2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

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lilcliffy
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2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

Postby lilcliffy » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:01 pm

A true XCD ski from the point of view of balance. This ski truly does offer both cross-country and moderate down-hill performance. It also climbs reasonably well for a double-cambered ski.

Fast, smooth, light and responsive.

Truly awesome flex pattern: enough stiffness and camber for efficient xcountry travel; wonderful round flex for downhill turns; low camber facilitates efficient climbing.

Beautiful broad, raised, elongated tip carves its way through snow- a trail-breaking machine.

The integrated Skin-Lock kicker skins both increase traction and extend skiing onto most any snow condition.

The very best distance-oriented, backcountry Nordic touring ski I have ever tried- PERIOD.

Is it the best at any one thing- well of course not. BUT- it is the most versatile BC Nordic touring ski I have ever tested. It is the best because it is good enough at everything that it just makes me smile- ALL THE TIME!!

Åsnes knows what they are doing man.

SUMMARY

• Excellent backcountry Nordic touring ski. This ski defines the concept of the “Fjellski”. A finely tuned flex pattern to offer true XC performance and moderate downhill performance.
• Wide enough to offer reasonable flotation in deep snow- especially if you get 'em long enough.
• Wide enough to offer significant sidecut- for those with wide-open alpine bowls (or fields/ open forest) to arc through.
• Stiff enough to perform reasonably well on dense/hard snow.
• Finely tuned for soft snow.
• Truly magnificent trail-breaking kick-ass tip. This ski may not float as much as a super fat Nordic ski- but man does it plow its way through deep snow. THE choice if you are breaking track through deep snow with an army (or a family) following behind! Almost leaves a groomed track behind it.
• The integrated kicker skin- “Skin-Lock”- is wicked. Extra traction man. Difficult snow? Who cares.
• High-quality, waxable sintered base.
• A true Nordic touring ski for the backcountry- and with a flex pattern to handle some serious terrain.
• The modest dimensions make this ski manageable with light-duty BC boots/bindings on all but the most extreme terrain.

The model I have was bought on clearance this past spring- it is a 2015-2016 model. As far as I know the 2016-2017 model has not been updated.

The Combat Nato is a highly versatile, high-performance backcountry Nordic touring ski. Cambered and stiff enough to offer true XC kick and glide performance; soft enough and flexible enough to climb and turn.

The Fjellski.

SPECS

I am 5’10” and weigh 185lbs. I am skiing on the 210cm.
Here are the specs:
• Lengths to 210cm.
• Sidecut profile: 84-62-72mm.
• Camber profile: low relatively soft initial camber; low profile, stiff second camber.
• Flex pattern: the best way to describe this is balanced and stable . Stiff enough to offer a low-profile wax pocket, and some moderate Nordic kick; yet still offering a smooth, round reverse-flex- obviously the mid-section is stiffer than the tip/tail.
• Broad, elongated, raised tip- moderately flexible below the raised tip. Flat- no rocker- at all.
• Flat tail.
• Full length, wrap-around, metal edge.
• High-quality, sintered base.
• Integrated “Skin-Lock” kicker skin.

This is a double-cambered ski- despite how low and soft the initial camber is. The second camber is low-profile and stiff. This flex pattern underfoot meets the criteria of what some define as “camber-and-a-half”. The flex pattern, from tip to tail, is finely tuned for skiing on soft, fresh snow. This ski feels remarkably stable throughout its entire length.

BACKGROUND

What is the Combat Nato ski?

This ski was developed for the Norwegian military- and I assume it is being produced for other NATO member countries- hence the “Nato” moniker (SPECIAL ALERT: keep your eyes open for Army surplus sales of this ski- this is a MAJOR step up in performance over the old “Nato Planks”). The civilian version of this ski is the Ingstad. There are a number of upgrades to this ski that are not on the Ingstad:
1. A titanium-enforced binding plate.
2. Riveted hole in the tip for sledge (i.e. “helpersledge”) construction.
3. Hole for fixation of a customized “Skin-Lock” kicker skin in the tail.
4. Milled area at the attachment point of the Skin-Lock to produce less gliding friction.

This ski is designed to be a highly versatile BC Nordic ski- for covering distance in deep snow and hilly to mountainous terrain.

This ski is classified as a “Fjellski”- meaning a Nordic touring ski designed for hilly/mountainous terrain- in other words, a ski designed to offer xcountry performance on fresh snow, with moderate climbing and turning performance. Although, fundamentally this meets the definition of xcountry-downhill (XCD), this ski has much more XC DNA in it than modern hybrid XCD skis. From a modern North American perspective, this ski would be classified as a backcountry xcountry (BC-XC) ski.

A ski like this precisely fits the balance between cross-country and down-hill skiing. And perhaps most importantly in this day and age- this ski does not sacrifice XC performance in order for them to be “easy-turning”.

I have recently rigorously tested two other current skis that are similar to the Combat Nato in terms of performance: the Madshus Eon, and the Fischer E-109. The Eon is very balanced like the Combat Nato- though it has a much softer flex pattern. The E-109 is more finely tuned towards XC skiing.

PERFORMANCE

Cross-Country Skiing
I can easily control the camber of this 210cm ski- this is no high-performance XC ski- at least not from a groomed track perspective. But there is significant tension and resistance within that low-profile camber. Even on dense/hard snow, this ski offers pretty decent XC kick and glide performance. On soft, fresh snow these skis become “high-performance”. The flex pattern of the entire ski, but specifically underfoot, is perfectly designed to offer excellent kick and glide performance on fresh snow. But, it is not just that low-profile second camber- I feel supported by the entire length of this ski when I am XC skiing on fresh snow. That resistance and stability allows this ski to get away with a low-profile camber. This ski has a flat tail that helps this ski track like a XC ski should.

Flotation
Well- this is not a “powder” ski- heck it is only 62mm at the waist. But- that being said- at 210cm, the flex pattern is soft enough, yet supportive enough, that I get reasonable flotation in truly deep snow. And once the snow settles and stabilizes, this ski truly cruises through deep, soft fresh snow. This ski has a lot of sidecut- with only 62mm at the waist. I understand the physics of all of that sidecut facilitating “easy-turning”. But- I believe it comes with a significant cost- loss of effective flotation. I believe this ski would be better with a wider waist- say 68-70mm.

Trail Breaking
This ski has no rocker in the tip. What it does have is a kick-ass broad, raised, elongated tip that absolutely excels at breaking trail. It is the best trail-breaking Nordic touring ski that I have ever tested (with the old Åsnes Combat USGI a close second). And- I am not entirely convinced that a rockered tip would be a great help to a ski with these modest dimensions- at least when XC skiing . The tip of this ski is flexible but very stable- this allows it to carve its way through the snow, with that fat, raised tip plowing the snow to the side. Compared to a similar ski with Nordic Rocker (e.g. Fischer E-109)- the rockered tip floats higher in the snow- but the ski is not wide enough to follow suit- plus the wimpy low-profile tip of a ski like the E-109 doesn’t plow its way through anything. Recently, we had a big dump of very cold snow- followed by sustained high winds. The wind consolidated and condensed the upper foot of snow- but not enough for me to ski on top of it- the skis were still breaking through and making a track. That condensed snow was difficult to break trail through but the stable, kick-ass tip of the Combat Nato carved a perfect clean track through that snow. The rockered tip of the E-109 floated on top of that condensed snow- leaving me trying to break trail with the kick zone of the ski- YUCK. Although I truly appreciate rockered tips when making downhill turns- I am becoming convinced that perhaps it is a bad idea for a relatively narrow ski designed to offer long-distance XC performance. I don’t think that the Combat Nato would break trail as efficiently if its tip was rockered.

Traction
Kick wax, klister, integrated kicker skin- lots of options here. Kick wax? Well what can I say- kick wax is like magic- it grips and it glides. As I ski mostly through the North woods- full of forest debris- I won’t be using much klister on these skis. The integrated “Skin-Lock” kicker skins are well designed, well made and perform very well. I have a 35mm nylon Skin-Lock and a 60mm mohair Skin-Lock that I am currently using with this ski. I bought the 35mm in nylon because I was thinking that I might end up using it in icy, abrasive conditions. As it turns out the 35mm skin does not seem to offer enough traction on icy, refrozen snow- but, excellent traction on warm wet snow (I wish I had bought the mohair 35mm). The 60mm Skin-Lock is serious traction for this ski with a 62mm waist- I am glad I got the mohair 60mm, as it offer better glide. I am using the Skin-Lock regularly in the following conditions:
1. Climbing
2. Icy, refrozen snow
3. Warm, wet snow
4. Pulling a heavy load (typically a pulk-load of kids at the moment)

The Skin-Lock takes seconds to install and extends my traction greatly. The other application I am exploring with the Skin-Lock is XC trail breaking in VERY deep, soft snow. Over the last 15 years I have used the Karhu Guide/Madshus Annum for very deep soft snow. However, I am finding that if I get enough traction, the 210cm Combat Nato breaks trail even better than the Guide- and it lays down a better track for that army (or family) following behind. On the flats- the 35mm Skin-Lock is enough in very deep snow- but, if I have to climb anything significant I find I need the 60mm. I was out on a 20km hilly tour last week in 40cm of fresh, cold, dry powder snow. I used both the 35mm and the 60mm Skin-Locks.

Åsnes makes a customized 45mm nylon Skin-Lock for the Combat Nato- with some mechanism to attach the skin’s tail through the small hole in the ski’s tail. I haven’t tried it- YET.

The flex pattern of this ski offers superb classic kick and glide performance on fresh, soft snow.

The camber is low enough, and easy enough to squash that these skis climb very well- at least very well for a double-cambered ski.

Down-hill Skiing
This is not a downhill ski. However, these skis are more than manageable on moderate slopes- even with light-duty boots and bindings. This ski has such a wonderful round smooth flex- they just feel great when equally weighted, and you have the room to let them come around in a wide-arcing turn. They feel at their best on fresh, soft snow. I have had them out on a couple of steep open fields where I could just ride the telemark arc- wonderful feeling. The camber is reasonable to control on these skis and when put on edge on hardpack- this ski has good edge hold. When put on edge on hardpack you can carve an aggressive- but wide radius- turn with this ski. Obviously, reducing the sidecut of this ski would increase the physical turning radius. But- I don’t see the strength of this ski is to make tight-radius downhill turns. Fortunately, these skis are light- I can make tight-radius striding/step/jump turns with relative ease on moderate slopes. Obviously, a rockered tip would improve turn initiation with this ski- but I feel it would lose too much of its XC trail-breaking performance as a trade-off. This is not a downhill ski, but it sure is a lot of fun on the downhill. Most importantly it offers enough down-hill performance that it won’t stop your desire to efficiently travel distance in hilly and mountainous terrain.

CONCLUSION

Åsnes Nordic ski technology is such a beautiful blend of new technology, steeped in tradition. Every detail of this ski has been thought out, tested and finely tuned. The Combat Nato is a dream ski for anyone wanting to do distance-oriented tours in hilly/mountainous terrain- and especially on soft, fresh snow. The Combat Nato is a XCD ski that does not compromise cross-country performance in order to maximize climbing and down-hill easy turning. It is light, flexible, supportive and snappy. The full-length support of this ski, plus the broad, raised tip, make this ski a trail-breaking machine- both for yourself, and the army following in your perfectly laid track. And- even at 210cm long- they are wonderful on the downhill. The modest dimensions make these skis quite manageable with even light-duty boots and bindings.

There is a rumour on the street that this ski is being redesigned. There is talk of a rockered and tapered tip...I sincerely hope not. If so- I am very thankful that I picked up my Combat Nato before it loses it kick-ass XC trail-breaking performance.

Would I change anything? I hate to sound like a broken record…but, I would reduce the sidecut and give this ski 68-70mm at the waist. I would gladly take a wider turning radius in order to have more float and traction in the backcountry. BUT- I am not going to complain!

This is the Fjellski- and I love it.

Gareth Davies
January 2017
Stanley, NB
Canada
Last edited by lilcliffy on Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

Cannatonic
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Re: 2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

Postby Cannatonic » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:19 pm

wow, great review, Asnes makes 3 different versions of this ski, it should be good. Looking forward to using my Breidablikks in powder, without edges they are unbelievably light weight. Hopefully 200's will be good, I'm envious of your huge white 210cm cruisers. Seems like they would be the ultimate ski in deep powder, almost getting into "forest ski" territory! My 210 Gamme54's will sink like toothpicks in comparison.

Agree on the proposed changes, rockered tip doesn't do much for me.

Another bonus of Asnes is the balance point - it's nearly always right on chord center. That makes it more versatile, your foot is in the right place for both kick & glide and turning. For example they're nearly on the same point on my 210 Gamme's but the BP is nearly 1.5 inches behind CC on my 210 E99's. They're playing some clever games with weight distribution because the dimensions are nearly identical.

btw LC, which bindings/boots are you using with these White Knights???
Last edited by Cannatonic on Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeK
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Re: 2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

Postby MikeK » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:48 pm

OK - Now here come the questions.

How does the more curvaceous tail affect turning and tracking when compared to the Eon and E109?

How does the added tip stiffness affect turn initiation relative to the soft and pliable Eon?

How does the wax only (no skin) climbing compare to the Eon and E109 with similar pocket lengths?

Are the DH aspects better on base or in deep snow? I'm very curious how it will work on corn as well.



Obviously I plan on making my own assessments at some point, but I won't have much base to add to your review. Perhaps add my own nitpicks here or there on what I agree or don't agree with.

Based on all my handling of this ski, what you say doesn't surprise me a bit. I measured the smoothest of any ski I've touched. It takes a lot of things I really like about the other skis in this class and perhaps refines them a bit.

What I'm curious is: Is Fischer's Nordic Rocker a significant advantage relative to these skis or is it so minimal on S78 and E109 that it hardly affects the DH aspect? Is it the right balance between stiffness and flex that both the Eon and the S78 seem to exaggerate on both ends of the spectrum (Fischer being perhaps too stiff and Madshus being perhaps too soft)?

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lilcliffy
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Re: 2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

Postby lilcliffy » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:55 pm

Rockered tip- always will improve turn initiation. But- I am finding it actually negatively affects XC tracking and trail-breaking in a ski that is not wide enough to float on top of very deep soft snow.

I have been blaming the poor deep-snow performance of the Eon on it not being stiff enough underfoot. But- now that I have been racking up some miles on the E-109 (that is much stiffer underfoot- but has that low-profile open tip), I am realising that my problem with the Eon may actually be that slightly rockered, extremely low-profile, and very soft tip...

Your observations regarding balance point and chord centre are similar to mine- though I did not actually measure chord centre on the current E-99/E-109- I should.

NNNBC-manual, with the standard 58mm binding plate.

Alpina Alaska NNNBC.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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lilcliffy
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Re: 2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

Postby lilcliffy » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:45 pm

MikeK wrote:How does the more curvaceous tail affect turning and tracking when compared to the Eon and E109?

I have to admit not noticing it very much when tracking. I think that the biggest reason is how stable this ski is. The Combat Nato feels stable throughout its entire length. Skiing on the Eon again after many miles on the Combat Nato- the Eon feels much more longitudinally and torsionally flexible than I realized. The Eon still tracks straight because the tail is straight and flat- but the Eon's tip and tail feel almost loosely connected to the mid-section of the ski- at least, compared to the Combat Nato.

You can certainly feel that curvaceously tail if you set this ski on edge on hardpack. That parabolic sidecut, combined with that round, smooth but supportive flex makes this ski want to carve on hardpack. BUT- the lack of open tips gives this ski- especially at 210cm(!)- a very long effective edge. I don't know what the actual turning radius is of this ski, but it is wide! :shock:

How does the added tip stiffness affect turn initiation relative to the soft and pliable Eon?

It affects it significantly- the Eon has a much shorter effective edge- producing, in effect, a more forward mounting position when the ski is weighted in a downhill turn- the Eon has MUCH easier turn initiation.

The E-109 has easier turn initiation as well, due to those open tips- despite the extra camber and stiffness underfoot.

Even my 210cm E-99 has a significantly shorter effective edge than the 210cm Combat Nato. The camber and stiffness of the E-99 can pose a bit of a challenge though.

How does the wax only (no skin) climbing compare to the Eon and E109 with similar pocket lengths?

Comparing only the waxable versions of these three skis- I would rate them in this order- from highest to lowest climbing performance:
1) Eon
2) Combat Nato
3) E-109

The Eon is softer, and the soft, slightly open tips produce less resistance when climbing.

The E-109 is last because of that extra camber and stiffness underfoot.

BUT- all three of them are pretty close in all fairness. The camber on the E-109- though ery snappy- is pretty easy to squash.

Are the DH aspects better on base or in deep snow? I'm very curious how it will work on corn as well.

Well- this ski just feels right arcing through soft, fresh snow. But- it has very good edge-hold on a dense base. Again- it has a very long effective edge though!

Based on all my handling of this ski, what you say doesn't surprise me a bit. I measured the smoothest of any ski I've touched. It takes a lot of things I really like about the other skis in this class and perhaps refines them a bit.

The flex of this ski just feels so smooth and integrated throughout its length.

What I'm curious is: Is Fischer's Nordic Rocker a significant advantage relative to these skis or is it so minimal on S78 and E109 that it hardly affects the DH aspect?

Well- I am becoming convinced that with these modest dimensions- the primary advantages of rocker are climbing and turn initiation. I strongly feel that tip rocker in a narrow ski actually negatively affects its XC tracking and trail breaking.

It actually helps confirm for me that I would not want an Annum with a rockered tip for XC skiing (wonderful for downhill skiing).

The only ski I have that is wide enough where the tip rocker doesn't negatively affect its XC performance is the Hok. And- the Hok has a forward mounting position, so the tip rocker is critical to preventing tip diving.

Is it the right balance between stiffness and flex that both the Eon and the S78 seem to exaggerate on both ends of the spectrum (Fischer being perhaps too stiff and Madshus being perhaps too soft)?

Interesting question.

The Eon is just too soft for me- probably a complex of weight and performance preferences. Also- I have discovered that it is primarily the tip that I hate about the Eon when breaking trail through deep snow.

I actually love the extra camber and stiffness of the E-109. For me where the E-109 falls down is how poorly it breaks trail in deep snow. As an XCd ski the E-109 could be a better performer than the Combat Nato. But the Combat Nato more than makes up for that softer flex with that kick-ass tip and that full-length stability. When it comes right down to it- the Combat Nato actually is a better XC performer in deep, soft snow. The E-109 definitely offers better XC performance on hard/dense snow than the Eon or the Combat Nato. Hard to say which one I prefer on the downhill- again, the smoother flex of the Combat Nato probably more than makes up for the lack of open tip, compared to the E-109.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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MikeK
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Re: 2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

Postby MikeK » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:12 am

Very good. Thanks for the clarifications.

lilcliffy wrote:I have to admit not noticing it very much when tracking. I think that the biggest reason is how stable this ski is. The Combat Nato feels stable throughout its entire length. Skiing on the Eon again after many miles on the Combat Nato- the Eon feels much more longitudinally and torsionally flexible than I realized. The Eon still tracks straight because the tail is straight and flat- but the Eon's tip and tail feel almost loosely connected to the mid-section of the ski- at least, compared to the Combat Nato.


I kind of expected it wouldn't be much of an issue with this modest sidecut and high L/W ratio. I ask because you seem more sensitive to this than I am.


lilcliffy wrote:Well- I am becoming convinced that with these modest dimensions- the primary advantages of rocker are climbing and turn initiation. I strongly feel that tip rocker in a narrow ski actually negatively affects its XC tracking and trail breaking.


What are your thoughts on rocker and climbing?



To be honest with you, from what you describe, I kind of think I would like this ski better with a little rocker (or Nordic Rocker), and perhaps where Asnes plans to go with it.

I don't notice a significant disadvantage on the S Bounds with it, but I definitely feel it must be the key factor in making such a relatively stiff ski work so well in soft snow. I really had dismissed it but knew there was a difference, especially between the Epoch and the S98 in real world performance.

I honestly don't notice any detriment in tracking or the slight lack in glide that might occur.

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lilcliffy
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Re: 2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

Postby lilcliffy » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:05 pm

MikeK wrote:What are your thoughts on rocker and climbing?

Well, my thoughts are that- regardless of flotation- the physics of clombing are very different than XC skiing. My personal experience is that tip rocker has always reduced friction and facilitated climbing performance.

To be honest with you, from what you describe, I kind of think I would like this ski better with a little rocker (or Nordic Rocker), and perhaps where Asnes plans to go with it.

I don't notice a significant disadvantage on the S Bounds with it, but I definitely feel it must be the key factor in making such a relatively stiff ski work so well in soft snow. I really had dismissed it but knew there was a difference, especially between the Epoch and the S98 in real world performance.

I honestly don't notice any detriment in tracking or the slight lack in glide that might occur.


My issue with rocker on a "narrow"- or distance-oriented- Nordic touring ski is that these skis are not wide enough to float in truly deep, soft snow. Therefore- in truly deep, soft snow- the rockered tip floats, leaving the kick zone and the tail deeply buried in the snow. With that rockered tip- and a narrow sinking waist- I feel like I am breaking trail with the kick zone of the ski (rather than the tip)- YUCK!

On the narrow and mid-width skis, the open tips GREATLY facilitate turn initiation- and, as a result, feel wonderful and responsive on the downhill.

It might seem bizarre, but the E-109 is actually easier to turn than the Combat Nato- despite the extra stiffness and camber underfoot. However, in truly deep soft snow, the stable tip of the Combat Nato- combined with that broad, raised profile- kicks the E-109's ass when it comes to XC trail-breaking.

When the snow isn't "too" deep, the tip of the E-109 is just fine when XC skiing.

My point is- when it comes to narrow to midwidth Nordic skis- that do not offer any serious flotation- I don't believe that tip rocker offers any XC performace- just downhill performance...
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fisheater
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Re: 2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

Postby fisheater » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:40 am

Gareth,
I think I enjoy your ski reviews as much as I once enjoyed Powder Magazine. You take me to a place far from home, where the geography and climate are different as well, yet I am transported to the interior on snowy New Brunswick putting back country skis through their paces and evaluating them. Mike, I also want to thank you for you insightful questions. You asked far more insightful questions than I am capable, and added greatly to the review.

I have been waiting for this review. Most likely, the ski I should want to add to my quiver is an E-109 waxless. However, Fischer stopped making these skis, and in the lower peninsula of Michigan there is not much of a backcountry skiing tradition or equipment sales. While my love of the downhill yearns for Chargers, and Koms, Vectors, and even 145 Hoks, what my backcountry skiing in reality is, at least down the street, consists of up and down trails, steep enough to be difficult climbing on s-112's, yet 150-200 feet of elevation relief being my nice downhills. I think my terrain is geologically different than Mike's, but from a skiing perspective very similar. Mike does of the distinct advantage of being on the lee side of Lake Ontario, while I am on the windward side of Lake Huron / Lake St.Clair. The bottom line is I should seek a trail ski, which allows me to carry speed on the ups and downs, however I have always enjoyed a mix of adrenaline with my endorphins, and I seek those places I can point the skis downhill and make some turns, before the downhill ends yet too quickly.

It was interesting Gareth, when you rated the E-109 as an easier turning ski than the Anses Combat Nato, however I have enjoyed the pleasure of Nordic rocker rising up through the powder. From a downhill perspective I have always enjoyed even flexing skis, albeit with a preference for skis that are a little stiff, with a kick. I enjoy utilizing that kick when I unweight to put a little air under my skis. My thought is while an E-109 may have easier turn initiation, my particular style of skiing would probably make up for the shortcomings of the Nato / Combat in relation to tip rise. This is based upon an assumption that an even flexing ski, being pushed at a bit of speed will be arcing to the surface regardless. My other question will need to be answered by myself. That is regarding the suitability of a waxable ski in my climate. I will need to see how the USGI does the next time we have snow. For now I am an rental snow. I will try turning on rental snow tomorrow if my son is up to going out. He just had braces put in on Friday. He was pretty sore today.

On a sad note I lost my ski dog Bella last week. She banged the screen door open to follow me as I put the Christmas tree out on my burn pile. I later found out there were deer next door. She knew, and went after them ( This was a very new development, as the doe that dropped two fawns in the backyard, had terrorized her thru the summer. She was the most deer broke dog I had ever had until about a week previous to this). "Somehow' a young man driving the speed limit of 25 couldn't stop or see her reflective collar. I heard her scream, and made it to her, as she had her final breaths. I have had dogs through the years, and some good hunting dogs. Bella was a house dog, a companion that shared adventures with me, I have not lost a dog that has hurt like this. While I can't wait to ski the trails again, I know there will be moments of sadness as I miss my ski buddy whom will not be with me.

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Woodserson
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Re: 2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

Postby Woodserson » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:59 am

So sorry fisheater. Terrible news. Good luck in the coming weeks, and be sure to get some skiing in. We lose everything, and everything can change, but with some hope we can always go skiing.

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MikeK
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Re: 2015 Åsnes Combat NATO

Postby MikeK » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:51 am

So sorry to hear about Bella, Bob. We lost a two year old pup in a similar manner a few years back. Oh, he was a rambunctious PITA, but he was a lot of fun out on a trail.

Back to skis...

I too, bought a pair of these skis, but in the civilian version and 10cm shorter. I was willing to compromise on a length that I use for all skis like this. They aren't turny, but a bit more maneuverable in a trail situation (say compared to a more traditional ski like Glittertind/E99). Making turns is usually something I do on something wider like a logging road or an open field with these. On a trail, they do need to be able to maneuver well enough to make it through tight single track sections of twists. I find this class of ski very capable in most situations. Speed control on steeper sections of tight trail is always a challenge.

Anyway, I have yet to get these prepped or have conditions to really take advantage of them. These weren't a ski I was planning on using much close to home, it was more something I was going to use in the Adirondacks where the temps are cooler and I have a lot more opportunity for long distance BC touring. Unfortunately, or not, this year I doubt I'll make one trip up there. With a new family, trips out of town aren't a priority right now. They will be again in the future, so I'll just have to be patient and hope I have the same passion for BC XC as I did in previous years.

Last year I did all my BC touring in the Adirondacks with the Eon or the S78. And I did a few trips the year prior with the Eon. Last year was a bad year even for the mountains, and snow was thin, and often icy and crusty at times. I found the S78 outperformed in every aspect. Because in most cases I was skiing around 20F up there, a wax ski like the Ingstad would have been great. And if the icy crust was an issue for traction, I bought the 60mm nylon skin lock skins for them.

At any rate, I really had seen this ski as taking what I liked about both the Eon and the S78 and pushing it to the next level. Maneuverability is good for forest skiing and grip and glide covered on all bases. Believe it or not a lot of times up there I'd be breaking trail and skiing nearly as fast as I would be in a track. A few inches of fresh over some base and these type of skis really fly.

Now in the last couple years I also did evaluate the Eon and the S78 in deep, heavy snow for trailbreaking and I found both to be quite miserable. A particular instance with the Eon I was so tired after a 5-6 mile loop I decided it was never a good idea to use those skis for that again. I had a similar experience with my 78s locally after a big, heavy dump and toward the end of my ski I was so tired I was going about 100 yards and having to stop and rest. I've skied my 98s in similar conditions and actually on the same trails, and was never that tired. So I find there is definitely a limit in these type of skis for deep trailbreaking. I trust Gareth when he says the Ingstad are a better ski for this, but I'd still probably grab my 98s for really deep or heavy snow.

Finally, I don't really know your area Bob, but for around Rochester, given the relatively large amount of easier terrain (we have steep gullies but you need deep snow to ski them), I definitely prefer my waxless S Bound 78. It's really a shame they stopped making the waxless E109 and the 199cm 78. I would say, from what I know skiing them, and what I've read abou the 109, that would be the ski to get. For climes like I live in, a waxless ski is just so much less hassle and actually performs really well 90% of the time.


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