I remember the first time I got my skis waxed. I was six years old. I went to the ski repair shop and the tech had a coffee can of wax on a hot plate with a paint brush in the can. He brushed my skis with wax and sent me packing. I thought that was the greatest thing ever.
My parents worked at the casinos, my Dad a head maître d and my mom a cocktail waitress. Then in 1969, they decided it was time to cash in their chips and open a ski shop in South Lake Tahoe. At our shop, we had rentals that all needed wax as well as retail skis. I would help out by waxing skis. A LOT OF SKIS. Sometimes I found myself playing in the wax instead of working.
I was on the ski race team, the Heavenly Valley Blue Angels. We had the coolest helmets in the league. One race in particular my Dad took a day off from the ski rental shop and came to my race. It was a warm sunny day and as I prepared to leave the start gate he had me kick up a ski. Out of his backpack came a can wrapped in duct tape. He sprayed the bottom of my ski and wiped it, and then repeated the process on my other ski. I shot out of the gate and when I came over the last rise to the finish line I remember carrying so much speed that I had to stand upright in order to dump speed. It happened to be a day when one of my team mates parents who was a photographer was taking photos. Later in the year everybody was presented with a photo. As kids received their photos we were comparing and all the other kids were in a tight tuck and I was standing straight up. They were laughing at my photo until they realized that I had won the race that day. That was one of my earliest memories of glide addition.
I raced until the freestyle bug caught me. My Dad took regular skis, heated the tails up in glass beads on a hot plate then he put them in a special jig that he made that turned up the tail of the ski so that when you were doing freestyle tricks you did not hook a tail while going backwards. I’m sure that he made the first rolled tail skis aka twin tips.
As an adult my competitive spirit “found me” and I started racing in the local beer league races. I taught freestyle classes master ski racing and youth league ski racing. The next thing you know I was the parent of a ski racer. As always, there is one parent that is the go to for the wax of the day and what to do. I was that wax nerd. I watched parents agonize over trying to make decisions based on a complicated system of too many choices of waxes and too much margin for failure. Let alone the fact that the parents and coaches were up all night waxing, ironing, scraping and brushing, only to hope that the conditions didn’t change and it would be all for nothing. This got me thinking about how the ski wax industry had not changed much since my youth. I decided I wanted to create a ski wax that was easy for coaches and parents to apply.
My son who is a snowboarder was a great tester and always looked forward to the new secret test batch. My daughter always had a test product on her skis and both my children gave me feedback. Within three seasons I could produce glide wax from raw products.
Through trial and error and I created a wide range rub on wax that is competitive in snow sport racing and easy to apply with no tools. I kept this technology for a decade and made it available to snow sport competitors clear to the World Cup. My daughter convinced me that the product should be available to everyone and Faststik was born.
Faststik is hand crafted from the finest raw products in the United States. From the raw product to the container, everything is manufactured red in the U.S. Faststik is zero waste and even a beginner can apply it.
In a nutshell, technology in the ski wax industry has not changed much since the 1940’s. What if telephone and cars stayed that stagnant? We would still be cranking phones and driving Packards.
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