Wax plays a role in many sports. Sports waxes are specifically designed to increase performance and allow athletes achieve incredible results.
Sports waxes are used to reduce friction.
Ski Wax is fundamental to achieve optimal performance in skiing and snowboarding. Different ski wax formulations are designed for different objectives as some waxes reduce friction, others increase it. Ski waxes need to be formulated for specific snow conditions. Some of them don’t even contain wax!
They can be applied with an iron, come in stick or block form.
Skate Wax is used to facilitate sliding on rails, edges and other surfaces. Skateboarders and skaters will apply it to the surface they want to slide on. The formulations can be personalized to be all natural, include dyes and fragrances.
Sports waxes are used for protection.
Box String Wax is used by archers to protect the strings of their recurve Olympic bows. Given the importance of repeatability in archery, recurve bow strings need to behave as consistently as possible. Waxed strings don’t fry, and water is kept out. Furthermore, a waxed bow string is less likely to lose twists. Waxes can be colored for marketing reasons, and are typically sold in stick format.
Beeswax is used by sailors and divers to lubricate the zippers of their diving and weatherproof suits.
Sports waxes are used to increase friction.
Surf Wax plays a paramount role in allowing surfers to complete their tricks. Formulated to achieve the perfect level of stickiness while allowing the surfer to move on the surf board, surf waxes are designed for specific water temperature. Less likely to be scented, surf waxes can be designed to be fully natural and sustainable.
Handball Wax is used by handball players to pass and shot the ball at amazing speeds. While not all the leagues and sports halls allow it, handball grip wax is specifically designed to facilitate gripping and handling the ball. These hand grip waxes are often all natural, and obviously terminologically tested.
The wax that the majority of athletes use…
You might have suspected it, and you were right… A multitude of athletes you see on TV use depilatory wax to remove their body hair!
Athletes don’t wax off their hair just for aesthetics. As with every aspect of high performance sports, they are looking for incremental gains.
Runners and some other long distance/endurance athletes claim that cooling is improved, as are overall times.
Swimmers report to “feel the water” better after depilating.
Cyclists, rugby and football players mention that applying taping and gels is easier when hair is removed, and chances of infection are reduced too.
A cross-discipline majority of professional athletes undergo manual treatments on a regular basis, and waxing hair increases comfort.
The least considered application of wax in sports?
Even if it’s not the winning but the taking part that counts, in sports there is a last but very important aspect that can see wax being used… wax is used for the production of trophies!
Medals and trophies are often manufactured using the “lost wax” metal casting technique. Gold, silver and bronze are the perfect metals to work with this ancient and effective technique, where the artist designs a prototype of the trophy made in wax which is then used for creating a mould for casting the actual, final metal artwork.
Picture by Mattias Olsson – Unsplash
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