Fluorocarbons are compounds of fluorine and carbon just like the hydrocarbons that make up the traditional paraffin glide waxes. The fluorocarbons are hydrophobic. They repel water, reducing the adhesion between ski surface and the lubrication water layer, thus increasing glide. Cera F from Swix was the first widely successful application. As time has gone by, the breadth of fluorocarbon use has increased to the point where it is A MUST for all competitive skiers -- 90% of the time fluorocarbons will be the winning combination.
Basically you should remember high moisture content and rounded crystals in a temperature range of -6°C to +6°C means fluorocarbons will yield superior glide. For colder temps, watch snow crystals carefully.
Application of Fluorocarbons
Prepare your ski with paraffin wax of the day. Iron, scrape and brush. Then apply fluorocarbon, iron with a medium iron once lightly from tip to tail. (Note: The best investment any skier can make is in a high quality iron with close thermostatic control.) Always iron waxes in a well ventilated room and observe precautions (breathing fluorocarbons or hydrocarbons is potentially harmful!) After ironing allow to cool at room temperature and then brush with a soft brush.
Fluoro/Hydrocarbon mixes, such as Swix HF, Star HA and Toko Dibloc, allow a more straight forward one step application. When ironed in, the hydrocarbon penetrates the base and the fluorocarbon "floats" to the surface. Again allow to cool and then brush to finish.
The new fluorinated kick waxes will change the way you wax classic skis. VR30 from Swix and Fast Fluors from Rode are fast, repel dirt, give great grip and don't ice up. They have great range. Try them.
Warning: Scrape off old fluorocarbons when prepping skis for a new wax. Use a sharp metal scraper and remove P-Tex to obtain a fresh surface. Use a brass brush and rewax immediately.