Ski wax has been around since the 1850s and has always been assumed to be a necessary piece of the snow sliding puzzle. Its development over time has been dominated by the one-run world of ski racing and less by the needs of the everyday skier or snowboarder.
In the 1980s, again driven by racing’s desire for speed in small doses, dangerous perfluorocarbons and other toxic chemical additives were included in wax recipes to broaden performance and increase operational temperature ranges. Wax still depends on the need for the inconvenient and constant reapplication of chemical functional groups that cause widespread damage to the environment and those applying it.
Phantom is a permanent, one-time application base-coating that forever eliminates the need for waxing skis and snowboards. It’s a disruptive, truly innovative solution that ushers in a new era in snowsports.
Phantom’s patent-pending polymer technology offers ultimate convenience combined with great glide performance that never wanes across all snow temperatures, and for the life of a ski or board’s use.
Phantom eliminates the damage traditional wax does to watersheds, along with the health risks for people applying it.
Phantom can be applied to any new or used ski or snowboard at any point in a board’s life cycle, at a price that quickly delivers strong value.
With a single and permanent application, you get ultimate convenience (no waxing required), elite-level performance, substantial cost savings (no regular waxings), increased base durability, while saying no to the harmful chemical waste found in traditional ski and snowboard waxes.
When you wax a ski or snowboard, enhanced glide is evident for a few hours (soybased waxes) or a few days at best (hot-boxed temperature specific waxes). Wax is an inherently soft topical layer that quickly wears off of base material due to ongoing friction with the snow surface. If regular waxing routines are missed, performance and glide drops drastically. Because waxing is time consuming, it’s rarely done with regularity.
Phantom’s sophisticated, timed polymerization process permanently penetrates the entire thickness of the base material with powerful go-fast fluoro compositions designed to operate across all snow temperatures. When the ski or snowboard goes into a shop for stone grinding, the next fresh layer of Phantom is exposed – ready to glide.
Unless you are constantly waxing with the correct temperature specific waxes, Phantom is faster across all conditions over time because its performance is consistent: you never suffer the glide degradation that happens when wax starts to quickly wear away.
As skiers and snowboarders who regularly ride at the resort or in the backcountry, we aren’t looking to win races. We desire reliable and predictable glide in all snow conditions and terrain.
Tested in different snow climates around the globe, and backed by extensive lab data, Phantom is noticeably faster than all-temperature wax in warm snow temperatures, and provides similar levels of glide in colder snow temperature ranges.
Phantom has a characteristic feel: when initially pushing off, or in a lift line, there is nothing distinctive or special. A Phantomed base doesn’t have the slippery feel of fresh wax when moving very slowly. However, after gaining just a little bit of speed, Phantom delivers significant acceleration and achieves strong top-end glide, run after run.
Phantom also permanently alters the shore hardness of the base material itself; durability and resilience against rock impact increase – permanently.
The innovation centers around the inclusion of glide friendly fluorocarbon functional groups, but in a superior, new delivery method that renders them inert and harmless to life. Phantom doesn’t cause biological damage, and doesn’t present any long term environmental risks.
Traditional hydrocarbon wax can contain environmentally dangerous, cancer causing chemicals such as: acetone, benzene, 2-butanone (methyl ethyl ketone), carbon disulfide, carbon tetrachloride, cresol, chlorobenzene, carbon monoxide, cyclopentene, ethyl benzene, mercury, styrene, tetrachloroethene, toluene, and xylene.
The dangers of wax begin during factory production where chemicals can seep into the surrounding watershed.
It then extends to those who apply wax in a shop or home environment. If you have ever seen images of world cup tuners applying fluorinated waxes with masks straight out of a nuclear fallout, you now may have an idea why. Even with non-flourinated waxes, toxin-laden fumes are inhaled into the lungs during the application process. Studies in Norway and Sweden have shown that technicians carry extremely high levels of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) and other chemicals found in ski wax in their bloodstreams. PFOA, for example, has been shown to be 45 times that of the general population, and is a direct catalyst to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and hormone irregularities. Phantom eliminates the nasty chemical risk for shop technicians.
Wax damage then spreads globally when a ski or snowboard is ridden down the mountain. Because wax is inherently softer than base material, friction from snow causes it to shed into the ecosystem during the use/degradation process (the reason you have to constantly reapply wax). You can see this effect on a warm day when the snow beneath your boards turns the color of your wax. When springtime arrives, wax flows into streams, rivers, and soil. Toxic chemicals then react with organic systems: fish, land animals, plants, and human drinking water are all subject to reactions that create permanent free radical damage. Worse yet, PFCs are indestructible and proliferate indefinitely throughout the ecosystem, causing ongoing damage to life.
Some manufacturers with an interest in sustainability have developed soy-based wax alternatives, but these waxes only last for a few runs and do not have the effective operating temperature range performance that can be achieved with the inclusion of harmful chemicals. The performance is simply not there.
Phantom upends this whole narrative, and presents a clean future for snowsports while delivering both performance and convenience.
Phantom’s approach is a truly innovative, advanced scientific advancement. It’s a recipe that works day after day, tune after tune, and forever fundamentally changes our conception and approach to fast running boards designed for daily use.
DPS examined a history of alternative approaches that attempted to solve the wax problem, but nothing was deemed competitive. The Company then began a developmental relationship with a group of leading material scientists to research and attack the problem via a novel polymerization approach.
Initial Phantom research and development went through over forty different compound variations and extensive validation in both the lab and the mountains of Utah, Chile, and New Zealand to come to the formula.
Lab results that have correlated the hydrophobicity, coefficient of friction, shore hardness and full base penetration sit in harmony with test ski days in every condition: from manmade snow, warm spring snow, to fresh powder.
Risks and challenges
DPS has been designing and launching snowsports products for over a decade. We are confident in our ability to produce and deliver this product. The remaining risk is validating performance in extreme cold weather scenarios, which we hope to finish by late November 2017—prior to production.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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