There has been a lot of talk about the new Ousland ski from Asnes. This new model wasn't released yet and it was already mentionned several times here on the forum. Well, after a small delay, the ski finally landed in North America! (A few weeks ago actually, but I've been way too busy to write lately...) it's another beautiful masterpiece of workmanship. An expedition ski that fits in groomed tracks. An hybrid of the Ingstad, the Gamme and the Amundsen.
We have to admit that the guys at Asnes are pretty good at marketing right? They come out with new models every year and yet, they have a way to make us feel like no matter how many pairs we already own, we absolutely need their latest model. Well, it works, and there is a reason for it. Because really, every model is quite unique.
This ski has been forged after the preferences of Borge himself and his crew of explorers: " They wanted a narrow waist and a ski that is directional, stiff and with a more classic camber profile and a stiff waist for a good wax pocket." After a few experiments, Asnes came out exactly with what they were looking for. A new ski similar to the Amundsen, but with the stiffness and sidecut of the Gamme, and a tip similar to the Ingstad with generous Nordic Rocker and taper.
A stiff and true double camber ski, with plenty of power available underfoot. The flex and camber is very similar to the Gamme, stiff and stable, with slightly softer and more forgiving tips. "The camber is based on the success of Gamme and the MR48, we wanted a good wax pocket and a fairly high and stiff camber". It's definitely stiffer than the Mountain Race series though. And wow, only 825g at 200cm! Thanks to the Poplar / Paulownia wood core (And 97 years of ski design...) Full metal edges, X-skins inserts and a nice orange waxable sintered base sporting the words "You haven't failed until you quit trying". I sure can totally identify with this ski! Some Skinny Skier Showing Standard Size Skinny Skis:
The Børge Ousland BC is a very light and versatile ski that fits into cross-country tracks. Its full steel edge (2.1 x 1.9 mm) and very lightweight wooden core make it as suitable for longer trips and expeditions towing a pulk as for days out in hard and icy ski tracks. Using the same steel edge on both our mountain skis and most of our alpine skis, we can guarantee both good edge control in all conditions and superb durability. This ski’s full-length camber profile and pronounced wax pocket make it a superb choice for excursions where good glide is essential. It’s sole – designed for good wax absorption and durability, and ground to function in Nordic conditions – makes it perfect for long outings in Nordic and polar snows.
The Ousland BC’s moderate side cut offers both directional stability and control turning on hard snow, while its soft front tip with a Nordic rocker (lifted tip) and taper (the distinctive profile at the tail) makes for a ski that easily handles difficult conditions in the mountains well and reassuring float. Its light wooden core in poplar and paulownia makes for a playful, solid ski with good camber and very low weight: the Børge Ousland BC only weighs just over 800 grams per ski in 200 cm length). With a longitudinal stiffness and construction affording an excellent carrying capacity, meanwhile, one thing is clear: there should be no limits as to how far and how long you can ski on these bad boys.
According to Asnes, the new Borge Ousland BC ski should become the new gold standard for arctic and polar expeditions, as well as for long outings, traverses and the Åsnes Expedition Amundsen race: "It is just more playful and versatile than the Amundsen ski, with a lot of the same advantages. The Amundsen is still unique because of it’s longitudinal and even camber/flex profile from tip to tail, so it will have it’s place. But in a more commercial sense, I believe the Børge Ousland BC will appeal to more people."
Ok, so I have my 210cm Ousland BC skis. Along with my ALFA Polar APS boots and my Combat NATO poles, I am now fully ready for the North Pole. (Well ok, the Northern sections of the Green Mountains... And even the North side of my town sometimes.) To be continued later this winter...
Steel edge, skin insert, waxable/sintred sole
825g per ski (200cm)