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Word From The Wax Bench...

Supporting Your Skier (and other spectating tips)

I’m not what you would call a sporty person. Unless it is a race to the nearest bookstore, baby animal, or worst possible scenario, I’m unlikely to go anywhere in a hurry. I didn’t really even attend any sporting events in my youth unless you count the Ice Capades.

When I met Chris, he was an alpine skier and coach and canoe instructor. While I  do remember becoming pretty fond of canoeing (probably because you can sit down while doing it), I can’t remember once going to one of his college ski races. I just greeted the clunky Northland College van when it arrived back on campus and helped the students pile out with all of their gear.

A few years later, Chris had taken up cross country skiing and racing. Continue reading Supporting Your Skier (and other spectating tips)

What’s in a Wave?

Elite skiers head up the powerline. Photo: Judy Krueger

Although I’ve never skied in any of the Birkie events, I’ve been involved somehow for over 20 years: as a reporter, photographer, spectator, support crew, and child wrangler. I’ve interviewed participants, watched them on the trail during the race, and listened to their stories in the shop after the events. Over the years, it has become very evident that each of the Birkie waves has a distinct personality. Have you noticed it while you were watching or as you were skiing? Continue reading What’s in a Wave?

Trail Report – 1/31/18

Ski Trails:

Our area had a brief warm-up last Friday. Trails glazed up a bit, but were otherwise undamaged. Sub-zero temps have since returned and groomers are busy renovating the trails. Cold temps are forecast for this week and trails should return to excellent condition shortly.

Birkie’s Easy Strider trail at OO – a low difficulty option for classic only. 1/16/18 Photo: Ned Zuelsdorff

The latest field notes from the Birkie team:

Tu, 1.30.18 – (1:00PM) – Today we took another pass grooming and tracking the Birkie Skate trail from American Birkebeiner TH to OO.  Birkie Ridge and the loops at OO were also groomed and tracked.  Great skiing on the loops at OO and north of OO!  Enjoy! Continue reading Trail Report – 1/31/18

Super Bowl Birkie!

If you haven’t seen this yet, The Birkie Bridge has made the trip to downtown Minneapolis for the 2018 Superbowl Festivities. Add to that nearly a kilometer of manmade snow and a Pisten Bully Groomer and you have the makings for a midwest-style winter party! Here, Birkie Director, Ben Popp, and John Munger with the Loppet Foundation give you the lowdown on ski and fat bike activities taking place around the bridge. And, don’t worry, the Mpls Friday melt did not affect Hayward; we have all of our snow, still.

The Birkie Bridge takes over downtown Minneapolis for Superbowl festivities.  Video: ABSF

It’s fitting that a part of the “Super Bowl of skiing” will be part of the “other” Super Bowl. We just ask one thing – PLEASE, PLEASE  bring it back to Hayward for the 2018 Birkie!

Birkie Fever, baby!  -Chris

Cold Protection, Part 2: Face and Eye Protection

Now that our hands and feet are cozy and comfortable, let’s talk about keeping our skin and eyes protected and safe from the elements. If you didn’t read part one of this article, you can find it here.

Eyewear

There were a couple of great comments by readers about how they keep their faces warm, and they both had to do with eye protection. Continue reading Cold Protection, Part 2: Face and Eye Protection

Simplify Your Fluoros and Save Your Skis!

Toko Wax is known for their simple and practical approach toward waxing and ski prep. Here, Ian Harvey, Toko US Brand Manager, reviews a universal fluoro application technique for Toko Jetstream Bloc based on extensive, on-snow testing.

Toko’s Ian Harvey explains simple and reliable Jetstream Bloc fluoro application.

Most importantly, Ian uses a  fiber buffer (aka “Fiberlene”) to protect the skis from overheating. Continue reading Simplify Your Fluoros and Save Your Skis!

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