What’s the deal with the new Toko waxes?

This season there is new packaging for the Toko paraffin based hot waxes. And what’s inside is different too, at least a little bit.

The changes to the product, and the packaging itself, has led to quite a few questions at Nordic Ultratune this fall.

One of the issues, I think, is that the “Performance” wax which replaces the LF wax of the past, doesn’t use the word Fluorine or Fluoro on the packaging. Same same with the High Performance wax packaging. They don’t use the F word.

As a result, there are a lot of questions about whether it’s a fluorinated wax at all. On that matter, I think Toko sort of failed. Yes, for sure, the Performance and High Performance waxes are fluorinated. But the Base Performance wax is non-fluorinated hydrocarbon wax. If it’s confusing, you can just look at the price points, and you can deduce a lot….

I asked Ian Harvey, the USA Toko guy himself, to clarify the matter a bit, and here is what he says:

Bottom line on the new Performance hot waxes is the following:

  1. They are more eco friendly than the old ones (less than one part per billion of PFOAs for example) and adhere to the Euro 2020 standards.
  2. Despite being more eco friendly than any race waxes ever made they are what was used on the world cup with great success last winter. They are as fast or faster than the LF and HF waxes that were offered previously
  3. The new hot waxes are slightly harder than the previous version
  4. Black is only being offered in Performance (not Base Performance or High Performance)
  5. Performance Blue is a superb base wax for High Performance Liquid Paraffin Blue or Red. Performance Red a great base for High Performance Liquid Paraffin Yellow.

…The development of these new waxes started three years ago when the Euro 2020 pact was made between leading wax manufacturers, the FIS, and the EU. They say “necessity breeds innovation”. This is a perfect example of that. At the time the EU expressed concern about the toxicity of fluorine in racing ski waxes. We asked them what they would like to see and an agreement was made where there were minute thresholds set as to what kind of toxins the waxes could contain. These new waxes adhere to these thresholds. Not only are they the purest waxes (many raw materials contain impurities leading to toxicity) but they are also the least dangerous to use. The thresholds on PFOS and PFOSA and 31 other toxic substances come in at miniscule levels deemed to not be unhealthy. For example, these waxes contain less than 25 parts per billion of PFOA and less than 1 part per billion of most of the other harmful substances. One part per billion is 0.000001 milligrams per kilogram of wax. Despite this achievement of making the waxes substantially less toxic, they are also the fastest waxes we have ever made. We changed the length of the fluorine chains to extremely short and then put a ton of them in each hydrocarbon molecule such that they are even more potent (in terms of being slippery, resisting dirt, and repelling water) than the previous less safe formulation. We also changed the name of the wax line. What was previously LF is now called “Performance” and what was HF is now called “High Performance”.

To be clear, the new Toko hot wax range runs as follows:

  • Base Performance is non-fluorinated hydrocarbon wax
  • Performance is the new low-fluoro version
  • High Performance is the new high-fluoro version.

Hopefully this info clears up a few questions.

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