Marcione: Chris on kick, part 1

It has often perplexed me why there is so little love for classic skiing in Colorado, and why many people default to skating. With the dry snow and endless gradual to moderate climbs, Colorado should be producing an army of classic striders. Let’s be honest, skate skiing can be miserable for a good chunk of the winter in Colorado. With dry cold snow, getting even reasonable glide for the best waxer and skating technician can be difficult at best and involve a lot of going nowhere. The most common excuse I hear about not classic skiing usually involves excuses about wax — “waxing is difficult,” or “what if I have used the wrong wax,” or “the temperature is warming up.”

Quit flailing on your skate skis in December and put the skin skis back on the shelf. I am going to teach you about some of my favorite kick waxes and when and why to use them, so you can experience the true essence of Nordic skiing — the kick and glide.

By far the most frequent waxes I use are Rode and Swix. Rode makes some incredible blue range waxes, and Swix fills in the margins on snow that is colder or warmer than that. Rode makes the best non fluro waxes in my experience, especially their Top Line waxes.

For about 90% of days in Colorado, you could get away with two waxes either used alone or in combination with each other: Swix VR30 and Rode Top Line B17. Swix VR30 is the go-to cold wax, it works in dry new snow up to about 15-19 degrees F and works well in older snow under 10 degrees F. Rode TL B17 works well in anything above those numbers up to around 30 degrees F in basically any conditions. If the temps are going to warm from 10F to 30F, I will start with a layer of B17 and put a layer of VR30 on top — this is a common scenario, and pretty much always works for two hours of good kicking.  

If the temps are in the single digits and warming to the teens and I need a bit more kick — or expect I will need more kick — I will start with a layer of Rode TL B310 or multigrade blue and cover with VR30. I have never found B310 or multigrade blue to work well on their own in Colorado, as they either ice on the cold end or have a very narrow range of temps that they work well in. Most likely due to diurnal temps which swing hard in Colorado, we have warmed beyond the capabilities of this wax.

What about waxes like Blue extra? Why is that not on this list? Blue extra is a staple wax, but in my opinion, it is slow and also not the easiest to apply compared to B17. It tends to glop on — the sport has evolved past this wax. It does work well if the snow is really old and dry, as does Rode Super Blue or Skigo XC or HF blue, but the range is nowhere near Skigo Blue, which will work from about 10F up to around freezing if the snow is old enough.

So, there you have it. For most days you can get by with two waxes, and expand your collection from there to fit a few different snow scenarios. In part two we will look at violet range waxes.

Chris Marcione is based out of Silverthorne, Colorado. He has extensive loppet racing experience across the state as well as in the midwest and is hoping to get his first taste of international Ski Classics competition in the near future. When he’s not being inspired by watching old videos of Petter Northug, Chris spends his time listening to podcasts while training and scanning Strava to find out skiable late-May snow.

Published by rsederquist

My name is Ryan Sederquist.  I am a man of many passions and dreams, and this website is the outlet for many of them. I am currently teaching 5th grade remotely in the Adams12 school district in Colorado. I have been an elementary music teacher in Alamosa, Colorado, as well as a 7-12 band director at Lake County High School in Leadville, Colorado. I am also in the final, final stages of acquiring my M.S. in Exercise Science from Adams State University. In 2018-2019, we spent a year in Presque Isle, Maine as I coached the UMPI Nordic ski team. I currently live in Leadville, Colorado with my wife Christie, a special education teacher, and our border collie-German shepherd mix, Ajee. Even though it is not my full-time job, ever since I was a child, I had the desire to do one of three things professionally - pro sports, writing about pro sports, or being a radio talk show host. This website is where I pretend to do the latter two, and when I'm out pretending to do the former, I listen to podcasts, think about topics, and pursue my wild dream of someday, at some event, in either running, biking, or skiing, wearing a team USA uniform. This website contains articles, podcasts, pictures, and journal entries that have to do with my passion and involvement in endurance sports. Our flagship project is the Seder Skier Podcast, which talks mostly about nordic skiing and attempts to interview influential individuals in the ski world. I also rant about the Big 4 sports, with a lean towards Minnesota teams (Vikings, Twins, Twolves, and MN Distance Running). I sometimes try to write Sports Illustrated like 'feature' articles about athletes as well. In addition to a focus on sports, you will find the occasional article or show that discusses the intersection of theology and society ...which is ...obviously everywhere. We place these in our Skieologians podcast. The heading at the top of my homepage reads, "Search for Truth. Play with purpose. Strive for success." It is the underlying theme for my coaching philosophy, which can be downloaded from this site. Basically, I'm always looking to search for the truth in my pursuit of knowledge, whether that is knowledge regarding the best methods for waxing skis, training a quarter miler, or defending my Christian apologetic. Searching implies a dedicated pursuit for knowledge, and that is what I'm about and what this site is about, even if it is simply for providing viewers with an accurate description of a product. Play with purpose has to do with living out our passions because they are fun. I ski because its fun. I play music and teach young kids because there is joy in it. This blog is about celebrating the joy and fun that inherently exists in the pursuit of excellence and in the activities themselves. Finally, strive for success is built on the principle that true success is the realization that we gave 100% effort to become the best that we could possible be. It requires 100% in preparation, competition, reflection, mental effort, etc. If something is worth doing, I believe it is worth doing with that level of effort. Someday, I hope to race the Visma Classics - the entire season, wear a Team USA singlet, and have a job that involves writing or talking about sports or theology all day. If you know of any body I can reach out to to help me accomplish these goals, please email me at sederquistrd@grizzlies.adams.edu

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