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American Birkebeiner Wax Recommendation

Categories: Announcements, Event Reports, Wax Reports | Author: David Chamberlain | Posted: 2/20/2012 | Views: 14534
Updated Fri, Feb 25

BNS Wax Recommendation

American Birkebeiner & Korteloppet
February 25, 2012

Event Information

The BNS Mobile Service Crew has been in Hayward, testing and skiing on the Birkie trail since the Pre-Birkie.  We will be updating this recommendation throughout the week.  Check back for the latest test results and recommendations. BNS will be at the Birkie Expo on Thursday and Friday with a wide selection of waxes, tools and gloves for sale as well as for ski drop-off for our race waxing service (see below).

Birkebeiner Website -


From  Click here for the latest weather forecast, and here for the hourly temperature graph.
Friday Afternoon: Scattered snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 28. West wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Friday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow showers, mainly before midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 10. Northwest wind between 5 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.

Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 27. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm.


Ski Selection: Early waves: med to stiff flex cold ski, Later Waves: Medium flex Cold Ski.

Stone Grinds: Skating S1.3 (CV0), S1.2 (S1-0x), S0.2 (0.55), S2.2 (S2-1x), Classic: C1.2 (XTi2), C2.2 (Li2), C0.2 (ZR1XL).

Base Layer:  SkiGo LF Graphite

Race Paraffin: Holmenkol Matrix Blue or Ski*Go HF Blue

Fluoro Powder: Holmenkol Mid 08 or Solda HP05 or Ski*Go C105

Topcoat: Holmenkol Speedblock Cold

Structure: Holmenkol Structure Tool (one roller)  or Finite L04/AF10

Kick: Clean the kick zone, rough up kick zone with sandpaper, iron in a binder layer of Toko Green hard wax/binder.  We tested quite a lot of kick wax Friday at 10AM and found the following recommendations.  Conditions on race morning are supposed to be colder, with more new snow possible, so this may need to be adjusted on race morning!

  • Guru Green for those who are skiing early and have solid technique.
  • Rode Super Extra for those in later waves or who need a little extra kick.  It had great kick and was the fastest of everything we tried except Rode Super Extra has better kick and is still almost as fast as Guru Green.  SkiGo HF Blue was also quite good, although with the new snow coming, SkiGo HF Violet might be a better choice.


Friday Morning Update:  We tested powders and topcoats this morning at 00.  Conditions were cold with light flurries.  Similiar results to yesterday with powders, results below.  Top three powders were close in our feel test.  For top coats Holmenkol Speedblock Cold was a clear winner and is a very good choice for speed out of the startline tomorrow. 

The conditions on Thursday were fantastic for racing and testing.  Our service team was at '00' by 5:45AM to take advantage of the colder temperatures for testing.  Snow temperature was 18F and the trail was freshly groomed from the evening before.  These were very good conditions for testing and are likely to be very similiar to race day conditions.  We tested powders and paraffins by feel and by speed trap.  Results below.

A good hard base layer is going to be important, as it always is here.  If you can sink in 1-2 layers of SkiGo LF Graphite, that will get your skis ready for Saturday's race wax.

The other interesting note from Thursday's test is that pure fluoro powders are much faster than the HF paraffins alone, so if you are waffling about whether or not to use fluoro powder, it will make a big difference.

We also anticipate that hand structure will be in play. Finite Finish L02, L04 and the Holmenkol Cross-Structure Tool with one roller are likely candidates.

Test Results

Friday morning, Feb 24 7AM


1.  Holmenkol Mid 08
2.  Solda HP05
3. Ski*Go C105
4. Gallium Dry
5. Holmenkol Mid
6. Swix FC7


1.  Holmenkol Speedblock Cold
2. Holmenkol Speedblock Mid
3. Swix FC7 Block
4. Ski*Go C110 Block
5. Ski*Go C22 Block

Thursday morning, Feb 23 6AM.

Snow Temp 18F.  Trail was well groomed.  Tested paraffins and powders by feel and speed trap.  This was a very good test, in conditions that will be similiar to race morning. 

Paraffin: (by feel and speed trap)

1. Holmenkol Matrix Blue
2. Ski*Go HF Blue
3. Ski*Go HF Violet
4. Ski*Go HF Orange?Green
5. Matrix Red

Powders: (by feel and speed trap)

1. Solda HP 05
2. Holmenkol Mid 08
3. Ski*Go C105
4. Ski*Go C44/7
5. Gallium Dry

Wednesday morning, Feb 22 9AM. 

Snow Temp -2C (28F).  New snow from last night.  The trail was not groomed.  This was not a great test - we will get better information Thursday morning, but it gives us some info to start. It is much warmer than the temps that are forecast for Friday and Saturday, and the snow was not groomed or set up.

Paraffin: (tested by feel and in speed trap)

Fluoro Powder: (tested by feel and in speed trap)

Sunday morning, Feb 19th.

Temp: 10F, high humidity 80%+, freshly tilled and groomed trail, a dusting of fresh snow fell two nights ago.  Testing done by feel. It has been getting into the 30's during the day but cold at night and staying cold well into the morning.  The top two were clearly better. 

Initial Paraffin Test
1. Holmenkol Matrix Blue
2. Swix HF 6
3. Start HF80
4. SkiGo HF Green
5. SkiGo HF Green/C380 mix
6. SkiGo HF Blue
7. Holmenkol Matrix Black/Blue
8. Holmenkol Matrix Green

note: BNS imports Holmenkol and SkiGo waxes, and also sells waxes from Swix, Toko, Rode, Solda, Rex, Guru, Innovax, Magnar and others. We search for the fastest waxes for our customers and our testing is professional, objective and transparent. We make our best effort to test what we think is the best from each brand.  However, given that we are testing more options from Holmenkol and SkiGo, there is a bias toward those brands.  With this full disclosure, you can assess the legitimacy of our testing yourself. Visit Swix and Toko for their official recommendations. If you have any questions please contact us.

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