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Wild Rumpus Sports

What’s the Wax? Birkie Tips

HAYWARD, Wis. — The American Birkebeiner expo was jumping with athletes on Friday afternoon, many of which buzzed around industry tables seeking advice from ski professionals.

What’s the wax?

With temperatures expected to be in the 20’s later Saturday morning, most everyone was recommending blue.


Here are a few tips from the service pros as seen on their websites or expo newsletters:

Boulder Nordic Sport:

  • Ski Selection: Early waves: med to stiff flex cold ski, Later Waves: Medium flex Cold Ski.
  • Stone Grinds: Skating S1.3 (CV0), S1.2 (S1-0x), S0.2 (0.55), S2.2 (S2-1x), Classic: C1.2 (XTi2), C2.2 (Li2), C0.2 (ZR1XL).
  • Base Layer: SkiGo LF Graphite
  • Race Paraffin: Holmenkol Matrix Blue or Ski*Go HF Blue
  • Fluoro Powder: Holmenkol Mid 08 or Solda HP05 or Ski*Go C105
  • Topcoat: Holmenkol Speedblock Cold
  • Structure: Holmenkol Structure Tool (one roller) or Finite L04/AF10
  • Kick: Clean the kick zone, rough up kick zone with sandpaper, iron in a binder layer of Toko Green hard wax/binder. We tested quite a lot of kick wax Friday at 10AM and found the following recommendations. Conditions on race morning are supposed to be colder, with more new snow possible, so this may need to be adjusted on race morning!
  • Guru Green for those who are skiing early and have solid technique.
  • Rode Super Extra for those in later waves or who need a little extra kick. It had great kick and was the fastest of everything we tried except Rode Super Extra has better kick and is still almost as fast as Guru Green. SkiGo HF Blue was also quite good, although with the new snow coming, SkiGo HF Violet might be a better choice.


Fast Wax:

  • Glide Wax: Apply 2 layers of HSF 20 Tan over 1 layer of HSLF-20 Blue. Top coat with Flite Cold, Iron in using the Fast Wax Base Saver
  • Grip Wax Options: (Make sure to rough up your wax pocket with 100 grit sand paper before waxing)
  • Iron in Rode Black Binder, cork in and let cool, then cover with several layers of Rode Multigrade Blue or Rode Multigrade Purple, –> Rode Violet Special
  • Iron in Rex Blue Power Grip or Grip Tape then add a layer of Rode Multigrade Blue or Rode Mutligrade Purple –> Rode Violet Special


Start Wax:

  • Glide: Start Blue for snow 10F-20F: It will be a high humidity day with plenty of moisture and dirt. The more Fluor skiers use, the faster the skis will be throughout the race. … The skiers in the back 1/3 will have air temps above this range but the snow will remain colder and with the extra dirt farther back, Blue is still ideal. Choose between SG6, FG16, LF07 or HF70 based on your budget and goals. Two layers of Blue with your highest Fluor on top. … For 100% Start Speed use SF10g or SFR 99 block or Nano N7 — 100% Finishing Fluors.
  • Kick: Start Blue. Iron in Base Wax on roughed up kick zone to keep your kick in your kick zone for 22 km or 54 km. Add 5-8 thin layers of RF Blue. RF Blue has the widest temp range 14-15F of all our blues and has a lot of Fluor for dirst and moisture. Terva Tar Blue (the poor man’s Fluor) would be another good option for those that have it but we would recommend the durable Synthetic Blue under it for durability.



  • Glidewax: All waves, both techniques: Apply LF Moly, scrape and brush, then apply HF Blue, scrape and brush. Finish by rotocorking JetStream Blue, brush with a dedicated nylon polishing brush and polish with a thermopad. “Quick ironing” the JetStream Blue and corking over it is also a great option. See for demonstration.
  • Gripwax: Rough kick zone with 150 grit sandpaper, apply Nordic Base Wax Green, iron in, cork smooth, let cool. Then apply one layer of Nordic GripWax Blue, cork smooth, and cover with Base Wax Green, cork smooth. Then Blue, Green, Blue, all full length of zone. Follow with Green, Blue, Green, Blue, in middle of kick zone. Later waves should carry GripWax Red and a cork.
  • Structure: A fine linear structure covered by one pass with the Blue Structurite tool (before JetStream application) will best suit these conditions.


Click here for a complete list of Birkie expo vendors and website links. 


Birkie Elite Sprint Video

Video of the 2012 Birkie Elite Sprints is now available to watch. The sprints were won by Jennie Bender (CXC) and Dmitriy Ozerskiy. Watch the video here

Ammar and Swank Win Freestyle Gatineau Loppet

The second consecutive day of racing got underway today at the 34th annual Gatineau Loppet  under blue skies.  Again the competition for the top step on the podium was close and hard fought.  In the men’s 51km race it was Duluth, Minnesota’s Adam Swank who took the sprint finish by four seconds and by the same margin it was Canmore, Canada’s Amanda Ammar that claimed the women’s crown. In the women’s race Ammar crossed the line in 2:24:55, just four seconds ahead of Canmore’s Andrea Dupont.  Robyn Anderson of Stowe, Colorado took the final step of the podium in 2:26:34. The men’s 51km race was just as close as Swank finished in 2:06:52, just besting Anchorage’s Lars Flora.  Pate Newman (Canmore, Canada) captured third in the same time as Flora – 2:06:56. In the 27.5km freestyle race it was a pair of Ottawa skiers that claimed the top hardware as…

Larinova and Enevoldson Win Gatineau Loppet 51km Classic

For the first time in five years great conditions allowed for the full course to be used for this 34th Gatineau Loppet. With temperatures just below freezing Tatiana Larinova (Irkutsk, Russia) skied to a three minute win in the women’s 51km classic race, finishing in 3:21:23.  Ottawa’s Carley Kenwell captured second in 3:24:36, while Rimouski’s Louise Martineay rounded out the podium in 3:25.:05. In the men’s 51km classic race Canmore’s Jon Arne Enevoldson out sprinted Rosemere’s Phil Shaw to win by just two seconds in a time of 2:37:45, while former UVM standout Juergen Uhl (Burlington, Vermont) claimed third in 2:39:59. In the women’s 31km classic race Michelle Workun-Hill (Chelsea) posted the best time in 1:27:33, while Samuel Dostie-Ménard (Gatineau) took the men’s crown in 1:18:56. Festivities at the Gatineau Loppet continue tomorrow when the freestyle races get started. Complete Results 

2012 Unofficial Birkie Guide Website Launched

For the past two years, Ari Ofsevit has published an unofficial guide to the American Birkebeiner in the form of of a blog post. The guide provided all sorts of useful information, from logistics to trail updates. This year Ari has raised the bar, creating a dedicated website for the run-up to the 2012 Birkie. “I’ve fleshed out the blog post in to a more-full-blown website,, which should help new skiers navigate the maze and old skiers chuckle about wave start times and rutted hills,” Ofsevit said. “In other words, I have a severe case of the fever. And I’m trying my best to be contagious.” “As race day nears, I’m keeping tabs, daily, on the long-range forecast and posting the ‘weather speculation’ on the site. I’m also keeping an eye on changes to registration, start times and trail closures and posting them as they come about, as well as…

Mora Vasaloppet Canceled

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Liebsch and Gregg Win City of Lakes Loppet

Matt Liebsch (Team StrongHeart/Team Birkie) outsprinted Brian Gregg (CXC) in a shortened and relocated City of Lakes Loppet to take the victory in Minneapolois, Minnesota. Eric Wolcott (CXC) was third nearly 1:30 behind. In the women’s race, Caitlin Gregg (CXC) skied to a clear victory over teammate Jennie Bender, winning by 2:22. Natalia Yakimova was third 10 second behind Bender. Gregg’s winning time ranked ninth overall in the field of 596, just behind Olympian John Bauer. The race was relocated in its entirety to Wirth Park, due to low snow and deteriorating ice conditions on the lakes. The distance in the premier freestyle race was reduced to 17k. The 2012 Loppet Festival consisted of numerous events over two days, including the Finn Sisu sprints on Saturday and a classic race Sunday morning. City of Lake Loppet Results    

Stanislav Rezac and Susanne Nyström wins Ski Classics König Ludwig Lauf

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Dussault and Liebsch Win Boulder Mountain Tour

SUN VALLEY, Idaho – Rebecca Dussault and Matt Liebsch skied to victory in the 37th Boulder Mountain Tour today.  The 32km freestyle race generally sees closes finishes due to the elevation loss throughout the course and this 2012 version was no different. In the men’s race Liebsch took a 13 second margin to the line to earn victory in a time of 1:13:34.7.  Lars Flora just edged Nils Koons by 0.4 seconds as the pair claimed second and third respectively. The women’s race proved to be just as exciting as Dussault’s time of 1:18:13.8 edged Morgan Arritola by just 0.8 seconds to earn the win.  Chelsea Holmes then came to the line just 1.2 seconds later for third. Complete Results