Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

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Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby dcpattie » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:13 am

Let's be honest - maybe 6-8 countries have the waxing budgets to truly be competitive at this level. I think this is part of the reason why nordic skiing will always have a limited audience. A race should NOT be determined by the size of a countries waxing budget. It seems like classic skiing is even more impacted my the waxing methodologies developed by nations with huge waxing budgets. I guess many sports with technical equipment have similar fairness issues. I come from a rowing background where 90% of all competitors use one of two boat manufactures (Empacher or Fillipi) - this evens out the field.

Cross country skiing could learn a thing or two from Japanese cycling "Keirin" races where all the competitors use the exact same equipment, only allowing for size differences based on the riders height.
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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby Magnus Johansson » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:54 pm

dcpattie wrote:Let's be honest - maybe 6-8 countries have the waxing budgets to truly be competitive at this level. I think this is part of the reason why nordic skiing will always have a limited audience. A race should NOT be determined by the size of a countries waxing budget. It seems like classic skiing is even more impacted my the waxing methodologies developed by nations with huge waxing budgets. I guess many sports with technical equipment have similar fairness issues. I come from a rowing background where 90% of all competitors use one of two boat manufactures (Empacher or Fillipi) - this evens out the field.

Cross country skiing could learn a thing or two from Japanese cycling "Keirin" races where all the competitors use the exact same equipment, only allowing for size differences based on the riders height.

Traditionally waxing is an integral part of the sport and its competitions. However, in roller skiing it is very common to have only one brand and model of roller skis for each competition, making roller skiing the opposite to skiing in that respect.

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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby dcpattie » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:46 pm

Go figure, rollerskiing is the gold standard for fairness!
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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby JeffOYB » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:37 pm

Magnus Johansson wrote:
dcpattie wrote:Let's be honest - maybe 6-8 countries have the waxing budgets to truly be competitive at this level. I think this is part of the reason why nordic skiing will always have a limited audience. A race should NOT be determined by the size of a countries waxing budget. It seems like classic skiing is even more impacted my the waxing methodologies developed by nations with huge waxing budgets. I guess many sports with technical equipment have similar fairness issues. I come from a rowing background where 90% of all competitors use one of two boat manufactures (Empacher or Fillipi) - this evens out the field.

Cross country skiing could learn a thing or two from Japanese cycling "Keirin" races where all the competitors use the exact same equipment, only allowing for size differences based on the riders height.

Traditionally waxing is an integral part of the sport and its competitions. However, in roller skiing it is very common to have only one brand and model of roller skis for each competition, making roller skiing the opposite to skiing in that respect.


You mean in rollerskiing those who us other brands are not welcome or allowed?

I can see how this might be since it seems to me that some wheels or skis might be very much faster than other ones. Some are even designed for slowness/resistance. You would want fast spinning -- and maybe certain diameter and durometer.
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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby JeffOYB » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:43 pm

Isn't base prep and ski flex also hugely impt, even more so than waxing? This also contributes to the needed "fleet" of skis.

Hasn't all alpine skiing -- and maybe even snowboarding been highly affected by wax (grind, flex) as well?

Seems like biking does better at being fair even tho some bikes are much lighter than others. ...Esp in citizen racing where there isn't a weight limit rule. In UCI bike racing they might all be close to the limit but in USAC maybe there's a bigger range? Oh well, on the amateur side I'd think we see bikes ranging from 14-22 lbs. ...Tho maybe this doesn't affect results as much as wax/base/flex does for skis?

The only solution I see is more challenging courses that neutralize the benefit of glide and increase the relevance of skill.
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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby Blah » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:46 pm

Eh...For sure a large budget and staff is important but I think Norway is winning because it's also a national sport that draws more interest, athletes, etc. Does that put other nationals at a disadvantage on tricky days, sure. That being said at Sochi the Norwegians allegedly had ---- skis so maybe budgets don't always work.

There are more than 5-6 nations with competitive teams/athletes and I don't think the other nations are being held back because of wax....It's because of winter climate, public interest and national prosperity.

Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, USA, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland

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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby Blah » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:47 pm

dcpattie wrote:Go figure, rollerskiing is the gold standard for fairness!

Except the results aren't really different. The results wouldn't be much different if they zeroed the wax. Besides ski selection and structure being equally if not more important than waxing

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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby liège » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:51 am

dcpattie wrote:It seems like classic skiing is even more impacted my the waxing methodologies developed by nations with huge waxing budgets.


I just did the [rough] math for kick per pair in classic:

Hard wax day:
$0.25 for binder
$0.70 for kick wax

Klister-cover day:
$0.10 for klister binder
$0.60 for klister
$0.40 for kick wax

Klister day:
$0.10 for klister binder
$0.75 for klister

So as far as kick goes, it’s not a massive expenditure. Knowing what to use, when, is worthwhile. World Cups have absolutely been won in the last two years on the most basic hard waxes for sale — no fluoro, no additives, same ones you used to be able to buy for $3.00.

Glide, on the other hand ... it’s really easy to spend some cash. At World Cup prices (wholesale), I believe it was about 40€/$50 per pair in the 30/50km races in Lahti. With ski changes an option (but not taken), there were some very expensive skis to cool down on.

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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby JeffOYB » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:31 am

yeah if they zero out all the tech the results might still be about the same.

...just cd save a lot of time and $.

and in some places the accessibility of the sport might be better to a lot more ppl. oh well the wealthy will always have a leg up in sport that involves technology and equipment.

poor folk get to dominate ALL the sports that only require the body and maybe a ball
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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby Magnus Johansson » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:40 am

JeffOYB wrote:You mean in rollerskiing those who us other brands are not welcome or allowed?

Roller skis of the same brand and model are provided to all competitors by the arranger of the competition.

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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby Neuro » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:23 am

As seems typical for Olympic venues lately, the waxing conditions are unusual, and here some said the XC track had 4-5 different wax conditions which caught out a few countries. Even the Swedes who nailed the difficult snow in Sochi last time were suffering here.

Like Blah says, it's not all about budget with Norway messing up last Olympics and Sweden now.

Maybe more fair with skating only for future events, but then there are those skiers who are just much better at classic than skating so.. Image

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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby JeffOYB » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:14 pm

Neuro wrote:...Maybe more fair with skating only for future events, but then there are those skiers who are just much better at classic than skating so.. Image


Are you saying it might be easier to zero for waxing for skating?

A bit confused. And am somewhat concerned there might be a move to only skating in future top level racing.

In my view, real skiing doesn't involve much skating or doublepoling. ...Ha!

Well, first, the best trails are not wide, so it's hard to skate much. Secondly they are scenic, interesting and challenging -- and thus hilly and twisty and so are not suitable for very much doublepoling.

Ha... well, something close to that anyway!
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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby Neuro » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:30 am

Yes the difference in glide wax between skate skis is obviously not as much as when there's kick wax as well.

It seems every other olympics will be skate and classic to make it fair (although that's 8 year's between your events..), but I believe FIS are anyway planning to drop classic sprints altogether.

About the styles, all I can say is that I too thought skating was horrible when it first came, just as I did V-style in ski jumping, but now find them great. Agree endless double poling is not very nice though.

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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby JeffOYB » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:01 am

every other year for Olys? i thought they did that for the events themselves and that they are always a mix in each Oly. ....so that the grand finale 50k is classic on time then skate the next. but overall the Oly events are 50-50 per year.

too bad about FIS dropping classic sprints. -- they look good to me. I see striding and gliding and not too much DP in the sprints. Uphill skate in the sprints looks like a wide sprawling mad scramble, but whatever.

I'm hoping for something like a influx of influence from mtbiking and cyclocross into XC skiing -- and this wd be expressed via narrow technical courses -- and classic striding -- or maybe true freestyle and willnilly mix within an event.
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Re: Importance of the "right" Wax During Olympics!

Postby Neuro » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:15 am

FIS actually wants more 'fun' sprint courses with jumps etc, but it has been met with scorn by the athletes so we'll see about that.


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