Tag Archives: wax

Infrared Technology for Waxing Skis and Boards

Update of Green Ice Wax blog. (Using Infrared heat to wax skis and snowboards, 3 October 2016)

Innovation occurs everywhere around us from the release of 5G high speed internet to full electric vehicles. The world is constantly changing. When new technology is released, typically it is not cost effective or widely available. Take electric vehicles for example. Tesla unveiled the Roadster in the late 2000s for a list price in excess of $100,000 with a range of about 285 miles on a single charge. While this was the furthest a fully-electric vehicle could travel on a single charge, it was a 2 seater with a cost-prohibitive asking price that limited the sales. However, as time went on and the production volume increased, Tesla now produces a practical Model 3 sedan starting at $37,000! 

Examples of technological innovations in the ski industry are quite similar and ever-changing. When my son was a young USSA racer, “hot-boxing” was all the rage. This entailed the long process of heating a large oven, heavily waxing the base of the ski, and placing the skis in the oven for an extended period of time. Few technicians had the resources and time to execute the process, making it both cost-prohibitive and a logistical nightmare. Racers’ parents would drive hours to locations with the resources and pay exorbitant (in my opinion) amounts of money to “hot-box” their 10-year-old’s equipment. 

A new technique has now leached over into the ski racing industry, without the cost and overhead associated with traditional application techniques, like a “hot-box” oven. Using technology borrowed from other industrial applications, Infrared (IR) technology allows for the application of wax with a very focused beam of light invisible to the eye. This is the same technology that your conventional remote control uses to change the channel on your TV! The concentrated light raises the temperature of the base under a controlled setting, giving results similar to that of the “hot-box” method. Other benefits include not applying the heat source directly to the base or with varying temperature, as in the case of a typical waxing iron.

Paul O., a ski racer and avid user of GI2000 race wax, visited Hillcrest Ski and Sports in Gresham,OR to wax his race skis.  Hillcrest recently installed a Wintersteiger Infrared (IR) Waxing System. These IR systems are an extremely versatile, easy and cost effective means of applying race wax. Paul observed the process first hand, starting with the inital application of the wax accomplished by rubbing the bar of wax directly on the base. This puts a thin layer of wax on the base with little waste as compared to traditional techniques. 

Next comes the addition of the heat source. The ski base is placed on the waxing system, and the heat source is activated. Once the heat is applied and the base increases in temperature, the base absorbs the GI 2000 in its pores and increases the water-repellency and friction reduction properties of the ski. Once the base cools, the thin layer of wax can be removed using a sharp wax scraper much more easily as compared to waxing with an iron as there is significantly less excess wax.

Paul scraping the base after it cools
Infrared waxing system in action

Green Ice Wax’s observations:

  1. The temperature of the lamp is constant and thus there is no chance to overheat the base or wax
  2. There is no physical contact made during waxing between the heat source and the base
  3. Minimal effort when scraping off excess wax
  4. No fuming of the wax due to overheating

Paul’s observations:

  1. The wax went on really easy and minimal waste.
  2. The wax required little scrapes and only one pass with a rotobrush (brush applied to a drill for ease of use)
  3. The techs have been impressed with how easy the wax is to apply and scrape depsite using a high performance wax (as compared to fluorocarbons)
  4. . The machines are able to be programed to multiple wax applications such as a hot wax (similar to using a hot box)
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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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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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Green Ice Wax Endorses Nate Holland

Green Ice Wax introduces Nate Holland’s N8 wax. This wax is biodegradable and is available as a rub on and iron on wax. The eco-friendly aspect aligns closely with Nate Holland’s attitude towards preserving the envrionment. Nate Holland won 7 X Games gold medals in boarder cross, so he understands the importance of a high quality performance ski and board wax. The environmentally friendly wax is made from renewable resources such as plant waxes and oils. It helps reduce the carbon footprint by no longer using solvent, plastisizers or any petroleum by-products. These attributes eliminate the harmful effects on the user associated with applying iron-on waxing containing flurocarbons. More information on these harmful side effects can be found in our blog .

nate 2

“I’m excited to be a part of Green Ice Wax.  As an environmentally minded snowboarder, it is a pleasure to introduce a fast, biodegradable, earth friendly wax to the world.  I can’t wait to raise my board on the podium with Green Ice Wax shimmering on my base, knowing that I didn’t leave any toxic residue on the mountain.” – Nate Holland

More information on Green Ice Wax’s newest product line, N8, is available online at http://greenicewax.com/collections/signature-series.

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Pictures from the 2013 Season

This gallery includes pictures and photo edits from the 2012/13 ski and board season. Overall, the season was a great experience for us at Green Ice Ski Wax. We had the opportunity to travel around the country, promoting the new brand and its values. We were lucky enough to ski at countless resorts, ranging from Blue Hills in Massachusetts to Sun Valley in Idaho. We hope to post some more pictures in the future. Here’s a few for you all to enjoy. Also, please follow us on Instagram and Twitter, @greeniceskiwax. Thanks for the support.

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Wax Technology

It is always good to start with the basics. Skis or snow boards do not ride on snow! They ride on water. As a ski slides over snow, friction melts a thin layer of the snow, turning it into water over which your ski/board glides.  The water then re-freezes after the ski/board has passed, leaving a fresh track on the trail.

Ski/board’s bases are made of plastic (usually polyethylene) with a specially-designed structure.  This structure helps channel the water from the tip to the tail of the ski as you ski/ride down the hill. The idea here is to reduce the friction causing the ski to glide more easily and with less friction.  Less friction means more speed.

Wax is used to reduce this friction even further, and preserve the integrity and structure of the ski. Over the years, typical waxes have been made from paraffin wax (a product derived from petroleum).  As skiers became more conscious of the benefits of wax, wax formulators introduced additives into their products, such as fluorocarbons. These chemicals are excellent in reducing friction having a very low coefficient of friction. Overall, fluorocarbon waxes are great; however, they are dangerous to your health if you happen to breathe in the fumes during application. They hurt the environment, introducing fluorine into the snow.  As for high fluorinated waxes, most skiers will not even experience the full benefit of the wax because they are designed specifically for high-humidity snow conditions. Additionally, these waxes are very costly.

To combat these shortcomings of highly-fluorinated and potentially dangerous waxes, we borrowed a technology from the cosmetic industry.

This additive is not hazardous to your health and is more eco-friendly. Its coefficient of friction is very close to fluorocarbon, making it an excellent replacement additive. Both GI1K and 2K utilize this technology. The GI2K contains a highly advanced polymer which makes it more durable and longer lasting.

If you were wondering why waxes are made to perform at different temperature snow conditions, the reason is simple: The colder the snow, the harder the crystals. It is most beneficial to use a wax with a hardness matching that of the snow. Therefore, all Green Ice ski waxes have been formulated with differing levels of hardness.  If however, the snow conditions will be unknown, choose the middle temperature wax (18-28 degrees F) as this wax will suffice for most conditions a rider/skier experiences.

Green Ice 1K and 2K waxes have been proven to be very durable. They last longer than average fluorocarbon waxes and tend not to whiten the base of the board or ski. They perform well in all humidity conditions. Green ice 2K has excellent static and dynamic properties. There is minimal stick upon take off and your skis will glide over any terrain the mountain throws at you.

Finally our Green Ice Ultimate ski wax is 100% safe for the environment. We borrowed the plant waxes used in the automobile industry to create an environmentally friendly wax with plant bi-products as the only raw materials. Green Ice Ultimate uses absolutely no chemicals, solvents or plasticizers, only pure natural materials made from plants. Green ice Ultimate also incorporates a natural friction reducing additive, making it an excellent race wax or everyday recreational formula.

In summary:  Green Ice ski waxes are more durable and longer lasting. They work over a wide range of snow temperatures and in all humidity conditions.  They are also eco-friendly and do not require a respirator to make the application process safe.  Finally you will find them a cost effective wax solution for all skiing and riding levels.

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