BNS Mid Season Wax Review: Fluor Free Glide - What We Know

With a half-season of testing and talking with trusted waxers and tech reps we are starting to get a decent sense of what is working well for glide waxes in the new fluoro-free era. While we are still searching for more clarity on some things and more new products are likely to be introduced next year, BNS has a decent feel for the products that are available now. 

The biggest difference between fluorinated and non-fluorinated glide wax is overwhelmingly the consistency on snow. While the fluoro stuff was remarkably consistent, fluor free (FF) products can be hit or miss even day-to-day. Choosing your products wisely makes a big difference. 

Another thing we have found is that most of the upsell waxes above the basic lines from most companies do NOT seem to make much of a difference, if any at all. We still have hope for some, but as of now they simply don’t seem to be worth the extra money. 

Rode Racing Liquids, available in Cold, Med and Warm have been fantastic. These liquids are easy to apply and don’t spray on so one bottle lasts a long time. Most importantly, they are consistently fast. Over and over again we hear back from people that Rode is at the very top of their tests. The same is true of the iron-in paraffin racing waxes, with the Blue, Violet and Red standing out. Unfortunately, when you get to the yellow range, almost all of the FF products are not very good. That is the harsh reality across all brands and something we have to adjust to in the FF era. Ski flex and base material, structure and grinds make a huge difference above 32F and that is where we need to turn our efforts without the crutch of fluoros.

We have found the new Swix 5(PS5, HS5, TS5) series is quite good. The 6 is also a standout wax. 

For some reason the Rex G series sprays which were really good at times last year have not been as good this year in our testing. We keep hearing the same from testers across the country. Strange, but maybe it is a snow type issue? Hard to tell but they showed enough value in the past on certain days that we are keeping them in the mix. The G41 can be particularly good in manmade colder snow. 

Start seems to be the best in the Blue range.  

Vauhti FF products have been pretty hit or miss. When it is good it is quite good, but they seem to lack consistency. 

The Holmenkol Ultra, Beta and Alpha liquids have been good in manmade, but not as good in natural yet. The iron-in paraffins are very solid across all snow-types, but especially in drier snow.

That is what we know for now and we will keep updating as we get more testing done and the snowpack changes. As always, please don't hesitate to ask us questions.