Roger's Wax Review 2023-2024

Roger Knight

If you're serious about waxing skis, for yourself or your team, this is a must-read article. It's a long read and a lot of information, but consider it your early-season homework.

Every year, our in-house wax and ski service expert, Roger Knight, takes what we learn in the field and from our test partners and writes up the most comprehensive insider guide to all things wax. Some products and technologies are brand new, others go back generations.

Known for his objective and no-nonsense approach to ski service, we're proud to share Roger's notes on what should be in your wax box this season.

 Another year has passed, and we know a lot more about fluor-free (FF) waxes; what is working really well, and where. This gives us a huge baseline of knowledge and allows for race day tune-ups chasing speed with liquid or block waxes and structures. Below, I will speak to generalities and specific waxes, but keep this one rule in mind: with FF waxing, you don’t want to chase consistency race to race. There are too many variables to do that for most folks. The key is to find really good, consistent waxes you trust in each condition and then attempt to improve it with something on race morning. This will lead to excellent skis most of the time. Keep this in mind and trust the people who are doing the testing and gathering the information to help guide you along the way. 

My statement from last year that most wax companies were scrambling to make up money from losing fluorocarbons holds true today. Many companies are trying to get that money back by offering tiers of waxes with “more purity,” “special additives to increase speed,” “secret ingredients,” and the like. The reality is, so far, this is 90% hogwash. It’s a smoke screen to get you to buy more expensive wax with no real track record at any level. How can you tell? They use phrases like: “as fast as fluoros” (absolutely not), “tested on the World Cup” (no, they have still been using fluoros), or “we have years of testing behind this” (yeah, possibly four at most of very part-time testing). I urge you to be a savvy consumer. These new waxes are developing all the time. 

I do believe there are significant differences in most areas of the country between some of the wax companies. I do believe that the wax brands will eventually find something that provides really good performance when there is significant moisture in the snow. I know that hasn’t happened yet. You are being sold a Bill of Goods for the most part. If you choose to buy it, that is on you. On some days some of the more expensive waxes can be faster. Some. Not all. Not most of the time. In fact, a fair amount of the time, the basic waxes are better. Please be smart when purchasing, as you would be shocked at how truly slow some of the major waxes are that have the marketing machines behind them. As Flavor Flav and Chuck D once said: Don’t Believe the Hype. 

You have been warned. How do you be a smart consumer now? Trust the people you know are working hard to find waxes that work. Not brands. Waxes. That is how you know. Although some brands have fallen by the wayside with the FF era, others have stepped up their game and are making fantastic waxes. Likely, in reality, every brand makes 1-3 glide waxes you must have. When you get them, test, test, test. Don’t just do what some guru tells you in a YouTube or Facebook video with fancy words to sell you something. You might know as much or more than them now, heck maybe you always did. How about the person at the local race with fast skis? They may be on to something! They also may have gotten lucky or worse, be nefariously using fluorocarbon waxes still because of the lack of any reliable tests. 

Things we have learned in the FF era:

  • The biggest thing besides top speed and ease of glide on snow between the fluoro waxes and fluor-free waxes is the consistency. While a fluoro wax, even if it wasn’t the perfect temperature range or brand, could still be quite good, the current new waxes don’t provide that wide-ranging versatility and consistency...YET. They do provide a wonderful and competitive skiing experience still, however (for the most part). 
  • We have found very good Green, Blue, and Red waxes that have excellent performance and are fun to ski on. Yellow waxes are a lot trickier and more fickle, but some provide baseline good consistency even if they are lacking for top-end speed. 
  • The move towards reliable and durable liquid waxes continues with the new waxes. We have found nearly all of the liquids perform best when applied and left to sit overnight before brushing or buffing. The longer you let these things sit, the better the speed and durability. The carrying agents are all different in these, but they must evaporate for max speed and durability. So far, the best and most consistent waxes are not spray, but drip- or sponge-on. It is crucial, it seems, to do the application at room temperature and also let the liquids dry at room temperature. Some folks are flopping the liquids in with wool while wet with good results. Floppy rotos and hand felts are going to be key in application also. While ironing to dry the carrying agents or burn them out quicker, be super careful. Results here have been mixed at best and may be tied to wax brand and temperature more than anything. 
  • Many companies have special race service liquids that dry faster with great results for race morning application and testing. Almost all of these are not available at the consumer level yet, but we do expect to see them fairly soon for retail—perhaps as soon as the first of 2024. 
  • With kick and klister moving to fluor-free, some companies will lose their best products. Keep a keen eye to companies like Rode, who have always made amazing kick and klister and don’t have to change anything in their lineup to be fluor-free. Other companies that will stand out in this area are Swix V line kickers in blue and violet, Rex klisters, Start Oslo series kick, and Guru kick and klister. 
  • Base waxes are going to make a big difference going forward. Good, hard graphite and hard, clean waxes will help the durability and speed of the waxes we are putting on top. 
  • Yellow and Red waxes are rarely the winners alone. We found Rode Endurance and Swix Marathon White to be incredible waxes that ALWAYS need to be tested. We also found that combining Endurance and Marathon with Yellow and sometimes Red significantly increased speed and durability. We are constantly playing with combinations for testing and will be publishing tips bi-weekly this year on social and via email. 


Rode kickwaxes and klisters have long been the best in the world, and that isn’t changing any time soon. Family-owned and produced at a small factory in Asiago, Italy, Rode offers the best green-to-yellow classic skiing solutions. At BNS, if we had to pick one kick or klister line to use, it would be Rode or Guru—hands down. All of these Rode kickers and klisters are fluor-free, which means you don’t have to learn a new wax line. Just continue to use the best kick line that has ever been invented. There is a reason they have had the same formulations in a lot of their waxes for years; they work! No shocker here. 

Here is something that we 100% know to be true: Rode glide waxes are among the very fastest and most consistent products available. We have tried everything there is, and we keep coming back to Rode as a versatile, consistently fast, and easy-to-use lineup. The demand for their glide waxes has been extremely high with teams and other retailers, and we are excited to continue testing the new products and expand the knowledge of this amazing line from Italy. Do not overlook the point that consistency is one of the things we are looking for in the new FF waxes. Rode glide waxes are often as good or better than any other brand, but even more important, the Rode glide waxes are consistently good. Rode also has a commitment to the environment and uses aluminum bottles rather than plastic for their liquids. 

RXL - 

The Racing eXtra Liquid glider line is the evolution of the Racing Liquid line but with better speed and durability (sometimes) thanks to the use of different additives increasing the speed in certain snow types. Two years ago, the RXL line seemed to be better than the regular line only in older snow, but last year, the RXL line beat the RL line in testing 40-50% of the time in all snow types. The Rode liquids are just really good and must always be tested. Best to apply with the supplied applicator, let sit for at least an hour, and then brush out with a horsehair or stiff nylon brush. For increased speed and durability, use the Rode Wool Roto. 80ml Liquid

RXD Endurance -

Wow. This is an amazing wax. Every single glide test we ran the last two years, this was in it—and near the top. Every single time we used red or yellow bar wax, we mixed varying degrees of Rode Endurance in to harden it with great success. Buy a lot of this wax, it is that good. The best part is that it is significantly cheaper than Swix Marathon and available in 180g! 

Rode Racing Liquids

Rode Racing Liquids come in Cold, Med, and Warm. These waxes are durable and fast out of the gate. Simple to use, and a sponge applicator is included for easily spreading the product. This sponge also stays saturated, maximizing the use of the bottle. Non aerosol. Rode is one of the very few companies using an aluminum bottle for decreased plastic waste. 80ml bottles will do between 20-35 pairs of skis. All temperatures listed are snow temperatures.

****Tech Tip: Put on the night before skiing, buff with Rode Roto Wool, and then brush out with nylon or horsehair aggressively the next day for increased initial speed and durability.****

Racing Liquid Cold -5C to -15C (5F to 23F)

Really good in newer cold snow and at lower humidity. We tripled our sales to teams in this liquid last year, it is very good. 

Racing Liquid Med -2C to -7C (19F to 28F)

This one is a monster. If we were to recommend one liquid wax to have, it would be RLM. Good in a variety of snow types and in the key temp range of the 20s. This won about 70% of our fluor-free wax tests last year. We simply cannot say enough about this wax. 

Racing Liquid Warm -3C to 0C (26F to 32F)

RLW is a versatile warm solution in all warm snow types. 

Rode R Line Fluor Free Gliders are FAST! Rode has found special additives that increase water repellency and dirt abrasion and resistance that are ecologically friendly. This wax line is incredibly easy to use with low melting temperatures and speed on snow. Rode nailed it when they found the secret special additives they are using here because we were blown away by how good this wax is. All temperatures listed are air temperatures. Available in 3 sizes: 60g, 180g, and 900g.


Rode Kick Alaska- -15C to -30C (5F to -22F).

It’s back! We were able to convince Roberta from Rode to make us another production run of this cold-weather wax. Anyone who has waxed with Roger knows this is his favorite cold-weather kicker and cover wax of all time! Do not be scared to use a thin shell cover of Alaska in conditions up through the violet range for increased speed on snow. This one is a winner, but we only have a small inventory, so order quickly. 

Rode Kick Green Special- -10C to -30C (14F to -22F). 

Truly the cold side of a green kick wax. This is a time-tested favorite as a stand-alone when it is cold and abrasive, non-transformed snow. 

Rode Kick Green- -4C to -10C (25F to 14F) 

Performs well in all cold kickwax uses. Good speed, firm grip. BNS uses it as a cover wax to speed up most blue and green kick waxes. 

Rode Kick Blue II- -2C to -8C (29F to 18F) 

For the cold side of the blue range. Tends to have a firm grip but can lack a bit of speed. 

Rode Kick Blue I- -2C to -6C (29F to 21F)

The traditional Rode Blue kicker. Works best when snow tends towards wet. 

Rode Kick Blue Multigrade- -3C to -7C (27F to 19F)

Extends well below the listed range, as low as -12C or 10F. Amazing feel on the snow and adjusts well to changing conditions. If the temperature is in the teens, this wax is where you start all tests and oftentimes where the testing ends. A must-have in every box. 

Rode Kick Weiss- -1C to -4C (30F to 25F) 

There is a reason this was originally called Super Weiss and was a World Cup-only wax. Works as an amazing cover or to be used alone at the crossover between the Violet and the Blue range, especially when the tracks haven’t transformed to full glaze.

Rode Kick Blue Super- -1C to -3C (30F to 27F)

A great wax in high humidity, across all snow types. Often used as a cover wax just before the cross into "zero" conditions in wet snow because it rarely ices. Ignore the temperature range listed on this wax and try it in any green or blue kick wax situation. It is a really fast wax with great grip. 

Rode Kick Viola Multigrade- 0C to -2C (32F to 28F)

A favorite of coaches and Masters Racers alike. Works well outside of the listed range down to -5C. Adapts well to varying conditions and always provides great grip. We tend to cover this with Blue Multigrade or even Green for speed on race day. 

Rode Kick Blue Super Extra- -1C to -5C (30F to 23F) 

For new fresh snow and high humidity. This wax is really good in new falling or freshly fallen snow. If the snow is starting to glaze significantly, mix Super Extra 1:1 with Super Blue, you will thank us later.  

Rode Kick Violet- 0C (32F) 

Made for at-freezing conditions. It is the first wax to try at 0C, period. Small range, but this wax has saved us many times in the tricky range around freezing. Often used as a cover wax or in mixes with colder waxes. 

Rode Kick Viola Extra- 0C to +1C (32F to 34F) 

The plus side of the Violet range. Very specific, but can be good when the conditions are correct. Tends to be a bit slow and therefore often needs a cover.

Rode Red Extra- 0C to +2C (32F to 36F)

For conditions rapidly warming just above or below freezing. 

Rode Rossa- 0C to +3C (32F to 37F)

Tends to work best in wet new snow or just before klister conditions. 

Rode Yellow- +1 to +4C (33F to 39F)

Gialla! For new fresh snow above freezing and as a precursor to klister. 


Rode Klister Blue Special- -6C to -14C (21F to 7F)

Skare Special is a hard blue klister that can be used alone or as a binder. When using as a binder make sure that the kick zone is well sanded to prevent chipping. 

Rode Klister Blue- -3C to -7C (26F to 19F)

Skare is the gold standard for Blue binder klisters. BNS sells a ton of this klister that is usually used as a fast binder klister. 

Rode Klister Violet Special- -1C to -5C 3(0F to 23F)

A great klister in the harder, icy conditions that prevail in the Violet ranges. Dab a few dots of Rossa in when in higher humidity or rapidly warming conditions, or mix a bit in with hardwax when things get tricky. One of the best-selling klisters in the world for a reason!

Rode Klister Violet- -3C to +1C (26F to 34F)

Rode Violet is well known for its durability and speed in the hard snow typically associated with Violet klister. If the tracks are abrasive, you will want to have Rode Violet in the mix. We often dot in some Multigrade klister to help manage moisture and soften the Violet. 

Rode Klister Rossa Special- 0C to +3C (32F to 37F)

For wet snow just above freezing. Usually, we mix it with other klisters, such as Guru 39. 

Rode Klister Rossa- -2C to +4C (28F to 39F) 

For traditional wet snow Red klister conditions. This is the klister that everyone tries to copy with their Red klisters. Hint: They haven’t done it yet. Do not be scared to mix this with other klisters in this range, it almost always improves their performance. 

Rode Klister Silver- +1C to +5C (33F to 41F) 

Silvers are mixing klisters, and this is an easy-to-work-with one. There have been a lot of races won over the years with a Silver/Rossa mix. 

Rode Klister Yellow- 0C to +2C (32F to 36F) 

This klister, labeled Gialla on the package, is for new falling snow or precipitation just above freezing. We have had the most success mixing this klister in a 1:3 ratio with Rossa or Multigrade in wet snow. 

Rode Klister Universal- +/-0C (32F)

A Universal klister for all temperature ranges. This is a big-time kicking klister, so (ideally) it is used to just dot into other klisters to boost kick. 

Rode Klister Silver Extra- 0C to +4C (32F to 39F) 

Wet to Dry Snow. A traditional Silver mixing klister for all dirty snow conditions or use alone when the snow is drying. 

Rode Klister Nera- -2C to +5C (28F to 41F)

Used as a binder in warm wet conditions or as a mixer with other klisters in varying conditions. Smells great, but generally is never used alone.

Rode Klister Multigrade- -6 to +6C (21F to 43F)

The best universal klister in the world. Many refer to it as "the great fudge factor" as it is never bad. Used alone and in mixes with other klisters. If the tracks are starting to transition to full-blown wet near "zero" conditions, mix this with Rossa. A must-have in every wax box. 

Rode Klister Chola- 

Tacky binder klister for all conditions. This is particularly good in warmer binder conditions above -4C. Ironed in and wiped with fiberlene to create a thin layer when speed is a must. This is the hardest binder klister in the world and sets up like glass. 

Rode Base Klister Spray-

Base klister made simple! When it is time to apply base klister, skip the mess and speed the job up. Simply hold this spray upside down approximately 4cm from the ski, spray a thin layer on, and let cool. For racing or long distance, we recommend ironing it in. 

Rode Top Line Series Waxes:

This series of waxes was developed for the World Cup specifically and became available to the general public some years back. They deal well with the tough conditions around freezing, manmade snow, and rapidly changing conditions. At BNS, we use these waxes all the time, and they all work outside of their listed temperature ranges! Three hardwaxes and now four klisters. All are fluor-free!

Rode Kick Racing VO- 0C to -2C (32F to 28F) 

Great in falling snow just below freezing, manmade, and the tricky area approaching freezing. Can be used down to -5C/23F and should always be tested as a cover in the 20’s.

Rode Kick Racing VPS- 0C to -1C (32F to 30F) 

VPS is essentially a faster Rode Violet that often times kicks better, too. We are amazed at how much we use this wax. It just always seems to be on the winning test skis. 

Rode Kick Racing VXPS- 0C (32F) 

All snow conditions at, or around, freezing. This wax deals with the trickiest conditions out there. At zero Celsius this can be a real lifesaver. Extremely good in glazed new or new falling snow. We have been underselling this wax, you must have this in your wax box. Direct quote from a former WC wax tester: "I test everything and end up on this as my race wax at least half the time."

Rode Klister Racing K3- 0C to +3C (32F to 37F) 

Imagine Rossa Special klister with a wider range and more speed. That is exactly what K3 is. There are at least two days a year where this klister saves us when the moisture levels rise near freezing rapidly, and answers become few and far between. 

Rode Klister Racing KM3- -6C to +6C (21F to 43F) 

A tougher, and usually faster, version of Rode Multigrade. Excels in both manmade and natural snow equally. A wide-ranging klister that gets the job done no matter the snow type. 

Rode Klister Racing KR3- -2 to +4C (28F to 39F)

This klister is incredible in both artificial and natural snow around freezing and above. Especially fast as warming occurs and the snow gets more free moisture in it. Fast becoming one of our best-selling klisters at BNS. 

Rode Klister Racing KRS3- -2 to +5C (28F to 41F) 

KRS3 is made for wet, transformed snow. Anytime the snowpack is transformed and has a good amount of moisture in it. Especially as the temperature rises above freezing, this klister is dynamite. A fantastic new addition for Rode. 

We are also proud to offer Rode’s World Cup Service waxes that previously have been just a rumor for most. These three kick waxes are what all of the best coaches in the US call us about over and over. They are all amazing racing solutions for both speed and kick. 


For new fresh and cold snow below freezing to 10F or even colder with great kick. It always amazes us when we put this wax on snow—just how good it is. It provides a really solid kick with amazing release and speed in all snow crystal types but especially fresh or wet snow. Previously named WC Test -3/-10C.


For new, manmade, or mixed snow, this one is an amazing wax. It handles the 20s like no other wax we have seen, even when the snow is wet. Imagine having a wax with great speed and grip at 20F and 29F, BV17 provides it. Can also be used down to 10F with no compromise in speed. Previously named WC Test -1/-7C.


For older and artificial snow in the range where kick waxes start to fail -1C to -5C (30F to 23F). This is a faster version of Super Extra Blue with all of the kick. We have had success with this as a cover wax but it can be used for layering up as well. 

Rode Tools


The Wax Remover 2.1 formula has been updated to have a product with a more controlled evaporation, a much lighter smell, and less toxicity for easier handling. Available in 150ml spray, 500ml, 1L and 5L bottles. 


In the world of non-fluorinated waxing, how the product is applied and finished can make a tremendous amount of difference in speed and durability. BNS has found that this Rode Roto brush in merino wool is perfect for the last polish on the ski base and adds to the initial speed and durability of the wax. The wool microfilaments penetrate deeply into the incisions of the structure, forcing the wax in. Run this on the drill for a minute or two when new to let it shed. 


For the removal of polyethylene micro-hairs after grinding or on new skis. It also rounds the incisions left by the diamond stones, improving the effectiveness of the grinding. Also useful for refreshing any base that doesn’t absorb glide waxes properly. This can make a huge difference in making a ski that is less than primed much faster! To be used lightly on clean skis. Grey, 4 pcs 115x145mm.


Non-abrasive fibertex for removing polyethylene micro-hairs and polishing the base. Can also be used for removing old wax with wax remover or cleaner. White, 4 pcs 115x145mm.

Remember the Holmenkol scraper sharpeners that were amazing? Yeah, they stopped making them. Rode still makes one just like it! Get one and never have to worry about having dull scrapers again. This is THE BEST scraper sharpener on the market—and it isn’t close. I am still using the same one I acquired 12 years ago daily. This is money well spent for any team or individual. 

The Rode roto brushes are an excellent option that fits all standard Roto systems. The price is right, and they are as good as anything on the market, if not better. They make a great horsehair, soft nylon, hard nylon, and bronze brush, as well as a roto fleece. Completing the system is a roto cork if you are so inclined but be warned: I am going to judge you for using it instead of fleece. With the addition of the Roto Wool, this is a great roto option. 

With all of the new liquid waxes needing a way to buff them in without absorbing them, the Rode Felt Hand Brush is an incredible tool. Made of fleece and shaped in a rectangle for maximum ski contact, this brush is a new favorite. 

The Rode Iron Holder has a universal clamp for attachment to any wax bench and will keep your iron in a safe, stationary, easy-to-access position. Helps to prevent accidents that break or damage your iron. 

Rode Hand Cleaner is the best way to get kick and klister off your hands quickly and effectively. We are all professional waxers here, right? We don’t use stinkin’ hand cleaner! Wait. We 100% use this all the time because there is no other way to get that stick off. Get some. 

The Rode Synthetic Cork is a dense ergonomic cork for fast and easy corking of all waxes.

The Rode wax apron is the most stylish and coolest-looking out there. For real though, stop rocking the old-school aggressive single-color aprons, get with the Italian style, and get a Rode apron. 

Rode makes a great portable wall ski holder, something we all need and probably have but can never find when it is needed. Get a couple of these and stick them in your travel box so you don’t get stuck without one when you most need it. Or use it to spiff up your basement or garage wax area! 

The Rode Steel Waxing Table is a solid setup that folds up for ease of use. This is not a flimsy table, it is meant to work on and hold up! Comes with one XC profile for holding the ski on. 

Complete Profile Set made of steel. High-quality materials allow for attaching this to any table and giving one the perfect home setup for waxing. Comes with a storage bag. 

Rode Digital Thermometer is an extremely accurate thermometer with quick reading in a couple of seconds. Capable of going to -40F and up to 482F. The easiest and most accurate way to take a temperature, and all about the size of a small pocket knife. 


The Holmenkol Syntec FF line has proven to be very good in a wide range of conditions. The durability of the line is unmatched in the paraffin world in our testing. New for this year, Holmenkol has introduced powder waxes to their FF Syntec line in Blue, Red, and Yellow. I think everyone knows my feelings by now on FF powders. Expensive, pain in the butt, what are we doing here?!?!? The truth is IF you are chasing the fastest skis then these have to be in play. The FF powders have shown to have advantages sometimes and thus we embrace them begrudgingly. Holmenkol now offers these Syntec waxes in FF1 Powder, FF1 Liquid, and FF2 Liquid. The FF line is the paraffin bar form in 150g or 70g.

The Paraffin race waxes are in a solid form called “FF Bar” in Green, Blue, Red, and Yellow. All temperatures listed below are for snow temperature. 

We had tremendous results with Holmenkol FF21 Base Wax. This is an all-temp base wax for all other waxes, treating and helping to harden the ski base. FF21 is particularly effective in dirty or abrasive snow conditions or harsh, older manmade snow. It also stood out with graphite under it in drier snow types as the race wax. 

There are two levels of Syntec fluor-free liquids: FF1 Liquid and FF2 Liquid. Both are offered in Blue, Red, and Yellow. Holmenkol claims the FF1 Liquids are the absolute top level of fluor-free speed on the market, available in a 50ml bottle. The FF2 liquids come in a 100ml bottle and offer fluor-free performance at a level above the standard fluor-free liquids (Alpha, Beta, Ultra) at a more affordable price than the FF1.

FF Cleaner. This is the gold standard in a completely fluor-free glide cleaner. Holmenkol has always made the best glide cleaner, and now they have one that is compliant with all regulations. FF cleaner provides gentle glide cleaning that removes dirt and wax products so that ski bases absorb more wax and run faster. It is more than likely that you are not glide cleaning your team's skis enough. That is a fact. Offered in 100ml and 500ml 

Holmenkol offers three liquid waxes that have been on-snow winners: UltraMix Blue, BetaMix Red, AlphaMix Yellow. These three liquids are easy to apply, come in generous portions, and are great on snow. As a bonus, they are a thick wax like the old-school 7-11 Slurpees! Note that these are 250ml, or two to three times the size of most companies' liquids.  

Of course, the Hydrocarbon waxes are staples that everyone should have. We get a lot of great feedback on the AlphaMix Yellow, BetaMix Red, and UltraMix Blue. Simple, broad-range, affordable, and great performance. Beta Red is a universal travel wax and base wax for many teams because it is so good, and the Ultramix is a really easy-to-use blue CH wax. 

Holmenkol kick waxes are a good training option. The red kicker fits in as a great funky snow or new snow near-freezing option. The klisters are a practice option only in our opinion, except for the Red Spezial (0/-2C) and Black Spezial (-1/+10C). Black Spezial is a sneaky amazing klister in all different types of conditions. Race Service Tip: Mix Black Spezial 1:1 or 1:2 with Rode KM3 in nasty wet conditions.

For tools, the pro groove scraper, horsehair brush, microfinish fine steel brush, racing scraper sharpener, digital iron, and thick plate digital iron are the big hits. We cannot say enough about this horsehair brush. It is the best brush out there, very affordable, and does an amazing job. I repeat, this is the best horsehair brush on the market and it isn’t close. We like to work it in as a second brush option on almost all waxes. All Holmenkol brushes are available in rectangular and larger oval options. 

If you need a great and versatile form that can be easily C-clamped to any table or bench we love the Holmenkol Profile. It is simple, durable, light, and can pack down quite small. We are selling an increasing number of these each year due to their durability, ease of use, and light weight. 

If you want simple structure options that continually rock on snow, the Holmenkol Cross Structure Tool is the ticket. This is a simple universal two-roller system that always makes fast skis. If it is below 25F we like to pop out one roller, for anything wet above 25F we use two rollers to make skis fast every time and the structure is so fine that it almost never slows you down. We have used all of the fancy multi-kit structure tools and quite honestly, this roller beats them 90% of the time when used correctly. Holmenkol has added more options with this as they now sell a roller kit, which adds five additional options for making fast skis. If you don’t have test skis you cannot test structure effectively anyway, so keep it simple! By having the Cross Structure tool and add-on kit, you have all your bases covered. Don’t confuse yourself with getting too many structure options when this option is so simple and easy to use and is fast on snow. 

The Digital Racing Waxer Thick Base Plate has an extremely thick 25mm base plate for temperature consistency and great feel on the ski. It has a digital display and a microprocessor for temperature regulation. It will heat in even the hardest fluoro powders with temperature control from 90C to 180C. Finally, an iron that doesn’t die after using for one year of service! Holmenkol also makes a 15mm base plate iron!

If you want amazing irons at a great price check out the Electronic Racing Wax Iron. This is the exact same iron as the Digital, just without an LED display. This means you get the guts and amazing performance of the Digital Iron at roughly 2/3 of the cost. 

An overlooked item in the Holmenkol lineup is the Iron Holder Tray. This is a fantastic product that attaches to tables and keeps your iron secure to avoid accidents. It is the best one on the market and fits all irons. 

The Holmenkol Roto Fleece is a great product that fits all of the major roto brush systems. With the new liquid waxes, we have been playing around with different finishing techniques, and one is roto fleece. With all the new FF waxes application is key, and you will see more and more roto fleece and roto wool being used for application. 

Wax Rollers! For team prep and quick work, the Holmenkol Wax Roller Pro is the truth. We use these at our shop nonstop. Preheat the wax in a cheap crock pot, pour it into the wax roller, and roll away. One person rolls the skis and one person can run the iron. Saves lots of money on wax and allows for a super-fast process. Want to make travel waxing easy? Buy a 1 kg bag of the Beta pellets for your wax machine of any brand. They melt quickly and save you a lot of money on wax!


If you are not on board with Guru yet you should be. An amazing cowboy wax line straight from the World Cup. The entire Guru line should be in your box. All Guru kick and klister are fluor-free!

Guru Hardwax


An amazing green wax in new and new falling snow, fine snow, and mixed snow between -20/-6C (-4/21F). There are no words to describe how sublime this wax is. It is our favorite Green kick wax here at BNS and it isn’t even close. 

Blue- -0/-4C (14/25F) 

Guru Blue is a traditional blue kickwax that seems to work best in new or very fresh snow. It is a fast blue kicker, so it can be used as a shell on top of other waxes such as Swix Extra Blue or VR40/VR45. We have had success with Guru Blue used as a last layer or two over Start Oslo Blue to increase speed as well. 

Violet- -6/-1C (21/30F) 

Guru Violet is harder than most other violet kickers on the market, so it tends to really excel in new fresh snow or fine-grained snow as a shell for speed. 

Red- -4/0C (25/32F) 

There are no superlatives that can accurately describe how much we love this wax at BNS. Guru Red is a savior in the tricky conditions under freezing providing great kick and glide when it is hardest to find. We will often bury a layer of Red under a shell of Guru Violet in the low 20s to provide bite or apply Red as a shell to other kickwaxes to increase speed. This. Is. An. Amazing. Wax.

Yellow- -2/+1C (28/34F) 

Guru Yellow has a great mix of kick and glide with some silver mixed in to keep things clean. When the thermometer inches to freezing and panic ensues, sit back, grab a Guru Yellow, and relax. Everything gonna’ be alright. 

Extreme Hallgeir- -10/-2C (14/28F) 

Yes this wax does have an odd name. Yes, this wax is the universal shell or cover wax in older, coarse snow and manmade snow. Any more questions? Extreme Hallgeir is an incredibly fast shell wax for older snow and manmade snow in a wide range of temperatures. It speeds up nearly every wax job. 

Super Hallgeir- -15/-3C (5/27F) 

This is one of Roger’s favorite waxes of all time. Super Hallgeir works in older, transformed, and manmade snow in a huge temperature range. We always test Super Hallgeir if the snow has transformed or is manmade and it is below freezing. Period. 


This is for –1/-8C and has tar and silver mixed into it for anti-icing so it hits the key range of tricky conditions in all snow types. A particularly good cover wax for violet and colder uni klisters as well. Teams have started to catch on to how good this wax really is. 

Base- Guru improved this binder three years ago and although it is solid it isn’t special like the rest of their waxes. We have it in the box and test it but it rarely is “the call”. 

Guru Klisters

Blue- -6/+2C (21/35F) 

You read that temperature range correctly. Guru Blue is a funky blue klister that works on the warmer side of a traditional blue. Worth testing on dry or icy snow, all the way up to freezing and above. 

Violet- -4/+4C (25/39F)

Do not believe the range listed on this one, as it is like a Violet plus klister. Not 39F plus though! This klister is just so solid, always in the mix when you are in the violet or violet/red or uni range. Fast and durable.

Red- +5/+15C (41/59F)

This Red klister rocks. Always good when things start to get wet and cross the freezing barrier. This is the best Red klister out there and no one is arguing. Race Service Tip: Mix this with Rode KR3 1:1 in varying wet conditions for speed. 

Silver Red- +5/+15C (41/59F)

Take the most amazing Red klister out there and add Silver to it? Yup. As you can imagine when things get dirty this klister excels. 

Extreme 39- -2/+7C (28/45F)

The klister that launched a dynasty! Extreme 39 is universally agreed upon by top-level waxers as the best klister in the world for a reason. It works as a Universal klister in old and just transforming snow as well as manmade and manmade mixes. Great alone or mixed with violets/reds/other universals. This is an incredible klister that every single classic skier must own. 

Extreme 39 Hard- -5/+4C (23/39F)

If you take the most legendary klister of all time and then make a harder version of it, BNS will likey likey. Guru made this wax about seven years ago and we have sold out multiple times each year since. Another universal wax that is great on its own or mixed with other klisters. 

Extreme Base-

A base klister that is tough and fast. Not for the faint of heart in the kick area as it tends to be too slick for all but the best technicians. 


Caveat to the Magnar line: Magnar says it is fluoro-free and we believe him…..BUT he has not provided documentation so it cannot be imported into the US legally without a LARGE fine. 


Swix has stuck with the three-tiered system as they have had in the past, but it is now called: Top Speed, High Speed, and Performance Speed. The 6 and sometimes the 8 range waxes are very good on some days. The whole line seems to be better in fresh snow than it does in manmade.


The Swix Top Speed line is essentially a fluor-free replacement to the old HFX line. Some of these can be improvements over the entry-level FF line but tend to be hit or miss. 

Each of the TS5/6/7/8/10 paraffin waxes has a black additive. This has always been looked to in dirty or very abrasive snow. The jury is still very out on FF black additives, however. Top Speed Powders are the clean, not black, version. For racing, the real question is whether you want to invest in and put a non-fluor powder on your ski. It certainly can be a hassle and not very cost-effective, but for speed at all costs, it is one option for the highest levels. Note that Swix recommends an iron temp for all of these between 180C and 200C, so be cautious when working with these powders. New for this year are blocks, dubbed Turbo, for FF topcoating in TS5/6/7/8/10. These are $85 retail. 


Mimics the TS Line with both Paraffin and Liquid, but there is not a black additive version. The HS 8 can be very good at times. 


The Swix Performance Speed is essentially a replacement for the CHX line of glide waxes from the past. 

This is a Paraffin and liquid line that mimics the TS and HS Lines. New for this year is a 250ml liquid that is geared more towards teams.

PS POLAR, -14°C to -32°C 7F to -26F

Recommended iron temp: 155°C (311°F). Replaces CHX4. Available in Powder or Paraffin. Just OK. 


Swix recommends this wax for long-distance racing and long-term durability. At BNS we have found this to be an outstanding all-around wax. Always test the white version, alone and mixed in with the warmer waxes. Available in a white version or black version as well as a powder. I see zero reason to use the Marathon powder, the block white is a great wax on its own. 

The V line kick wax is just so solid. Extra Blue and Special Purple are always something to test. 

Swix has an entire line of fluor-free kickers dubbed the VP line that is a step up in price from the V line. You will want most of this line in your wax box as a race day option. 


For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from -8°C to -16°C (18°F to 3°F). Old/partly transformed snow from -12°C to -20°C (10°F to -4°F). 

VP40 PRO BLUE -10/-4, 45G

For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from -4°C to -10°C (25°F to 14°F). Old/partly transformed snow from -5°C to -14°C (23°F to 7°F). 


For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from -1°C to -5°C (30°F to 23°F). Old/partly transformed snow from -3°C to -8°C (27°F to 18°F). Purple-blue kick wax.  


For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from 0°C to -3°C (32°F to 27°F). Old/partly transformed snow from -1°C to -6°C (30°F to 21°F). 

VP55 PRO VIOLET -2/1, 45G

For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from 1°C to -2°C (34°F to 28°F). Old/partly transformed snow from 0°C to -5°C (32°F to 23°F). Dark purple kick wax designed for moist, and new or new fallen snow around zero. Can also be used on older snow just below the freezing point. 


For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from 2°C to -1°C (36°F to 30°F). Old/partly transformed snow from -1°C to -4°C (34°F to 25°F). Purple-red kick wax works very well in moist new snow and shiny tracks. 


For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from 0°C to 2°C (32°F to 36°F). Old/partly transformed snow from 0°C to -4°C (32°F to 25°F). Red/black kick wax with extraordinary properties when in tricky conditions around the freezing point. The black additive is for anti-icing properties in these key conditions. 

VP70 PRO YELLOW 0/3, 45G

For new and new fallen fine-grained snow from 0°C to 3°C (32°F to 38°F). Old/partly transformed snow from 2°C to -1°C (36°F to 30°F). Yellow klister-wax designed for moist and beginning wet, new snow. 

Swix KN44 NERO is a must-have klister in warm and wet conditions. We have had several instances in warm, wet, and dirty conditions where the KN44 was the only klister that provided true kicking power. It seems to handle transforming conditions well also. Swix also makes the KN33 NERO klister. BNS did not find this klister to be nearly as good as the KN44, but it was above average in 0/-6C and older snow that wasn’t ice but not quite saturated. 


Toko is introducing a new High Performance Powder in Blue, Red, and Yellow. This becomes their highest-performance glide wax in the line. If you were a fan of the Race Service Soelden 15 powder, that is the same as the new HP Blue Powder

Toko also offers Performance liquid as a mid-level liquid option, now in 100ml bottles. This slots in between Base Performance and High Performance. 

New packaging is available in the Base Performance waxes also, as Toko now offers a 960g(8x120g) option in addition to their standard 120g option. 

The X-Cold Powder is nice to combine as a hardening agent. 

The hard wax binder is a staple and can be mixed with the klister binder in weird conditions and extremely cold old snow conditions as a viable alternative to a traditional green klister. 


This company makes a bunch of waxes, but only one you need to know about. Beta Cold Powder is an absolute MUST test in any cold conditions. When it is below 20F and particularly below 14F this wax excels. When fluoros were a thing, we would use this as a race wax in bitter cold. It is super easy to apply because it comes in powder crystal form. Get some. Seriously, it goes on easily, it is reasonably cheap, and it crushes in cold weather. Use alone, not to be mixed like cold powders. 


Rex is a Finnish company that has shown continuous development of amazing products and stays ahead of the waxing curve. We have loved Rex klister for years. Rex has always made great gliders for blue conditions and specialty harsh, manmade conditions. Last year, they added popular race service products in Rex Gold Moly klister and Rex 30 GB kicker.

The N-line fluor-free grip wax series: Using the Rex N-Kinetic technology increases the glide and dirt repellency of this series, replacing the Pro Grip series that was and is a World Cup winner. We have liked these waxes as a new option to our kick wax box. 

N31- Green -8C to -20C -4F to 18F

A hard kick wax for cold conditions. Excellent glide properties on aggressive, sharp crystal snow, with still enough kick to be used as a final layer.

N41 Pink “Old Snow” -2C to -15C 5F to 28F

A kickwax/klister mixture for old, transformed and older snow. We see more and more of these kick/klister combos having real success on the snow. This seems to be a non-fluor version of their popular race series TK-1814 kicker that has been tremendous. It is a very good wax.

N21 Blue -2C to -8C 18F to 28F

Rex Blue kick waxes have traditionally been best in that snow that tends between new and old. This one likely will be a great kicking blue. 

N21 G Black “New Snow” -1C to -12C 10F to 30F

A blue kicker with graphite specifically for new snow. Graphite helps with anti-static and clumping in the new snow conditions. This seems to be a fluor-free alternative to Rex’s very popular 30-G wax. 

N11 Yellow -2C to 2C 28F to 36F

A yellow kicker for covering klister in wet or old snow or stand alone in new wet snow. 

Rex 30 GB kicker is specifically made for new snow in the high teens and twenties. This is a nice wax to work with and can be a real hit on the right day. 

Rex Klister

Blue -5C to -30C -22F to 23F

This is an extremely durable blue klister that is especially good in abrasive and wet cold snow. Been around for years and still as good as it ever was. Can be tricky to work with, but the end result is worth it!

Purple -0C to -7C 19F to 32F

When you have icy snow, especially in areas where the snow is wet, Rex Purple is the truth. 

Gold -3C to -7C 19F to 27F

One of the best klisters on the market period. Gold works incredibly well in manmade snow and glazed tracks. Also available in a liquid version. 

Rex 30 Gold Moly is the same Gold klister we love with Moly added to it for dirtier coarser snows. We love this klister!

Red Special 0C to 10C 32F to 50F

This one is a winner in the slush or when wet new snow is falling. Also available in a liquid version. 

TK-2251 0C to 10C 32F to 50F

A Race Service offering that is just OV, one of the greatest klisters of all time! Good for coarse wet snow. Can be mixed with universal klisters to increase the range. 

Universal 10C to -30C -22F to 50F

A universal that is best on the warm end of where traditional universal klisters work. 

Base Rex Base is a tacky base klister with great durability. Also available in a liquid version. 

On the glide side, Rex has a solid lineup of waxes, here is the breakdown:

The G Series is the basic liquid line and is available in a few sizes now. 

There is an NF Series of waxes now in liquid and block. Both liquids and blocks come in Yellow, Blue, a New Snow Graphite version, and their popular 41 series of Green UHW. The 40g block retails for around a hundred bucks so this is a topcoat type wax. Rex has earned the benefit of the doubt that you should have anything in the 41 UHW series in tests.

Rex also makes an N-Kinetic fluor-free “topcoat” liquid in warm and cold. These are 50ml liquids. Cold is for -4C to -20C, and Warm is for -4C to +1C. They are priced at or higher than what fluoro liquids were but have been very good on some days. When they are good, we cannot find anything to beat them. 

Rex still makes their traditional paraffin line as well. The Blue is a must. 

Rex G Series

Rex G series is 150ml and can do several pairs of skis, making the cost per application bearable. Rex also makes a “dauber” which is 60ml with a sponge applicator as well as a 500ml team size. The G series is made up of UHW or ultra-hard polymer wax blend. We had some real success with this line at times. The G series can be really fast, but it is important to test and not blindly put it on snow as it tends to be less consistent than some of the other liquids.

G41 +5C to-20C 41F to -4F

Rex says this is the hardest glide wax on the market for cold and older snow but also for coarse wet snow and icy crust. We have had some really good days with this wax on the colder end of its listed range and in manmade icy snow. 

G21G +2C to -12C 11F to 36F

For new snow, contains graphite. A specialty new snow wax that can run. 

G21 -2C to -12C 11F to 28F

A non-fluor version of Rex’s famous Blue. We have found this to be the most consistent of the G series usually in the mix. 

G11 -2C to +10C 28F to 50F

This is the yellow version for when things get warm and wet. 

***Service Tip*** For all Rex G line waxes: Shake the can well, then spray liberally on the ski for full coverage. Immediately smooth gently with a clean cork or thermo pad. Wait at least 30 minutes, then brush out with white nylon or horsehair. We found the G Series performed best when put on as far in advance as possible. 

Hydrex 2 fluorinated spray continues to be the best zero/hairy cover spray that we have ever tested. There is no penalty for using it over a klister or kick wax job for improved speed and the same great grip. Fluorinated.


Start has essentially a three-tiered FF glide system now with gels, liquids, and paraffins in each/some. At the top level is the RG Ultra Series, followed by the RG Race and the basic RG level. Start doesn’t make it super easy to understand their line, that is for sure. Start really does make some great products but, speaking honestly, they should make about half of the glide waxes they do, and they likely would have more traction—the line is just convoluted and expensive to buy them all. That being said, we always look forward, in particular, to testing the green/blue range from Start as they excel traditionally. Last year, we found early in the season the Start Blue and Violet were excellent, but as moisture content increased in the snow later in the winter, they faded. 

RG Ultra Gel Finisher is available in Blue, Purple, and Red, and a Spray Finisher -15C to +5C. 

RG Ultra Finish Spray is extremely good in the dry conditions of the West.

RG Ultra Glider Liquid is available in Blue, Purple, and Red. Paraffin is available in Green, Blue, Purple and Red

RG Race Glider Liquid is available in Blue, Purple, Red, Graphite, and Moly. Paraffin is available in Green, Blue, Purple, Red, Graphite, and Moly.

Start SG Paraffins are the staple in the line. This is where you will find the traditional Start Green. Start Green is something you just want to buy. Period. Available in bulk packaging also, buy one and be done with your Start Green purchases for a year or two. 

If you have not incorporated Start as a kick solution in your wax box you are making a mistake. They make some of the finest kickwaxes and klisters in the universe. 

We absolutely love the Oslo Series as they offer a combination of Start Universal Klister with traditional kickwaxes. This leads to tremendous grip and great glide in a wide range of conditions. Try these in manmade and tricky conditions! 

The Racing Fluor or RF Line is great; there are four and we like them all. These are fluorinated waxes that tend to work best in new or fresh snow. We have had a lot of success with Blue, Purple, Red, and Yellow. You want these in your wax box if you can use fluoros for kick. 

The Tar Series is a specific new snow wax, but in addition to smelling great, it can really be good stuff. We recommend Start Tar around freezing and just below. 

Start has three Racing Service Tar waxes also: 4193, 4195, and 3109 Binder. The 4193 and 4195 are best used as cover waxes when icing is a possibility. The 3109 seems to be just like the other Start binders but softened a bit for easier application. 

Start’s basic line is the Synthetic kicker line. We have liked the Green, Blue, and Nordic in fresh, sharp snow crystals. The Nordic is a cold kicker similar to a Polar. 

For klisters, Universal Wide and Universal Wide Plus should be in every wax box. They are unique and very good. We have also had success with the Purple klister in 0/-5C conditions. The Special klister is made for zero conditions -2/+2C and is very good. 


You need Vauhti Super Base Binder. Period. This one is the must-have. It is our favorite binder wax when extreme durability is needed. Apply it very thin, iron it, let it cool, and apply your top layers. It gives amazing durability and as long as you keep it thin and cover it, surprising speed. Literally, 100km is no problem with Super Base applied correctly. 

We love the Vauhti Carrot kicker for use in the 20s. 

Vauhti Violet and Universal Klisters are also very good alone or mixed. Vauhti now makes a 50:50 mix of the Violet and Universal klisters that is a great klister. 

Vauhti is also going the route of a multiple-tiered system of fluor-free waxes dubbed the Pure Line. They are listed below. 

Pure Race Liquid, Paraffin, Powder, Kicker and Klister. The Pure Race Warm and LDR liquids are pricey but fantastic. 

Pure Pro Liquid and Paraffin

Pure UP Liquid and Paraffin

Pure One Liquid and Paraffin

GW Paraffin