The Ski Test Guys

By combining the data we acquired on  Ski Wax Friction vs Temperaturewith a weather forecast of Temperature vs Time of Day with a race course profile and the time of day skiers are on the course and some physics and exercise physiology methods (Moxnes, John F., Øyvind Sandbakk, and Kjell Hausken. "Using the power balance model to simulate cross-country skiing on varying terrain." Open access journal of sports medicine 5 (2014): 89)  we can make a pretty good estimate of the effect different waxes will have on the time to complete a ski race.  


The example below shows the effect on race times in the American Birkienbiner for a simulated temperature forecast.​​  The black line in the graph below shows the temperature forecast vs Time of Day, the temperatures are shown on the left side Y-axis.  The coefficient of friction of all ski waxes change a great deal with temperature.  The colored lines in the graph show the coefficient of friction vs time of day for the ones we have data for.  The coefficient of friction values are shown on the right side Y-axis.

Ski Wax Performance Forecast for Upcoming Events

How the forecasts are made:

As this chart shows, it's not always obvious which wax will be the best over the duration of a race when the temperatures are changing.  But, we have a mathematical model that combines the temperature forecast with the friction data and a race course profile and an exercise physiology model that allows us to make a pretty good estimate of the effect of waxes.

We ran that model with the data shown above and the results are shown in the chart below.  The top section shows the average time it might take a person in each wave to complete the Birkie, the fastest time is highlighted with BOLD font.  The lower half shows the time difference for each wax compared to the fastest wax for each wave.

Wax performance forecasts for the major events in the midwest region will be made available prior to the events.  

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