BNS Wax Preview 2022-2023
Taking what we learn in the field and from our test partners, Roger Knight writes up the most comprehensive insider guide to all things wax yearly. Here it is!
What do we know? We can start by saying FIS dropped the ball again and reversed its complete fluoro ban, instead embracing an unenforceable partial ban allowing C6-chain fluorocarbons, but not C8+. Their lack of leadership and transparency on this issue continues to be mind-numbingly idiotic. Here in the US we are sticking to the fluoro ban. There is no way to enforce it and no testing machines with any degree of accuracy that can be trusted, so we have ourselves an honor system. Luckily we are an honest community, but should a race pop out of nowhere there will likely be some side eyes and head shakes. That is the reality of where we are.
I am now going to say something that is going to make a lot of people and companies angry. Are you ready for the truth? The truth is wax companies have scrambled to make up the money by offering tiers of waxes with “more purity,” “special additives to increase speed,” “secret ingredients” and the like. The reality is so far this is 95% hogwash. It’s a smoke screen to get you to buy more expensive wax with no real track record at any level. How can you tell? They use phrases like: “as fast as fluoros” (absolutely not), “tested on the World Cup” (no, they are still using fluoros), or “we have years of testing behind this” (yeah, a maximum of three and likely way less actual testing). I said in our BNS Magazine last year to be a smart consumer. I urge you now to be a savvy consumer. These new waxes are developing all the time. There are significant differences in most areas of the country between some of the wax companies. I do believe that the wax brands will eventually find something that provides really good performance when there is significant moisture in the snow. I know that hasn’t happened yet. You are being sold a Bill of Goods for the most part. If you choose to buy it, that is on you. On some days some of the more expensive waxes can be faster. Some. Not all. Not most of the time. Most important it’s not usually clear when these days are, but hopefully, we will learn more this year. Please be smart when purchasing. As Flavor Flav and Chuck D once said: Don’t Believe the Hype.
So, how do you make smart wax purchases in this environment? Trust the people you know who are working hard to find waxes that work. Not brands. Waxes. That is how you know. Although some brands have fallen by the wayside with the FF era, others have stepped up their game and are making fantastic waxes. Likely in reality every brand makes 1-3 glide waxes you must have. When you get them, test, test, test. Don’t just do what some Guru tells you in a YouTube or Facebook video with fancy words to sell you something. You might know as much or more than them now, heck maybe you always did.
A few things we have learned in the FF era:
- The biggest thing besides top speed and ease of glide on snow between the fluoro waxes and fluor free waxes is the consistency. While a fluoro wax even if it wasn’t the perfect temperature range or brand could still be quite good, the current new waxes don’t provide that wide ranging versatility and consistency….YET. However, they do provide a wonderful and competitive skiing experience for the most part.
- The move towards reliable and durable liquid waxes continues with the new waxes. We have found nearly all of the liquids perform best when applied and left to sit overnight before brushing or buffing. The longer you let these things sit, the better the speed and durability. The carrying agents are all different in these, but they must evaporate for max speed and durability. So far we have found the best and most consistent waxes are not sprayed, but drip- or sponge-on. It is crucial it seems to do this at room temperature and also let the liquids dry at room temperature. Some folks are flopping the liquids in with wool while wet with good results. Floppy roto’s and hand felts are going to be key in application also. While ironing is being played with to dry the carrying agents or burn them out quicker, be super careful. Results here have been mixed at best and may be tied to wax brand and temperature more than anything.
- With kick and klister moving to fluor free some companies will lose their best products. Keep a keen eye to companies like Rode, who have always made amazing kick and klister and don’t have to change anything in their lineup to be fluor free. Other companies that will stand out in this area are Swix V line kickers, Rex klisters, Start Oslo series kick, and Guru kick and klister.
- Base waxes are making a big difference. Good, hard graphite waxes and hard clean waxes will help the durability and speed of the waxes we are "putting on top."
- Yellow and Red waxes are rarely the winners alone. We found Rode Endurance and Swix Marathon White to be incredible waxes that ALWAYS need to be tested. We also found that combining Endurance and Marathon with Yellow and sometimes Red significantly increased speed and durability.
New last year was a fluorine-free line of racing paraffins and liquids using Holmenkol’s patented Syntec technology. Holmenkol claims the Syntec additives improve the structural properties of the raw materials to produce unique and high-performance waxes. Holmenkol now offers these Syntec waxes in both a paraffin bar form, and liquids dubbed FF1 and FF2. We tested a lot last year, and it is clear the FF1 liquids are better than the FF2 liquids. FF2 is a more budget friendly option for teams or individuals who don’t want to pay up. We remain skeptical of elevated levels and prices of FF products, but there were definitely days when the FF1 liquids were really good. The FF bars show definite speed advantages at times, generally in older snow that has been groomed a fair amount. FF21 is supposed to be a base wax, but we found it to also be very good in drier conditions as a stand-alone race wax.
The Paraffin race waxes are in a solid form called “FF Bar” in Green, Blue, Red and Yellow. All temperatures below are snow temperatures.
FF Bar Green -15C to -30C 5F to -22F For fine and aggressive snow. Iron Temp 115C to 125C 150g only
FF Bar Blue -8C to -15C 5F to 18F For fine to coarse and aggressive snow. Iron Temp 120C to 130C 70g and 150g
FF Bar Red -4C to -10C 14F to 25F For fine to coarse and wet snow. Iron Temp 115C to 125C 70g and 150g
FF Bar Yellow 0C to -4C 25F to 32F For fine to coarse and wet snow. Iron Temp 115C to 125C 70g and 150g
We had tremendous results with Holmenkol FF21 Base Wax. This is an all temp base wax for all other waxes, treating and helping to harden the ski base. FF21 is particularly effective in dirty or abrasive snow conditions or harsh, older manmade snow. It also stood out with graphite under it in drier snow types as the race wax. Iron Temp 140C to 150C 70g and 150g
There are two levels of Syntec fluor-free liquids: FF1 Liquid and FF2 Liquid. Both are offered in Blue, Red and Yellow. Holmenkol claims the FF1 Liquids are the absolute top level of fluor-free speed on the market, available in a 50ml bottle. The FF2 liquids come in a 100ml bottle and offer fluor-free performance above the standard fluor-free liquids (Alpha, Beta, Ultra) at a more affordable price than the FF1.
To apply both FF1 and FF2:
Put the liquid on the base, and spread evenly with fiber cloth. Let sit for as long as you can, but at least 20 minutes, and roto fleece or roto wool buff in and then brush out with stiff nylon or horsehair brush.
FF1 Blue Liquid -12C to -20C -4F to 10F For all conditions as a top fluoro free speed layer. 50ml
FF1 Red Liquid -6C to -12C 10F to 21F For all conditions as a top fluoro free speed layer. 50ml
FF1 Yellow Liquid 0C to -6C 21F to 32F. For all conditions as a top fluoro free speed layer. 50ml
FF2 Blue Liquid -12C to -20C -4F to 10F For all conditions as an economically fast fluoro free speed layer. 100ml
FF2 Red Liquid -6C to -12C 10F to 21F For all conditions as an economically fast fluoro free speed layer. 100ml
FF2 Yellow Liquid 0C to -6C 21F to 32F. For all conditions as an economically fast fluoro free speed layer. 100ml
FF Cleaner. This is the gold standard in a completely fluor free glide cleaner. Holmenkol has always made the best glide cleaner, and now they have one that complies with all regulations. FF cleaner provides gentle glide cleaning that removes dirt and wax products so that ski bases absorb more wax and run faster. It is more than likely that you are not glide cleaning your teams’ skis enough. That is a fact. Offered in 100ml and 500ml
Holmenkol offers three liquid waxes that are on-snow winners: UltraMix Blue, BetaMix Red, AlphaMix Yellow. These three liquids are easy to apply, come in generous portions and are great on snow. As a bonus, they are a thick wax like the old school 7-11 Slurpees! Note that these are 250ml, or two to three times the size of most companies’ liquids.
UltraMix Blue -8C to -20C -4F to 18F 250ml For cold, old, and manmade snow. A liquid version of one of the best and most useful waxes in the entire world. This one is a winner many times over.
BetaMix Red -4C to -14C 7F to 25F 250ml A new liquid version of BetaMix, one of the most used and most versatile waxes in the world. This is also offered in a more team friendly 1L bottle.
AlphaMix Yellow 10C to -4C 25F to 50F 250ml For soft, fresh, and fine grained snow with surface moisture present. This is an easy to use wax for the conditions when things start to get sloppy. Look to this as manmade snow starts to break down.
Of course, the Hydrocarbon waxes are staples that everyone should have. We get a lot of great feedback on the AlphaMix Yellow, BetaMix Red and UltraMix Blue. Simple, broad-range, affordable, and great performance. Beta Red is a universal travel wax and base wax for many teams because it is so good, and the Ultramix is an easy-to-use blue CH wax. As always, if you are looking to make a switch with your bulk/travel wax needs, please get in touch, and we can help make it work for your team or shop.
Holmenkol kick waxes are a good training option. The red kicker fits in as a great option in funky snow or new snow near freezing. The klisters are a practice option only in our opinion, with the exception of the Red Spezial (0/-2C) and Black Spezial (-1/+10C). Black Spezial is a sneaky amazing klister in all different types of conditions. Race Service Tip: Mix Black Spezial 1:1 or 1:2 with Rode KM3 in nasty wet conditions.
For tools, the pro groove scraper, horsehair brush, microfinish fine steel brush, racing scraper sharpener, digital iron and thick plate digital iron are the big hits. We cannot say enough about this horsehair brush. It is the best brush out there, very affordable, and does an amazing job. I repeat, this is the best horsehair brush on the market, and it isn’t close. We like to work it in as a second brush option on almost all waxes. All Holmenkol brushes are available in rectangular and larger oval options. If you need a great and versatile form that can be easily clamped to any table or bench. We love the Holmenkol profile. It is simple, durable, light, and can pack down quite small. We are selling an increasing number of these each year.
If you want simple structure options that continually rock on snow, the Holmenkol Cross Structure Tool is the ticket. This is a simple universal two roller system that always makes fast skis. If it is below 25F we like to pop out one roller, anything wet above 25F we use two rollers to make skis fast every time, and the structure is so fine that it rarely slows you down. We have used all of the fancy multi kit structure tools and quite honestly this roller beats them 85% of the time when used correctly. Holmenkol has added more options with this as they now sell a roller kit which adds on five additional options for making fast skis. If you don’t have test skis you cannot test structure effectively anyway so keep it simple! By having the Cross Structure tool and add-on kit, you have all your bases covered. Don’t confuse yourself with getting too many structure options when this option is so simple and easy to use and is fast on snow.
The Digital Racing Waxer Thick Base Plate has an extremely thick 25mm base plate for temperature consistency and great feel on the ski. It has a digital display and a microprocessor for temperature regulation. It will heat in even the hardest fluoro powders with temperature control from 90C-180C. Finally, an iron that doesn’t die after use for one year of service! Holmenkol also makes a 15mm base plate iron!
If you want amazing irons at a great price, check out the Electronic Racing Wax Iron. This is the exact same iron as the Digital, just without an LED display. This means you get the guts and amazing performance of the Digital Iron at roughly 2/3 of the cost. Every single team should have these as they have the same consistency and performance of the digital irons but at a much lower price.
An overlooked item in the Holmenkol lineup is the iron holder tray. This is a fantastic product that attaches to tables and keeps your iron secure to avoid accidents. It is the best one on the market and fits all irons.
The Holmenkol Roto fleece is a great product that fits all of the major roto brush systems. With the new liquid waxes we have been playing around with different finishing techniques, and one is roto fleece. With all the new FF waxes application is key, and you will see more and more roto fleece and roto wool being used for application.
Wax Rollers! For team prep and quick work, the Holmenkol Wax Roller Pro is the truth. We use these at our shop nonstop. Pre heat the wax in a cheap crock pot, pour it in to the wax roller and roll away. One person rolls the skis, and one person can run the iron. Saves lots of money on wax and allows for a super-fast process.
Rode kick waxes and klisters have long been the best in the world, and that isn’t changing any time soon. Family-owned and produced at a small factory in Asiago Italy, Rode offers the best green to yellow classic skiing solutions. At BNS if we had to pick one kick or klister line to use it would be Rode or Guru hands down. All of these Rode kick and klisters are fluoro free, which means that you don’t have to learn a new wax line just continue to use the best kick line that has ever been invented. There is a reason they have had the same formulations in a lot of their waxes for years; they work! No shocker here.
Here is something that we 100% know to be true: Rode glide waxes are among the very fastest and most consistent products available. We have tried everything there is, and we keep coming back to Rode as a versatile, consistently fast, and easy to use lineup. The demand for the glide waxes has been extremely high with teams and other retailers, and we are excited to continue testing the new products and expand the knowledge of this amazing line from Italy. Do not overlook the point that consistency is one of the things we are looking for in the new FF waxes. Rode can be as good as anything, but more importantly, the Rode glide waxes are consistently good. Rode also has a commitment to the environment and uses aluminum bottles rather than plastic for their liquids.
RXL - Racing Liquid Extra
The Racing eXtra Liquid glider line is the evolution of the Racing Liquid line, but with (sometimes) better speed and durability thanks to different additives. These additives make for better speed than the very successful Rode Racing Liquid Line in old and transformed snow. These waxes tend to beat the regular Rode Racing Liquids in older transformed snow, but not always. We often find the regular Racing Liquid line is still the winner. Best to apply with the supplied applicator, let sit at least an hour and then brush out with a horsehair or stiff nylon brush. For increased speed and durability use the Rode Wool Roto. 80ml Liquid
Racing Extra Liquid Cold -5C to -15C 5F to 23F
Racing Extra Liquid Med -2C to -7C 19F to 28F
Racing Extra Liquid Warm 0C to -3C 27F to 32F
ENDURANCE glide wax:
Wow. This one took us by surprise last year. We tested it alone after Rode told us it wouldn’t be faster initially, but after 15-20K it would hold speed better. They were dead wrong. This wax is really good. Every single glide test we ran last year, this was in it and near the top. Every single time we used red or yellow bar wax, we mixed varying degrees of Rode Endurance in to harden it with great success. Buy a lot of this wax, it is that good.
Available in 60g and 180g
Rode Racing Liquids come in Cold, Med and Warm. These waxes are durable and fast out of the gate. Simple to use and a sponge applicator is included for easily spreading the product. This sponge also stays saturated maximizing the use of the bottle. Non aerosol. Rode is one of the very few companies using an aluminum bottle for decreased plastic waste. 80ml bottles will do between 20-35 pairs of skis. All temperatures listed are snow temperatures.
****Tech Tip- Put on the night before skiing, buff with Rode Roto Wool, and then brush out with nylon or horsehair aggressively the next day for increased initial speed and durability.****
Racing Liquid Cold -5C to -15C 5F to 23F Really good in newer cold snow and at lower humidity. This wax can fly in the right conditions.
Racing Liquid Med -2C to -7C 19F to 28F This one is a monster. If we were to recommend one liquid wax to have it would be RLM. Good in a variety of snow types and the key temp range of the 20s This won about 60% of our fluoro free wax tests last year. We cannot say enough about this wax.
Racing Liquid Warm -3C to 0C 26F to 32F RLW is a versatile warm solution especially when the humidity remains below 50%.
Rode R Line Fluor Free Gliders embody the true spirit of Nordic: Respecting Nature. Rode has found special additives that increase water repellency and dirt abrasion and resistance that are ecologically friendly. This wax line is incredibly easy to use with low melting temperatures and speed on snow. Rode nailed it when they found the secret special additives they are using here because we were blown away with how good this wax was last year. All temperatures listed are air temperatures. Available in 3 sizes: 60g, 180g, and 900g.
R20 Blue -8C to -18C 0F to 18F
R30 Violet -3C to -10C 14F to 27F
R40 Red 0C to -5C 23F to 32F
R50 Yellow -1C to 10C 30F to 50F
Rode Kick Alaska- -15C to -30C 5F to -22F. It’s back! We were able to convince Roberta from Rode to make us another small production run of this cold weather wax. Anyone who has waxed with Roger knows this is his favorite cold weather kicker and cover wax of all time! Do not be scared to use a thin shell cover of Alaska in conditions up through the violet range for increased speed on snow. This one is a winner, but we only have a small portion so order quickly.
Rode Kick Green Special- -10C to -30C 14F to -22F. Truly the cold side of green kick wax. This is a time tested favorite as a stand-alone when it is cold and abrasive, non-transformed snow.
Rode Kick Green- -4C to -10C 25F to 14F Performs well in all cold kick wax uses. Good speed, firm grip. BNS uses it as a cover wax to speed up most blue and green kick waxes.
Rode Kick Blue II- -2C to -8C 29F to 18F For the cold side of the blue range. Tends to have a firm grip but can lack a bit of speed.
Rode Kick Blue I- -2C to -6C 29F to 21F The traditional Rode Blue kicker. Works best when snow is tending towards wet.
Rode Kick Blue Multigrade- -3C to -7C 27F to 19F Extends well below the listed range to as low as -12C or 10F. Amazing feel on the snow and adjusts well to changing conditions. If the temperature is in the teens, this wax is where you start all tests and often times where the testing ends. A must-have in every box.
Rode Kick Weiss- -1C to -4C 30F to 25F There is a reason this was originally called Super Weiss and was a World Cup only wax. An amazing cover or can be used alone at the crossover between the Violet and the Blue range, especially when the tracks haven’t transformed to full glaze.
Rode Kick Blue Super- -1C to -3C 30F to 27F A great wax in high humidity across all snow types. Often used as a cover wax just before the cross into Zero conditions in wet snow because it rarely ices. Ignore the temperature range listed on this wax and try it in any green or blue kick wax situation. It is a fast wax with great grip.
Rode Kick Viola Multigrade- 0C to -2C 32F to 28F A favorite of coaches and Masters Racers alike. Works well outside of the listed range down to -5C. Adapts well to varying conditions and always provides great grip. We tend to cover this with Blue Multigrade or even Green for speed on race day.
Rode Kick Blue Super Extra- -1C to -5C 30F to 23F for new fresh snow and high humidity. This wax is really good in new falling or freshly fallen snow. If the snow is starting to glaze significantly mix Super Extra 1:1 with Super Blue. You will thank us later.
Rode Kick Violet- 0C/32F Made for at freezing conditions. It is the first wax to try at 0C, period. Small range but this wax has saved us many times in the tricky range around freezing. Often used as a cover wax or in mixes with colder waxes.
Rode Kick Viola Extra- 0C to +1C 32F to 34F The plus side of the Violet range. Very specific but can be good when the conditions are correct. Tends to be a bit slow and therefore often needs a cover.
Rode Red Extra- 0C to +2C 32F to 36F For conditions rapidly warming just above or below freezing.
Rode Rossa- 0C to +3C 32F to 37F Tends to work best in wet new snow or just before klister conditions.
Rode Yellow- +1 to +4C 33F to 39F Gialla! For new fresh snow above freezing and as a precursor to klister.
Rode Klister Blue Special- -6C to -14C 21F to 7F Skare Special is a hard blue klister that can be used alone or as a binder. When using as a binder make sure that the kick zone is well sanded to prevent chipping.
Rode Klister Blue- -3C to -7C 26F to 19F Skare is the gold standard for Blue binder klisters. BNS sells a ton of this klister that is usually used as a fast binder klister.
Rode Klister Violet Special- -1C to -5C 30F to 23F A great klister in the harder icy conditions that prevail in the Violet ranges. Dab a few dots of Rossa in when in higher humidity or rapidly warming conditions or mix a bit in with hard wax when things get tricky. One of the best-selling klisters in the world for a reason!
Rode Klister Violet- -3C to +1C 26F to 34F Rode Violet is well known for its durability and speed in the hard snow typically associated with Violet klister. If the tracks are abrasive, you will want to have Rode Violet in the mix. We often dot in some Multigrade klister to help with managing moisture and softening the Violet.
Rode Klister Rossa Special- 0C to +3C 32F to 37F For wet snow just above freezing. Usually, we mix it with other klisters such as Guru 39.
Rode Klister Rossa- -2C to +4C 28F to 39F For traditional wet snow Red klister conditions. This is the klister that everyone tries to copy with their Red klisters. Hint: They haven’t done it yet. Do not be scared to mix this with other klisters in this range, it almost always improves their performance.
Rode Klister Silver- +1C to +5C 33F to 41F Silvers are mixing klisters, and this is easy to work with. There have been a lot of races won over the years with a Silver/Rossa mix.
Rode Klister Yellow- 0C to +2C 32F to 36F This klister, labeled Gialla on the package, is for new falling snow or precipitation just above freezing. We have had the most success mixing this klister in a 1:3 ratio with Rossa or Multigrade in wet snow.
Rode Klister Universal- +/-0C 32F A Universal klister for all temperature ranges. This is a big time kicking klister, so ideally it is used to just dot into other klisters to boost kick.
Rode Klister Silver Extra- 0C to +4C 32F to 39F Wet to Dry Snow. A traditional Silver mixing klister for all dirty snow conditions or use alone when the snow is drying.
Rode Klister Nera- -2C to +5C 28F to 41F Used as a binder in warm wet conditions or as a mixer with other klisters in varying conditions. Smells great, but generally is never used alone.
Rode Klister Multigrade- -6 to +6C 21F to 43F The best universal klister in the world. Many refer to it as the great fudge factor as it is never bad. Used alone and in mixes with other klisters. If the tracks are starting to transition to full blown wet near Zero conditions, mix this with Rossa. A must-have in every wax box.
Rode Klister Chola- Tacky binder klister for all conditions. This is particularly good in warmer binder conditions above -4C. Ironed in and wiped with fiberlene to create a thin layer when speed is a must. This is the hardest binder klister in the world and sets up like glass.
Rode Base Klister Spray- 100ml- Base klister made simple! When it is time to apply base klister skip the mess and speed the job up. Simply hold this spray upside down approximately 4cm from the ski and spray a thin layer on and let cool. For racing or long distance, we recommend ironing it in.
Rode Top Line Series Waxes:
This series of waxes was developed for the World Cup specifically and became available to the general public some years back. They deal well with the tough conditions around freezing, manmade snow and rapid changing conditions. At BNS we use these waxes all the time, and they all work outside their listed temperature ranges! Three hard waxes and now four klisters. All are fluor free!
Rode Kick Racing VO- 0C to -2C 32F to 28F Great in falling snow just below freezing, manmade, and the tricky area approaching freezing. Can be used down to -5C/23F and should always be tested as a cover in the 20s.
Rode Kick Racing VPS- 0C to -1C 32F to 30F VPS is essentially a faster Rode Violet that often times kicks better too. We are amazed at how much we use this wax. It just always seems to be on the winning test skis.
Rode Kick Racing VXPS- 0C 32F All snow conditions at or around freezing. This wax deals with the trickiest condition out there. At Zero Celsius this can be a real lifesaver. Extremely good in glazed new or new falling snow.
Rode Klister Racing K3- 0C to +3C 32F to 37F Imagine Rossa Special klister with a wider range and more speed. That is exactly what K3 is. There are at least two days a year where this klister saves us when the moisture levels rise near freezing rapidly, and answers become few and far between.
Rode Klister Racing KM3- -6C to +6C 21F to 43F A tougher and usually faster version of Rode Multigrade. Excels in both manmade and natural snow equally. A wide-ranging klister that gets the job done no matter the snow type.
Rode Klister Racing KR3- -2 to +4C 28F to 39F. This klister is incredible in both artificial and natural snow around freezing and above. Especially fast as warming occurs and the snow gets more free moisture in it. Fast becoming one of our best-selling klisters at BNS.
Rode Klister Racing KRS3- -2 to +5C 28F to 41F NEW! A new addition to the Top Line, KRS3 is made for wet, transformed snow. Anytime the snowpack has a good amount of moisture in it and is transformed, especially as the temperature rises above freezing this klister is dynamite. A fantastic new addition for Rode.
We are also proud to offer Rode’s World Cup Service waxes that previously have been just a rumor for most. These three kick waxes are what all of the best coaches in the US call us about over and over. They are all amazing racing solutions for both speed and kick.
B310- For new fresh and cold snow below freezing to 10F or even colder with great kick. It always amazes us when we put this wax on snow just how good it is. It provides a really solid kick with amazing release and speed in all snow crystal types but especially fresh or wet snow. Previously named WC Test -3/-10C
B17- For new, manmade, or mixed snow this one is an amazing wax. It handles the 20s(F) like no other wax we have seen even when the snow is wet. Imagine having a wax with great speed and grip at 20F and 29F, BV17 provides it. Can also be used down to 10F with no compromise in speed. Previously named WC Test -1/-7C
BV15- For older and artificial snow in the range where kick waxes start to fail -1C to -5C/30F to 23F. This is a faster version of Super Extra Blue with all of the kick. We have had success with this as a cover wax, but it can be used for layering up as well.
WAX REMOVER 2.1
The Wax Remover 2.1 formula has been updated to control evaporation, reduce smell and decrease toxicity for easier handling. Available in 150ml spray, 500ml, 1L and 5L bottles.
AR81 ROTO-WOOL- THE BEST!
With the world of non-fluorinated waxing, how the product is applied and finished can make a tremendous amount of difference in speed and durability. BNS has found that this Rode Roto brush in merino wool is perfect for the last polish on the ski base and adds to the initial speed and durability of the wax. The wool microfilaments penetrate deeply into the incisions of the structure and force the wax in. Run this on the drill for a minute or two when new to let it shed.
AR396 FINE FIBERTEX
For the removal of polyethylene micro-hairs after grinding or on new skis. It also rounds the incisions left by the diamond stones, improving the effectiveness of the grinding. Also useful for refreshing any base that doesn’t absorb glide waxes properly. To be used lightly on clean skis. Grey, 4 pcs 115x145mm.
AR398 EXTRA-FINE FIBERTEX
Non abrasive fibertex for removing polyethylene micro-hairs and polishing the base. Can also be used for removing old wax with wax remover or cleaner. White, 4 pcs 115x145mm.
Remember the Holmenkol scraper sharpeners that were amazing? Yeah, they stopped making them. Rode still makes one just like it! Get one and never have to worry about having dull scrapers again. This is THE BEST scraper sharpener on the market, and it isn’t close. I am still using the same one I acquired 12 years ago daily. This is money well spent for any team or individual.
The Rode roto brushes are an excellent option that fits all of the standard Roto systems. The price is right, and they are as good as anything on the market if not better. They make great horsehair, soft nylon, hard nylon, and bronze brushes as well as a roto fleece. Completing the system is a roto cork if you are so inclined but be warned: I am going to judge you for using it instead of fleece. With the addition of the Roto Wool, this is a great roto option.
The new liquid waxes require buffing without absorbing them. The Rode Felt Hand Brush is an incredible tool. Made of fleece and shaped in a rectangle for max ski contact this brush is a new favorite.
The Rode Iron Holder has a universal clamp for attachment to any wax bench and will keep your iron in a safe stationary, easy-to-access position. Helps to prevent accidents that break or damage your iron.
Rode Hand Cleaner is the best way to get kick and klister off your hands quickly and effectively. We are all professional waxers here, right? We don’t use stinkin’ hand cleaner! Wait. We 100% use this all the time because there is no other way to get that stick off. Get some.
The Rode Synthetic Cork is a dense ergonomic cork for fast and easy corking of all waxes.
The Rode wax apron is the most stylish and coolest looking apron out there. For real though, stop rocking the old school aggressive single color aprons, get with the Italian style, and get a Rode apron.
Rode makes a great portable wall ski holder, something we all need and probably have, but can never find when it is needed. Get a couple of these and stick them in your travel box, so you don’t get stuck without one when you most need it. Or use it to spiff up your basement or garage wax area!
The Rode Steel Waxing Table is a solid setup that folds up for ease of use. This is not a flimsy table, it is meant to work on and hold up! Comes with one XC profile for holding the ski on.
Complete Profile Set made of steel. High-quality materials allow for attaching this to any table. It creates the perfect home setup for waxing. Comes with a storage bag.
Rode Digital Thermometer is an extremely accurate thermometer with quick reading in a couple of seconds. Capable of going to -40F and up to 482F. The easiest and most accurate way to take a temperature and all about the size of a small pocket knife.
If you are not on board with Guru yet you should be. An amazing cowboy wax line straight from the World Cup. The entire Guru line should be in your box. All Guru kick and klister are fluor free!
Green- An amazing green wax in new and new falling snow, fine snow, and mixed snow between -20/-6C (-4/21F). There are no words to describe how sublime this wax is. It is our favorite Green kick wax here at BNS, and it isn’t even close.
Blue- -0/-4C (14/25F) Guru Blue is a traditional blue kickwax that seems to work best in new or very fresh snow. It is a fast blue kicker, so it can be used as a shell on top of other waxes such as Swix Extra Blue or VR40/VR45. We have had success with Guru Blue used as a last layer or two over Start Oslo Blue to increase speed.
Violet- -6/-1C (21/30F) Guru Violet is harder than most other violet kickers on the market, so it tends to excel in new fresh snow or fine grained snow as a shell for speed.
Red- -4/0C (25/32F) There are no superlatives that can accurately describe how much we love this wax at BNS. Guru Red is a savior in the tricky conditions under freezing providing great kick and glide when it is hardest to find. We will often bury a layer of Red under a shell of Guru Violet in the low 20s(F) to provide bite or apply Red as a shell to other kick waxes to increase speed. This. Is. An. Amazing. Wax.
Yellow- -2/+1C (28/34F) Guru Yellow has a great mix of kick and glide with some silver mixed in to keep things clean. When the thermometer inches to freezing and panic ensues, sit back, grab a Guru Yellow, and relax. Everything gonna be alright.
Extreme Hallgeir- -10/-2C (14/28F) Yes this wax does have an odd name. Yes, this is the incredibly fast, universal shell or cover wax in older, coarse snow and manmade snow in wide range of temperatures. Any more questions? It speeds up nearly every wax job.
Super Hallgeir- -15/-3C (5/27F) This is one of Roger’s favorite waxes of all time. Super Hallgeir works in older, transformed, and manmade snow in a huge temperature range. We always test Super Hallgeir if the snow has transformed or is manmade and is below freezing. Period.
Special- This is for –1/-8C and has tar and silver mixed into it for anti-icing, hitting the key range of tricky conditions in all snow types. A particularly good cover wax for violet and colder universal klisters as well.
Base- Guru improved this binder three years ago, and although it is solid it isn’t special like the rest of their waxes. We have it in the box and test it, but it is rarely “The Call.”
Blue- -6/+2C (21/35F) You read that temperature range correctly. Guru Blue is a funky blue klister that works on the warmer side of a traditional blue. Worth testing on dry or icy snow up to freezing and above.
Violet- -4/+4C (25/39F) Do not believe the range listed on this one, as it is like a Violet plus klister. Not 39F plus though! This klister is just so solid, always in the mix when you are in the violet or violet/red or uni range. Fast and durable.
Red- +5/+15C (41/59F) This red klister rocks. Always good when things start to get wet and cross the freezing barrier. This is the best Red klister out there, and no one is arguing. Race Service Tip: Mix this with Rode KR3 1:1 in varying wet conditions for speed.
Silver Red- +5/+15C (41/59F) Take the most amazing Red klister out there and add Silver to it? Yup. As you can imagine when things get dirty, this klister excels.
Extreme 39- -2/+7C (28/45F) The klister that launched a dynasty! Extreme 39 is universally agreed upon by top level waxers as the best klister in the world for a reason. It works as a Universal klister in old and just transforming snow as well as manmade and manmade mixes. Great alone or mixed with violets/reds/other universals. This is an incredible klister that every single classic skier must own.
Extreme 39 Hard- -5/+4C (23/39F) If you take the most legendary klister of all time and then make a harder version of it, BNS will likey likey. Guru made this wax about seven years ago, and we have sold out multiple times each year since. Another universal wax that is great on its own or mixed with other klisters.
Extreme Base- A base klister that is tough and fast. Not for the faint of heart in the kick area as it tends to be too slick for all but the best technicians.
A caveat to the Magnar line: Magnar says it is fluoro free and we believe him…..BUT he has not provided documentation, so it cannot be imported into the US legally without a LARGE fine.
Swix had a new line-up of fluor free waxes on the glide side last year. They have stuck with the three-tiered system as they have had in the past, but it is now called: Top Speed (TS), High Speed (HS), and Performance Speed (PS). We were able to get on many of these waxes last year, and there are some good ones. Particularly the 5 and 6 range waxes are very good on some days. The whole line seems to be better in fresh snow than in manmade.
The Swix Top Speed line is essentially a fluor free replacement to the old HFX line. Some of these can be improvements over the entry level FF line, but tended to be hit or miss.
Each of the TS5/6/7/8/10 paraffin waxes has a black additive. This has always been looked to in dirty or very abrasive snow. The jury is still very out on FF black additives, however. Top Speed Powders are the clean, not black version. For racing, the real question is whether you want to invest in and put a non fluor powder on your ski. It certainly can be a hassle and not very cost effective, but for speed at all costs it is one option for the highest levels. Note that Swix recommends an iron temp for all of these between 180C and 200C, so be cautious when working with these powders. Also available as a spray in TS6/7/8/10.
TS5 -10°C to -18°C 0F to 14F
Recommended iron temp.: 150°C (311°F) Not available in liquid.
TS6 -6°C to -12°C 10F to 21F
Recommended iron temp.: 145°C (293°F).
TS7 -2°C to -8°C 18F to 28F
Recommended iron temp: 140°C (284°F).
TS8 -4°C to +4°C 25F to 40F
Recommended iron temp: 140°C (284°F).
TS10 0°C to +10°C 32F to 50F
Recommended iron temp: 145°C (293°F).
Top Speed 6 Liquid Blue -4C to-12C 10F to 25F 125ml
Top Speed 7 Liquid Violet -2C to -8C 18F to 28F 125ml
Top Speed 8 Liquid Red -4C to +4C 25F to 39F 125ml
Top Speed 10 Liquid Yellow, 2C to 10C 35F to 50F 125ml
HIGH SPEED (HS)
Mimics the TS Line with both Paraffin and Liquid, but there is not a black additive version. The HS 8 can be very good at times.
PERFORMANCE SPEED (PS)
The Swix Performance Speed is essentially a replacement for the CHX line of glide waxes from the past.
This is a Paraffin line that mimics the TS and HS lines.
PS POLAR, -14°C to -32°C 7F to -26F
Recommended iron temp: 155°C (311°F). Replaces CHX4. Available in Powder or Paraffin. Just OK.
Swix recommends this wax for long distance racing and long term durability. At BNS we have found this to just be an outstanding all-around wax. Always test the white version, alone and mix in with the warmer waxes. Available in a white version or black version as well as a Powder. I see zero reasons to use the Marathon powder, the block white is a great wax on its own.
The Swix V line kick wax is just so solid. Extra Blue and Special Purple are always something to test.
Swix has an entire line of fluor-free kicker dubbed the VP line that is a step up in price from the V line. You will want most of this line in your wax box as a race day option.
VP30 PRO LIGHT BLUE
For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from -8°C to -16°C (18°F to 3°F). Old/partly transformed snow from -12°C to -20°C (10°F to -4°F).
VP40 PRO BLUE -10/-4, 45G
For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from -4°C to -10°C (25°F to 14°F). Old/partly transformed snow from -5°C to -14°C (23°F to 7°F).
VP45 PRO BLUE/VIOLET -5/-1, 45G
For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from -1°C to -5°C (30°F to 23°F). Old/partly transformed snow from -3°C to -8°C (27°F to 18°F). Purple-blue kick wax.
VP50 PRO LIGHT VIOLET -3/0, 45G
For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from 0°C to -3°C (32°F to 27°F). Old/partly transformed snow from -1°C to -6°C (30°F to 21°F).
VP55 PRO VIOLET -2/1, 45G
For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from 1°C to -2°C (34°F to 28°F). Old/partly transformed snow from 0°C to -5°C (32°F to 23°F). Dark purple kick wax designed for moist, and new or new fallen snow around zero. Can also be used on older snow just below the freezing point.
VP60 PRO VIOLET/RED -1/2, 45G
For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from 2°C to -1°C (36°F to 30°F). Old/partly transformed snow from -1°C to -4°C (34°F to 25°F). Purple-red kick wax works very well in moist new snow and shiny tracks.
VP65 PRO BLACK/RED 0/+2C, 45G
For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from 0°C to 2°C (32°F to 36°F). Old/partly transformed snow from 0°C to -4°C (32°F to 25°F). Red/black kick wax with extraordinary properties in tricky conditions around the freezing point. The black additive is for anti-icing properties in these key conditions.
VP70 PRO YELLOW 0/3, 45G
For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from 0°C to 3°C (32°F to 38°F). Old/partly transformed snow from 2°C to -1°C (36°F to 30°F). Yellow klister-wax designed for moist and beginning wet, new snow. Swix was out of this wax most of last year, and it hasn’t appeared yet in 2022, so not sure what is going on here.
Swix KN44 NERO is a must have klister in warm and wet conditions. We have had several instances in warm, wet, and dirty conditions where the KN44 was the only klister that provided true kicking power. It seems to handle transforming conditions well also. Swix also makes the KN33 NERO klister. BNS did not find this klister to be nearly as good as the KN44, but it was above average in 0/-6C and older snow that wasn’t ice but not quite saturated.
Toko offers a WC High-Performance Paraffin that is completely fluoro free. This becomes their highest performance glide wax in the line. We haven’t had a chance to test this yet, but Toko is extremely excited about the performance of this wax. Standard Toko line of Blue, Red and Yellow. Put on, let sit at least 30 minutes and preferably longer, then brush out.
Toko also offers High Performance and Base Performance liquid at their entry level price point in the fluoro free category.
The X-Cold Powder is nice to combine as a hardening agent. The hard wax binder (Green) is a staple and can be mixed with the klister binder in weird conditions and extremely cold old snow conditions as a viable alternative to a traditional green klister.
Start has essentially a three-tiered FF glide system now with gels and liquids and paraffins in each/some. At the top level is the RG Ultra Series, followed by the RG Race and the basic RG level. Start doesn’t make it super easy to understand their line that is for sure. Start really does make some great products but speaking honestly they should make about half of the glide waxes they do, and they likely would have more traction, the line is just convoluted and expensive to buy them all. That being said we always look forward in particular to testing the green/blue range from Start as they excel traditionally. Last year we found early in the season the Start blue and Violet were excellent, but as moisture content increased in the snow later in the winter, they faded.
RG Ultra Gel Finisher is available in Blue, Purple, and Red, and a Spray Finisher -15C to +5C.
RG Ultra Finish Spray is extremely good in the dry conditions of the West.
RG Ultra Glider Liquid is available in Blue, Purple and Red. Paraffin is available in Green, Blue, Purple and Red
RG Race Glider Liquid is available in Blue, Purple and Red. Paraffin is available in a Green, Blue, Purple and Red.
Start SG paraffins are the staple in the line. This is where you will find the traditional Start Green. Start Green is something you just want to buy. Period.
If you have not incorporated Start as a kick solution in your wax box, you are making a mistake. They make some of the finest kick waxes and klisters in the universe.
We absolutely love the Oslo series as they offer a combination of Start Universal Klister with traditional kick waxes. This leads to tremendous grip and great glide in a wide range of conditions. We love all three: Green, Blue and Violet. Try these in manmade and tricky conditions! They are fluor free.
The Racing Fluor or RF Line is great; there are four, and we like them all. These are fluorinated waxes that tend to work best in new or fresh snow. We have had a lot of success with Blue, Purple, Red and Yellow. You want these in your wax box if you can use fluoros for kick.
The tar series is a specific new snow wax, but in addition to smelling great, it can be really good stuff. We recommend Start Tar around freezing and just below. It helps prevent icing in tricky fresh-falling snow conditions.
Start’s basic line is the Synthetic kicker line. We like the Green, Blue and Nordic in fresh sharp snow crystals. The Nordic is a cold kicker similar to a Polar.
For klisters, Universal Wide and Universal Wide Plus should be in every wax box. They are unique and very good. We have also had success with the Purple klister in 0/-5C conditions. The Special klister is made for zero conditions -2/+2C and is very good.
The FHF klister line is fantastic but is fluorinated.
This company makes a bunch of waxes, but only one that you need to know about. Beta Cold Powder is our favorite cold weather HF quality wax even though it is fluor free. When it is below 20F, and particularly below 14F, this wax excels. When fluoros were a thing, we would use this as a race wax in bitter cold. It is super easy to apply because it comes in powder crystal form. Get some. Seriously, it goes on easy, it is fairly cheap, and it crushes in cold weather. Used alone, not to be mixed like cold powders.
Rex is a Finnish company that has shown to continue to develop amazing products and stay ahead of the waxing curve. We have loved Rex klister for years. Rex helped to start the push to fluoro free with their liquid G line waxes, and they have always made great gliders for blue conditions and specialty harsh manmade conditions. This year they have added popular race service products in Rex Gold Moly klister and Rex 30 GB kicker.
The N-line fluor-free grip wax series. Using the Rex N-Kinetic technology increases the glide and dirt repellency of this series. This replaces the Pro Grip series from Rex and is already a World Cup winner. We have liked these waxes as a new option to our kick wax box.
N31- Green -8C to -20C -4F to 18F A hard kick wax for cold conditions. Excellent glide properties on aggressive, sharp crystal snow, with still enough kick to be used as a final layer.
N41 Pink “Old Snow” -2C to -15C 5F to 28F A kick wax/klister mixture for old, transformed, and older snow. We see more and more of these kick/klister combos having real success on the snow. This seems to be a non fluor version of their popular race series TK-1814 kicker that has been tremendous. It is a very good wax.
N21 Blue -2C to -8C 18F to 28F Rex Blue kick waxes have traditionally been best in that snow that that tends between new and old. This one likely will be a great kicking blue.
N21 G Black “New Snow” -1C to -12C 10F to 30F A blue kicker with graphite specifically for new snow. Graphite helps with anti-static and clumping in the new snow conditions. This seems to be a fluor free alternative to Rex’s very popular 30-G wax.
N11 Yellow -2C to 2C 28F to 36F A yellow kicker for covering klister in wet or old snow or standalone in new wet snow.
New to the regular line is Rex 30 GB FF kicker. This wax is specifically made for new snow in the high teens and twenties. Immediately becomes a must add to every wax box.
Blue -5C to -30C -22F to 23F This is an extremely durable blue klister that is especially good in abrasive and wet cold snow. Been around for years and still as good as it ever was. Can be tricky to work with but the result is worth it!
Purple -0C to -7C 19F to 32F When you have icy snow, especially in areas where the snow is wet, Rex Purple is the truth.
Gold -3C to -7C 19F to 27F One of the best klisters on the market period. Gold works incredibly well in manmade snow and glazed tracks. Also available in a liquid version.
New! Rex 30 Gold Moly is the same Gold klister we love with Moly added to it for dirtier coarser snows. We love this klister!
Red Special 0C to 10C 32F to 50F This one is a winner in the slush or when wet new snow is falling. Also available in a liquid version.
TK-2251 0C to 10C 32F to 50F A Race Service offering that is just OV, one of the greatest klisters of all time! Good for coarse wet snow. Can be mixed with universal klisters to increase the range.
Universal 10C to -30C -22F to 50F A universal that is best on the warm end of where traditional universal klisters work.
Base Rex Base is a tacky base klister with great durability. Also available in a liquid version.
On the glide side, Rex has a solid lineup of waxes that are fluor free. They are also coming with a multi-tiered lineup of fluoro free. Here is the breakdown:
RG Series Liquid and Paraffin are available in 150ml liquids or 40g blocks. They claim to have better performance across the board than the G series which has been good at times. The liquids mimic the G series colors, and temp ranges below and the blocks are available in Green, New Snow Graphite, Blue, and Yellow.
Rex is also making an N-Kinetic fluor free “topcoat” liquid in warm and cold. These are 50ml liquids. Cold is for -4C to -20C and Warm is for -4C to +1C. They are priced at or higher than what fluoro liquids were at, but have been very good on some days. When they are good, we cannot find anything to beat them.
Rex still makes their traditional paraffin line as well. The Blue is a must.
Rex G Series
Rex G series is 150ml and can do several pairs of skis, making the cost per application bearable. The G series is made up of UHW or ultra hard polymer wax blend. We had some real success with this line last year but also some misses. The G series can be really fast, but it is important to test and not blindly put it on snow.
G41 +5C to-20C 41F to -4F Rex says this is the hardest glide wax on the market for cold and older snow but also for coarse wet snow and icy crust. We have had some really good days with this wax on the colder end of its listed range and in manmade icy snow.
G21G +2C to -12C 11F to 36F For new snow, contains graphite. A specialty new snow wax that can run.
G21 -2C to -12C 11F to 28F A non fluor version of Rex’s famous Blue. We have found this to be the most consistent of the G series usually in the mix.
G11 -2C to +10C 28F to 50F This is the yellow version for when things get warm and wet.
***Service Tip*** For all Rex G line waxes: Shake the can well, then spray liberally on the ski for full coverage. Immediately smooth gently with a clean cork or thermos pad. Wait at least 30 minutes and then brush out with white nylon or horsehair. We found the G Series performed best when put on as far in advance as possible.
Hydrex 2 fluorinated spray continues to be the best zero/hairy cover spray that we have ever tested. There is no penalty to using it over a klister or kick wax job for improved speed and the same great grip. Fluorinated.
Rex Fluorinated Grip
30G- -8/+1C 30G is a fluorinated wax made as a new snow cover over harder waxes. It can be an effective shell when snow is falling to help increase grip. 30G can be used alone around freezing or as a klister mix. We liked this wax a lot last year when Rex gave us some to try.
TK-1814- -2/-15C A specific grip wax for manmade and coarse snow. This wax was developed in response to today’s courses that usually have very hard tracks and artificial snow. We like this wax and think it must be added to all wax boxes immediately.
You need Vauhti Super Base Binder. Period. This one is the must have. It is our favorite binder wax when extreme durability is needed. Apply it very thin, iron it, let it cool, and apply your top layers. It gives amazing durability and as long as you keep it thin and cover it, surprising speed. Literally, 100km is no problem with Super Base applied correctly. Also available in a liquid version. We love the Vauhti Carrot kicker for use in the 20s(F). Vauhti Violet and Universal klisters are also very good alone or mixed. After many years of asking Vauhti is making a 50:50 mix of the Violet and Universal klisters. Get some of this, trust us it is an excellent klister mix.
Vauhti is also going the route of a multi-tiered system of fluor free waxes dubbed the Pure Line. They are listed below.
- Pure Race Liquid, Paraffin and Powder
- Pure Pro Liquid and Paraffin
- Pure UP Liquid and Paraffin
- Pure One Liquid
- GW Paraffin