We talked with a young Russian businessman Anton Yurchenko, who recreated and improved the Soviet ski lubricant formula developed by his father in a closed secret production. Anton is 37 years old, he is passionate about skiing at an advanced level regularly goes to the ski run and participates in marathons. At first there was a passion for skiing and experiments with various ski lubricants to increase glide and speed, and then Anton decided to start producing ski lubricant. The task was ambitious: to create a product not inferior in quality to the most respected world brands. Being in self-isolation, we call up to talk about gliding, European lubrication standards, closed Soviet laboratories, about skeletons in cabinets of world manufacturers of ski lubricants and, of course, about skiing. – Can your lubricants be called permitted doping for athletes?
– Of course. After all, nothing happens for their use, and they increase speed and performance great. Therefore, I think so – this is legal "doping" for athletes and simple skiers. – And WADA to athletes using your “extra ing "will not come?
– God forbid. Our funds do not fall under its jurisdiction. All athletes prepare skis for racing. We only help them to do this in the most efficient way and achieve better results. – And if to talk about some real results of the application?
– The result is the speed indicators of the athlete, his victory or defeat. I will give a vivid example: Alexander Bolshunov four-time Olympic Games winner in 2018 lost the race in classic style and became the seventh. But he didn’t lose, our service providers lost. And they recognized this – they did not guess with the weather and as a result did not get greased. They watched the forecast that the snow was supposed to end 15 minutes after the start of the race. And he walked the whole race. Accordingly, Alexander's skis were not prepared properly. He kept the race for 30 kilometers and walked the first, but stumbled at the finish line when a mountain of snow stuck under the ski block. It was visible to the naked eye that he had huge problems in skiing and there was already quite a lot of snow. He slowed down, and the Norwegians all rode. In my opinion, if the right lubricant were selected, Alexander would have won this race without a doubt. – Anton, you're not professional an athlete, but they chose a very specific business. How did it happen?
– Five years ago I started to engage in skiing enthusiastically, I was captivated by everything. improve the quality of skiing, especially since in my childhood I had an experience that I still remember. My father was a scientist -chemist, worked in a closed laboratory. And once he brought me a bottle with some kind of suspension. He says: “on, put the skis on — we are doing this for the Union team, our athletes are running like that.” And they bought me plastic ones At that time it was very cool. I smeared them as best I could and I remember that feeling of a slight glide. – Why, suddenly, in a secret laboratory they started releasing ski grease? This is not military or space technology …
– In Soviet times, my father was the head of the Special Design Bureau of Medical Theme at the Kirov-Chepetsk Chemical Plant. Young scientists and specialists who came to Kirovo-Chepetsk from all over the Soviet Union worked there. Their main task was to develop a heart valve, which, by the way, my father created in the end. Then there was the knee joint, dental prostheses and many other developments. And at some point there was a call from above. Father and his team were asked to develop and create, on the basis of the fluoroplastic production and the fluorocarbons they worked with, an experimental version of ski grease for our team. They developed and produced it for some time specifically for the USSR national team; these products were not in stores. Then it all calmed down, of course. And in 2009, several people who once worked with their father tried to revive the production of ski greases. It seems to be an idea, but nobody began to deal with it systematically and the plant began to simply sell raw materials for ski lubricants. And a couple of years ago, I and some of my enthusiastic friends decided to start production. But of course we seriously modified the formula. And still, taking into account the feedback and market trends, we are constantly continuing to make some changes. – What is the overall situation in Russia with the production of such products?
– Most of the Russian products on the market are made “In the garage” or “on the knee”. Either generics of foreign products, or old formulas, slightly modified taking into account how skiing has changed over the years. And skiing has changed dramatically: the skis have changed in structure, the lubrication technology has changed, and the speeds have changed. What is now presented by Russian manufacturers is, by and large, archaism. Manufacturers do not invest in packaging, brand development, and most importantly, they do not invest in improving their products. Therefore, there was a desire to do something truly competitive for European brands. And in this sense, we are clearly in the history of import substitution. Our product is 100% Russian.
– Where do you get raw materials for production?
– We use 100% Russian factory raw materials. Today, all world brands buy raw materials from us in Russia. – Is Russian raw materials so demanded? Does it have any special features?
– Not so long ago, the Norwegians conducted and published studies in which it was said that the presence in ski greases of a product banned by the European Union called perfluorooctanoic acid and its derivatives is very dangerous for I’m ecology. Roughly speaking: the product was applied to skis, then it fell into the snow, the snow melted fell into the grass, the cow ate grass, a man drank milk, fell ill with cancer and died. Now this topic is actively discussed at all professional conferences. – I understand that Russian products do not have this prohibited component? Therefore, such a demand?
– In Europe, fluorocarbon is a completely synthesized material and that is why perfluorooctanoic acid is present in it. In Russia, raw materials are produced in a different way – using liquid petroleum paraffins, enriching them by fluorination in several stages. With this technology, perfluorooctanoic acid is absent. We all perfectly understand that world brands use both products, but they broadcast their responsible attitude to this problem: we fight – look, we buy this thing in Russia, it does no harm to anyone. – How difficult is it to launch such products on the market?
– We are gradually starting to gather our target audience. I ride, ride, get acquainted with athletes, with service people. I I give our products to be tried, rolled away. Honestly, at the beginning of the year everything went and shaky no roll. I throw it there, throw it here, and everything somehow froze. And then after some time the results went: our lubricants went there, they showed themselves well. They started calling us, asking for more product. Even money They started to pay! This was a real victory. Not so long ago they called from the Tatarstan national team, the girls ran a couple of months ago on our fluids and won. We also give testing to the Perm Territory Ski Cross Federation. The guys say that our powders are constantly among the top three, and often become the first. And they roll away a lot of lubricants, there is nothing to compare. But, there are comments, of course. The youth skiing team of Russia skated and said that these powders do not work, but this fluid always gets into the top 3. Accordingly, we give the task to our chemists, and they begin to finalize the temperature regime and pressurize other criteria. – Did you regret getting involved in this story?
– Not at all. You can do this and you need to do it because the result is there. – Where can I see your products?
– On our site aurora-wax.ru there is a lot of interesting things about our brand. We try to regularly update it and add new information about the products we develop and release. DIRECT SPEECH Pyankov DMITRY YURYEVICH Sports Director of the Perm Regional Ski Federation – Modern ski preparation technologies require lubricants that are wear resistant and resistant to aggressive environments – dirty snow, emissions that settle on snow, etc. The main task is to ensure high glide in various weather conditions At the same time, the technology should provide ease of application. We have already had two years of contact with the guys who produce ski greases in Kirovo-Chepetsk. We tested it all at the Junior World Championships, we take it for biathletes and see an excellent result. AURORA greases in this in the year allowed our athlete Korostylev Saveliy to become a prize-winner of the Olympics of schoolchildren of Russia.In the final of the race he ran precisely on this lubricant. Last year, our athlete at the All-Russian competitions was also a winner in the emulsion from Kirovo-Chepetsk. In general, there are a lot of lubricants, we test all world manufacturers, we roll about 70 different options. I can say with confidence that the Aurora squads in the rollback rating are always in the top ten – it takes 5-6 places, sometimes third, second. And emulsions take the first place, and we use them very often. It is a pity so far that they can’t be produced a lot. The technology of the guys does not allow you to quickly produce a large number of these emulsions, they quickly end. In any case, we are very pleased that a new manufacturer has entered the market. I hope they can satisfy the demand in sufficient quantities. OLEG MADUDOV
CEO of AURORA-WAX.RU – When- I studied for a long time as a “programmer" and we were taught how to create a software product correctly. We decided to introduce some "programming" technologies in the sports business. There are two stages of testing during development. The first stage is alpha testing (self-testing). When we ourselves we smear this composition, we ride ourselves and see if it works or does not work. we add recipes as we see fit, but we are few and we have our own “ideas about the beautiful”, and to prepare the right lubricants we need the second stage, which is called public beta-testing, that is, public beta testing. We give our products to national teams, athletes and see how our products behave in comparison with other brands, what you can improve, what you can change, how best to apply. Just in this environment, we get a detailed result, because our target audience has in stock all the best world manufacturers, they use well-known expensive European brands, as well as our Russian and even artisanal “home-made products” that go by. The main direction of our interaction with consumers is feedback from athletes and amateurs in order to make the product as customized as possible for a specific task, a convenient, comfortable composition that allows achieving high results. After all, we do not just produce lubricants, but try to help our customers achieve new victories and give them additional pleasure from skiing. ALEXEI SELIVERSTOV
An amateur skier riding on AURORA products – You can always see how many people train, it doesn’t matter how well equipped he is. When you ride with someone nearby, the degree of preparation is understandable, although sometimes strange things happen things that you cannot explain, as last season we ran the half marathon and among the participants there was a rather large man, 110 kg. So no one could catch up with him. At first we were going with full awareness of our superiority, but he took and “made” everyone. Then we talked to him. It turned out that it was all about the right lubrication. In the same way I caught up with the guy at the finish already when I became smarter and started to prepare skis. I’m 45 years old and he’s young sporty. He looked at me like don’t try. And I’m accelerating from the descent and accelerating into the ascent, he is already breathing heavily from behind. And I’m calmly going, the skis are working and it brings such joy. For me, probably, as for many, time is a very valuable resource. And when you applied ointment to the skis and instead of five kilometers you fly fifteen in the same time, you start to get much more joy from playing sports.