The parkways were a cold miserable place this morning. There was a mix of newly packed snow, old hard fast sections, and plenty of windblown sections were the tracks were barely visible. Choosing a wax for tomorrow in these conditions is a bit tough since all the snow that's there will get groomed again and will be transformed. I would count on the blowing snow, however, and wax with that in mind.
Glide I tested...
Vauhti Speed Graphite covered with Vauhti Speed Green was quite free and fast in all variety of snow. The snow was a bit squeeky, so graphite is recommended. While the forecast is for a low of -11°C and a high of -5°C the snow is still quite cold and sharp so I'll recommend Vauhti Speed graphite covered with Vauhti Speed green since the race starts at 9am and the snow won't warm-up that much until long after the finish. You can't go too far wrong waxing a bit colder.
Remember to scrape and brush really well, and leave as little wax on the surface of the ski as possible. You might want to re-read these Cold Weather Waxing Tips
Grip I tested...
- 'Ski A' - 4 layers of Vauhti fluoro orange (carrot) + 1 layer of Vauthi fluoro green
- 'Ski B' - 3 layers of Vauhti Tar (-6°..-15°C) + 1 layers of Vauhti carrot + 1 layer of Vauhti fluoro green
'Ski A' was much better glide but a bit less grip than 'Ski B' in the wind blown parkway sections. 'Ski A' was a bit slick in the old tracks, while 'Ski B' gripped well and both skis glided about the same.
This was by no means an extensive test, and did not compare many brands of wax looking for all possible combinations. I stuck to what I know and have used in the past in these conditions - that narrowed the work down considerably. I also consulted the Vauhti Grip Wax Recipes. I would have been happy with 'Ski A' in a short race. There was enough grip to climb hills easily, but considering the distance (fatigue and possible wax wear) it wouldn't hurt to have a bit more grip late in the race.
Recommendations for the 28/53km
Glide: Vauhti Speed Graphite as a first layer (scraped and brushed off) and a layer of Vauhti Speed Green to finish.
- Grip (Simple): 3-5 layers of Vauhti Tar (-6°..-15°C) corked very smooth
- Grip (Race): 1-2 layers of Vauhti Tar (-6°..-15°C) heated in as a binder + 2-3 layers of Vauhti carrot + 1-2 cover layers of Vauhti Flouro Green to speed it up.
Thin layers without lumps are going to work best - grip and glide! The number of layers of wax you actually add will depend on how stiff your skis are. If you find you struggle to get grip sometimes, then add a few more layers of orange before you cover with the green. Test your skis before you start and don't be afraid to add more orange for grip or green for glide!
Recommendations for the 5/16 km
Things will warm-up by 1pm for these races. I think the glide will be a bit better, but the snow will still be fairly cold. I think Vauhti Speed blue or even Spektra blue would be good by then.
In terms of grip straight carrot will probably be the best bet.