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What do ski racers actually wear under their speed suits? ‘Skin to Win’ is a popular saying, but does that actually happen? Host Kelly VanderBeek speaks with Canadian National Team members to find out what’s really under there!
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national ski day

National Ski Day is an initiative of Alpine Canada to encourage all Canadians to get out and ski on December 6th for the discounted price of only $10. Simply print off this voucher and bring it with you to Cypress, Nakiska, Blue Mountain or Stoneham on December 6th 2014.

Still not convinced? Check out our top five reasons that you should hit the slopes this Saturday.


  1. Easy On The Wallet

At only $10 per lift ticket, how can you not take advantage of such an incredible offer? For only $10, the average price of lunch at a fast food restaurant, you will get a whole day of fun and activity on the mountain. Rates this low don’t come around often, so take advantage and go skiing!

  1. Conditions Are Great

All across Canada, ski resorts are opening early, and snow has been blanketing the slopes for weeks! It’s gearing up to be a great winter, and the temperatures are in that sweet spot where it’s cold enough for snow, but warm enough that you can ski all day. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a hot chocolate break in the lodge between runs.

  1. Access To Some of The Best Resorts in Canada

Nakiska, Cypress, Blue Mountain and Stoneham are some of the best ski resorts in Canada and offer terrain for all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or expert skier, prefer the park over moguls, or just love to slash powder, these four resorts have something for everyone.

  1. Fun For The Whole Family

Bring the whole family out! Skiing is great way to spend a day with family and friends, and thanks to National Ski Day, you can do so at a reasonable price. If you’re heading to Nakiska make sure to take in the Nakiska Ski Cross World Cup where you can watch Alpine Canada take on the world in the first race of the Ski Cross World Cup season!

  1. Location, Location, Location

With four locations across Canada, Canadians everywhere have access to cheap lift tickets at world-class resorts this Saturday. Each National Ski Day participating resort is located within ninety minutes of a major city centre- Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Quebec City. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that!


This Issue: A discussion with Joel Jaques, wax technician for Canada’s National Cross Country Team 

skiwaxing_shutterstock_24690370_smallJoel Jaques is a wax technician with Canada’s national cross country ski team, supporting all the skiers as well as acting as personal wax tech for Perianne Jones and Ivan Babikov.  Currently with the team for World Cup races in Europe and preparing to head off to Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Jaques took a few minutes to pass on his waxing tips for recreational cross country skiers. 

What’s your most important piece of advice for people new to waxing their own skis?

JJ: Keep it simple.  On the World Cup circuit we’ll do pretty complicated things to make sure our skiers’ skis are the best and fastest, but at a recreational level this isn’t necessary.  Don’t try to over complicate the waxing – just make sure you have good skis, and then follow the guidelines on the wax that you buy.

What are the basic waxing supplies someone should own if they’re just getting started?

JJ: You need the following basics:


  • Iron – to melt your wax
  • Cork – for spreading the wax
  • Scraper – to remove excess wax from the base before brushing it
  • Brush – a general purpose brush to remove the final bits of wax from your base without damaging the skis
  • Waxes:  I’d suggest a base binder, a red,violet and blue hard wax, a universal klister, a warm and a cold glide wax.
Why is it important to wax your skis?

JJ: In classic skiing, waxing gives you grip for going up the hills.  No one likes to ski with no grip!  Glide wax allows you glide faster.  Both are important, because there’s no greater feeling that skiing on a well-waxed pair of skis.

How often should someone wax their skis?

JJ: For classic waxing it is best to wax every time you go out.  This allows you to have the ideal grip wax for the snow and weather conditions.  Glide waxing is something that you can do less frequently, but in an ideal world you would wax before every ski.  Don’t let this hinder you though – the most important is that you get out there and enjoy the trails.

Are there different waxing requirements for different types of skis?

JJ: There are skate skis, which are stiffer and need glide wax applied to the entire surface.   Then you have classic skis – these are a little bit longer and softer.  You can get waxless classic skis, which are convenient because you can just put them on and go. They work well in most conditions, but are generally slower than a well-waxed ski. And of course waxable classic skis require to you apply wax yourself.

What’s the proper technique for applying wax?

shutterstock_93674263JJ: For glide wax you want to apply it using an iron. The most important thing is to keep the iron moving on the ski so that it melts the wax but doesn’t burn your ski base. Then let the ski cool, scrape the excess was off with a plastic scraper, and finally, brush the remaining wax off with a brush. This will allow the structure of the ski base to be clean.

For classic waxing, it’s best to melt a base binder on with either an iron or heat gun.  You want to let this cool before you apply the kick wax. Pick one that has an appropriate temperature range.  Apply the wax and smooth it out with the cork until it’s uniform, then repeat.  Usually 4-6 layers should be enough.

How do different weather conditions affect waxing? 

JJ: Weather is the biggest factor in waxing.  We also consider humidity, snow type and sun on the track.  There are different waxes for different conditions.  For classic racing we use hard wax in colder conditions and klister in really warm and icy conditions.

What should you do to your skis at the end of the season?

JJ: At the end of the season it’s good to put a layer of wax on your skis and leave it without scraping it off.  This will protect your bases over the summer.  In the fall you can scrape the wax off and you’ll be ready to hit the trails.

Canada’s Snowboard Team grows as 19 more athletes are nominated to Canadian Olympic Team

Eight women and 11 men join five snowboarding athletes already nominated to Canadian Olympic Team

Canada Snowboard announced today their remaining 19 athletes who are formally nominated onto the Canadian Olympic Snowboarding Team for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The eight women: Jenna Blasman (Kitchener, ON); Caroline Calvé (Aylmer, QC); Alexandra Duckworth (Kingsburg, NS); Ariane Lavigne (Lac Supérieur, QC); Marianne Leeson (Burlington, ON); Dominique Maltais (Petite-Rivière-St-François, QC); Mercedes Nicoll (Whistler, BC); Katie Tsuyuki (Toronto, ON); and 11 men: Jasey-Jay Anderson (Mont-Tremblant, QC); Rob Fagan (Cranbrook, BC); Kevin Hill (Vernon, BC); Jake Holden (Caledon, ON); Michael Lambert (Toronto, ON); Crispin Lipscomb (Whistler, BC); Derek Livingston (Aurora, ON); Brad Martin (Ancaster, ON); Matt Morison (Burketon, ON); Maxence Parrot (Bromont, QC); and Charles Reid (Mont-Tremblant, QC) were nominated during an announcement at the beautiful l’hôtel de Glace in Quebec City.

“Going to Sochi is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that I am honoured to have been chosen for,” said Caroline Calvé, Vancouver 2010 Olympian. “I have been working on perfecting my game for such a long time now and am excited to be competing against the world’s best. It will be an honour to be representing Canada at the Olympics.”

“Today is such a special day for me. To be named a Canadian Olympic snowboarder and being made part of the Canadian Olympic Team is one of the proudest moments of my career,” said Maxence Parrot. “I can’t wait to hit the snow in Sochi and show the world what Canada is made of.”

“This is an incredibly talented group of athletes who have all earned the right to don our country’s colours in Sochi,” added Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. “Each of the snowboarders nominated today has the potential to compete and win against the world’s best. I look forward to seeing their stunning performances as they attempt to land on the Olympic podium.”

Canada Snowboard earned the maximum of 24 quota spots for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and each discipline received six. This means a full team will be heading to Sochi aiming for medal success. Canada’s snowboarders will be competing next at the X-Games (January 23-26) in Aspen, Colorado, where Mark McMorris and Dominique Maltais go in as defending champions in their respective disciplines. This, as well as the Sudelfeld PGS World Cup, will be the last international competitions for our Canadians prior to Sochi.

“Congratulations to the Canadian snowboarders who make up the Olympic snowboarding team for Sochi. We are anxious to see you go up against the best athletes in your discipline, achieve great things and demonstrate your skill to the world,” said Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament (Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière). “Your fellow Canadians are cheering you on at every stage of your journey. Good luck in your preparations and in the competitions!”

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will take place from February 7-23, 2014. The Canadian Olympic Team has set a goal to contend to be the top nation in overall medals won.

List of Snowboarding athletes nominated to the Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic Team:

First Last Hometown Sport
Jasey-Jay Anderson Mont-Tremblant, QC Snowboard – Men’s PGS/PSL
Jenna  Blasman Kitchener, ON Snowboard – Women’s Slopestyle
Caroline  Calvé Aylmer, QC Snowboard – Women’s PGS/PSL
Alex Duckworth Kingsburg, NS Snowboard – Women’s Halfpipe
Rob Fagan Cranbrook, BC Snowboard – Men’s SBX
Kevin Hill Vernon, BC Snowboard – Men’s SBX
Jake  Holden Caledon, ON Snowboard – Men’s SBX
Michael  Lambert Toronto, ON Snowboard – Men’s PGS/PSL
Ariane Lavigne Lac Supérieur, QC Snowboard – Women’s PGS/PSL
Marianne Leeson Burlington, ON Snowboard – Women’s PGS/PSL
Crispin Lipscomb Whistler, BC Snowboard – Men’s Halfpipe
Derek  Livingston Aurora, ON Snowboard – Men’s Halfpipe
Dominique Maltais Petite-Rivière-St-François, QC Snowboard – Women’s SBX
Brad  Martin Ancaster, ON Snowboard – Men’s Halfpipe
Matt Morison Burketon, ON Snowboard – Men’s PGS/PSL
Mercedes Nicoll Whistler, BC Snowboard – Women’s Halfpipe
Maxence  Parrot Bromont, QC Snowboard – Men’s Slopestyle
Charles  Reid Mont-Tremblant, QC Snowboard – Men’s Slopestyle
Katie  Tsuyuki Toronto, ON Snowboard – Women’s Halfpipe

These newly-nominated 19 snowboarders now join five other snowboarders (Mark McMorris, Sebastien Toutant, Spencer O’Brien, Maelle Ricker and Chris Robanske), 10 speed skaters, 10 curling athletes, 16 bobsledders, seven lugers, four skeleton athletes, 21 women hockey players, eight biathletes, 25 men hockey players, six alpine skiers, 17 figure skaters, 11 cross-country skiers and 20 freestyle skiers as the next members on the Canadian Olympic Team. Up to four more teams will be announced between now and February.

Erik Guay, of Mont-Tremblant, Que. is the most decorated Canadian alpine World Cup skier ever. With 21 World Cup podiums, Guay is also the 2011 world downhill champion and 2010 super-G Crystal Globe winner, making him one of the top Canadian alpine skiers in history. At the 2010 Olympics, Guay was just 0.03 seconds away from a podium in the super-G, finishing fifth. He is hoping to claim his first Olympic medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Outside skiing, Guay is a proud husband and father, a motor racing enthusiast and a keen hockey player and Canadiens fan.

For Erik’s full bio visit http://www.alpinecanada.org/athlete/guay