PRELIMINARY WAX TIP: 2016 American Birkiebeiner

Race day waxing can be hectic, so rest easy the night before the 2016 Birkie by waxing in advance.  Above, the author helps classic racers at the Mora Vasaloppet apply the structure of the day.
Following is the preliminary Cyclova XC Racing Service 2016 Birkie Wax tip for the 3 major wax brands of the region. Note that these are not officially endorsed wax tips by the wax companies, rather these are tips that I have personally created based on my 17+ years of professional experience in creating race wax tips.  Please also note that these wax tips will be updated, should they need to be.

For the full scoop on how to follow wax tips, check out MY ARTICLE on the topic. 

If you would like Cyclova XC's waxing guru's to wax your skis up for the fastest skis of your life, CLICK HERE for the full scoop!

Event:  American Birkiebeiner, from Cable to Hayward, WI.

When:  23k Classic/Skate, 52k Classic, or 50k Skate. 9 waves, with the elites starting at 8AM at Telemark on Saturday, February 20, 2016.

Want More Details???  I expect the snow & weather conditions of the 2016 Birkie to be nearly identical to the past several Birkies, therefore, my wax tip is very similar to last years.  See a very detailed commentary on the logic behind the 2014 Birkie Wax Tip, which again, is very similar to the 2016 Birkie.  This will help the most hard core ski dorks (yes, we're proud dorks) understand the reasoning behind the below information.  There is also a wealth of ski tech info on the Cyclova XC Ski Tech page.

Forecast & Conditions:  Overnight low close to 15'F, with a temp of near in the mid to upper teens at the start.  Daytime high will be in the mid 20's, with a mostly cloudy sky. The snow temp will be relatively cold.  Expect machined track conditions comprised of a mix of packed powder and old snow.  Some dirt will be present in the snow - particularly on the final 15 k of the Birkie course on the south facing hills - as well as in the vicinity of road crossings.  Classic tracks will be firm and somewhat glazed.  Due to the huge number of skiers going over the same snow (glazing and rounding off of the snow crystals), later wave skiers can wax a bit warmer than the early wave skiers. 

Ski Flex Tips:  Moderate to soft flexed skis for machined track conditions with a bit of fresh snow on top.

Structure Tips:
Structure (Elite through wave 3):  Cold SuperFine Grind or a fine structure (1 pass with the Blue Toko Structure-Rite tool).  
Structure (Wave 4 and back):  Cold Universal Grind or a medium structure (1 pass with the Red Toko Structure-Rite tool).  

Glide Wax Tips:
Fast Wax (Elite through wave 3): HS-10 Teal, Scrape, Brush, HSLF-10 Teal, Scrape, Brush, HSF-10 Teal, Scrape, Brush.  Apply Flite #11 Cold  (Blue) Flourocarbon ironed (using the Fast Wax Base Saver) or roto-corked in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad.  **NOTE:  As a more affordable alternative to Flite Flourocarbon, try the NEW Fast Wax Race Pro Cold Paste - in stock at Cyclova XC**
Fast Wax (Wave 4 and later): HS-10 Teal, Scrape, Brush, HSLF-10 Teal, Scrape, Brush, HSF-20 Tan, Scrape, Brush.  Apply Flite #11 Cold (Blue) Flourocarbon ironed (using the Fast Wax Base Saver) or roto-corked in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad **NOTE:  As a more affordable alternative to Flite Flourocarbon, try the NEW Fast Wax Race Pro Cold Paste - in stock at Cyclova XC**
Swix (Elite through Wave 3):  LF-4, Scrape, Brush, HF-4, Scrape, Brush, FC-7 (Cold Cera) ironed in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Swix (Wave 4 and later)  LF-6, Scrape, Brush, HF-6, Scrape, Brush, FC-8 (Medium Cera) ironed in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Toko (Elite through Wave 3):  Tribloc LF Black / Tribloc LF Blue mix (1 : 1 Ratio) Scrape, Brush, Tribloc HF Blue, scrape, brush, Jetstream Blue ironed or roto-corked in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Toko (Wave 4 and later):   Tribloc LF Black, Scrape, Brush, Tribloc HF Blue/HF Red mix (1 : 1 Ratio), scrape, brush, Jetstream Red ironed or roto-corked in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad (If you can get your hands on it, Helx Cold would also be an optimal Flourocarbon for this event).

Grip Wax Tips:
Swix:  Roughen grip zone with 150 grit sandpaper.  Apply Swix VR-35 Base Binder, iron, and smoothen with cork.  Wait to apply your grip wax of the day until Friday night, and check wax reports / weather.    The optimal grip wax of the day will likely be 4 thin smoothly corked layers of Swix VR-40.
Toko:  Roughen grip zone with 150 grit sandpaper.  Apply Toko Base Green, iron, and smoothen with your thumb while still warm.  Wait to apply your grip wax of the day until Friday night, and check wax reports / weather.    The optimal grip wax of the day will likely be 3-4 thin, smoothly corked layers of Toko Blue (later wave skiers who want more grip will likely enjoy 3-4 thin, smoothly corked layers of Toko Red).


Should you have any questions on Birkie ski prep, feel free to stop by or contact the expert ski technicians at Cyclova XC.  If you're interested in having us wax your skis, ensuring lightning fast skis, check our our Birkie Ski Service Program HERE.  Give a fun shout out to all of the Cyclova XC Team Skiers on the trail - as well as everyone wearing the Ski Like Landgraf Hats!