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My Wish List

by Andrew Johnson

For those of us who live to ski, February is something like a second Hanukah/Christmas /Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice/Festivus season. It is in that holiday spirit I present my wish list. Unfortunately most of these things don’t exist so don’t rush out and try to buy them for me.

#1 Heated Grips

Snowmobilers have them, why not cross country skiers? It seems like during the first 10 or 15 minutes of most races my fingers are cold. If I wear warmer gloves my fingers are fine at the start line but partway through the race they are soaked with sweat. How complicated would it be to slip a single AA battery and heating element into the grips? How heavy could it be? Come on One Way! Get on it.

#2 Winter Formula GU
Have you ever had to chew your GU? Summer marathoners, triathletes, bike racers, adventure racers and the like don’t know how lucky they are. You all know that when temperatures drop GU gets thick. Could someone come up with a non freezing formula for cold weather activities?

#3 The St. Paul/Minneapolis Ski Tunnel

Germany just built one, why don’t we do the same? You really need to watch this before you read on. Can you imagine being able to get your ski fix in the middle of the summer without an airline ticket? How about the annual 4th of July 5K time trial? Who needs fireworks?

#4 Ski-Over Waxing Stations

Maybe the weather changed or maybe you weren’t paying attention when you waxed your skis but you’ve got the wrong wax. Your skis are painfully slow and you still have 40K to go to the finish. What to do? How about some sort of two stage pad you could ski over in the middle of the race? The first portion could be saturated with a broad temperature, fluorinated wipe on wax and the second would be some kind of buffing pad or brush. I think FastWax could develop an IPass type system for the Birkie. Your timing chip functions as the sensor, there special are waxing lanes, and you get charged every time you choose to ski through one.

#5 Season Extending Ski Surfaces

Every ski area has it’s problem areas. South facing hills, wide open areas, and cart paths all lose snow quickly and cut the ski season short. I propose that some sort of plastic material (white in color to reflect the heat) be laid down over these areas. I’m thinking of something like this. Actually, now that I think about it, this stuff should be laid down on the whole trail so we can ski any time we want! I wonder what kind of wax you need for plastic?

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