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Author Topic: Forest skis? 280cm of fun! Talk about FLOAT!  (Read 11435 times)

Offline ABU

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Re: Forest skis? 280cm of fun! Talk about FLOAT!
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2010, 03:12:53 am »

About weight... were they all about 5kg? I'd think that might be the max. A 75mmx250cm fiberglass ski should be that much or too much to manage. I agree that you surely have to be careful of weight. I'd noticed that for their length some of the forest skis were fairly narrow -- maybe as little as 65mm or so -- that helps for weight. The one poster mentioned not liking the 90mm -- maybe if you don't get carried away with width the weight and performance will take care of itself. ?? All unknowns to me!

The big question: HOW TO GET SOME OVER HERE INTO THE USA???!!!

According to my 30 year of experience on long forest skis, the only thing that really matters is that you have long enough skis. Only if you are very lightweight person, i.e. less than 140 lbs, you could consider skis shorter than 280 cm. The ski weight itself is a very minor thing compared to floating capacity of the skis, i.e. the length. Traditionally the standard length of the forest skis has been about 10' (305 cm), but for some reason the modern ski length is limited to 280 cm, which means that being a heavy person or if you carry heavy backpack, you will have troubles.

Handling of the long skis can be improved with sturdy bindings and boots. The best option is Telemark bindings with corresponding boots. Because the forest skis are used mostly from December to early March, the boots must be warm. Double leather boots, like Merrell Super Double or Alico Double, are warm till -40 Celsius degrees, below that you will need similar boots used in Arctic expeditions, like these .

I could check shipping cost of 280 cm skis from Finland to USA...

Offline JeffOYB

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Re: Forest skis? 280cm of fun! Talk about FLOAT!
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2010, 09:46:37 am »
Please check this shipping cost!

Maybe we could get an order together, for test pilots in the USA.

Probably if a person didn't like em they'd be easy to resell to another freak somewhere... : )

I have a friend who does occasional laps b/w US and Fin and was going to bring me a pair but never has...

If ship cost is huge I could pester him again... I think he's willing but just forgetful.

Offline JeffOYB

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Re: Forest skis? 280cm of fun! Talk about FLOAT!
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2010, 03:00:07 pm »
Yee haw! I just got a pair of 210 Jarvinen Lapponia waxless forest skis! The first I've ever seen in the USA! Now, they're short compared to the 240-280's but they're 2.75" wide -- widest touring skis I've seen -- and have those long soft narrow tips. We'll see how they do! ...If they sink or swim! I'm kinda excited so am writing before trying... will report later on how they are.

Has anyone seen longer ones for sale in the USA? Maybe I haven't looked in the right places...

Or maybe the concept isn't worth being slavish to. Maybe a 220 military ski would work dandy. Any other wide skis out there float and glide on the deep stuff? Is the soft tip vital?

Well, we'll see soon1 --JP

Offline JeffOYB

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Re: Forest skis? 280cm of fun! Talk about FLOAT!
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2010, 06:36:55 pm »
OK, I tried them out just now in deep snow with crust on top. The crust was weakened by the sun and 35F day. Even in the 25F morning it wouldn't hold me up on my skating skis. In the afternoon it's much weaker. My new 210 forest skis still broke thru but weren't bad. The soft tip stayed on top. I'll test them again tomorrow morning.

...But here's a big factor: what about poles? My poles also are breaking thru even in the harder mornings. And they really plunge in in the afternoons.

I suppose one just uses big-basket poles.


Offline HOOP

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Re: Forest skis? 280cm of fun! Talk about FLOAT!
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2010, 09:09:05 pm »
Hi Jeff,

I use Black Diamond flick lock adjustable poles, and the bigger back country baskets, so I can adjust to the conditions.  But I am very short (5' 4" on a good day), but I extend the flicklocks to the max in deep snow, and can get away with it.  These back country poles are really designed for telemark and AT fixed heel downhill stances, (downhill pole planting), so for the average height and taller person, adjustable BC poles tend to be too short for cross country kick and glide poles.    I know my BD flicklocks are far too short for my trekking buddies who are both over 6 foot tall.  

I don't know if they make a longer adjustable pole for back country true cross country?

Looking forward to the forest skis gear review!  Please post some pics if you can!  
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 09:23:17 pm by HOOP »
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"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 JeffOYB

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Re: Forest skis? 280cm of fun! Talk about FLOAT!
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2010, 02:43:18 pm »
Here are a couple pics. As I said I haven't been able to use the skis yet in good conditions. This thin crust is no fun. The skis did float better than others skis -- and the tips definitely stayed on top nicely. I'll test in 'real' snow sometime.

OK... I tried attaching pics--- no luck. It said the upload folder was full. The pics are 25kb each...

I put the pics up on my OYB site. Here's a link to a little report with the pics: http://outyourbackdoor.com/article.php?id=1456
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 02:53:43 pm by JeffOYB »

Offline norton

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Re: Forest skis? 280cm of fun! Talk about FLOAT!
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2010, 12:32:47 pm »
I know that this is an old thread, but someone was saying that they couldn't find long enough adjustable poles.  I just got a pair of adjustable black diamond traverse poles that extend up to 155cm.  I'm 6'2" and they're more than long enough for me.

Offline lare

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Re: Forest skis? 280cm of fun! Talk about FLOAT!
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2010, 12:14:28 am »
Hey, if you want big wooden skis, go to www.woodenskis.com
This is an outfit out of Duluth, and they have links to Finland, Norske, Swedish, etc. ski manufacturers.  Thos big skis are great if you are going to be in six feet of powder in the mountains, or maybe crossing a marsh in Canada or northern US.  Otherwise, I'd recommend sticking with a pair of normal wooden skis (*they work good in up to a foot, foot and one half of snow).  Length is nice, but not terribly important.  I don't think you notice that much difference between say, 200's and 215's.  I have two or three pairs of 220's and I really like them because they are so smooth and pleasant to ski on.  As far as flotation goes - man you gotta get really, really big skis.  I ski mostly in northern Wisconsin.  I also have a pair of Trak Bushwackers with Berwyn bindings:  good skis, work OK in the brush, but no better than a pair of old 215 or 210 Asnes or Bonnas or whatever.

Offline JeffOYB

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Re: Forest skis? 280cm of fun! Talk about FLOAT!
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2010, 04:16:04 pm »
UPDATE: I finally tried my 210cm Lapponia Forest skis (3" wide approx) that I bought last late spring. I skied 2 hrs in a foot of new snow and they seemed to work pretty good -- moderate float and a bit more glide than usual for such conditions, I think.

Not a very long grip pattern and not very much grip. I might add some Start Grip Tape beyond the pattern to give more grip.

But I had really small boots to use the oldstyle SNS bindings and maybe I wasn't kicking for beans. I'll install some NNNs to fit my usual boots and see how they do.

I think I'll keep using them for breaking new trail after a big snowfall.