Hey Dude! You got the wax!

Here's a guest article by Steve Peplinski for you to enjoy!  He makes a few pretty solid points so pay attention!

Hey Dude! You got the wax!

Sometimes they scream it at me as I flash past them on the downhill. It’s always during a race. Sometimes it’s a long steep downhill, and I’m in a tuck shooting past some gently skating skiers. Other times, it’s a less dramatic pass, late in the race. A couple of years ago with only a few k to go in the Birkie, I was closing in on a skier. I watched him climb each hill, and then pulled closer on each downhill. Finally, I knew that I could pass him just over the next rise. As I glided past, he said “Boy, I wish I could change skis with you.” I smiled inwardly, knowing the secret of fast skis. I’m about to share it with you.

Is it stone grinding? Perfect base structure scientifically matched to the temperature and snow conditions? Maybe it’s using a heat box to saturate the bases. Or maybe it’s that final brushing with a brush crafted of Tibetan yak hair. It’s all of the above and none of the above. Yes, I have good wax, but in truth, my competitors probably know just as much about waxing as I do. So why do I have the fast skis? It’s simple. I ski faster. Not all the time, but I ski faster when it counts.

I watch my competition as I climb. They all look pretty strong. Some look more powerful than I. They may be pulling away from me on the uphill. But once I hit the downhill, I usually gain ground. I’m not too concerned about losing a couple of feet to them on the uphill. In fact, I prefer to. But when the crest of the hill approaches, I want to have a little bit extra to keep skiing when most everyone else is resting. I see it all the time, after a great climbing effort, skiers stand up and go into resting mode at the most critical part of the climb. Meanwhile, I’m trying out my best V2 sprint form as I crest the hill and accelerate down the back side. Once I get up to speed, I get into an aerodynamic tuck and enjoy the scenery as I close in on skiers in front of me. All because “I have better wax.” It’s interesting to see strong, experienced skiers stand up and get into a resting slouch as they get to the top of a hill. Interesting and rewarding because I know that even though they trained just as hard as me, even though they are in just as good shape (maybe better) as I; even though they may be 20 years younger than I, “I got the wax!” I’ve decided to come with an acronym for the phenomenon: WAX: Win At the Xenith” alright, zenith is the correct spelling, who knows what WAZ is. As they start their well deserver rest for a hard climbing effort, I win the downhill by the judicious application of power at the highest point of the climb.

So stop worrying that your skis didn’t spend enough time in the hot box. Forget about the shortcomings of your base prep. The way to have fast wax is to ski fast when it counts. And that is completely within your control.

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