First rule of Marketing 101, Edition 2019 : if you want people to notice – you gotta make it controversial to get a conversation going.
Conversely, Fischer Nordic is one company in cross country skiing business that does not seem to subscribe to that philosophy. As an undisputed segment market leader they feel , perhaps, that there is enough buzz around their brand as is.
Yet it’s Fischer’s just-revealed Speedmax 3D technology that generates a lion share of discussions among skiing enthusiasts, fans and athletes themselves in the recent weeks.
What do waxing sidewalls of racing skis give?
Little wonder that Dailyskier.com first pit-stop at ISPO this year was the Fischer stand – and a conversation on a subject with Tanja Winterhalder.
Tanja’s job as a boss of Sports Marketing & PR Nordic at Fischer strongly implies that she knows everything about the skis. And Tanja’s personal enthusiasm for skiing ( her favorite is Marcialonga’s 70k) ensures that her knowledge is relevant to many an amateur-skier.
Here are quick takes from our conversation ( occasionally interrupted by various folks strolling in to greet Tanja – and to hold new 3Ds in their hands for the first time)
– Waxable sidewalls of new Speedmax 3D are made of the same PTEF ( polytetrafluoroethylene ) that ski base, but much, much thinner.
– Keeping with a long tradition in cross country ski industry, Fischer does not want to reveal who’s producer of that specific PTEF
– It’s one-fits-all. In other words, identical sidewalls PTEF material is used for Speedmax Cold, Warm, C-Special etc.
– Skis leave the factory with a universal structure on sidewalls but one can use rillers to make her/his own.
– There is highflouro liquid that is to be applied directly ( then sidewalls are to be dried and brushed ) . Although branded for sidewalls, it’s essentially the same broad-spectrum liquid used for gliding surface, produced by Vauhti, Finland.
– It is said that there is no distinction : sidewall waxing in Speedmax 3D has an effect in distance racing and sprints, classic and skating.
Does it actually work?
Well, Fischer either does not have– or does not want to share – the data statistically proving that sidewall waxing, edition 2019 works.
However, there is one argument that we find hard to resist: if your competitor beats you by a whisker at the finish line and you know that you could have waxed the sidewalls of your shiny new 3Ds but chose not to – wouldn’t you regret it?
One thing good folks at Fischer are conveying rather consistently is this: Speedmax is a weapon for competing & winning at the highest level possible – for even the very strong amateurs there is Carbonlite ( made using Cold Bonding tech as of this season). If you feel you must have Speedmax – but all means, they will keep you happy, just bear in mind they were not designed for weekend warriors, they are there to squeeze every second, every inch possible
Are we convinced?
In short – yes. It’s solid made, science of PTEF/highflouro reducing friction even if marginally is there. Worst case scenario it’s a placebo – and those are also known to help people quite a bit.