Tag Archives: snowboard

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

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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

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DemoDon’s XC Wax Review

demodon

As most skiers and racers understand, wax is most critical in Nordic skiing. Although speed is most important, it is necessary to be able to grip the snow when traveling up hill. While on the snow, cross country skiers will encounter various snow conditions. It is not uncommon to have soft snow in sunny areas and ice condition on the top of the course or trail.

Three advantages of using DemoDon’s Cross Country ski wax (made by Green Ice Wax) in the words of a Green Ice athlete are:

1. Skis run fast. Along with speed comes less effort to skiing.
2. They continue to run fast in the last half of the race or later in the day when other skiers had collected dirty skis with fluoro based wax. DemoDon’s wax stayed clean.
3. The kick wax, which is a tacky wax applied under the foot area of the ski, gripped well when stepping down and broke free to glide when speeding up again. This is critical as skiers do not want their wax to hold them back once they are back in the speed mode again.

DemoDon’s XC wax is available in a universal temperature, biodegradable glide and tack wax along with fluoro-free racer series designed for three different snow temperature conditions.

See http://www.greenicewax.com

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Tips for powder skiing

trav powder

You wake up on Tuesday morning and found 10 inches of fresh POW fell overnight. What do you do?

  1. Call in sick to work
  2. Break out the powder skis
  3. Rush to the mountain

Why a powder ski?

These skis are designed to keep the skiing on top of the snow. Depending on the type of powder ski, they can offer agility and maneuverability. They resemble water skis in shape, with a noticeably rockered nose to provide lift over the fresh snow. Their large width allows the ski to float over deep snow. They are usually fat, meaning having a waist of greater than 100mm and have reverse camber (the waist sits at the lowest point).

Now that you are at the mountain and geared up, make sure you understand the mountain terrain and understand the dangers associated with skiing on un-groomed terrain. Skiing powder has a different feel and does not behave the same as groomed trial, although the adrenaline rush of floating on the snow and the powder flying by makes it all worthwhile.

Here are some tips to ski powder.

  1. Maintain your balance. Keep equal pressure on both skis. Devin, a Green Ice Wax brand rep says “make a platform with your skis keeping weight distributed 50/50 over each ski” Keep the skis close together about shoulder width apart.
  2. Keep your hands up with your elbows in front of your torso. Do not lean back as you will lose balance.
  3. Keep your head up and do not pressure your edges as you normally would on groomed terrain. This will cause the one ski to dip further in the snow than the other.
  4. Maintain speed to keep from sinking and steer the skis into the fall line as you go down the mountain.
  5. Wax your skis. Powder tends to be more granular then groomed snow. The sharper the snow crystals, the more the need for wax. A sharp structure will cause more friction. Green Ice Wax makes safe and eco-friendly ski and snowboard wax which is long lasting and stands up to the rough shape of fresh “POW”.

 

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A guide to snowboard waxing for summer storage

 

It’s always a sad day when the snowboarding season comes to an end, knowing during those last few runs, through muddy slush, it will be nearly half a year before you get to board again. With next season in mind, before you break out the mountain bikes, surfboard, wakeboard or whatever it is you do during the summer months, you need to store your gear properly. That means spending a little time snowboard waxing for summer storage.

Snowboard waxing for summer storage image by Green Ice

Now, I don’t want to sound too much like your mum telling you to clean your room but if you don’t take the time to store your gear correctly then you’re going to pay for it down the line. Dry bases, rusted edges, delamination and loss of camber can all happen when you toss your board in the garage or shed over the summer. And it really only takes a few minutes to give it the necessary protection. A thick, sloppy coat of good quality wax is all it takes to keep your kit in top condition. Here’s how to do it.

 

Snowboard waxing for summer storage

I use Green Ice Wax for snowboard waxing for summer storage1. Give the base a good clean. At the end of the season the snow can get quite dirty and a lot of that filth will find its way onto your board and into the pores. I personally use a home made citrus cleaner (all you need is some citrus fruit skins, white vinegar and 2 weeks ‘brewing’) as its eco-friendly. You can buy a cheap environmentally friendly citrus cleaners online if you don’t fancy making it yourself. Just use an old rag to work the board and keep going until it is clean.

2. This is an optional step that I tend to skip and really depends how dirty your board is. If like me you don’t live in resort so most seasons you don’t ride until the last day then you can probably skip it. To help further clean the board apply a normal amount of mid-temp wax evenly across the board but scrape it off while it is still hot, you will notice oily residue in the wax scraping.

3. Using a hydrocarbon wax, cover the entire surface of the base. Use a soft, iron-on wax and then let it cool without scraping. This kind of snowboard waxing for summer storage will hold the moisture in the base and prevent it from drying out.

snowboard waxing for summer storage image by Green Ice Wax

4. Cover the edges with wax. You might already have enough wax on you board from the first application, but if not, slap a bit more on and make sure it is adhering to the steel. The aim is to prevent the steel oxidizing (that’s rusting to you and me) as once this process starts it can work its way further and further into the board, where even filing won’t be able to stop it.

5. Cover your bindings as much as possible, using some old plastic bags (let’s think about the environment here a little) and tape down to the surface of the board. Remember that stopping air getting in is the key.

6. Store all your gear in a dry and clean place, away from the damp and excessive heat if possible, so common storage spots such as a basement or loft should be avoided. And remember to have a check every now and then over the summer. The last thing you want is to get all excited about the new seasons only to find your board rusted and un-ridable on the morning of your first shred next season.

What snowboard wax do I use?

I use Green Ice Wax for snowboard waxing for summer storage

I like to use Green Ice Wax because its been specifically designed to be environmentally friendly and protect the health of the user and the planet – I am not a full on tree hugger but there is certainly a bit of an eco-warrior in me. Seriously though,  when you can, it’s always best to use environmentally friendly products with the fewest nasty chemicals possible. After all, if you wouldn’t rub it on your skin, why rub it on your board?

Green Ice Wax is fast, safe and comes in a range of products proven to work in any conditions. And if you need any further proof that Green Ice snowboard waxing for summer storage is a good choice, then the fact pro boarder Nate Holland and pro freeride skier Chris Davenport swear by it should suffice.

You can find out more and order Green Ice wax by visiting their website: www.greenicewax.com

Author: Luke, SnowboardingHolidays.net

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Preparing for the Off-season

It’s that time of the year. We have changed our clocks and spring has begun. Mountain road bikes replace skis and snowboards. But before putting your equipment in the garage for the summer, remember properly stowing your equipment will make for a much easier transition come fall. The base is made of a plastic, which dries out over time. The steel edges will rust and pit, and the bindings can “gum up” and stick. In order to preserve your equipment’s integrity, it is recommended that you prepare your investments in the off season. We have put together five simple steps to protect your skis/board in the off season.

1. Wax the ski or board with a soft hydrocarbon wax. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the base. A soft iron-on wax like our GI HC warm or rub –on like our GI FE are of the best choices. Let the wax cool without scraping. Leaving a coat this coat of wax on the base for the summer will hold moisture in the plastic and keep the base from drying out.

2. Cover the edges with wax. If you used enough wax in step one the base, the edge will already have a decent amount of wax on it. To cover the remainder of the edge, rub the wax bar along the side edge. Be sure the wax is adhering to the steel. This will prevent oxygen from oxidizing with the steel edge, forming rust. If the edge rusts, the rust can begin to penetrate further into the steel. At this point, tuning and filing will not remove the rust causing a burr to remain on the edge.

3. Put the skis together using ski straps. If you do not have straps, a soft cloth wrapped with tape will suffice. This will keep the bases from rubbing against each other.

4. Cover the bindings. If you are looking to go the eco-friendly route (and we hope you do), find some used paper or plastic shopping bags to cover the bindings. Fix the bags to the skis with some tape. If you do not have any bags, plastic wrap from a local grocery store will suffice.

5. Store your equipment in a dry, clean area until next season.

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Three Reasons to Have Your Ski Boots Properly Fitted

Ski boots are notorious for being uncomfortable foot wear. Well they do not have to be if you chose the proper boot and have it fitted. Here are three reasons why a correct fitted boot is needed to ski properly.

1   Comfort. Boots must be comfortable if you plan on spending any time on the hill skiing. Just as any       footwear, ski boots come in different sizes. Typically your ski boots size not your shoe size. It is usually smaller. A good boot fitter measures your foot as to how it fits in the ski boot shell (see photo). With your toes touching the front of the boot shell (without the liner). The fitter determines how much room is between the heel of the shell and your heel. This length is determined based on the skier’s ability. A racer wants the tightest boot possible and will sacrifice some comfort. Just as good shoes come in width sizes (A through triple E), so do ski boots. Their width is called last. However, not every model ski boot come indifferent lasts. So you may not be able to get a specific brand and model if it does not come in your size.

Boot Shell, Liner, Footbed

2. Control. If a boot does not fit your foot snuggly and your foot slides either front to back or side to side, you will not have proper control over your ski. The movement in the boot is magnified by the length of the ski so when you put pressure to make a turn there is a loss of control as your foot slides before pressuring the ski. The best way to understand this is think that that your foot, boot, binding and ski all act as one unit.

3. Performance. High performance ski boots are quite stiff. Typically measured by the flex or pressure needed for the skier to lean forward on the front of the ankle.  Flex is determined by a relative number typically 80-150, the higher the number, the stiffer the boot.  The flex you need is dependent upon your strength, weight and ski ability. A racer uses a flex of 130- 150. Here again improper flex will affect performance. Too much flex will inhibit the ski from turning. Too little flex will not distribute the pressure properly again reducing performance.  

Flex

Once the best boot is chosen, there are many ways a boot fitter can make then comfortable without sacrificing control or performance. Boots can be modified by spreading, grinding and adjusting to remove pinch points. Boots should fit tightly but not hurt or cut off circulation in the foot. Many boot liners are moldable to the foot. They are heated prior to being placed in the shell or on the foot. They are allowed to cool which the foot is in the boot.

Recently, boot manufacturers came out with moldable ski boot shells. The shell is made of a plastic which is softened by heating. Once soft, the boot, including liner, is put on. A cold pack is placed around the boot followed by a pressurized pack. It is then allowed to harden in place and thus mold to the foot. The manufacturer of this technique calls it “Vacuum Fit” which is a bit confusing as the technique utilizes pressure (the opposite of vacuum).

Custom foot beds are a good choice. The foot beds are molded to the foot giving support to the arch and heel. Custom foot beds will help keep the foot in a neutral position giving the skier more control and comfort.

It is critical to choose a boot that fits snuggly without pain and whose stiffness matches the skier’s ability. Just remember a good boot fitter can adjust the fit of the boot as necessary to be comfortable, maintain control and achieve the best performance.  

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Nate Holland’s Gold Medal Run

Here is a video of Nate Holland’s gold medal run at the 2014 X-Games shot from a GoPro boot mount. Congratulations Nate! Nate’s Signature Series wax is availabe on the Green Ice Wax website.

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