– Judith Young, Softgoods Buyer at New Moon
Now that you know the “skin”-ny on skin skis, it’s probably a good time to learn about the various choices you have in skin ski treatments. Skin skis use a special “hair” pattern underfoot for grip, but the pattern can be prone to icing in moist snow conditions. If you can make a snowball and it doesn’t fall apart, use skin wax. When the temps drop, glide becomes the concern. The skin ski wax formulations New Moon offers reduce icing and enhance glide. They are simple to apply and can dramatically improve your experience with skin skis. Here’s an overview of the products we carry and how to differentiate them…
First, a quick note before we start: skin waxes use special, alcohol-based, adhesive-safe solvents to allow spray application possible. Most skin skis have removable skin strips to facilitate easy replacement. Due to the chemistry of the adhesives used is very important to use these skin-specific products. More traditional, liquid and paste waxes use petroleum-based solvents which can break down skin’s bond to the ski base; that is not cool. You’ve spent good money on your new skin skis and skiing time is priceless, right?! We agree, so, let’s do this the right way!
For the every-day, casual skier a more universal treatment is the way to go. Start’s Fluoro Skin Grip Ski Care, AKA Start Skin Spray, is an easy-to-use wax that prevents ice build-up and enhances glide. It can be used in temperatures from 5-41 degrees. 85ml. The Swix N12C Skin Wax is recommended for all temperatures, but is especially helpful on fresh, sticky snow around the freezing point. 150ml spray bottle.
More serious racers or those looking for higher performance from their skins should check out the new Swix Skin Care trio. These liquids are temperature specific so you can dial in your treatment.
The N17C Skin Care Cold was developed specifically to address friction reduction on fine-grained, crystalline, wind-blown snow. The Cold has a temp range of 14-28 degrees Fahrenheit. N17Z Skin Care Zero is ideal for the critical temperatures around the freezing point when snow begins to pack and ice on the skin fibers. 26-37 degrees Fahrenheit. For warmer, wetter snow types, try the N17W Skin Care Warm. Repels moisture and dirt. Great for late-season skiers. For conditions from 35-50 degrees Fahrenheit.
We also have a few pure fluoro options for high-level racers. All of these choices provide superb icing prevention in wet, sticky conditions.
Swix’s N2C Zero Pure Fluoro Spray is 100% fluoro to avoid icing on fresh, moist snow around freezing. Upside down applicator; 50ml.
Rex Hydrex Liquid is also a great option in this category. It serves as both a glide and kick wax “booster” and reduces icing underfoot. 40g pump spray.
Finally, the Toko Hel-X Pure Fluoro Liquid Spray (50ml) has become a popular race-caliber skin treatment and also allows temperature
specificity like the Swix Skin Care products. Use Yellow in 32-25 degrees F and 80-100% relative humidity; Red in 28-11 degrees F and 40-80% relative humidity; and Blue in 18-22 degrees F and 0-60% relative humidity.
Application is easy. Simply spray-on enough to wet the skin pattern and take your thumb or a cloth and gently wipe the excess from the skin. Be sure to go tip-to-tail as not to rough-up the hairs.
Some skin treatments are quite thin-bodied and clear. Others are a light paste, like the Start product above. Regardless, be sure to use only just enough to wet the hair fibers; over-application is of little added benefit. Pay close attention to see if excess wax is being purged from the skin as you wipe it down. If so, try using less next time.
And, do not forget to keep your bases clean with Swix Skin Cleaners. Use after skiing to restore function of the micro-hairs found on skin ski patterns. This is vital for good kick in a full range of snow conditions. Just like the skin waxes, spray on skin pattern and use cloth to wipe off excess from tip to tail. Allow drying time before re-applying skin wax treatments. Cleaners are especially important after skiing on dirty tracks to keep the skin gripping well and gliding fast! Two, 70ml spray options are offered – the N16 for day to day and recreational use and N18 “Pro Cleaner” for racing skis or deeper cleaning is needed.
Hold on a minute, what about hot waxing tips and tails for glide? Yes yes yes! Glide waxing tips and tails of a waxless skin ski is a great idea, and many using high-end skin skis will hot wax them as they would with any waxable classic race ski. In cold conditions, hot waxing is especially important to reduce friction and maximize glide on slow, abrasive snow. In warmer snow conditions, wet snow conditions in particular, fluorinated hot waxes and pure fluoro powders can can offer profound glide improvements. Don’t panic, though – if it’s inconvenient to hot wax or you don’t have the necessary waxing equipment, the wipe-on pastes and liquids discussed earlier work well for glide, also! Just apply sparingly glide zones – the smooth tip and tail sections – wipe smooth, let dry, and go skiing. Simple.
There you have it! Take care of your skin skis and they’ll take care of you! Feel free to give one of New Moon’s wax experts to help you select the right products for your skin skis 800-754-8685.