Binder for Kick Wax

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larsonian
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Binder for Kick Wax

Postby larsonian » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:44 pm

I'm not totally clear on what is meant by binder for putting down as a base layer on classic skis. Is it a special type of wax (or something similar) or can you use a hard wax like Swix Green or Blue in its place?

Also, I thought I read something about ironing in a base layer of kick wax, is this something people do? Not something I've heard of before.

E365
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby E365 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:02 am

There are special base binders such as Swix VG35, but most companies make their own too. It's a special type of hard wax. Not sure how to describe the texture, but it's not normal hard wax. Less "waxy" and more sticky/tar-like. You will iron it in after crayoning it on. Ironing it in gives 100% contact with the base. Then, any hard wax applied over the binder will wear longer since it's sticking to the tackybase wax, and not just the slippery, bare ski base.

I'd think even ironing standard hard wax as a base binder will help over no ironing at all. For the same theory above - getting 100% contact with the base. I use a base binder every time I use hard wax. I'd just go with a specific base binder. A tin of Swix VG35 runs about $18 (and that's probably the most expensive on the market), and I'm probably on season 5 on one tin, so the cost per season is minimal.

GearWest's selection of base binders.
http://xcski.gearwest.com/category/hard ... 24/1172455

osloskier
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby osloskier » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:21 am

Agree the cost is minimal, but if you don't have binder when you need it, just use the hardest wax you have. Ironed in is always better, but I don't bother unless I will be skiing for hours or the snow is very aggressive.

Look at the skis after you're done skiing. If the wax has partially worn away or has moved rearwards or become excessively bumpy, then you might want to put more effort into it next time.

larsonian
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby larsonian » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:44 am

Thanks for the info. That makes sense. I checked my skis this morning after being out 3 times this week and there was minimal kick wax left and what was there was smeared. I'm planning to get a few hours in this weekend, so I'll try ironing in some Green and see if I get more km's out of my wax. If not I'll have to order some binder.

I've been dealing with a lot of slipping when I ski and I assumed it was because of my poor technique. The good news is I can now blame it on my poor technique AND not having enough kick wax. THAT is progress!

Blah
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby Blah » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:01 pm

A binder will do a couple things for your wax job. It will keep your wax on the ski so you still have kick. It will keep the wax in place so it doesn't slide into your glide zone. It will give you a cushion, so to speak, that will enhance your kick waxes grip. The naif binders are fairly similar. There are some made by Start and Vauhti that have klister in them for more abrasive conditions.

osloskier
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby osloskier » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:40 pm

I would order that binder right away and use green until it arrives and whenever you can't find it afterwards :)

Did you sand the grip zone before waxing? Thin layer of green or polar, cork until it becomes transparent or iron it in.

Blah
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby Blah » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:51 pm

Man I need to stop posting from my phone... There really isn't a regular kicker that acts the same as a binder. If the snow is newer I would do what Olsoskier said, until you have a binder wax in hand. For more abrasive snow you want something with more tackiness too it.

Another great wax to use as a binder with a little more bite, especially if you find yourself slipping often, is V40 Swix Blue Extra.

larsonian
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby larsonian » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:29 pm

Well that settles it, I'm buying binder right away! Meanwhile, for this weekend: If I iron in kick wax, is it temperature dependent like normal kick wax is? For instance I'm looking at upper 20s for temps this weekend, so I'll be using Blue (or Red), so will I want to iron in a layer of blue? It seems like it's best to start with the hardest wax and then use softer rather than the other way around, so maybe iron in Green and then crayon Blue at the trailhead?

As for the sanding question, I have not sanded the kick zone on these skis. When I bought them (in the 90s!) they were billed as Combi skis and I actually did 90% of my skiing back then skate style. I'm hesitant to sand them because of that. Ultimately, I'm thinking I'll buy a new pair of skis at the end of this season or next year and the skis I have now will become my B-skis. Would you still recommend that I sand the kick zone if I may want to skate (just recreationally) on these in the future? I mean, if we have another winter like this, I may be skating through ungroomed trails, so I'm not too concerned with getting the absolute fastest skate-style wax job if these end up as B-skis.

Sorry to keep answering your questions with more questions! I appreciate the info, very helpful.

osloskier
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby osloskier » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:00 pm

Aha, that explains it. I also think your skis may be too soft (see below).

I really don't know what you should do. If you can't make the wax stick without sanding I think you may have to sand them and then cover the grip zone with some very hard grip wax when skating to reduce the drag as much as possible. I have no idea what would happen if you glide wax a sanded grip zone.

You can also use base klister, or in a pinch ice klister as binder and hard wax on top of that. This is as good as binder and better than green wax. You need to iron the layer as thin as possible if the ski is for hard wax. Base klister spray is the easiest option, then you can skip the ironing (you risk spray-painting your waxing table with klister instead, though...)

If you have any base klister or ice klister, try ironing that in and see if it sticks well enough. If not you will have to sand them for classic. I'm guessing you will have to sand them.

Not sanding a new ski, skipping binder and then waxing too much (i.e. a bit outside of where the grip zone ought to be) is a good way to pinpoint the edges of the grip zone. Where the wax wears off is outside the grip zone. So if much of your wax wears away in say 10 km, that might indicate that your skis are too soft. Without sanding it will come off eventually (that's why we sand of course), but I think it sounds like it wears off too quickly.
Last edited by osloskier on Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

larsonian
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby larsonian » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:32 pm

osloskier wrote:Not sanding a new ski and then waxing too much (i.e. a bit outside of where the grip zone ought to be) is a good way to pinpoint the edges of the grip zone. Where the wax wears off is outside the grip zone. So if much of your wax wears away in say 10 km, that might indicate that your skis are too soft. Without sanding it will come off eventually (that's why we sand of course), but I think it sounds like it wears off too quickly.


Very possible. I did the paper-under-the-pocket thing today and my kick zone is closer to 12 inches in front of my toe vs 18 inches. It could also be that I'm not corking it in enough when I put it on and not getting a smooth layer down in the first place (I've learned a lot on these boards in the last couple days!)

Blah
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby Blah » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:51 pm

From your posts I think klister may be beyond your skill set at this point. If your pocket is that small you may be getting wear from the skis being too soft.
I would just go ahead and sand them. If you don't use too heavy of a grit just glide wax over after you have used wax remover on the kick zone and most of the sanding will disappear.
A binder typically is very tacky. That is why Oslo is recommending something like a klister. A green kicker for your skill set and if your skis are losing their wax is not going to be tacky enough. Instead iron in a blue wax until you get your binder. This should help you get more kick as you work on improving your technique.
Typically when kick waxing you can either run a binder and cover with wax of the day or it you are going to run into warming conditions then put a softer wax, blue, under a harder wax, green. This will give you better kick while possible sacrificing some glide. As the temps warm you will still get kick.

larsonian
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby larsonian » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:59 pm

Blah wrote:Typically when kick waxing you can either run a binder and cover with wax of the day or it you are going to run into warming conditions then put a softer wax, blue, under a harder wax, green. This will give you better kick while possible sacrificing some glide. As the temps warm you will still get kick.


This makes it very clear and answers my final question (for now, at least). I feel like I just took an advanced course in kick waxing, perfect!

I called around and found a place that has binder in town, so I'm just going to make it easy on myself and go pick some up tonight. Should be all set for the weekend then

osloskier
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby osloskier » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:29 am

larsonian wrote:Very possible. I did the paper-under-the-pocket thing today and my kick zone is closer to 12 inches in front of my toe vs 18 inches. It could also be that I'm not corking it in enough when I put it on and not getting a smooth layer down in the first place (I've learned a lot on these boards in the last couple days!)


Waxing for normal snow should be easier than what you are experiencing. In good snow, hastily applied grip wax in my experience tends to drag more than necessary rather than disappear. The exception is the first layer, which must be worked into the ski really well.

For a quick training session of 10-15 km in good snow I would often just clean the ski, sand maybe three times back and forth, add a thin layer of green or polar, cork that until smooth and transparent, then add some layers of the wax of the day. I finally got around to buying binder, so now I use that for the first layer, but in good conditions green will also work if you have sanded first and the ski is stiff enough.

When there are patches of coarse, crunchy snow or icy tracks or crust or abrasive artificial snow, then this method doesn't cut it anymore. Then you need to iron in binder or base klister. For races or if you simply have time to kill you also want to spend the extra few minutes to do it right, obviously. The reason it took me so long to get around to buying binder is that I had base klister for when I really needed it, which works like a charm and isn't really any more cumbersome to apply. The klister/binder layer for hard wax shown in this video is even fancier and way overkill for normal conditions, but still simple enough that an 8 year old could do it. When I use base klister as binder I use a thinner layer than this guy does because my hard wax skis have a long and low pocket. The ski determines how much you can use, but "as thin as possible" is always safe. http://www.oslosportslager.no/magasinet ... e-881.aspx

Binder is great stuff, what I'm trying to say is that larsonian's wax job without binder should last longer than it does, and that ironing should be unnecessary for shorter sessions in good snow, and that if he happened to have some hard klister then that would work just as well if he can't get hold of any binder where he is right now. Phew :)

Another test for correct stiffness is that when you stand on one ski with your weight evenly distributed along the foot, the pocket should not close completely below the binding. If you then shift your weight to the front of the foot, it should close all the way.

Put a strip of paper below the binding, stand with all your weight on the ski on a flat foot. Try to pull the paper out. A little resistance is ok, but if you risk tearing the paper, the ski is too soft. If you can't lock the paper in place when shifting your weight to the front, the ski is probably too stiff.

larsonian
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby larsonian » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:07 am

I think you figured out another important point: I'm skiing in TERRIBLE conditions. The best I can find within a 2 hour drive is a 1 km man-made loop. I'm driving north to find snow on Monday so having a good course and binder should all help a lot

osloskier wrote:
Waxing for normal snow should be easier than what you are experiencing.
I look forward to this being true!

Blah
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Re: Binder for Kick Wax

Postby Blah » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:03 am

Are you skiing Lapham Peak? If so i suggest you visit Bike Dr. He really knows his stuff. Getting kick in manmade snow still shouldn't be that hard. I'm a shill for Start but i strongly suggest you try our oslo wax for manmade and icy snow


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