It is time for the Craftsbury Marathon! Arguably the biggest cross country ski marathon in the Northeast, this weekend's event is shaping up to be a great time with ample snow, moderate temperatures, and the outstanding grooming Craftsbury is so well-known for. Regardless of your race distance or experience level, you will want some great wax on your skis to make the most of the event. The wax tips below are based on products that Skirack carries in-store. Many staff are racers and waxers themselves and can help provide even more guidance for interested competitors.
Conditions this week:
- Average winter temperatures all week, with little-to-no new snowfall
- Expect snow to be more transformed than other areas due to Craftsbury’s regular and heavy grooming
- Course will have man-made snow mixed in close to the center, with natural snow on outlying portions
Conditions on race day:
- Low of 17F the night before the race. 23F at race start, warming to 33F by noon
Wax choices: Binder
Binder will be very important for this race given the potentially abrasive conditions.
Possible options, in order of “most kick/abrasion resistance to least”:
- Start “Base” klister, Toko “Base” klister, Swix Green (base) klister ironed-in
- Swix or Toko spray klister binder (spray on, then 1-2 passes with an iron at 130C. Smooth with cork)
- Swix KX30 blue klister ironed in a VERY thin layer
- Start Base “Extra” which is designed for more coarse snow
- Swix VG35 Binder which is designed for more coarse snow
Other options which are not designed specifically for coarse snow (use a thicker layer):
Wax choices: Kick:
Kick should always be tested on race morning. If you have an older/non-race pair of classic skis they can serve the purpose of test skis. It is recommended to test one ski with klister on it, and another with hardwax.
Klister options to try:
- Start Purple (mix Swix K22 Universal for more kick)
- Swix KX35 (mix in K22 Universal for more kick)
- Swix K22 Universal and KX35 Purple or Start Purple mixed 1:1
Hardwax options to try:
Wax choices: Glide:
Durability will be key. All glide wax jobs should begin with a “hardener” layer of a cold glide wax.
Recommended hardeners include:
A race layer needs to be applied to cooled/dried completely whether it is a traditional iron-on paraffin or a liquid/spray paraffin. On transformed snow it is advised to wax colder than the air temp.
Recommended glide waxes include:
- Swix CH7 (if using spray, apply the night before and allow to completely dry. Brush with nylon brush)
- Toko Base Performance Red (if using spray, see note above)
- Start SG6