Here's a few reasons why our workshop team love using the new MountainFLOW Eco Wax

Here's a few reasons why our workshop team love using the new MountainFLOW Eco Wax

Ski wax might be a small fish in a big frozen pond but it’s a product that is quite literally in contact with nature and has long been a hot topic in ski circles.

The use of substances applied to the base of wooden planks has been around since the 1700’s thanks to savvy Scandinavians using pine tar pitch to overcome the drag of friction. In 1854 the Californian gold miners would organise ski races where home brew vegetable compounds were smeared on ski bases to form one of the first commercially sold ski lubricants, interestingly known as ‘Black Dope’.

These old timer products were fairly environmentally friendly but over the years they evolved in the need for speed to reach the current form of the Fluorinated wax and Hydrocarbon waxes we see today.

There is a complex science behind modern wax that puts it into two categories: Fluorinated wax and Hydrocarbon wax. Both are petroleum based, and are by-products of crude oil refining. Fluorinated wax used at the highest echelons of racing contain ‘per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances’ (PFAS) which are water repellent chemicals that increase glide by decreasing friction. PFAS are known as ‘ferever chemicals’ as theyrefuse to break down over time, so is great for going fast but not great for the environment. These chemicals get deposited in the snow and build up over time, when spring arrives and the snow melts those chemicals run into our water sources, becoming a risk to nature, animals and even humans.

Hydrocarbon waxes, on the other hand, are used more widely amongst the recreational ski community and don’t contain harmful PFAS chemicals, making them slower in performance but better (although not perfect) for the environment.

FIS has recently put a ban on Fluorinated waxes, which has been met with relief from many a ski workshop technician, and is a huge step into forcing brands to look for alternative ways to keep people gliding.

Step forward plant based waxes. There have been many sustainable attempts at waxes, but many were too expensive or just didn’t not perform well enough to keep people using them. Which, when you have that one week a year on snow, can make or break your holiday.

Lately plant based brands have been on the rise and in particular a brand called Mountain Flow who are shaking up the old ski wax ‘firm’. Their waxes are made from plant based materials and are a USDA certified bio-based product, which is responsible for displacing 300 million gallons of petroleum per year in the US alone.

There’s no greenwashing here either, with packaging being 100% biodegradable. They back it up with some heavy hitting pro skiers including one of the worlds top slalom racers…….which shows how far this little start up has come.

After years of testing waxes on unsuspecting staff members, the Racers Edge backshop team have adopted Mountain Flow as the wax of choice in an attempt so make better decisions when choosing the brands and products we put into our environment.

Back to blog