The Ski Test Guys

Answers to some commonly asked questions:

Q: I've heard using matched skis is important in wax testing, are you using matched skis?

A: Matched skis are important if you are doing a single test to pick the best wax for the day and you put a different wax on each ski.  We are not doing that.  We are using the same ski over and over again.  Over a period of years we've put different waxes on the exact same ski to see how that ski's behavior changes with different waxes.  We have the most perfectly matched skis you could have, the same ski tested multiple times.

Q: Your test results were determined at 5 km/hr.  I ski much faster than that.  Are the results valid at higher speeds?

A: Our particular tester is limited to about 10 km/hr max speed.  Up to that speed we have not seen any evidence that the comparisons between the waxes would be any different at 10 vs 5 km/hr.  Other researchers ( have shown similar results as ours.  They have shown that the coefficient of friction is a linear function with velocity up to 30 km/hr.  So, we feel confident that our results at 5 km/hr apply.

Q: What about the effect of humidity?

A: Our data does show some effect of humidity.  However, even with 1000 test runs we don't have enough data at this time to make a statistically meaningful statement on the effect of humidity across all temperatures, waxes, snow types and humidity.  It will take more data to do that.  For now, our data is comprised of and valid for "normal" humidity ranges which is between 40% and 80%.  As we get more data we will refine the results and conclusions.

Q: When should I use your test data instead of my own glide testing?

A: If you can test your skis right before your event and the temperature won't be changing during the event, the traditional glide out test is a fine way to pick the best wax.  But, if the temperatures will be different, or worse, changing a lot during the event our results will give you some insight into how the wax performance will change during the day and which wax would have the best overall performance across those changing temperatures.

Q: What about fluorinated waxes?

A: We now have some data on one fluorinated wax (Swix HF8).  More data is being acquired all the time and we will update the charts when we can.  We are also evaluated the effectiveness and durability of pure fluoro topcoat powders.  That data too will be made available once we have enough data to make accurate statements.

Q: What about wax brands?

A: It takes A LOT of time and data to compile these results.  Over time we will add in addition wax brands.  For now, use wax hardness to compare brand X vs the waxes we've tested.  If the wax from brand X has a hardest value similar to one we've tested the results will probably be similar.  We've compiled hardness values here: