Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sage skiing advice

A fine day of skiing. We all—Rad, the Real Doctor, and I—felt a bit like we were playing hooky, but on the other hand, sometimes you just gotta go. Especially after a week like the last, and especially if it seems like the snow is all about to go away because it’s been so warm. The warm conditions demand klister, and klister demands attention.

The Wax Curmudgeon is full of sage advice on how to deal with the challenge of wet, three-week old snow. So of course, I asked how he prepared for the day’s snow, and received an earful: “Avoid Swix klisters above KR40. I just haven’t gotten them to work. Now, Toko makes a silver klister—mind you, not Swix silver, which is entirely different—that they sell as a base layer, but that I use as a kick wax when the snow is old like this, but not really wet. With it wet like this, you want to try Start klister. They sell it as “OU” or “OY” or something, but I just grab the red box or the yellow box. That could work today, but it’s kind of a dry wind. Rode makes a klister they call “Gialla” that’s good for really wet snow like this, but only if it’s warmer. I saw G______ from Truckee put a base of Toko silver, with a layer of Star—not Start, Star—fluoro klister, and he could get grip on snow that was submerged in a puddle of meltwater, so if you feel like blending klisters, that would work. Right now I’m trying out a klister by a Canadian company—it’s outrageously expensive, $40 a tube, but it’s supposed to go all the way from plus 2 to plus 20. I tried it at 13 degrees and it was useless. I thought I would give it one more try, and today it seems to be working. What are you on?”

“Um, Swix KR70, stuff that was left on my skis from two weeks ago. It sorta works.”

Using klister necessitates removing klister. Which leads to V.’s comment, related by somebody who might be a cousin of the Wax Curmudgeon:

…when you set about trying to remove the klister from your skis, take a thin sheet of papery paper towel and stick it firmly to the klister on the bottom of your ski, ripping off any extra paper that overhangs the ski, then get yourself a sharp scraper, maybe even metal, but in any case, thin, and sharp, and begin scraping off the paper-toweled klister, et voila, eh? Normally klister when you try to scrape it will first begin to roll up, and then, suddenly, right before you were going to stop and wipe and reset, whammo, reverso-gobster, impossible to get off! Do not at this point get frustrated and swear and cuss and sweat and try to wipe off the klister by rubbing the whole ski up and down the front of your shirt and your face, no-non little grasshopper, with ze powerful and sleek paper towel method, klister comes off cleanly, and it is bound and corralled by the paper towel, so you can toss it away, knowing that you have captured all the klister in the paper towel and also not gotten boogers all over oneself nor anyone else! Hoo hah! ya hey dere, den...

So I tried this, and it worked, mostly. There was one big problem, and one lesson learned. When you have successfully removed the icky sticky klister from the ski, and a good blob of it is on your hand, do not swat the mosquito that just landed on your face…

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