The Science of Cross-Country Ski Lubrication: Do You Really Need Fluoride?

Lubricating cross-country skis is a science. Can you do without fluoride?

We have been using them for decades, but waxes with fluorine are now prohibited in biathlon. Harmful to health and the environment. For recreational athletes, they are still on sale, but you can try without them. Servicemen of the Czech biathlon team and its partner, the Hamé brand with its Májka, provide tips on how to do it.

Why do waxes with fluorine end? Its compounds increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, liver damage, cancer and hormonal problems. But fluorine significantly repels water and dirt, waxes with it worked much better, especially on wet snow. “We can forget all the knowledge and experience of recent years, we’re going back to the beginning,” says Jan Lušovský, a member of the team that takes care of the top cross-country skiers for the Czech biathlon representatives.

Preparation of cross-country skiing Source: Client

How to deal with fluorine-free waxes:

1. I prefer more cheaper ones. Fluorine-free waxes operate in a narrower temperature range, so more frequent relubrication is more likely. Rather than buying a few expensive ones, buy a more complete set of cheaper ones. You won’t waste valuable material.

2. Temperature is the basis. But which one? It is best to measure the temperature of the snow. Therefore, buy a special thermometer that costs a few hundred crowns. But watch out! Some waxes indicate the temperature of the air, others of the snow.

3. The iron is a certainty. Forget the “I’ll spread it cold and the rest will gradually roll down the slide” approach. Always use a high-quality iron with a precise temperature setting to avoid burning the slide.

4. Liquid waxes make the job easier, but… Liquid waxes are applied with a sponge and you do not need to iron them. It’s easier, but they can only last 10 km on skis. Rigid and well-ironed for several tens of kilometers.

5. One layer is enough. Sometimes you will read that several layers can be applied. When the ski is properly prepared, one layer will do. Even the pros do it that way.

6. Cleanliness above all else. Even small dirt that you leave on the slide can ruin your effort to “make it ride”. Professionals recommend cleaning cross-country skis immediately after riding, and not in a hurry in the morning before waxing.

7. Don’t forget the equipment. Get a special scraper, brush, slide cleaning solution and cleaning paper. Forget the painter’s spatula and petrol.

Preparation of cross-country skiing Source: Client

In conclusion: Are you sticking with fluoride waxes? Use respiratory protection when lubricating.

How do the Czech representatives see it?

“Well-lubricated skis are the most important of all. When the skis are going beautifully, I know that I will finish ahead of my competitors down the hill. And that’s a great feeling, you feel strong.”
Jessica Jislová, representative of the Czech Republic in biathlon

“With good skis, the difference in the quality of lubrication is not big in feeling, it can only be seen in comparison with the entire starting field. For worse skis, proper lubrication is much more important. It’s like riding a road bike or a mountain bike, you can tell the difference.”
Michal Krčmář, representative of the Czech Republic in biathlon

Source: Client

Májka: a tasty snack for the mountains that fills you up

On cross-country skiing, trips to the mountains, but also during normal winter trips with children – the popular pate Májka from Hamé will satisfy hunger everywhere. This tasty snack, which several generations have grown up with, has been with us since 1966. Thanks to the practical packaging, all you have to do is tear off the lid and spread. So don’t forget it when packing your backpack!

From all correct answers, we will draw three winners who will receive a package with products from HAMÉ.

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