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Author Topic: BC Skis, sidecut?  (Read 6073 times)

Offline evo83

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BC Skis, sidecut?
« on: November 26, 2013, 08:55:43 am »
Hello everyone

I’m new to the site so I’ll give you a little background. I have been skate skiing for years now but last year I picked up a entry level classic ski package and absolutely fell in love. Waiting for the skate ski trails to be groomed drove me nuts but with these classic skis I can go anywhere anytime!  I do most of my skiing on abandoned trails that are usually covered with 12+” of powder or on the lake which can be anywhere from fresh powder to ice. I’m located in central New Brunswick so conditions are usually mild. With my current skis (51-50-50?) My skis ride 4-10” below the snow and sometimes I don’t see them for hours! I’m not sure if this slows me down but I would assume so.

I know there are lots of topics on here about BC ski selection but most are geared to maximum floatation and pulling a sled whereas I want to pack light (maybe a small sled this year) and ski fast and far (20+km/day), maximizing my kick. The 90-60-80 ski that seams popular on this site looks very wide and slow to me, where as the 70-55-60 looks like a nice compromise. The local dealer caries a good selection of Solomon and the boots (adv-6) fit perfect. Would I be better off with the Adv 69 (69-56-63) or the Adv 89(89-60-78)?

I have no BC experience past my current skis so any advice would be helpful.

Evo83

Offline HOOP

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Re: BC Skis, sidecut?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2013, 10:01:05 pm »
Hi Evo83!  Welcome to the site! 

There is no substitute for width and floatation, so a narrower ski will sink more.  However for narrower skis you should go as long as possible.  In the better quality BC skies with metal edges in the 50-60 width range, they offer lengths up to 210 or 220.  I am only 5'4" tall (short) and I use 198 length in my Atomic Mountains which are 59-50-55.  I love these skis and have done many back country trips with them.   If you are taller than me, get the longest length possible in such a ski.

My Atomic Mountains are stiff camber, and in certain snow conditions they will sink and shear with no grip, and so I always bring kicker skins.  My wider softer camber skis shear as well sometimes, both wax and waxless, and so I bring kicker skins with all my skis.  Skins of course slow you down, so there is no free lunch!   In packed icy conditions on lakes with my waxables, I have had the kick wax sheared off within 200m, and had to use kickers even on a packed hard surface without sinking. 

In the last 2 winters I have skied exclusively with my wider waxless Karhu Orions, (85-70-80) using kicker skins occasionally, and I find I make pretty good time on average over most snow conditions.  I really love these skis.  "Good time” is always relative to the conditions, and that includes sometimes walking on my skis in deep fluffy snow because I am sinking in deep anyways on each kick. 

I will likely be staying with my Karhu Orions again this year unless the snow stays shallow and I can go with something narrower.
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker

"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline evo83

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Re: BC Skis, sidecut?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2013, 02:41:44 pm »
Thanks for the info HOOP

You answered my next question too! Should I use the suggested ski length charts? Some of the charts have me on a 175-180cm ski which would defeat the purpose of having a wider ski (i'm 5'9", 155). The shorter skis must be geared toward alpine BC skiing... It comes down to surface area in the end, however I feel a longer ski will be slightly more efficient that a short wide ski. The Fisher E99 comes in a nice selection of lengths and are "very popular" in my area.

I looked up Karhu, looks like they discontinued your model. How long are your Orions?

I have plenty of time to figure this out, +14 and rain today!




Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: BC Skis, sidecut?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2013, 05:18:07 pm »
I have a pair of old crown E99 at 215cm the longest they use to make, but not any more…. They are great skis, but 215cm, is a lot of skies to turn when going down hill or snow plow on narrow trails… If you travel mainly on "flat" terrain, they are a great ski… but if you have a lots of ups and downs on narrow trails, they are a lot of ski to handle. so depending on the type of terrain you will be traveling on, maybe a bit of a shorter ski might be a better choice. As for crown ski the longer the stiffer, so at 155 lbs, you still want to be able to kick these skis when in the right snow condition!
 

Offline HOOP

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Re: BC Skis, sidecut?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2013, 06:00:06 pm »
I have a pair of old crown E99 at 215cm the longest they use to make, but not any more…. They are great skis, but 215cm, is a lot of skies to turn when going down hill or snow plow on narrow trails… If you travel mainly on "flat" terrain, they are a great ski… but if you have a lots of ups and downs on narrow trails, they are a lot of ski to handle. so depending on the type of terrain you will be traveling on, maybe a bit of a shorter ski might be a better choice. As for crown ski the longer the stiffer, so at 155 lbs, you still want to be able to kick these skis when in the right snow condition!
 

Where I travel there are no ups and downs that are ski-able.  Any hills are covered in thick bush.  The only place we can ski in the back country here is on roads or on lakes.  The bush is clogged with underbrush, downed trees, small cliffs, rocks, steeps, deep holes, etc.  Once off road or lake, you need both hands to grab trees and crawl over, under, through blowdown debris constantly.  And in the bush the snow is perched up on shrubs so its full of air pockets, and skis and snowshoes sink down 1-2 feet for every stride in deep snow.

Therefore I think one's choice of back country ski is dictated by terrain.  For me, I need a long ski for floatation to move straight ahead, and turns are not needed.  The bush is too thick and too steeply rugged here for skis so we switch to snowshoes.  For people in open terrain where they can glide down hill, then a shorter turn-able ski is probably best. 

And on slushy lakes, sometimes skis are impossible, and big floaty snowshoes are the only way to physically cross the lake without punching through.

I think terrain dictates ski and binding choice.
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker

"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline HOOP

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Re: BC Skis, sidecut?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2013, 06:27:02 pm »
Thanks for the info HOOP

You answered my next question too! Should I use the suggested ski length charts? Some of the charts have me on a 175-180cm ski which would defeat the purpose of having a wider ski (i'm 5'9", 155). The shorter skis must be geared toward alpine BC skiing... It comes down to surface area in the end, however I feel a longer ski will be slightly more efficient that a short wide ski. The Fisher E99 comes in a nice selection of lengths and are "very popular" in my area.

I looked up Karhu, looks like they discontinued your model. How long are your Orions?

I have plenty of time to figure this out, +14 and rain today!

Hi Evo83,
Please see my response to AunNordDuNord a few minutes ago.  In it I talk about terrain dictating ski form and function.

For me where I have no hills to ski, and all my skiing is on lakes or roads, then I want the longest ski that my short body can handle, which is 195-198.  My Karhu Orions (Karhu is out of business in North America and does not make those skis anymore), are 195's which were the longest they made.  I have an older pair of 175's, but they don't float my 150 pounds plus gear as well as the 195's.  The charts on wide back country skis are designed for downhill telemark or AT technique involving turning.  That's why its hard to find a modern wide ski that is much more than 195, because that's the max the tallest people would want for turning.  Most people skiing downhill are using shorter skis.   

But as soon as you get into a fast touring back country ski like the Atomic Mountains, or Fischer E series, or Madshus Glittertind, the lengths get to 200 - 220.

I fell behind on the ski technology, but I think Madshus has soem new skins in sort of the same ball park as the Orions, using the superb Karhu Omnitrak base (they retain the trademark name), into a new ski called the Eon MVG, offered up to 195, and profile 83-62-70.   The next widest is their Epoch MVG up to 195 with profile 99-68-84.    link here:  http://madshus.com/skis?category=backcountry

I do not like the deeper side cut because it makes it more difficult to ski in a straight line.  But the downhill turners will love the sidecut.  If you can deal with the sidecut, these new Madshus look like a very interesting ski to check out for sled hauling and just touring around in the flats.  Remember that in some snow conditions skins are essential for grip, so I always encourage people to purchase kicker skins that fit their skis, for each new ski they buy!   :)
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker

"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline evo83

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Re: BC Skis, sidecut?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2013, 08:28:23 am »
HOOP

The length would not be a problem for me. I usually ski on lakes or through bush trails that are so heavily snowed that I hardly glide on the down hill sections….the second time through is a different story but i don't mind a good wipeout once or twice a day! I'm thinking 195-205cm. My downhill turning will be very minimal if at all.

The sidecut is where I'm having trouble finding the perfect ski. I want something that will track straight on open lakes so a sidecut of 20+mm feels excessive. The Fischer E99 (66-54-61), Fisher Outback (68-59-64), Solomon 69 (69-56-63), Madshu Glit (68-55-62) are on my short list. I'll need to compare the camber and the flex before I pull the trigger. I will be picking up some skins, something like BD Glidelite half skins.

Thanks again!


 

Offline SupGen

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Re: BC Skis, sidecut?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2013, 12:17:31 pm »


  evo83, ya might want to take a look at this thread: http://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=2548.0 . I think the skis from Colemans' Surplus are a military version of the Asnes Nansen; they're not the Asnes NATO Combat ski, which is much wider. These have a 75/60/65 mm. sidecut and the flex is similar to my mid-ninties Europa 99s. All the skis you mentioned are real nice, but for US$19.95 I don't think you can go wrong with these.

Offline lilcliffy

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Re: BC Skis, sidecut?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2015, 11:22:48 am »
Hi Evo83,

Sounds like we are in each other's neighborhood- I live in Stanley- speaking of skating track- do you live in the Fredericton area?

How did you make out with backcountry-xcountry setup?

As I am sure you have already discovered- the winter weather and resulting snow conditions are highly variable in maritime Canada- especially at lower elevations and the closer you get to the coast.  Fredericton is, historically, right on the edge of the maritime weather.  Stanley, only 50 kms away, is further inland and at higher elevation- more snow and more stable winter weather.  Fredericton is still much more dependable than Moncton, or even more challenging- xcountry skiing in coastal NB or Nova Scotia!

As I am sure you are also discovering- even people who live in very stable continental cold climates (e.g. Northern Ontario, Quebec) typically end up with a "quiver" of different skis to choose from.

For off-trail xcountry skiing in, maritime Canada, my biggest advice is to be an opportunist and have the gear to do it!  Often the best conditions in maritime climates are immediately following a heavy snow storm- and the snow is deep, soft, and unsettled.  Often; once the snow has had time to settle and stabilize- the weather has warmed up, and/or than has been a rain/ice storm that has turned the snow into a mix of hard pack, thick crust, and white concrete.

(My comments below are specific to classic off-trail backcountry-xcountry skiing- on gentle to moderate rolling terrain.  Xcountry skiing in mountainous terrain is an entirely separate discussion)

To take advantage of and truly enjoy the very fresh, soft, deep snow- you need both glide (i.e. long length) and floatation (i.e. width).  My current absolute favourite ski for fresh, deep, soft snow is the Madshus Annum 195cm (profile: 109-78-95cm).  Don't let the crazy width scare you off- this is a xcountry ski!  Unlike many of the other xcountry-downhill (XCD) hybrid skis out there the Madshus (originally Karhu) XCD line have straight tails; with a 1.5 camber and medium flex (i.e. they are designed first and foremost for striding and gliding- with light/moderate downhill performance).  The primary problem with the Annum is that it is fat- it is very efficient in deep, soft snow- but brutally inefficient in dense, hard, and/or stable, settled snow.  In other words you are not going to cruise on the Annum once the snow has been reduced to hardpack!

Most of the other wide xcountry skis available on the market have much more of a parabolic sidecut than the Madshus/Karhu XCD skis- and therefore do not glide and track as efficiently.  Parabolic sidecut is all the rage in ski design in this era- IMO there is an overemphasis on downhill performance versus classic stride and glide (this is despite the recent decline in telemark popularity).  For this reason- my experience is that the Madshus/Karhu XCD skis offer the best classic xcountry performance available (in North America)- in a fat shovel.  (The Scandinavians and Finns still make long, wide, straight, double-cambered, steel-edged, xcountry skis- they are difficult to get in N. America).  Regardless; with all of these fat xcountry skis- get as long a length as possible if you want classic stride and glide performance.

For skiing on the hard dense, and often icy, snow that follows the soft stuff- there is no substitute for very long, skinny, straight, double-cambered, metal-edged skis for off-trail xcountry skiing on gentle terrain.  For this style skiing my overwhelming preference is a waxable ski.

If you only want one ski; that is never going to be on groomed tracks- I would go for something as wide as the Madshus Glittertind, Fischer E99, or the Rossignol BC70.  If you want a bit more width in your do-it-all ski the Madshus Eon is my personal favourite- Fischer E109 is another good, but more expensive choice. (I would avoid the Fischer S-Bounds for your type of skiing- very soft flex- better downhill performance, but inefficient stride and glide).  The camber and flex is variable  in this group- the Eon has moderate flex, 1.5 camber; the Glittertind, Rossi BC70, and Fischers have stiffer, double-cambered flex.

If you think that you might eventually buy a big fat ski for striding through deep soft snow (e.g. Madshus Annum; Rossignol BC110)- then I would also get a very narrow, long, straight, stiff, double-cambered ski for skiing on dense snow.  Examples that I have some experience with: Madshus Voss; Fischer E89 (expensive); Rossignol BC59.  And again I highly recommend waxable for your fast cruising ski!  These are also all narrow enough to sneak into the groomed tracks in Fredericton!

Let me know how you made out- always great to know what others are using- especially those skiing on similar terrain and snow/weather conditions.

Offline lilcliffy

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Re: BC Skis, sidecut?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2015, 11:31:39 am »
After my last long-winded essay- I realize I probably did not concisely answer your original question regarding sidecut- IMO if you do not need downhill (i.e. telemark) performance- you do not need a parabolic sidecut profile to your ski.  IMO and in my experience- a parabolic sidecut profile does not track and glide as efficiently as a straight ski; or at least one with a straight tail.