lilcliffy wrote: Young Satchel wrote:
This is such a valid question but I really feel like a waffle when it comes to the answer. I think the sensible and more realistic answer would be the former: "cruising along trails through the hills".
I love to explore and adventure, but let's not forget that at least initially, my skill set will be that of a novice when it comes to Nordic BC. I'm not new to the outdoors, hiking, backpacking, etc, and snowboarded for years, but This combined with having a large load as a dad and special needs kiddo may conspire to limit me somewhat, at least for this season. I also do want to try and get out for a couple Mountain overnights as well. But none of the above is likely to be in deep powder or turns focused
This is why the 78 seemed like a nice "middle ground" based on your description. It would be decent for now, but also good for later. But maybe that's foolhardy and I should step down a notch to the 68 as a couple others have suggested? I had a feeling that Confusion would ensue
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The 78 is a particular class of ski that is intended for covering distance in mountainous terrain. Other skis in this class include the Eon, the E-109, the BC90, the Ingstad. They all have a low profile second camber. That low second camber is intended to offer a small "wax pocket" (like a true double-cambered ski)- but, the camber is low enough that it can be easily squashed, and the full length of the ski can be flexed and pressured- this enables both better turning and climbing performance than a true double-cambered ski. The initial camber varies on these skis in terms of height- but, they all share the fact the initial camber is soft and easily flexed and pressured.
The 78 is not going to be as fast on the flats as a ski like the E99/Glittertind- but, the 78 will climb more effectively, and it will be easier to flex amd pressure it on the downhill. It's a trade-off- one that allows you to find a sweet spot if you want to cover distance in hilly/mountainous terrain.
Whether the 78 is the best option for you depends on a number of factors...The 78 is significantly stiffer than the Eon for example. I find the Eon too soft- but many find it to be just perfect. My children and my wife love the Eon (however as my wife becomes a more advanced Nordic skier (she is first an Alpine skier)- I notice her grabbing the longer and stiffer E-109...AS long as she doesn't steal my Combat Nato we'll be okay!). My friend has a 189cm S-Bound 78 that has always just felt to short for me- I had planned on buying the 199cm, but they stopped making it. You are lighter than me, so the 189cm 78 might be perfect. (I can't remember what length Woods' 78s are...)
As far as choosing a narrower BC ski...(Let's ignore Satsuma's Discovery 68 for a second- I am not sure whether it is double-cambered- every Alpina BC Nordic ski that I have ever put my hands on- regardless of width- has been single-cambered...) Choosing a ski in the class of the E99/Glittertind will enable you to cover distance even faster than the 78. But- it won't climb as effectively- especially with waxless scales (you can adjust kick wax to climb more effectively). And- that higher, stiffer second camber can be a handful coming down a hill- it requires one to use a wider range of techiniques than you can get away with a softer, less cambered ski. IMO- skis like the E99/Glitt are clearly backcountry-xcountry
skis (BC-XC)- a ski like the 78 is on the XC end of the XCD spectrum (BC-XC
d). I love double-cambered BC-XC skis for cruising off-track on gentle to moderate terrain- it is amazing how much distance you can cover! But would I take my E-99s on a mutli-day trek in mountainous terrain? No- I would take my Combat Natos.
Skis like the E99/Glitt will fit in a groomed track- but they are not designed for the track- their flex is intended for XC skiing on ungroomed snow and variable terrain. I would never take my E99s to the groomed track- I have a pair of Atomic Motions for that!
As far as skipping the class of the 78, and going for wider skis...I am no expert on the 88- but every 88 I have ever flexed is single-cambered. It is also wider (most importantly underfoot), and softer than the 78. If your typical snow was fresh and soft (like mine is), then it would be harder to choose between the 78 vs. the 88. The 88 is definitely going to offer more flotation than the 78- but the 78 is going to be a faster XC ski. That to me is the trade-off between the 78 vs. 88- but, I would like to hear others (with more experience with the 78/88) weigh in on that...
Moving into even wider Nordic skis, you are clearly entering into the domain of skis that are at least equally- if not primarily- intended for making downhill turns.
Thanks once again for continuing to parse this out with me. Your attention to detail and vast knowledge bank are making it a fun--though confusing--process. So many options abound!
I think that based on a variety of factors, and posts from several of the TT members both in my topic and elsewhere, what I CAN determine is that the Ski I want for this first purchase will be somewhere between the sidecut/stiffness profile of a Glitt on the narrow/stiffer end, and the Fischer Traverse 78 on the wider/softer side. I think this range is perfect for my needs. Anything above (88+ width) will be "too much Ski" for me. Are there other potential needs? Of course! But I'm covered with gently used older track skis on the narrow end for groomed trails at the XC centers nearby, and can buy a wider softer ski for turns if I get into deeper more mountainous high-country terrain ('daks etc...) in the future.
Also.....did you see my pictures above? While they don't do the best at describing elevation or topography, I think they give a solid, representative idea of the sort of terrain that is abundant in my most popular use cases. Plenty of climbing, some of it over dicey terrain, much of it quite narrow.
I read some reviews here and elsewhere of Fischer's Spider 62 and Outback 68. The former--and even the latter to some degree-- sounds like it has trouble breaking trail, and wants to sink in several offtrack situations. This didn't sound ideal to me. The Outback could be a nice compromise I suppose, as could the Eon. But based on your descriptions of the flex and climbing characteristics of the Fischer series, I was leaning away from Madshus and more decidedly in their direction.
A final note. I'm going to make a strange comparison. I don't know if You Care about cars, or if the Volvo XC70 Wagon is a car you are familiar with. But it sort of doesn't matter l. I will endeavor to explain....
In its stock form, the XC70 Wagon is kind of analogous to the Madshus Glitterland. It's off-road capable, but those capabilities are limited by several factors designed to improve on road-performance, speed on the pave, safety, and comfort. Here it is in its stock form:
Now here is what mine looks like after a variety of modifications (lift, skidplates, ATs tires, rack, performance bits, etc)
Full album of images here:
These changes all make it a slower car on road with dulled handling characteristics. But they don't turn it into a rock crawler either. It is able
To maintain its utility, excellent mileage, and road worthiness in general. I did this to the car to make it more adept at light off-road and backcountry vehicle-based camping and overland exploration. It's been great fun.
If it isn't already clear, this vehicle will also be my means of conveyance To the trailhead, and sometimes into the Backcountry to explore old logging roads and snowmobile trails on ski. I think that all "XC" ironies aside, the Ski I am looking for for this purchase is one that resembles the capabilities and ride quality of my Volvo in its MODIFIED state.
I hope this makes ANY sense!
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