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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Winter Camping and Activities
      Waxing plastic sleds     

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IcePaddler
senior member (72)senior membersenior member
 
02/02/2017 05:44AM
Do you guys that use plastic sleds for winter camping put any kind of wax or spray on them? Going next week and want to get my sled ready to go. I was thinking about just put some car wax on but then I was thinking cross country ski wax would probably be best. I've also heard cooking oil works but but guessing this is more of a down hill sledding short term thing (Christmas vacation). I have a Paris expedition sled.
 
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OldFingers57
distinguished member(5181)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/02/2017 07:52AM
I've always used this and gotten Great results with it. Here is a video of it's use Non Caloric cooking spray
bigmitch1
member (33)member
 
02/02/2017 08:56AM
I use NOTwax.

It is liquid ski wax that comes in small applicator-container. Takes little time to reapply to the base of the sled while in the field.

http://www.zardoznotwax.com/
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(622)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/02/2017 12:40PM
I've used my Paris Expedition sleds for 3 years.

Never thought of waxing the bottoms. hmmm?
OldFingers57
distinguished member(5181)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/02/2017 12:44PM
In reality I have not used any type of wax or spray on my EMSCO sled. I find that it pulls just fine without anything on it.
IcePaddler
senior member (72)senior membersenior member
 
02/02/2017 01:15PM
I've heard of people doing it to there ice fishing sleds and it helping with drag. If I'm going to be pulling this thing loaded down for miles I want it to pull as easy as it can. I might even wax and spray it!
bigmitch1
member (33)member
 
02/02/2017 02:48PM
I only waxed my sleds for the Arrowhead and Tuscobia 150 winter ultras, where you are going against the clock.

I never have done it on leisure trips in the BWCA.

But, the OP asked about waxing sleds, not when.
IcePaddler
senior member (72)senior membersenior member
 
02/02/2017 02:56PM
quote bigmitch1: "I only waxed my sleds for the Arrowhead and Tuscobia 150 winter ultras, where you are going against the clock.


I never have done it on leisure trips in the BWCA.


But, the OP asked about waxing sleds, not when. "


Either Clearwater or South lake. I'm not racing out there but would like to get where I wanna go while it's still light out. Went last year and ran out of day light before we could reach our destination. Gotta have time to set up camp and hopefully get some fishing in. I figure if it helps why not.
bigmitch1
member (33)member
 
02/02/2017 03:12PM
Very easy to run the experiment like I did before my first Arrowhead Ultra in January 2006.

I took two identical sleds. I waxed one sled but not the second one.

I took both sleds to a hill by my house, put a 10 lb weight in both sleds, and let go of each at the same time.

Of course, this was a quick and dirty experiment because I did not run my tests over a wide temperature range.
goetzc
 
02/02/2017 05:18PM
bigmitch1-So is it safe to say that since you waxed your sleds before those races that you saw some measurable differences when you did your test?
02/02/2017 07:28PM
Never waxed a sled or toboggan. Will see this weekend if UHMW vs HDPE is slicker. The books and charts all say UHMW has a lower coeffecient of friction.
Also testing an 1/8 toboggan out of UHMW 2/3 the weight of a 3/16 sled.......
Pinetree
distinguished member(11475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
02/02/2017 08:25PM
Only time I may wax a sled is in fresh fluffy snow where it will stick to the bottom,than I use a fluoride compound or something that will keep the snow from sticking on the sled. Otherwise no in 30 years.
bigmitch1
member (33)member
 
02/03/2017 03:23PM
quote goetzc: "bigmitch1-So is it safe to say that since you waxed your sleds before those races that you saw some measurable differences when you did your test?"

Yes, it was noticeable on a plastic kid's sled.

Please note that this was a plastic kid's sled. This was not UHMW.

After about five years of winter ultras, I transitioned to an UHMW slab for my sled because it had much more surface area. So the slab floated over instead of through breakable crust. I did not have a good day when the plastic sled acted as an icebreaker and I had to pull it hard to get it down a hill.
bigmitch1
member (33)member
 
02/03/2017 03:34PM
One of the problems with fluoride containing compounds like NotWAX is that it becomes extremely slow at temps below -25F.

For example, I had used NotWax to freshen up my glide wax when I used to skate ski the defunct 24 Hours of Telemark ski races before my first Arrowhead Ultra in January 2006.

NotWax worked great for temps from -10F to above freezing, which is kind of the range one saw in a 24 hour ski race.

However, at the start of the 2006 Arrowhead, the temps were -25 F and my skate skis did not glide at all. Did not notice the drag on the sled because I had bigger problems to worry about. Never a good day when you can walk faster than you can ski.
bigmitch1
member (33)member
 
02/03/2017 03:43PM
quote DanCooke: "Never waxed a sled or toboggan. Will see this weekend if UHMW vs HDPE is slicker. The books and charts all say UHMW has a lower coeffecient of friction.
Also testing an 1/8 toboggan out of UHMW 2/3 the weight of a 3/16 sled......."


UHMW is much faster than HDPE. That is why Northern Sled Works makes their sleds out of UHMW.
Pinetree
distinguished member(11475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
02/03/2017 04:57PM
quote bigmitch1: "One of the problems with fluoride containing compounds like NotWAX is that it becomes extremely slow at temps below -25F.


For example, I had used NotWax to freshen up my glide wax when I used to skate ski the defunct 24 Hours of Telemark ski races before my first Arrowhead Ultra in January 2006.


NotWax worked great for temps from -10F to above freezing, which is kind of the range one saw in a 24 hour ski race.


However, at the start of the 2006 Arrowhead, the temps were -25 F and my skate skis did not glide at all. Did not notice the drag on the sled because I had bigger problems to worry about. Never a good day when you can walk faster than you can ski. "


I only use it when temps are above freezing to keep snow from sticking to skis or sled. It has been extremely beneficial. Nothing worse than ice or snow sticking to skis or bottom of sled acting as a anchor.
IcePaddler
senior member (72)senior membersenior member
 
02/16/2017 07:53AM
Got back from my trip and I must say I believe the wax helped. Two of us used it on the way in and out and two only on the way out. The two who used it on the way out said they had a noticeable difference in how there sleds pulled.
ArrowheadPaddler
distinguished member(673)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/18/2017 06:30AM
I have a homemade toboggan made out of standard PE. It was made from a thicker than normal slab I received from a friend for free. I am not sure if the plastic is of a lower grade than plastic used for most toboggans, but I have to occasionally hot wax the bottom, otherwise it pulls miserably.
Jaywalker
distinguished member(1199)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/18/2017 12:31PM
I like the idea of using cooking oil. With this unusually warm weather, it will leave nice trail for the early emerging bears to follow! :-)
Pinetree
distinguished member(11475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
02/18/2017 12:58PM
quote Jaywalker: "I like the idea of using cooking oil. With this unusually warm weather, it will leave nice trail for the early emerging bears to follow! :-)"

I use one of those orange sleds and I don't think you really need a wax unless it starts sticking to the sled. Than like I said I use a fluoride ski wax.
 
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