchase. These waxes are better in dirty, old snow. There are two liquid toppers and three wool-apply toppers currently making up the BETA line. The liquids contain metallic ingredients that make them black in colour so the will stain your wools. Only the Cold Wool-Appy has the black additive, The Warm and Med Beta blocks have a light-coloured additive.

Hardwaxes, Klister, Speciality Glide Waxes, and Irons

STAR has a full line if kick waxes, as well as some specialty glide waxes. Their irons are made in Italy to ensure their temperature during use is tightly controlled.

BETA Kick waxes: These kick waxes come with klister pre-mixed in the tin. They're main use is in old/dirty or tricky conditions. The recipe comes with dirt-repelling ingredients for long-lasting speed in snow that's undergone a few freeze-thaw cycles. There are three temperature ranges in the BETA kick line.

Target Kick Wax Line: The STAR standard kick line includes and full range of kick waxes and klisters. These waxes are designed for both old and new snow.

Specialty Glide Waxes: The group of products are mainly geared toward high-volume users. Bulk-format waxes from STAR are some of the most affordable per gram. The MAP Black and Map 200 are fantastic base layers if you know you'll be skiing in very dirty snow or in new snow conditions where static charge can build up. The C1 and C2 hardening powders are sometimes a necessary addition to your wax application when you require more hardness and durability.

Irons: STAR stresses the importance of adhering to the recommended iron temperatures for all of their glide wax products. That's why they assemble their Irons in-house in Italy with custom components to make sure the metal plates maintain an accurate and stable temperature.

If you're more of a recreational skier looking to get in on the high-quality STAR wax technology, STAR waxes have something to offer: The NF line. The NF line comes with two form-factors: the paraffin melt waxes for base wax, and the NF liquids as top coats. A good rule of thumb when using the NF line is to apply a layer of paraffin melt wax every 100km and a layer of liquid top coat before every outing.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.