We are on the verge of snow again - time to get updated on the latest innovations in the nordic ski industry. Here are the hot topics this season.
There is more and more of a buzz growing around liquid waxes as people are catching on to how easy and effective they are to use. Vauhti is the powerhouse behind this movement and is leading the way with new additions to their line each year. This is good news for Saskatchewan as Finland (Vauhti's homeland) has similar snow to ours - fine, cold and dry.
The grey area for liquid waxes is how durable they are over long distances, such as 30+ km events. Vauhti produces LDR waxes (Long Distance Racing) but we haven't tested them enough yet to get a good sense of how well they last vs ironed glide. At this point those of us who race are hot waxing for long events, but using liquid glide for everything else, with good results.
Liquid glide wax is appropriate for all levels of skiers. If you are new to liquid glide waxes, you can learn more about them here.
Shop liquid waxes
Fischer Speedmax 3D has gone the next level of cool
You've got to admit, this has always been a sexy ski. One of the most technically advanced skis in the world, the Speedmax has all kinds of features to get excited about: cold base bonding, tip hole, precision pairing.. and now it has waxable sidewalls. If that sounds like a gimmick to you, think about how often your sidewalls touch the snow: double poling in track, cornering, and in softer conditions. At this level of skiing it gives a slight speed advantage, and races are usually won on an accumulation of slight advantages.
Skin skis still the "thing"?
Once again most of our classic ski lineup is skin skis. This is based on popularity, our own experiences with skins, and watching the industry. Your fastest ski will almost always be a waxable ski but because skin skis have been performing so well they are used at all levels of skiing, and all the major ski brands have numerous skin models. They are even making their way back into the backcountry arena, where their origins lie.
We've had a couple of customers tell us they don't get enough grip with their skin skis. Since we are meticulous about sizing skin skis on our camber tester we know the skis fit the user, so something else is at work here. Almost always it is technique: one of the things we like so much about skin skis is they remind us to use them properly.
Learn how to get the most out of your skin skis
Because skin skis are so popular, it's all about movable bindings now. The advantage of a movable binding is being able to shift where your weight comes down on the ski so you can control how much grip and glide you get. This never used to be important with waxable skis; you simply adjusted your wax type and pocket size/location but with skin skis your grip is fixed.
Movable bindings require a plate to be mounted on the ski and Salomon has jumped on this bandwagon with it's PSP (Prolink Shift Plate). You'll see this on some of our skis this season and it enables a movable Prolink Shift binding to be mounted on the ski.
Rottefella's MOVE binding allows the skier to actually move the binding while skiing. That's right - you can adapt to the terrain without having to take your skis off. The MOVE can mount onto almost any ski, making it a universal solution for those wanting a binding that can shift.
What's happening with the Salomon Pilot system?
If you bought new touring ski boots now they would fit almost any touring binding. The nordic world has gone NNN. Many of us are still skiing on Pilot however, and there are bits and pieces still available, but down the road we all will be forced to switch over to the double groove design. Salomon is pretty good about supporting its old binding platforms but Pilot is definitely on the way out.
The quilted look
The quilted clothing trend is still gaining momentum in North America and Europe and we are seeing lots of quilted ski skirts, dresses, sweaters, jackets, pants, and even shorts (sorry folks, those are a special order item) for both men and women. Due to popularity we are bringing in more variety and choice in the dress/skirt lineup this year, and for men and women we have quilted jackets and sweaters. Warm, stylish and functional, this apparel works well in our cold climate.
New gear is coming in all the time and our staff is busy receiving, stickering and getting the product on the floor. Keep checking back! We'll see you soon, either in the store or on the ski trails ;)