The World Cup season is right around the corner so that means the Rex R&D team is preparing for the season ahead. For those of you who don’t know me or are new to the blog, my name is Chris Hecker. I am a World Cup wax tech for Rex Ski Wax, and I write a seasonal blog about the World Cup and a behind the scene look at the racing wax scene. This will be my third year on the World Cup and we have a lot of things up our sleeves for the coming season.
The World Cup will start in Ruka, Finland this year on Friday, November, 29th. We are driving up on Monday and will start testing Tuesday morning. Every year we try and get to the race site a couple of days early to test some of the new products. Juuso, the chemist for Rex Ski Wax, and myself will be testing a lot of brand new waxes this year. We have spent a good portion of the fall discussing what we would really like to focus on and produce for this season. The two big things we are working towards are new future fluoros and a brand new kick line.
We have been developing the kick wax line since before the Olympics in 2018 and are working hard to make this the best kick wax line yet. Kick wax is the hardest wax to create because of the number of different ingredients. Some waxes that we have made contain 15+ ingredients, all of which will help with different characteristics. Some ingredients will harden the wax, some will soften the wax, some will act as the grip material and some will act as the glide material. It is tricky to determine the correct ratio of ingredients. If you put in the wrong quantity of an ingredient or add the ingredient at the wrong time you can turn your kick wax to a klister like property, which nobody wants! The limited testing has been going well last year and they have been raced on in World Cup events by some of the biggest nations in XC skiing.
The fluorinated wax ban is coming next summer and every brand is working frantically to produce the next best thing. In the last couple of years, we have produced Hydrex 2 and TK-73, which are the first future-fluoro products on the market and have been out for a full year now. This winter, we will be testing more products to add to the line-up along with some non-wax-based alternatives. We have had very promising results and are hoping to launch some of these later this winter!
Juuso, Silvano (Racing Service Manager), and myself will be the first to test the above products. Once we have a firm grasp of what is working and which conditions they work in, we will distribute to the World Cup teams. This stage of testing will tell us how we stack up against the other waxes of the world. If teams ask for more, then we know we have a very successful product. If the best wax-techs and coaches, in the world are using it at a high frequency, then we will bring it into the general consumer market. Rex is one of the best wax companies in World Cup racing so if we can develop a product that is better than what we currently have, we are doing well. Our goal is to better our waxes every year making skis faster for you and faster for your favorite athletes.
It will be a really fun year of testing and I look forward to all the new products that we will be (hopefully) releasing for all of you readers. As I have done in years past I will answer questions from you, the readers. If there is anything you would like answered (or tested) please feel free to send me an email and I will add your question or test suggestions to future blog posts.
About the author...
Chris Hecker is a Rex Wax representative and wax technician working on the World Cup this season for both cross-country and biathlon events. Hecker hails from Ham Lake, Minnesota, racing for Anoka high school and St. Scholastica College. Hecker will be providing regular updates on the World Cup racing scene this season.
Chris can be reached at: