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PRELIMINARY WAX TIP: 2017 American Kortelopet & 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 2017 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 18+ 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 at this year's Birkie or Korte, CLICK HERE for the full scoop!  Also, check out the HUGE SKI PRODUCT SALE HAPPENING AT CYCLOVA XC - WITH MANY SKI PRODUCTS AT 50% OFF!

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

When:
American Kortelopet:  Friday, Feb 24, 2017.  Skate & Classic waves starting at 10:45AM
American Birkiebeiner:  Saturday, Feb 25, 2017.  Skate & Classic waves starting at 8:15AM.

Want More Details??? Waxing for a huge ski event like the Birkie is a very different deal than for a smaller more common event.  To understand the many considerations that go into a wax tip (especially for a huge event like the Birkie), check out this  very detailed commentary on the logic on the 2013 Birkie Wax Tip.  This will help the most hard core ski dorks (yes, we're proud dorks) understand the some on the considerations that go into the creation of a professional wax tip.  There is also a wealth of ski tech info on the Cyclova XC Ski Tech page.

PRIMARY FORECASTS USED IN THIS PRELIMINARY WAX TIP:
Race Day Forecast - National Weather Service Point Forecast
Favorite Long Term Forecast - Accuweather.com
Favorite long term weather commentary - JohnDee.com

EXPECTED CONDITIONS ON RACE DAYS:
After 5 days of temps continually staying above freezing (even overnight) and rain on Monday/Tuesday, expect snow the trail surface to be old & dirty transformed snow, with a fair bit of dirt & debris mixed in.  More dirt & debris (and less snow) will be found the further south you go, and especially on south facing hills and at road crossings.
 
Overnight lows both Thursday & Friday nights will be close to 15'F, with a temp of near in the mid twenties at the start.  Daytime high will be in the mid 30's, with a mostly cloudy sky. The snow temp will be relatively cold during the day despite warming air temps.  There is a chance of a bit of snow or sleet on Friday.  Expect machined track conditions comprised primarily of old dirty snow & ice.  Classic tracks will be firm, glazed, and very abrasive.  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 stiff flexed skis for machined/firm/icy track conditions.

Structure Tips for Korte & Birkie:
Structure (Jr Waves through wave 1):  Warm Universal Grind or a medium structure (2 passes with the Red Toko Structure-Rite tool).  
Structure (Wave 2 and back):  Corn Snow Grind or a coarse linear structure (2 passes with the Yellow Toko Structure-Rite tool).  

Glide Wax Tips :
Fast Wax (Elite through wave 1): HS-20 Blue, Scrape, Brush, HSLF-20 Blue, 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
Fast Wax (Wave 2 and later): HS-30 Red, Scrape, Brush, HSLF-30 Red, Scrape, Brush, HSF-30 Salmon, 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
Swix (Elite through Wave 1):  LF-6, Scrape, Brush, HF-6BD, Scrape, Brush, FC-7 Cera ironed in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Swix (Wave 2 and later)  LF-7, Scrape, Brush, HF-7, Scrape, Brush, FC-8 Cera ironed in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Toko (Elite through Wave 1):  Tribloc LF Black, Scrape, Brush, Tribloc HF Red, scrape, brush, Jetstream Red ironed or roto-corked in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Toko (Wave 2 and later):   Tribloc LF Black, Scrape, Brush, Tribloc HF Red/HF Yellow mix (2 : 1 Ratio), scrape, brush, Jetstream Red ironed or roto-corked in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad.

Grip Wax Tips:
Swix:  Roughen grip zone with 150 grit sandpaper.  Apply Swix KX-20 Base Klister, iron, smoothen with thumb, and allow to cool.  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 1 thin layer of Swix KX-30 or KX-35 Klister.  If fresh snow has fallen, this will likely be carefully covered with a thin layer of VR-40 hard wax.
Toko:  Roughen grip zone with 150 grit sandpaper.  Apply Toko Base Green Klister, iron, smoothen with your thumb, and allow to cool.  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 1 think layer of Toko Red Klister.  If fresh snow has fallen, this will likely be carefully covered with a thin layer of Toko Red hard wax.


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!


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