Swix, a subsidiary of BRAV, today launched Swix Pro, a new line of fluoro-free glide waxes that represent a breakthrough in high performance racing wax with low environmental impact.
The new Pro Line system, available in stores this fall, delivers the highest performance non-fluorinated wax on the market today. The release marks the culmination of a 10-year research project to develop waxes free of PFAS while retaining speed and performance at multiple temperatures.
The new fluoro-free Swix wax technology is available in three lines: Pro Performance Speed, Pro High Speed and Pro Top Speed, which correlate to the current CH, LF and HF lines respectively, and include both solid and liquid waxes. The wax ingredients are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and comply with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). They are completely free of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS.
The release of the high performance, fluoro-free wax comes as the governing bodies of Alpine, Nordic, Cross Country and Snowboarding competition in Europe and North America have taken steps to ban fluorinated wax. In 2019, the International Ski Federation (FIS) banned fluorinated wax for the 2020-2021 race season. The national governing bodies and sports organizations in the U.S. and Canada, including the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, announced the formation on June 15 of a Fluorocarbon Free Policy Working Group with the goal of setting policy to eliminate the use of fluorinated ski wax from all sanctioned levels of snow sports competition in North America beginning with the 2020-2021 season.
“As the market leader in high performance ski waxes, it’s our job to set the tone and lead the industry out of PFAS, and we’ve done just that,” said Steve Poulin, CEO of Swix US. “Swix has stopped production of all fluorinated waxes in our pivot to environmentally sustainable products.”
Some PFAS can persist in the environment for long periods of time and cause adverse health effects. Earlier this month, the EPA issued a rule that prohibits any ski wax company from manufacturing, selling or importing any products that contain certain long-chain PFAS without EPA review and approval.
More than a decade ago, BRAV, the parent company of Swix, began investing in better chemistry for ski waxes through its Future CERA project. Over the next 10 years, the company spent millions of dollars in research to move ski wax technology from long-chain PFAS to more environmentally sensible short-chain PFAS. Researchers next turned to creating high-performance waxes free of PFAS. Earlier this year, Future CERA met with success. The Swix Pro line is the result.
Swix believes in the importance of skiing fluoro-free. This year, Swix CEO Steve Poulin will travel to race events around the country to conduct education, outreach and training to encourage environmentally responsible waxing in the Nordic, Alpine and Snowboard racing communities.
The program also includes a training component for ski wax technicians to encourage proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE) and best practices for racing wax shavings.