Athlete Stories

Athlete Stories

Banzai Master Daron Rahlves Signs Three-Year Deal with WEND Wax

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Vista, California –October 15, 2014 – Daron Rahlves, the most decorated American Downhill and Super G skier in history, has just renewed a three-year contract with WEND Wax. Three years ago, Daron became the original member of the WEND team, which now boasts 12 Olympians and several more world-class athletes.

The alpine legend is also an avid surfer who spends part of his summers in Encinitas near WEND’s headquarters. He originally connected with the WEND family through its parent company Wax Research, which also makes the world’s leading surf wax brand, Sticky Bumps. While they had been producing snow waxes for private labels for more than 40 years, and dabbled with branding their own line, it wasn’t until Daron approached them with the idea of a Daron Rahlves Signature Series wax that they decided to move forward in developing and marketing WEND.

Since joining the team, Daron has played an integral role in the progression of the product line. The WEND Daron Rahlves HF Race Overlay Paste is one of the company’s best-selling items, and they are currently working closely together to create some innovative race waxes that will compliment his signature line. The partnership extends to event support as well, and this upcoming season the company will proudly be the official wax sponsor of Daron’s event, the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour, for the fourth year in a row.

"Over the last three years I've relied on WEND Wax products for my race skis and freeride boards on mountains around the world. And yes, it feels good gliding smooth and fast over all types of snow,” said Rahlves. “Together with its A-list team, WEND and I work to create products that make every day on snow a better experience for all of us. I look forward to using WEND and continuing our partnership while making us faster on the snow."

“It’s an honor to work with one of the most esteemed names in skiing.  Daron’s contribution to WEND continues to be an integral part of our product line development.  Together we strive to continually push WEND’s performance on all levels,” said John Dahl, Wax Research, President.

About Daron Rahlves

Daron Rahlves spent 13 years on the US Ski Team and has 12 World Cup wins, 28 World Cup podiums, 7 US National titles, 15 US National podiums, and 3 World Championship medals. To top it all off, he is an X Games Gold Medalist, a four-time Olympian, and was the winner of the legendary Hahnenkamm Downhill in 2003 and SG in 2004. He is also proud to have created a unique event, Rahlves' Banzai Tour, a mix of big mountain freeriding and boardercross.

About WEND

WEND, a Wax Research brand, is an innovative line of Natural Meadowfoam (MF) and fluoro racing waxes, overlays, bars, pastes including a full range of tuning shop waxes and base treatments.  WEND continues to redefine the way we think about snow waxes.  As a leader in the global wax market, WEND unwinds traditional logic as witnessed in the performance of their trailblazing formulas. Founded in Encinitas in 1971, Wax Research is recognized by the international sport community as one of the original surf accessory companies. This family of like-minded people is dedicated to that vital spark of individualism and adventure.  A grassroots manufacturer, every handcrafted bar of high quality surf and ski wax is poured in their California factory.

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Alex Deibold's Tuesday Epic

Come summer, Alex Deibold likes to cross train by riding his road bike. Straight from his personal blog (click here to check it out), Alex tells the story of his attempted 237 mile bike ride on a stormy Colorado summer's day.

"On Tuesday I attempted to ride my bike 237 miles in one day and I still haven’t come up with a very good reason why. I had plenty of time to think about it, 16 hours to be exact. It wasn’t a race, it wasn’t part of a tour or a group ride or fundraiser. It was just a route through the mountains of Colorado that my friend and I arbitrarily came up with.


With minimal planning and almost no training (Cam was pretty much straight off the couch) we headed North out of Buena Vista in the pre-dawn hours after what felt like a quick nap. We had no support and would have to carry everything we needed: food, water, tubes, and rain gear. We weren’t going to be exploring some far off mountain range, in fact we would be going though some pretty well to do ski towns, but there were some pretty remote stretches of road in between and needed to be prepared. 7 miles in I ran over a piece of discarded truck tire and got my first flat of the ride. After I finished replacing the tube and got the tire re-seated the valve stem broke and just like that, I was down to my last tube. I had gone through more tubes in the first 25 minutes of our ride than I have in the last two years and 3000 miles of road riding. It was apparent early on that it was going to be truly epic.


Independence Pass was our first of 4 major mountain passes and we quickly realized that the lack of oxygen was going to be one of the biggest challenges of the day. The rain that greeted us as we descended down into Aspen had held off longer than expected so we donned our gear and settled in for what looked to be a pretty wet day in the saddle. 7 hours and 90 miles in we pulled over in Carbondale to refuel before the longest and most difficult leg of our planned route. Cliff bars and Gu-packets were never going to cut it for an outing like this and we wanted some real sustenance. After we powered down full sized meatball subs we stopped in a used sporting goods shop to try and find a tube and some extra layers; even in July the mountain summits were colder than expected and we were now soaking wet. As much as I try not to be, I am a bit of a bike snob. I was riding a bike that is worth more than twice what my car is and wearing a kit that isn’t available to the public yet – taste I had acquired after working along side Cam for the past 3 summers. I never thought I would see the day when he would be so stoked to pull on a pair of used motorcycle rain pants, but we were willing to do whatever it took to stay warm and finish the ride.


The rain let off a bit as we rode south into the small town of Redstone and the mountains poked out from behind the low laying clouds. At this point we were around 115 miles in, just about half way, and our bodies were reminding us how hard this was actually going to be. I’ve lived in Colorado for almost 10 years now, Cam 3 times that, and we were both still easily amazed by the beauty of this incredible state. There were certainly easier routes we could have chosen, but we were reminded of why we had picked the hard way, there is something almost inexplicable about being out in these remote sections of nature with nothing more than a bike and your own two legs to get you there. That John Denver is most definitely not full of shit.

McClure Pass was relatively short but the 9% gradient certainly felt like being kicked while you were already down. We tried to coast and enjoy the next 16 miles of downhill knowing that Kebbler Pass leading into Crested Butte would be one of toughest sections of the entire route. Cam and I had split up near the start of the climb when he pulled over to shed layers and I had wanted to just keep moving, agreeing we would regroup in Crested Butte if we didn’t pass each other sooner. The views were absolutely amazing, with one of the largest Aspen tree groves in the world spreading out as far as I could see, and I tried to enjoy the solace of the Gunnison National Forest. It wasn’t the highest or the steepest, but Kebbler felt like it just kept going up and up. To make it even tougher, almost the entire 30 miles from its base to Main Street in C.B. were dirt. The rain that had soaked us earlier made the usually well-maintained road just muddy enough to cake my bike with what felt like a few extra pounds of grime. Just past half way up the pass and around 150 miles into the ride I ran out of water. When the mountain kicked up yet again, my tired legs could barely turn the pedals over, I found myself walking my bike; I didn’t want to sit down and take a break for fear that I wouldn’t have the will power to keep going. Looking back, this was definitely tbat moment; I was having internal dialogue telling myself I just had to get to CB to refuel and then it was the home stretch.


When I rolled into town I headed straight for a shop to wash off my rig and get some extra tubes for the final 70 miles. At the suggestion of one of the guys at the bike shop, I headed down the street to get a burrito. Just as I was sitting down with my much needed fuel, Cam rolled into town. We traded stories about the previous 3 hours over Mexican Coke’s that tasted like they had been crafted by the hand of God and tried to work up the courage to get back on our bikes. Finally, we walked outside to remount and ride into the evening. Looking South we saw ominously dark clouds and could hear the distant sound of thunder. We agreed that our safety was more important than finishing, Cottonwood Pass had 4 miles of road above tree line and the risk far outweighed the reward.

I took a shot in the dark and called a friend I knew used to live in town that I hadn’t seen or spoken with in several years, and by some miracle she not only answered but insisted that we come over to shower and spend the night. In hindsight, she really saved our asses. The storm that rolled through brought heavy rain, lightning and thunder that would have had us bivied under a tree out in the wilderness. We were able to shower, wash our disgustingly dirty kits, and borrow clothes to sleep in. It’s in moments like these that I am reminded of how important friendships are and I hope that down the road, I can do the same for one of mine in need.


As we got back on our bikes the following morning, we gained a massive amount of new found respect for the riders that make up the majority of the peloton at events like the Tour de France. They may not have leg hair, body fat or sweet tan lines but the amount of pain those guys endure on a regular basis makes them true hardmen. Rolling past Taylor reservoir we looked off into the distance and could see our final and major hurdle: Cottonwood Pass. 14 more miles of dirt up to 12,126 feet, then it was down hill all the way back to the car. My knees hurt, my legs ached and my sitsbones were rubbed raw. Even with all the suffering, I was still able to look out across the valleys and appreciate how lucky I was to be out just riding my bike.


When we finally got back into town and rolled up to the car, there was no finish line, no friends or fans to greet us, just a the 3 hour drive looming a head. And that was just fine with me. I didn’t agree to join for a bike jersey or ribbon that would tell fellow cyclists what I had done. I did it purely for the sake of trying to do something that I wasn’t sure was possible. If you don’t ever try to push past your limits, you’ll never know what you’re fully capable of. I don’t know if I will ever finish the loop, I may or I may not, but either way I’m not left with a feeling of disappointment I didn’t accomplish the goal I set out to do. I was proud that I tried. Failure is inevitable on the road of life. As any true hardman of the peloton will tell you, that’s okay as long as you keep riding.


Big thanks to Sports Garage, Ritte Cycles, Capo Cycling Apparel, Stages Power Meter for their support."

Thanks for sharing, Alex!

Robby Franco

McPhie Signs Olympic Year Agreement with WEND Wax

Photo By Harald Marbler Photo By Harald Marbler

Carlsbad, Ca

WEND Wax announces the signing of Freestyle Moguls Skier Heather McPhie to their Elite World Team.  #RoadtoSochi #WendWaxWillGetYouThere #MadeinCalifornia
McPhie, 2013 National Freestyle Champion, Olympian and third overall for 2012/2013 joins WEND Elite Team members Daron Rahlves,  Lindsey Jacobellis, Kazu Kokubo, Nick Goepper, John Teller,  Anais Caradeux and Travis Gerrits.
"I am thrilled to be teaming up with the WEND family.  Before working with WEND wax I've known very little about taking care of my own equipment.  WEND wax and their staff have been incredible with me, in terms of teaching me how to use the product and how to take care of my skis!  The hot wax is great, and they have liquid wax that I use while training.  Waxing regularly has made my skis feel smoother, and more consistent, and I have gained a lot of peace of mind from understanding how to use the product myself, and keep things consistent from day to day", stated Heather.
 "It's fantastic having Heather onboard.  She's a great fit for WEND with her high standards, positive attitude and love for the sport", said John Dahl (Wax Research President).    "I see us achieving great things together."

About Heather McPhie

Olympian Heather McPhie came late to moguls, but she's been making up for lost time. In 2010, the Bozeman, Montana native found a new gear and accelerated to her first four career World Cup podiums, including one win in her current hometown of Park City, UT. Her breakout results earned her a trip to her first Olympics in Vancouver. The 2012-2013 ski season was Heather's most successful to date, with three World Cup wins, as well as two other podiums.  She finished the season ranked third overall in the world and defended her title at the National Championships. 

About WEND

WEND, a brand owned by Wax Research, Inc., is a sophisticated line of Fluoro and Natural racing waxes, overlays, bars, pastes and a full range of tuning shop waxes and base treatments.  Wax Research, founded 1972 in California, is a family owned company as well as a global market leader in the action sport wax and accessory business.  They have produced private label snow waxes since 1972 for some of the top brands of the sport.
Photo By Garth Hager Photo By Garth Hager

J Smallz Podium Finish at HDHR

Big congrats to one of our own, Jordan Small, on his podium finish at the 10th annual Hot Dawgz and Handrails at Bear Mountain!
Photo by: Mike Yoshida



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