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One of the best feelings in the world is the acceleration of a freshly waxed pair of skis during the first run of the day. It might generate a number of emotions, including excitement, freedom, and even a tinge of fear. But one thought that probably doesn’t run through your head at that particular moment is guilt.
The wax that most manufacturers produce for skis is created with petroleum and fluorocarbons, both of which are under regulatory changes in the USA and the European Union at the moment due to their negative environmental impact. As you ski, wax comes off your ski bases and penetrates the snow. When the snow melts, the oil-based composition flows into creeks, streams, rivers, and reservoirs, accumulating at mostly unmeasured levels into both the ecosystems and drinking water.
During the 2017-2018 season, “there was about 2 and a half million pounds of ski wax introduced into the U.S. snowpack,” says mountainFLOW founder Peter Arlein. The amount has caught the attention of the EPA, who started auditing the ski wax industry in 2018 when fluorocarbons started being labeled as carcinogens.
mountainFLOW, which launched a spray to reduce snow-buildup on the top of skis under the brand name Snow Shed in 2016, is launching a 100 percent plant-based ski wax on Kickstarter this month. The product line, which consists of multiple iron-on wax products for different snow temps and a universal rub-on wax, is made from a proprietary blend of plants and not a single drop of petroleum. The iron-on wax even comes in biodegradable packaging.
Last season, SKI Magazine was given early samples of both the rub-on and all-temp hot wax, and we can attest that the on-snow performance was equal to the majority of other recreational-use wax products available on the market. The application of the rub-on wax was as simple as it gets and lasted bell-to-bell on a wet Whistler Blackcomb snowpack.
The iron-on wax was just as easy to apply as any other wax, but one thing that was especially noticeable and appreciated was that the application process felt much cleaner and didn’t produce the same chemical overtones (i.e. smell) experienced waxers have come to expect. We didn’t do any air quality tests, but it certainly felt cleaner as the wax melted on to our ski bases.
During the month of September, mountainFLOW is running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the first full production run for this made-in-America ski wax, and the campaign includes some serious discounts. If you’re ready to refill your wax stock and want to try a product that’s not as hard on the environment, take some time to check it out.