Asnes USGI Combat Skis

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lilcliffy

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Asnes USGI Combat Skis

Postby lilcliffy » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:07 am

What follows is the beginning of a full-season review (I say "full-season" with optimism, considering how late the snow base is!) on the Asnes USGI Combat skis.

YES- they are from Coleman's Surplus. We have two pair (210 & 200cm). I will be testing the 210cm primarily. My wife may ski on the 200s- but she may grab my 210cm more often than not!

I have been looking at these skis for a few years...in life many things that seem too good to be true- turn out that way...but in this case these skis are the real deal: high-quality, backcountry-xcountry skis, made in Norway, by no less than the legendary Asnes.

I bought these babies back in May- they have been burning a hole in my head as they have sat in my shed awaiting the snow to return. I would prefer to have waited until I had many miles on them- but I might as well get started on my review- as I can't seem to shut up about them!

I am very impressed with them...they are actually beautifully made, wooden skis- they do have a thin top sheet of some kind, and in the binding zone there is a thin metal (aluminum) sheet, under the top sheet (I discovered this when I mounted bindings on them). They have no sidewall on them at all- you can see the solid wood (which looks really cool- not sure how durable it will be?). They have an unpolished p-tex base (strikes me as extruded- but I'm not sure how to tell), that is waxable- I have both hot-waxed and grip-waxed them- they seem to hold wax well. I would think finishing the bases would probably be a good idea. Full-length steel edges. They are remarkably light. (haven't weighed them)

Both of our pairs have a 78-67-73mm profile (a bit wider than advertised), are double-cambered- with a smooth, full-length flex- no rocker in the tip at all. They have old-school, raised and pointed xcountry tips. Everything about them is old-school except for the binding I mounted- NNNBC-Magnum bindings on them at the balance point (for pure xcountry skiing performance). (they remind me greatly of my old 215cm Karhu backcountry skis that I skied on for almost 20 years- they were my father's before that)

Despite Coleman's advertising them as "xcountry-downhill"- they seem intended as a pure backcountry-xcountry ski- not only because of the profile, camber and flex. (I have not tested them on the downhill yet) Although I can easily imagine striding through telemark turns with them, the double camber at that length (I'm on 210cm), with very little sidecut, will make it challenging to carve with. Also- the lack of protective sidewall might not stand up to the abusive of a lot of downhill skiing? I did not buy them as a true XCD ski- I intend to use them as a K&G-focused backcountry-xcountry ski (although due to the terrain I am skiing on, will require frequent descents- which should be exciting)

First impressions, from two 10km tours on fresh soft snow (12 inches):
- they track perfectly straight
- excellent off-track traction with a full 67mm width underfoot
- wonderful kick and glide snap
- the flex pattern certainly performs well on fresh snow over a solid base (in this test- 12" of fresh snow over pasture-field)

The old-school profile and flex is more than kind of refreshing. In a predominantly XC context- the lack of sidecut and the extra width underfoot are much appreciated. A current-model E-109 for example only has 60mm underfoot- my Eons have 62. It seems the trend is that almost every ski has to have extreme sidecut these days- even skis that are intended for deep powder and/or K&G. These skis are a throw-back to a time when flat-out cruising took priority over "easy-turning" in the backcountry (and let's not forget that this ski does have sidecut- traditional Nordic skiers have been telemarking on long, relatively straight skis for a VERY long time)

I will continue this review of these when I get a chance, and after I get more miles on them (and perhaps get a photo or two of them! I'm afraid I'm not much for taking photographs.)

At $20 for 1 pair, or $30 for two- deal of the century! I got my bindings on clearance this summer for $50= $65 setup!? I am very pleased. (Coleman's even puts them "on sale" every few months!)

BTW- I bought the Karhu Combat skis off of Ebay as well...have not mounted bindings on them yet- am leaning towards 3-pin-cable...they are much more of downhill ski (heavier, wider, shorter, more sidecut, single-camber).
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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bgregoire

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Re: Asnes USGI Combat Skis

Postby bgregoire » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:48 pm

Would you care to weight the skis for us? I'd me happe with the 200cm + magnum weight!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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lilcliffy

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Re: Asnes USGI Combat Skis

Postby lilcliffy » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:59 pm

Yes- I can weigh them...don't have a scale- so stay tuned! I will try for photos and weight in the near future...
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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lilcliffy

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Re: Asnes USGI Combat Skis

Postby lilcliffy » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:20 pm

Found a weight measurement off of a different site:

"3.68 kg with NNN-BC magnum bindings, or 3.16 kg without"

Cannot confirm the accuracy of this yet.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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bgregoire

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Re: Asnes USGI Combat Skis

Postby bgregoire » Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:24 pm

lilcliffy wrote:"3.68 kg with NNN-BC magnum bindings, or 3.16 kg without"


...for a pair of 200cm skis.

Wow, that would make them about 750-850g heavier than an equivalent 200cm Asnes pair of skis (Ingstad/Nansen mix). How do you figure that can be explained given I thought all Asnes were full wood core?
Last edited by bgregoire on Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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lilcliffy

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Re: Asnes USGI Combat Skis

Postby lilcliffy » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:05 pm

There seems to be much confusion on other sites between the Asnes Combat skis and the Karhu- I have both of them.

That weight seems more consistent with the Karhus- which are significantly heavier than the Asnes.

I'll see if I can use a scale at work to get an exact weight.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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lilcliffy

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Re: Asnes USGI Combat Skis

Postby lilcliffy » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:11 pm

Out on a short tour (approx. 10kms) again today- on fresh snow again (30+cm: layers of snow and ice pellets with fresh soft snow on top). Took in a little more vertical today so I could try some turns.

I would not describe them as "easy turnin", but I strode through some telemarks and they felt smooth and stable. I felt balanced as I lifted them, weighted and unweighted.

They are fast- very fast, and snappy.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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bgregoire

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Re: Asnes USGI Combat Skis

Postby bgregoire » Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:51 pm

Pictures pictures please!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

jooleyen

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Re: Asnes USGI Combat Skis

Postby jooleyen » Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:19 pm

Did you get a chance to weigh them and what length for a 155lbs guy? and how do they compare to glittertinds?

connyro

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Re: Asnes USGI Combat Skis

Postby connyro » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:25 pm

Well, I read through the "Fischer E-109 vs. Asnes Ingstad" thread, hoping to justify purchasing a pair of E109s. That thread got me thinking about Asnes skis and how I really just want a old-school, long, minimal sidecut, BC ski that is waxable and good for skiing long distance in variable/deep snow. THEN I saw this review thread and the lightbulb went off: these are exactly what I THINK i'm looking for. In 210, NNN-BC. So I bought them ($20/pair). It's funny that the shipping on those skis is more than 2x the price of the skis! I can't want to get them out on the snow. Thanks for the great and informative review LC and thanks to all those who posted the kick-assed info on the Fischer E-109 vs. Asnes Ingstad thread.


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