Waxing complexity at the world-class competitive level is a whole different universe. Tuners are like sorcerers, hiding in dark rooms mixing secret potions, trying to squeak out just a little more speed than their competition.

You’ll find them with thermometers stuck in the snow, testing for humidity, barometric pressure, snow age, and man-made content. Individual snow crystals are examined under magnification to determine how “sharp,” or abrasive, the snow is.

All these factors are considered, a couple chants are intoned, and the day’s “wax” is created–usually a combination of several different types with specific performance characteristics carefully layered to achieve the desired effect.

Special speed-enhancing “additives” (which resemble a highly illegal powdery substance, and are almost as expensive according to the latest market quotes in High Times) are vigorously brushed into the base for maximum acceleration out of the start. This wax quickly disappears and the original base wax takes over lube duties.