Welcome to the Winter of 2019/2020!
A New Season Begins
2019/2020 will be a ski season marked by waxing rule changes. With the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program coming into effect in the European Union in the summer of 2020, many wax companies have made the switch from soon-to-be-banned fluoros to legal fluoros. I'm not going to get into the details of what molecules are allowed or banned (that will be the contents on another newsletter) but the point is: things are in flux in the waxing world. Many race series have already gone to low-fluoro or non-fluoro rules. Some ski venues are banning the use of fluoros on their trails. That leaves us the question: How to get fast skis without the use of our familiar, but potentially toxic, fluoro-carbons? All the answers aren't here yet - we have loads of testing to do this winter - but a few wax companies have made progress. For the purposes of this article, I'm going to focus on Rode and Vauhti because they came out with new fluoro-free liquids over the past couple of years. Oh, and by the way, Vauhti is now available on Skiwax.ca. Click here to get the best Vauhtis for you!
Rode Fluoro-Free Racing Liquids
Sorry for not having new photos of the Rode Racing Liquids (RL liquids). Rode has come out with new bottles for their liquid waxes that are leak-proof. Rode, like many brands, have realized the future of waxing is most likely going to be in the liquid form factor. They are also well aware of the trend to low or no fluoro rules so they have already developed a line of fluoro-free racing liquids using a number of new additives. They come in four types: Wet, Med, Cold and the Liquid Glider Multigrade which is a universal for all temperatures. It's very straight forward what wax works well in what snow. I've heard great things about the Wet and the Med RLs. I haven't had the chance to test the Liquid Glider Multigrade, but if Rode has put their prestigious "Multigrade" badge on it that's a sure sign it works fantastically over a wide range of temperatures.
Vauhti LF and GW liquids
One of the great things about liquid waxes is that it's the easiest and fastest way to get your skis glidered up! Check out that picture above: no tools, no bench. (Although it's a good idea to nylon brush at minimum after the liquid drys)
Vauhti has been the main pusher of the liquid revolution in my eyes. They've certainly got some good marketing and produced a line of liquid waxes that are pleasing to the eye. They work too! I had skis waxed by Zach Caldwell at the SuperTour in Lake Placid last year and we were using the UF Mid liquid as a base. I had some mind-blowing skis that weekend and the UF Mid was a big part of that. Their LF liquid line follows suit. Many teams have been using the LF liquids, particularly the LF Mid, in low fluoro rules races. The issue of liquid waxes generally not having the durability to go the distance is addressed by the GW Non-fluoro base wax. The GW line of Vauhti waxes is the fluoro-free line. It's very affordable as you will get at least 40 pairs of skis out of one bottle minimum.