Author Archives: Green Ice Wax

Green Ice Wax Long-Term (4 year) Review – ExoticSkis.com

By: e.edelstein

Original Post: http://www.exoticskis.com/Forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=570

Snowsport ski and snowboard waxes & base treatments have been cult-like topics in the outdoor communities for decades, with products and personalities around the World espousing wonderful properties and performance claims each season.   Skiers and snowboarders gravitate to some favorite brands and techniques, and to tell you the truth, most popular waxes work pretty darn well if the right formula is applied with the proper techniques for the specific snow conditions, while producing terrible results if chosen or applied poorly.

We’ve all seen solid waxes, paste waxes, hot-waxes, cold-waxes, rub-ons, iron-ons, powders, ointments, hot-boxing, infra-red treatments, paraffins, fluorocarbons, hydrocarbon-blends, non-fluorocarbons, carbon-infused waxes, plant-based treatments, ivory-soap treatments, DPS’s new “one-application-for-life” Phantom treatment and everything short of shaman-like incantations uttered into the East winds (OK, OK….yes, the elite nordic waxing gurus at the World Cup and Olympics do utter incantations into the East winds to enhance their waxing voodoo, but that’s another topic for another day when we want to discuss waxing religions…).

We’ve been using a variety of Green Ice Wax products for the last 4 seasons in nearly every kind of snow you might encounter, and have been really happy with the performance and workablity of the waxes.  There are a bunch of perfectly great waxes on the market  ranging from high-flourocarbonracer-oriented formulas to eco-minded, biodegradable “green” waxes, and every combination in between from different kinds of companies, so we tried Green Ice’s eco-friendly waxes since we…well…live in Vermont…and buying local or regional “green” products is what we do around here.

This review is not a scientific test with thermometers, friction testing devices and microscopes.  It’s our seat-of-the-pants description of our day to day experience with Green Ice waxes over 4 seasons.

Manufacturer:

Green Ice Wax
Richard Beneduci
(201) 658-0271
richard@greenicewax.com
http://www.GreenIceWax.com

 

Samples of 150 gram Green Ice waxes and rub-on applicators

Samples of small-size Green Ice N8 series packages,
150 gram blocks of Ultimate and nordic waxes

Full Disclosure Transparency:

Green Ice donates some waxes each season at no cost to support our testing program. We liked Green Ice Wax so much after the first season of testing, we asked if the company would donate a supply of waxes each season for our ExoticSkis test skis. There is nothing more irksome than a ski with bad wax, so if Green Ice didn’t work well, we wouldn’t use it. Period.  The waxes work really well for us, so Green Ice sponsors our wax supply in exchange for our promotional badge at the right side of our web pages.  If we didn’t think the wax was worth mentioning, we wouldn’t mention it, much less promote it on our website, even if we got it for free.  If we find something that works well, we think people should know about it, and if we get the product at a discount or sponsored at no cost.

Background & Manufacturer’s Comments:

“Green Ice Wax was formulated by a chemist with over 30 years of experience in the chemical industry and father of two competitive ski racers.  The wax was designed with safe and environmentally-friendly substances with the health of the user and the environment in mind.  After months of formulating and continually testing various compositions, Green Ice Wax developed the perfect balance between fast and safe.  Tests included both field tests on mountains across the Northeast, West, and South America as well as chemical and physical testing in the laboratory.  The field tests included athletes both at the professional and collegiate levels, as well as ski instructors.  The results are Green Ice Hydrocarbon, Green Ice 1000, Green Ice 2000, and Green Ice Ultimate waxes.  These environmentally-friendly waxes are proven to perform under any conditions, from recreational skiing and riding to competitive racing.”

“Green Ice Wax is race-inspired, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective. The waxes utilize technology borrowed from the cosmetic industry for water repellency and lubricity, does not contain hazardous fluorocarbons found in most of today’s ski waxes.

Green Ice Wax  technology makes it safe for anyone to apply and handle.  No more need for a bulky mask during application. Green Ice Hydrocarbon, 1000, and 2000 are available in a variety of hardnesses for use in all snow conditions.  For more detailed information, check out our Products page.

Green Ice Ultimate, Green Ice FE, DemoDon’s Glide Wax and N8 products are comprised entirely of renewable resources, minimizing the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) foot print, which helps to protect our environment. HG Skis and Rocky Mountain Underground leverage Green Ice Wax to help make their manufacturing processes more sustainable.

Both Realskier.com and Exoticskis.com give GI Wax the thumbs up Exotic skis test all their skis with GI biodegradable wax.

Regardless of your experience, Green Ice Wax can provide you with all your environmentally-friendly, cost-effective, high performance waxing needs.  Be sure to check out our Blog for more information.  Feel free to include any comments or concerns, and remember to choose Green Ice Wax for all your ski and board wax needs.”

– Website January 2019

How We Tested:

As far as waxing at ExoticSkis.com goes, we always keep the test skis waxed so they run their best to eliminate bad wax effects upon a ski’s personality and handling traits.  We also hate dry bases and think ski bases should be protected from contamination whenever possible.  Our typical wax routine is a drip-wax application (hold bar of wax against a warm iron and drip onto the ski), followed by a number of passes of the iron up and down the base to fully saturate and spread the wax as much as possible, trying to evenly-heat the base from tip to tail. We follow that up with a cool-down period, then hand-scrape to a thin residual layer.  After scraping, we cork the surface, then follow up with a nylon brush in a tip-to-tail direction.  We tend to want a thicker, more long-lasting wax layer than a one-run, super-thin race-wax treatment so we can keep the wax available on the ski all day long.  We are not “white-glove-race-tech” waxers when it comes to the test skis. We always ask people who come back from testing skis how they liked the wax job, so we get some feedback.   We typically wax test skis before returning them to the manufacturer, so the next people on that pair get a nice ride and have a protective coating on the base of the skis during transit and storage.

We tested in filthy, dirty, pollen & grit infested Spring snow, fresh powder, slush, packed powder, boilerplate, corn snow, super-dry sub-zero snow, old snow, new snow, groomed snow, cruddy snow, windpack, coral reef…you name it.  We don’t freely admit to any grassy weedy patch skiing, although it may have happened without our knowledge at some unspecified times. Maybe.

Summary:

We love the idea of small, regional and local ski companies, so when we heard of the environmentally-friendly, non-fluorocarbon Green Ice Wax from Richard Beneduci on the East coast of the U.S., we wanted to see if a small-batch wax could deliver the performance we were accustomed to from big-name wax companies such as Swix, Dominator, Toko, Holmenkol and others.  Rich was kind enough to supply us with some samples of his various waxes for our test skis for a season, and we were impressed enough to adopt Green Ice Wax as the standard wax for all our test skis over the last 4 years or so.  (Apparently, the folks over at RealSkiers.com like his waxes too…so don’t just take our word for it.)  Rich’s waxes proved the small wax companies can indeed produce eco-friendly, high-performance products every bit as good as big-name brands without the fluorocarbons or high corporate overhead.  There are a number of small wax companies now, so there are choices among the micro-brands, and the innovation is exciting to see.  Green Ice Wax is one of these companies.

The no-fluorocarbon GI1000 and GI2000 paraffin (hydrocarbon-based) series of high-performance, race-like waxes work really well across their temperature ranges, are durable and easy to work with.  The super eco-friendly, no-fluorocarbon GI Ultimate and N8 series of bio-degradable, non-paraffin waxes give up a little bit of the race-like wax performance for an truly guilt-free wax experience knowing you’re essentially using plant-based waxes instead of petroleum-based materials.  The Ultimate and N8 non-cold formulas can become a little bit gummy in the scraping process if you generate some friction heat while gross-scraping, but this doesn’t happen with the cool or cold formulations.  We found the Ultimate universal wax was ideal as a spring wax and storage wax, working well in warmer conditions.  We preferred the cool or cold formulations of Green Ice for mid-winter conditions.

Green Ice Wax delivers on the promise of offering a series of locally-produced, non-fluorocarbon waxes ranging from “traditional” paraffin-based hydrocarbon race waxes to full-on eco-friendly, plant-based biodegradable waxes at competitive prices with performance to keep skiers and riders happy all winter long.  That makes us smile.  Plus, the Ultimate wax smells sooooo good when you’re hot waxing……

Testers & Motivation For Non-Flouro Waxes:

The crew here at ExoticSkis.com ranges from ex and current international competitors, national competitors, multi-decade ski testers, kid coaches, dirtbag ski bums, shop employees, shop managers, civilian intermediates, experts, teenagers…kids…you name it.  Most of us just want a wax to make the skis slippery so we can have fun on the mountain in various snow conditions, and we want to protect the running surface of our skis from the elements and nasty contaminations which could hamper our sliding fun-factor.

We also are keenly aware our choice of recreation has impacts on the environment we love, and our choice of waxes has an impact on our health and the health of our families living with our waxing habits in our workshops.  The adverse health and environmental effects of high-performance, high-flouro waxes are well documented, and these waxes and treatments may be banned from usage in the near future if some lobbying efforts in Europe and the U.S. succeed.  Many grade schools in the U.S. are now forbidding the use of high-fluorocarbon waxes and treatments out of concern for the health effects and long-term residual contamination potentials being revealed in medical literature.  That being said, the crew at ExoticSkis.com feels there are viable alternatives to fluorocarbon waxes, and if we can find products with lower impact, we and the environment are better off.  If you need to wear a respirator to wax your skis…you’re not choosing a healthy wax option for anyone or anything around you.

Green Ice Ultimate and N8 Waxes – As Green As Green Can Be:

The Ultimate and N8 (Nate Holland) series of Green Ice waxes are fully biodegradable, non-paraffin based. The Ultimate wax is made from “bio-based raw materials, no solvents, chemicals or plasticizers”.  They both “borrow technology from the cosmetic industry for water repellency and lubricity”. The Nate Holland (N8) series offers cold (<18 deg. F), medium (18-28 deg. F) and warm (28-35 deg. F) temperature formulations.  The Ultimate wax is a universal, one-temperature wax.  Of interesting note is the warning on the website “May Contain Soy”.

The Ultimate wax is a relatively soft, (nearly gummy if you rub a piece between your fingers for a while to soften it), sweet-smelling wax we found ideal for summer storage, base-cleaning and warm-snow or spring conditions or general (“universal”) wax when we don’t know the snow conditions.  We found the relatively soft Ultimate wax is not suited for cold, frigid conditions (single digits or below), being too sticky to slide on the really cold, frigid surfaces (We switch to the cold formula N8 for those cold temps).  The Ultimate is a wax we kept using most often throughout the season because it seems to run well when you cork it smooth and brush it, and it spreads easily with a mild iron, getting nicely even coverage across the base material.  It smells sweet and makes waxing almost like an aromatherapy session.  When you scrape the Ultimate wax, it nearly peels off in soft layers, softer than, let’s say a Swix red wax. Knowing the Ultimate wax is about as eco-friendly as you can get, you might get a bit smug with your eco-ego….but that’s the price you pay.  While the Ultimate is not as slick and speedy as the GI 1000 and 2000 race waxes, it works perfect for all but the coldest days, and keeps the skis running nicely.  At $34 usd for 150 grams, you can wax all season long with a super-eco wax and not go broke.  That’s a winner in our book.  Racer-types and wax-gurus will want to up their game to the GI series for the best slick feeling on snow if they’re willing to trade off and use a paraffin (petroleum-based) wax.

Price:
$17.00 / 50 grams or $34.00 / 150 grams

The N8 series appears to be based on the Ultimate wax (it feels and smells nearly identical), but apparently includes additives and reformulated ratios to produce several temperature ranges.  We found the N8 series tends to be a little less gummy when scraping, and runs a bit faster.  The cooler range N8 series tends to last longer as well, being harder when cooled after waxing.  This series is a little more expensive, but offers the medium and cool temp ranges, which you want in your waxing quiver.  When scraping the N8 cool series, it produces a nearly brittle, powder-like residue, leaving a hard wax surface behind to polish and brush.  Sharpen your plastic scraper for best results.

We found having the Ultimate wax for general usage, and some N8 cool formula covered nearly all our waxing needs for a season (unless we wanted to get racy and use the GI 1000 or 2000 formulas for maximum speed).  Neither the Ultimate or N8 waxes left our bases whitened after running on cold-hard surfaces like some waxes can.

Price:
$24.95 / 50 grams or $43 / 3 pack (cold, cool, warm, 50 grams each)

GI 1000 and GI 2000 Race Waxes

For top speed performance across most snow conditions, a paraffin (petroleum) -based wax seems to be something nearly all wax formulators start with as a base, introducing specialty additives and top-coat treatments as finishing touches.  Green Ice has two levels of  paraffin wax: GI 1000 and Gi 2000 at increasing price points.

GI 1000 is the all-purpose, general usage wax available in a full range of temperatures of cold, cool and warm.  It contains no fluorocarbons.  This one feels most like a “traditional” civilian wax like Swix, Toko or Holmenkol in the way it goes on and the way it skis.  We found it works really well, and lasts a bit longer than the Ultimate or N8 series of waxes, but doesn’t have the full “eco-factor” we enjoyed with them. It’s really a nice wax, but doesn’t have a super-standout feature other than being small-batch, non-fluorocarbon and very affordable from a small workshop.

Price:
$17 / 50 grams, $34 /150 grams, $40 / 3 pack (cold, cool, warm 50 grams each)

GI 2000 is Green Ice’s race wax. This one is more expensive, but really runs fast across a wide range of snow temperatures and granularities.  There is a significant improvement in sliding performance and durability with the GI 2000 wax over the GI 1000 series, and you pay 3 times as much for it.  Green Ice Wax has a number of racers across the spectrum who podium with the GI 2000 waxes, and since there are plenty of wax choices out there, most racers stick with waxes they can win on.  That says something about the GI 2000 waxes.  The thing we noticed about the GI 2000 waxes was the more refined way they finished off with a cork or brush, leaving a low-friction surface that ran nice and fast for nearly an entire day, even with changing snow conditions.

Rich tells us the GI 2000 series is the best-selling wax in his lineup, which is interesting since it’s the most expensive.  At $45 for a 50 gram block, enthusiasts across the spectrum (besides us) must really like the product.  We found the GI 2000 was the wax for “those special days” when we wanted the best glide we could find in the waxing box, or we wanted to impress people with how Green Ice Wax can run.  When we tested skis like the exotic Carpani SL, Northland carvers or Parlor Warbirds, we chose the GI 2000 wax to get these high-performance, race-infused skis to really shine, and returned them with a nice coat of the GI 2000 to impress the next skiers who took them out for some runs.

Price:
$45 / 50 grams or $90 / 150 grams or $90 / 3 pack (cold, cool, warm)

Cons:

Every product has some drawbacks if you look hard enough.  With Green Ice Wax, we found the Ultimate formula would not work in frigid temperature snows well at all.  In one sub-zero testing day, we actually had to remove the Ultimate wax using base cleaner and reapply a cold-specific layer of GI 1000 we had with us.  The Ultimate is too soft for the snow crystals at -5 to -10 degrees F air temperature.  The skis were simply doggy and did not want to slide well.  You can reproduce this behavior if you wax with any soft, warm weather wax on a subzero, frigid day.  While the Ultimate wax is described as a “universal” wax, it really works well only above 10 degrees F (in our opinion), so we would recommend a revision to the Green Ice description for this product to reflect our experiences.

The other issue we found was the Ultimate and N8 warm formulas (not the cool/cold formulas) could produce a slightly “gummy” effect when doing a first scrape of a ski.  The friction of scraping can soften the rough wax layer enough to cause a gummy residue to pile up on the scraper instead of peeling off a nice shaving of rough wax you can brush away.  Aggressive corking of a thick layer of Ultimate or N8 warm formulas can produce the same effect.  We found using the scraper slowly reduced this behavior, and finally settled on scraping the gross wax layer off the ski while still warm, then finishing the scraping job with regular scraping motions after a cool-down period.  The paraffin-based GI 1000 and 2000 series waxes had no such issues.

Pros:

We really liked the biodegradable composition of the Green Ice Ultimate and N8 waxes, and the no-fluorocarbon characteristics of the entire series.  We hear the “no-flouro”  or “low-flouro” wax products from nearly every other wax manufacturer are selling well, and with regulatory restrictions on fluorocarbon waxes coming from governments and schools around the World, it may be the future of wax chemistry going forward.

The aroma of the Ultimate and N8 waxes is nearly sweet, and makes the shop smell nice…a far cry from the traditional paraffin-based wax smell we’ve all grown accustomed to.  The waxes also spread nicely and controllably at fairly low temperatures with an iron.

Bottom Line:

The performance and durability of the Green Ice waxes keeps us coming back for more.  If the wax didn’t work well, we’d get rid of it since there is no reason to use waxes that don’t make you happy.  There are plenty of choices out there, so ditching one brand of wax for another is a no-brainer if it doesn’t work well.  We also like the idea of using a wax from a small company to use on skis from small companies…but that’s just a weird quirk we have here at ExoticSkis.com.

We choose Green Ice Wax for our test skis so we get a really nice performing wax with eco-friendly formulations from a small company.  Green Ice Wax is one of the small wax companies everyone should have on their radar.

We’d be curious to have people compare other eco-friendly waxes with Green Ice Wax and let us know how they work for different conditions ranging from filthy Spring snow to fresh, cold smoke powder and everything in-between.  We applaud the big wax companies like Swix, Toko, Hertel, Holmenkol and Dominator now offering “biodegradable” and “eco-friendly” wax product lines, we encourage skiers and riders to seek out low environmental-impact waxes from small companies like Green Ice.

Here’s a starter list of small companies offering eco-friendly or lower-environmental impact waxes:

 

 Green Ice GI 2000 Race Wax Tri-pack (cold, cool, warm)

 

Advertisements

Fluorocarbon Waxes to be Banned in the Ski Industry

A few years ago, European ski companies spread the word that perfluorocarbon (commonly referred to as “fluoro”) waxes will be banned from the industry. However, little to no change has come from the result of this announcement. Large companies continue to produce, promote, and sell fluoro waxes to the public and professional technicians. Just recently, FIS and EU announced that perfluorocarbons in wax will be banned as of the year 2020. The USSA is expected to follow suit[1]. Ski resorts have taken their own initiatives, with various cross country resorts banning fluorocarbon waxes on their trails.

Green Ice Wax, being a pioneer in producing non-fluoro race wax for the past 7 years has reported on the dangers of fluorocarbon waxes in prior blog entries. The top three are listed below:

  1. Application of such wax under high heat can cause the breakdown of the fluorocarbon molecules such that they can be absorbed in human tissue through inhalation. Ski technicians who use fluoro wax constantly have been found to have up to 50 times more fluoro in their system[2].
  2. Early research suggested large molecules such as fluoro were inert and did not pose any threats to human health. New research from the EPA found that microorganisms have been able to breakdown these complex molecules into toxic particles[3].
  3. The environment has been negatively affected by fluorocarbon in the water, land and air. The breakdown of large molecules and the precursors used to manufacture fluorocarbons in wax have been found in food, human blood and milk.  Aquatic life has also been affected as fish, seals and sea birds have been found to contain toxic molecules associated with fluorocarbons. Recently, New Jersey became the first state to set hard caps on perfluorocarbons that have been found in drinking water[4].  Scientists postulate that streams and rivers have carried these toxins from the mountains into the surrounding the oceans and reservoirs as the snow melts at season’s end.  Finally, the production of fluorocarbon used in ski and snowboard wax contributes to greenhouse gases and global warming[5].

Let’s be proactive and follow Europe’s decision to phase out fluorocarbons in our ski waxes.

Visit www.greenicewax.com for more information on fluorocarbon-free race waxes, biodegradable waxes and accessories.

 

 

  1. VARA Coaches ED Forum October 2018
  2. https://blog.greenicewax.com/2013/02/10/dangers-of-fluorocarbons/
  3. https://blog.greenicewax.com/2012/06/14/effects-of-fluorocarbons-in-ski-wax-on-humans-and-the-environment/
  4. “Dangerous Chemicals limits set for Drinking Water” Russ Zimmer Asbury Park Press 11/4/17
  5. https://blog.greenicewax.com/2016/10/23/cutting-out-fluoro-wax-can-help-reduce-greenhouse-gases/

Why do world cup skiers need so many pairs of skis?

On February 21st, 2018, the New York Times published an article by Bill Pennington titled “Why Mikaela Shiffrin Brought 35 Pairs of Skis to the Olympics”. The article describes the difficulties and reasons surrounding professional skiers and their quivers. Sparked by the interest in this seemingly over-preparedness, Green Ice Wax interviewed Olympic athlete Cristian Javier Simari Birkner of Argentina. The top 6 reasons are outlined in this article:

  1. Wax Preparation – Technicians prepare skis for race day with their own special recipes. They prep each base with various layers of wax based on expected snow temperature, humidity, snow type, etc. This process requires time. In order to prepare for sudden changes, technicians will prepare identical skis with different recipes and make the final call before the start.
  2. Base Structure – With recent advancements in equipment, technicians can apply various structures to the base of the ski in addition to wax. Similar to a car tire, different structures will perform better under certain conditions. Wet snow melts faster under a ski than dry, icy snow. A deep base structure will allow the snow to flow more easily (less friction) as the water passes. Keep in mind, the ski does not ride on snow. Instead, the friction between the base and the ground melts the snow into water. The water droplets then travel through the grooves set up by the technician in an effort to reduce drag.
  3. Dimensions – This might be the most obvious for those of us who have competed in the past. Each event requires a different ski to best execute the turns. That automatically means at least 4 sets of skis are required even before considering preparation and preference. On the short side you have slalom skis and on the longer side is downhill. Giant Slalom and Super-G fall in the middle. Below is a chart of the length and radius (turn diameter) of skis as established by FIS, the regulating body of all things ski racing.

    Event

    Men’s Length (cm) Men’s Radius (m) Women’s Length (cm)

    Women’s Radius (m)

    Slalom

    165

    155

    Giant Slalom

    195 35 188

    30

    Super G 210 45 205

    40

    Downhill 218 50 210

    50

  4. Stiffness – Again it comes back to the snow conditions. With aggressive snow (think Vail or Aspen), a softer ski would be more preferable. This is relative of course, as most skis on the circuit would be stiff compared to the average skier. When the snow is less aggressive, skiers prefer a stiffer ride (think Alta Badea, Italy)
  5. Edge Preparation – That thin sheet of metal along the side of the ski is essential to performance. At 90 degrees, the base edge would blend in with the base of the ski. Because steel does not glide as easily as the plastic base, this would hinder performance (besides the fact you’d constantly catch an edge). The side angle is a whole story in itself. Most of it comes down to preference. Angles change based on the consistency and grip of the snow. The trick comes down to tuning the proper setting for race day and deciding how aggressive an angle is required. Skiers typically have different setting for each event.
  6. Binding Placement – The position of the boot on the ski can aid the athlete when it comes to initiating turns. The further forward (to a certain point) will give the the athlete an advantage when it comes to initiating turns. This proves advantageous in older, less aggressive snow conditions.

By looking at just these 6 reasons, it becomes obvious why world cup athletes come prepared with over 30 pairs to the Olympics. After years of hard work, the athletes expect their equipment to be flawless (or close to it). With all the responsibility, it seems like the technicians might have the hardest job of any ski racer!!

Skiing and Riding on Artificial Snow Surfaces

Numerous ski areas across Europe and the Mid-East make winter sports available to athletes year round with the use of artificial snow surfaces. These regions experience little to no snow annually, making snow sports virtually impossible prior to the introduction of these man-made slopes. These regions include regions such as England, with more rain than snow, and have recently made their appearance in the United States. Below is a cross section and overview of the surface used to simulate a snow covered hill.

Artificial snow surfaces are gaining popularity in Virginia, Michigan and Connecticut. With the growing unpredictability of winter storms, these resorts are looking to expand beyond just the winter season. Green Ice Wax’s chemist paid a visit to a Connecticut facility to check out it out for himself. He found a surface comprised of plastic and containing silicone embedded in the polymer. The silicone reduces the friction and allows the ski or board to slide more freely.

“The material is quite hard and will be abrasive on skies or boards. However, the material’s ‘finger like’ design allows the skier to turn on edge.” – The Chemist

These resorts recommend that skiers and riders wear long sleeve shirts and long pants with elbow and knee pads , as well as gloves to protect in case of a fall. The hill also requires preparation to make for a smooth and cushioned ride. There are three layers of material under the snow surface. Two layers of a felt material which sandwich a plastic mesh and are then screwed into place on the hill.

fake snow 3

Since the plastic creates a coarse surface, riding on it generates high amounts of friction, and thus heat. Waxing skis will not totally protect the base, but will help performance on the hill. It is recommended to use a hard wax such as Green Ice Wax 1000 Cold. Be prepared for a damaged base, regardless of the quantity or hardness of the wax.

Artificial snow surfaces provide skiing and riding all year round. Racers can use the practice hill to increase stamina and muscle memory. The resort gains an advantage to start the snow ski season earlier as less snow will be required to cover the hill; there is no grass or rough terrain to cover.

Powder Ridge Mountain

Powder Ridge Mountain Resort

Anyone with experience on an artificial slope is welcome to leave us a comment! Let us know what you think and how your bases fared after a day on the (fake) snow!!

Green Ice Wax supplies Marhar Snowboards

Green Ice Wax is proud to supply Marhar Snowboards with our highest performing wax for their entire line of production boards.

After extensive testing, Marhar selected our GI 2000 over several of the top-brand waxes. Ease of application, effortless scraping, minimal brushing, and most of all, durability were the deciding factors. Green Ice Wax just didn’t oxidize like the other waxes, and therefore easily passed the time test.

Marhar is a forward thinking company whose boards feature eco-friendly bamboo, an easily renewable resource. So, naturally an environmentally conscious wax company like Green Ice was a perfect match. Responsible decision making, quality design, and hard work have made Marhar one of the fastest growing snowboard companies on the market.

We are excited to announce this partnership between these two American companies, Marhar Snowboards and Green Ice Wax.

This relationship is going downhill fast.

 

marhar

False claims exist throughout ski wax business

The backbone of most ski/board wax is paraffin or micro-crystalline wax. Although these waxes are non-hazardous, they are long chain polymers produced from petroleum. They are not known to be biodegradable.

Recently, some wax companies are touting their micro-crystalline wax as biodegradable. We find this misleading to consumers looking to reduce their carbon footprint. The only true biodegradable waxes are made from renewable resources (i.e. plants).  For years, many skiers and riders have been reluctant to use these waxes. Green Ice sought to tackle the challenge by developing a higher performance biodegradable wax. We determine the wax’s effectiveness by its ability to reduce static friction created by the base on the snow. The product can be made as hard or soft as required through formula adjustment and thus effective on all snow conditions.

In order to improve performance of wax, formulators mix a variety of additives to the micro-crystalline base. The most common of these additives is fluorocarbons. As mentioned in previous GI wax blogs, these additives can be hazardous to the applicator’s health if protective equipment is not used. It has also been determined in earlier EPA reports that fluorocarbons can be broken down to smaller molecules which get in our streams and rivers and eventually fish.

Other additives like graphite and molybdenum are used for dirty snow conditions. They are believed to repel dirt. Graphite is a type of carbon black which is known to contain carcinogens, while molybdenum is a transition metal similar to chromium. Both these compounds cannot be considered biodegradable or eco-friendly. GI wax also uses and additive to improve performance in  GI1000 and 2000, however, this additive is safer during the application process and significantly more eco-friendly.

GI Ultimate, Paste and N8** product lines solve both the initial and secondary issues. The wax is 100% biodegradable and reduces static friction significantly as compared to its predecessors.

It is GI’s contention that buyers beware that not all ski wax is biodegradable safe and eco-friendly. Therefore, consider GI wax for your next wax purchase.

 

* N8 is a brand produced by Green Ice Wax for Nate Holland,. x games gold winner in snowboard cross

** Results of cross country skiing both racing and recreational produced by Carters XC ski resort, Bethel Maine.

A case for custom foot beds

You just purchased new ski boots and spent more money than you anticipated. Now you think to yourself “Should I have custom foot beds made?”.

According to master boot fitter Greg Pier of Heino’s Ski and Cycle in Pequannock Township, NJ, there are three important reasons for custom foot beds ; performance, comfort, and reduction of fatigue.

All ski boots have foot beds inside the liner. They are designed for simple support and comfort for everyone.

.default-foodbeds

(Standard ski boot liner from the manufacturer. Flat sole with minimal arch)

A custom foot bed is molded to an individual’s foot. Since everyone’s foot is different, a custom foot bed will give maximum support.

custom-footbd

(Custom heat molded foot bed. Arch is higher and heel enhanced)

  1.  Performance.

It is important to understand that boot manufacturers design the hard shell plastic boot to a neutral foot. But who has a neutral foot?   The concept is for the skier’s foot to be in a neutral position to achieve perfect balance. “The skier’s center of gravity should be poised to react to varying terrain, speed and obstacles. “ * If a skier’s weight is out of alignment in the boot, it is more difficult to find the balance point. A custom foot bed will position the foot in the boot to help achieve a neutral, balanced position and thus improve performance on the snow.

  1.  Comfort

Since the hard shell plastic boot is designed for a neutral foot, custom foot beds will position the skier to a neutral position. It will adjust one’s stance so there is no pressure at any point in the boot and thus no pain.

For example, 90% of the population’s ’ankles roll inward (called pronation). This causes the arch to collapse, putting pressure on the inside ankle once in the boot.  Custom foot beds will correct the ankle roll making the boot more comfortable.

  1. Fatigue.

All of us have felt fatigue upon standing all day. We also know which shoes are better for standing, as they tend to have more support. Well, the same is true for ski boots. More support equals less tired feet. And when our feet are happy, we can ski longer and enjoy the mountain and thrill of skiing longer!

* interview with Greg Pier 10/19/16 by Green Ice Wax

Cutting out fluoro wax can help reduce greenhouse gases

Recently, 200 nations joined together to reduce hydofluorocarbon (HFC) gases. HFC is considered one of the most potent greenhouse gas. It is 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the most well-known culprit in the increasing levels of greenhouse gases. The main use of HFC is refrigerants, aerosols, and foams. Countries, including the USA and China, have agreed to various deadlines to reduce the use of these gases produced as a result of human activity.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry said “It is a monumental step forward.” The US and Europe have committed to cut the use of these harmful gases incrementally, starting with a 10% reduction by 2019 and reaching 85% by 2036. By reducing the HFC gases, a climate change of approximately 0.5°C (or 0.9°F) rise in temperature by 2100 can be avoided.

As skiers and riders, we can do our part to reduce this greenhouse gas by eliminating using fluorocarbon waxes. HFCs are precursors and by-products of the fluorocarbons used in ski and snowboard wax. Fortunately, there are alternative additives for wax to keep it fast. Green Ice Wax has been using these alternative, ecofriendly additives in its race wax series now for 4 years. The wax is endorsed by Travis Ganong, Olympiad and US professional downhill ski racer. The waxes have been used successfully by professionals and collegiate racers for some time.

European Race Professionals told Green Ice Wax that fluoro-based ski wax will soon be banned in Europe. So let’s all do our part and be proactive to stop the depletion of the ozone layer, which shields the earth from harmful UV rays from the sun, by switching our race wax to a non-fluoro wax, GI2000. (Available at www.greenicewax.com)

 

New York Post, “Nearly 200 Nations Agree to Cut Greenhouse Gases” Reuters, Oct 15, 2015

Using infrared heat to wax skis and snowboards 

Remember ROYGBIV, the colors of the rainbow? Well, light is composed of electromagnetic radiation having various wavelengths. The red color has the longest wavelength of the visible spectrum (the distance between the peak of one wave to that of the next). There are other types of electromagnetic radiation that we cannot see.  For example, microwave, which has a relatively long wavelength compared to visible light. This radiation is used for cooking, thus the name microwave ovens. Wavelengths in between the red color and microwaves are called infrared. These wavelengths are usually emitted by heat producing objects such as outdoor heat lamps found at bars and restaurants.

Infrared (IR) technology is used in night vision, heating, cooking, wireless communication such as garage door openers and weather forecasting. Recently, doctors have suggested using IR lamps to help alleviate joint pain, muscle strains, skin rashes and other issues relating to eyes, nose, ears and sinuses. “This heat and other light frequencies improve circulation, hydration, oxygenation and often disable or weaken harmful microorganisms.”¹ IR heat penetrates deeply below the skin making it a highly effective technique.

For some time, ski technicians have been investigating and discussing the use of IR heating to apply wax. In fact, Reichmann (manufacturer of tuning and wax equipment) has introduced the Wall Speed system. It is a compact waxing machine which utilizes infrared heaters to insure a gentile but also intensive treatment. They claim the base is able to absorb more wax, which penetrates deeper and therefore increases service life.²

The GI team has investigated using IR heat instead of an iron using the follow method:

Equipment:

 A standard 250 watt reddish heat lamp by FEIT $10-15 and clamp on lamp socket $10 -$20

infrared-bulbinfrared-light

Green Ice Wax GI 2000 warm safe and eco-friendly ski and snowboard wax available at www.greenicewax.com

pink-wax

Standard waxing nylon and horsehair brushes also available at www.greenicewax.com

 nylon-brush

Procedure:

Apply the wax to a previously cleaned ski by rubbing the wax on the base making sure the entire ski wax covered. Remove the excess wax with a soft clean cloth.

Turn on the lamp and allow it to heat up. Hold the lamp approximately 2-3 inches above the wax applied base. Allow the wax to melt and flow. As the wax melts move the lamp down the ski until the whole ski surface was treated.

Allow the wax to harden and cool.

Brush with a nylon and horsehair brush.

Observations:

The temperature of the base did not exceed the melt temperature of the wax. In this case 120°F as measured with an Infrared thermometer.

Some advantages noted were that the base temperature could not overheat as the wax flowed evenly and was allowed to penetrate deeply. The temperature was consistent unlike like that of an iron’s temperature which fluctuates during application. Also since the lamp is held over the base, there is no contact and thus no chance to compromise the base material. The technique is fast as scrapping is not required and is safe because the wax does not fume.

 

This technique is not commonly used yet and is still under investigation as to its performance and durability. However, based on the experience of the GI team, it is worth further investigation and has promise as a clear choice for waxing skis and snowboards in the future. Green Ice Wax is an excellent of wax for infrared application as it has a low melting point and excellent flow characteristics.

See www.greenicewax.com 

 

1. “Single Red Heat Lamp Therapy”, Dr. Lawrence Wilson, Nov 15, LD Wilson Consulting, Inc.

2. Reichmann Ski and Board Tuning. Reichmann’s Wall Speed equipment http://www.reichmann-skiservice .com

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding Base Structure

A very important aspect of a ski/board base is its structure. Recall from , a board or ski does not slide on snow, it rides on water. As the base moves over the snow, the energy from the friction melts the snow. The base then rides over a small pool of water. The water then re-freezes after the base has passed. Therefore just as a car’s tires has threads, a ski or board should have structure to allow the water to flow unrestricted.

Most interesting, not all skis or boards have structure. Usually, a new ski has a structure out of the factory; however as people have their skis tuned, the structure may gradually fade if disregarded. In the back room of a ski shop, tuning machines have the ability to remove and apply structure. To remove structure, skis are driven over a sanding belt. To apply structure they are driven over a stone grinder, which has been cut with a diamond to apply a pattern to the ski.

When an economical tune is applied, a fine sanding belt maybe used as the last step, thus eliminating any structure. A racer or high performance tune is usually finalized with the stone grind, which imbeds a new structure to the ski /board. (See photo).

There are many technicians that believe that the structure is the most important part of the tuning and should not be overlooked. A good structure will not only provide speed but better control. Be sure that your tune up includes a base structure!

Well Structured Base
structured base

Unstructured Base
unstructured base

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements