Monday, January 23, 2012
Product Development: Reformulated Racing FC739
The secret's out of the bag now...!
Although this photo looks like a regular, ho-hum, run-of-the-mill block of "stock" Hertel wax... it isn't. What this is, is a block of a highly experimental version of our Racing FC739 that was left over from the 2010/11 season.
"This stuff is awesome!!! What is it...?!?!"
"This wax kicks ass...!"
"Breakneck acceleration, effortless response, extremely nimble maneuvering, and brutal stopping power. I'm having the time of my life out here...!"
Last winter, the Hertel R&D team, in conjunction with The Jolly Rogers (aka, "Team Hertel"... we'll get to that next week or so), and a selected panel of long-time Hertel customers and loyalists, launched an effort to bring an upgraded and reformulated Racing FC739 to market for the 2011/12 snow season. These "experimental" blocks (cooked up by Terry, himself) were in the hands of The Jolly Rogers, and being tested on the slopes, by last January (or so), and remained in "testing" mode throughout the spring, and into the beginning weeks of the current season.
Put together as a "parallel project" to complement the Racing FC739 project, the members of Team Hertel (aka, "The Jolly Rogers") were extremely critical to developing the reformulated FC739, and exploring the entire performance envelope. We'd like to thank everybody that was involved in making an already dominating product, even better.
"Ski Patrol doesn't stand an icicle's chance in hell of keeping up with us! Thanks, Terry...!"
"Speed, control, performance... perfect."
"Turns my board into a Ginsu knife. Slices 'n dices through the trees 'n steeps. Chop-chop!"
What's the difference? While the "old" Racing FC739 was specifically tuned for a very narrow set of fairly uniform snow conditions (namely relatively dry, well-groomed, and highly predictable race courses)... the "new" race improved acceleration and response over a wider array of snow temperatures and conditions, which made it much more practical for the "everyday" snowboarder and skier that might not have any interest at all in racing.
"Like a hot knife through butter, baby!"
"There's nothing else like it. Simply incredible."
"If you thought Hot Sauce was 'the shit', wait until you try this stuff...!"
The advantages of the "new" Racing FC739 become readily apparent, as soon as you hit the snow. The difference is immediately noticable: This new wax is fast. The biggest change, though, is what happens once you really start exploring the entire performance envelope, and take Racing FC739 "off the groomers", onto the rest of the mountain, and into the backcountry. As one tester remarked, "Racing FC739 isn't just for racing anymore, buddy! Anytime, anywhere, anything, and in any conditions... this stuff fully dominates...!"
"Everything else is just a bunch of fun and games, but this shit's serious. The real deal."
"It feels like I'm cheating. And that feels good...!"
"The Swiss-Army-Knife of waxes. Excels everywhere."
Terry accomplished this by reducing the fluorocarbon content of the wax, and bumping up the surfectant content, to make Racing FC739 much more "user friendly" and versatile, while also improving acceleration times and top-end speeds. A positive knock-on effect is that the new Racing FC739 is a much "greener", environmentally friendly wax than the old Racing FC739 was. Fluorocarbons, after all, are not widely known for their "earth-friendly" attributes.
By drawing down the fluoro content, and ramping up the sds proportions, we made a faster, more durable wax that's also a lot more "earth friendly". It truly is the best of both worlds.
"This stuff slays. Draws and quarters everything else on the market."
"Simply walks away from the competition, and never looks back. Wins by default."
"There are no words that'll ever do it justice."
While he was in the lab, Terry also made a few other small tweaks 'n tunes to further fine-tune the formula... but we can't really let the whole cat out of the bag. "The Competition", after all, does tend to watch us like hawks.
"This is a whole new level. Nothing else like it."
"There's no going back to 'regular wax' now! I'm an addict...!"
"By far, the best Race ever."
The boldface quotes in this article are some of the things that The Rogers fed back to us, as well as things that we overheard them telling other skiers and boarders on the mountain. Obviously, the feedback was enormously positive. So much so, that Terry decided to put the reformulated Racing FC739 immediately into production for the current season.
"Shut up, and try it for yourself. You'll see...!"
"If you're not riding this wax, you're beyond stupid."
"I don't even remember how I got through life, until this wax came along. All I know is, it must've really sucked...! This wax is a total game-changer...!"
Racing FC739 is best suited for highly aggressive, and highly experienced skiers and snowboarders that are looking for the maximum possible performance across the entire temperature, condition, and terrain spectrum- but without White Gold's $99-an-ounce price tag. The importance of a properly tuned base and sharp, smooth, and competently beveled edges just goes without saying. When you have that much "Giddy up!" on your board, you'll also want a whole lotta "Whoa!" leverage. Properly tuned equipment is the key to keeping things under control, and in check, at all times. And as always: Safety ultimately begins, and ends, with you.