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Start Grip Tape Review
I got to try the new Start Grip Tape for the first time today. It is a
roll of klister like stuff you apply as kick wax for classic skiing. It
is supposed to have a very wide temperature range, and well suited for
someone like me, who doesn't want to mess with wax, and hasn't been able
to make it work often, and has variable type snow conditions often
So I sand the kick area of a pair of skis (seems like sacrilege to rough
up bases this much!) and apply 380mm worth of the tape (about my shoe
length) to each ski, then rub it on as instructed. They do not tell you
how long a strip is needed, just a minimum (I think that was 150mm).
I did hit as few spots where the tape unrolled and there were holes in
it. I was able to overlay a little more tape there and rub it in.
The actual skiing was pretty good, nice glide and decent kick. I need to
learn to kick better, so problems I had climbing hills were most likely
me and not the wax.
Conditions of the test were untransformed snow, some loose, some very
packed, some almost icy. Temp. around 25 degrees F. No icing occurred at
all, when I was done I scrapped the snow off the kick tape, and after it
warmed up, placed the peel off paper back over it to keep it clean for
No wear or damage was noted to the kick tape, even though the snow was
very thin and I went over dozens of icy and dirty spots and earth
clumps, and twigs.
Skis used for the test were 50mm wide old Fischer Europa Glass, 205cm long.
For comparison I then did a little skiing with a very similar pair of
waxless/fishscale skis (Fischer crown elite, 50mm wide, 215cm). There
was noticeable less glile, and of course the occasional annoying
fishscale noise. The grip was much better (remember that this is the
normal type of ski for me!) The grip pattern of this fishscale is easily
3 or 4 time the length of the Start grip wax, so maybe I was not using
enough grip wax.
I'm now also interested to challenge myself on classic skis.
A friend reported to me that the tape may not last long, especially
when steep dowhills are on the course.
A general rule about sticking something on a surface is to prepare well
the surface to stick onto.
So, what are the "secrets" of applying grip tapes ?
How much/deep to sand the base ?
I've been using the new Rex grip tape (universal - 10-40F) and it works
pretty well. Ahvo of Finn Sisu says it should last about 150k. I've
now skied four sessions with it, two on man-made and two on natural
snow. The latter had some new snow, so I put some Toko blue over it the
first day and turquoise (cold) the second. What I've noticed is skiing
w/o poles on steeper inclines is the grip breaks down, but I've yet to
determine to what degree that's the wax, conditions or me. Ahvo says
the tape is fine for racing, but performance can be improved with a
little fluro powder on top per conditions, application still in the
The way I do it is remove the remains of the previois wax/tape with
SWIX orange solvent (read: any wax solvent), sand it just a bit, to
make it look mat, then apply the tape. I'd say, 75% of tape stays after
2 hrs of skiing - much better than any "real" kick wax I've ever
I agree that a real kick wax job, well done, will perform much better,
but for me the tape gives the highest value of the equation (of
pain-of-waxing)*(fun of skiing)
"gr" wrote in message
I got to try the new Start Grip Tape for the first time today. It is a roll
of klister like stuff you apply as kick wax for classic skiing. It is
supposed to have a very wide temperature range, and well suited for someone
like me, who doesn't want to mess with wax, and hasn't been able to make it
work often, and has variable type snow conditions often (Eastern US)....
A few observations from my use of the Grip Tape last year:
.. kick surface must be rough (sanded) otherwise tape will come off. The
sanding I had done for kick wax was fine.
.. typical application lenght is same as klister.
.. it will work in most temperatures, snow type and moisture levels.
.. it will wear off the edges when "braking" in downhills, same way as
.. life expectancy depends on conditions (dirt in track, braking, etc).
.. do protect the grip tape when you take your skis off; this stuff will
stick to anything.
.. don't allow your ski bases to touch each other... you will have to pry
them apart, and tape will end up all on one ski.
.. soak with wax remover and let sit for some time before removing with a wax
.. grip tape is thicker that the typical 3 thin layers of grip wax. If you
skis have a very "thin" or "low" wax pocket, you may experience glide
Overall, a good product. I often go out for a few kms, when I have a free
hour in the evening. I often spent more time getting the wax right than
actually skiing. Now that I have a pair of skis with grip tape on, which I
call them my "evening" skis, I do ski a lot more : )
However, for long daytime trails, I still prefer the regular kick waxes.
Besides, I have to justify those 40+ tubes of wax stuffed in my wax box!
So, what are the "secrets" of applying grip tapes ?
A secret - or not really a secret since it=B4s stated in the
insturctions - that hasn=B4t been mentioned yet is that you must be sure
to press out any air bubbles which can be seen as lighter spots on the
BTW this winter=B4s innovation comes from a company called Skibac: a
universal (well, +2=B0--17=B0C) base+glide wax tape! You simply iron it
on - "You can use your iron on a cotton/linen setting" ("No mess! No
smoke!") - remove the tape and brush - "You can use old pantyhose" -
and you=B4re ready.
The tape supposedly "forces" the wax to impregnate into the ski and
"prevents any wax ingredients from escaping as fumes". I haven=B4t heard
or read any user reports yet, but I can see a demand for such a product
and I=B4m not prejudiced against it, either...
In this country it will be distributed by Karhu and will retail at
=809.90 for a package of 2x3.8m/60mm.
Merry Christmas for all - and splendid skiing for all those who have or
can find snow to ski on!
|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Field Test - START Grip Tape||John O'Connell||Nordic Skiing||11||March 19th 04 10:37 PM|
|START grip tape online||revyakin||Nordic Skiing||2||January 27th 04 02:38 PM|
|Experience with Start Grip Tape||Gerald Fingerlos||Nordic Skiing||1||January 7th 04 06:28 PM|
|START kick scotch tape?||JMC||Nordic Skiing||5||December 17th 03 02:53 PM|
|START kick scotch tape???||revyakin||Nordic Skiing||32||December 11th 03 10:55 AM|