A Super-light BC ski with integrated skin
Schhhhoooom…! These skis are FAST! I know, every single Asnes ski review could start with the word FAST, they really are the fastest in town. And the MR48S is no exception. Mountain. Race. They couldn’t have picked a better name for this series of 6 different ski models. Anrothar already wrote a nice review of the MR48 last year, but I thought I would add a few words for the SKIN version.
I bought the 210cm MR to replace my Fischer Superlite, which I liked but were way too short for me at 192cm. The original Mountain Race has a waxable base. But for people like myself, who don’t like to carry cans and cans of wax and corks in our pockets, the brand new 2019 MR48 also comes in a skin-based version. Skin skis have been quite popular in the last few years, think Atomic Skintec and Madshus Intelligrip. And there is a good reason for it. Unlike waxless fishscales skis, skis with integrated skins work in every single snow condition you can possibly encounter. Icy or frozen snow? The skin-based skis will provide perfect grip. Fresh powder? Wet snow? Tracks? Groomers? Perfect grip without the use of any chemicals, no complex wax formulas and no sticky fingers. Better than waxless bases!
The MR48 SKIN is a real cross-country ski with true double camber. Very high and very springy, it will get you anywhere faster than you have ever been. Although it is quite supportive, it has a very smooth and round flex, exactly what I was looking for. (Even better actually!) Compared to the Gamme 54, it is much smoother. The Gamme has a different ski construction, which is a lot stiffer than the Mountain Race (and also much heavier!)
Yes, they are fast. And also SUPER LIGHT! They are not the lightest of the lightest skis you can find on the planet, but the difference is hardly noticeable for skis you would pay twice the price to save a few grams. The MR48 SKIN is really amazing at only 775g per ski at 200cm! (25% lighter than the Gamme!) Remember this is a wood core ski with ¾ steel edges, not a cheap Chinese noodle. To keep weight at the minimum, I mounted them with Xcelerators (91g) and NIS plates (62g). So that makes a stunning 3.45 lbs per feet, including skis, bindings AND BOOTS! WOOOAAAaaaahhh…! Without a doubt the lightest setup I have ever had. They also have a very nice Nordic Rocker, but not as important as other Asnes BC skis. And bonus, the graphics are really, really nice. That 1984 neon look and feel is absolutely beautiful!
The Pomoca skin offers a really, really good grip. But the real magic is on the glide, you can barely feel the skin when gliding. *Almost* no drag under any condition. I wasn't sure before trying them, but I am totally sold to this concept now. The choice of Pomoca’s Climb 2.0 skin sounded like a strange one to me, but it actually works really good. Not sure if this is due to the skin density, size or placement, but they offer much better kick and much better glide than waxless skis, and better glide than regular narrow X-Skins. It really makes me wish all my XC skis were built this way. And it also makes me want to try all the MR series skis. (I have already ordered the MR51 WL but they were not yet in production when I placed my order… ) They also come with X-Skin inserts if you need more traction, which come in 7 different flavors to customize grip and glide according to your taste.
As Anrothar noted, they also make great skating skis, although the drag is slightly noticeable while on skating mode. And the ¾ metal edges are SUPER-fun for skating on icy or refrozen snow fields or going downhill! I have used the MR48 Skin on frozen lakes, hard snow, slush and fluffy powder… Not thinking for a second about grip, glide or wax. I am having so much fun on them! I wish all the Asnes XC skis could come in an integrated skin version… (While I still pray every night for fishscale versions of their wider touring skis…) Integrated skins for Nordic skis, scales for powder and touring skis. This is my personal ideal vision of modern Cross-Country Downhill skis.
Asnes Mountain Race SKIN Ski
Retail: 420$ USD