Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Real reviews by real skiers. What a concept! Add your own today. Reviews only please, questions can be posted as replies but new threads looking for opinions should be posted to the main Telemark Talk Forum.
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Woodserson
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XCD: Asnes FT62, XC: Nansen, E99, Bonna 1800
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Rossignol BCX10
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Post by Woodserson » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:58 pm

Woodserson wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:51 am
I should really get on that review.

My take on Gamme vs Nansen:

Gamme = Horsepower under the hood, but you need the skills to successfully access and apply said power = Land Rover

Nansen = Everyman go-everywhere but not as fast or flashy = Fiat Panda

PXL_20210315_175819378.jpg
Well I guess it's time for me to review my Asnes Nansen. As always, this path has been trod before and below are 3 threads of many that review/discuss the Nansen ski.

https://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1411
https://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2997
https://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3733


The Nansen was my most used ski during the 2020/21 season in New Hampshire. This was not an intentional decision, it was due to practical use. I loved skiing the Nansen.

The Nansen is a mission flexible ski that provides stability and utility in many snow types and varying terrain. Forgiving and predictable, it is not the fastest ski but it is not a slouch either. Better for under 200lb/90kg skiers if used for long distance touring. Size up from the Asnes recommendation for speed at the expense of turnability. Size normally for turns.

My Specs:
76kg/160lbs without gear
188cm/6'2"
Strong skier, can go all day
Chooses XC skis for touring- traveling over distance in snowy terrain- rather than XCD/turns.
My XC skiing involves all sorts of snow from great to terrible, and rolling terrain in hardwood forests on single track to forest roads. Very limited open slope skiing.

Nansen Specs
Dimensions: 76-56-66
Lengths: up to 205cm in 5cm increments
Weight: 1025g/200cm
Rocker: NO
Camber: Traditional softer XC full-length camber. Initially low camber with resistance in the squeeze.
Less cambered than Gamme and Ingstad.

So the Nansen was this ski that I was just not interested in, but then it just kept popping up in sexy snow videos from Norway like this one in particular:



And I just had to have it. Also, as much as I love my GAMME and my E99's, I wanted a WAX version of the Fischer Traverse 78 for those days when the snow was deeper and I didn't want to roll my ankle or sink in rotten snow. Since Fischer doesn't make one, the Nansen, with very similar dimensions, fit the bill. I ended up ordering a 200 and a 205 and after much deliberation and hemming and hawing and moments of deep angst I kept the 205. Interestingly, the 200 has the same wax pocket as the 205, at least via the Card Test. The difference was imperceptible so I kept the longer ski as I knew my turning on this ski was going to limited and long skis truck. If I was buying the Nansen and going to see hillier more open terrain I'd probably go with the 200 for turnability especially as the camber difference was minimal.

I mounted the ski up at Balance Point with NNN-BC and took them for a spin. What elation! The Nansen is smooth and predictable with an easy grace. The forgiving camber lets one be sloppy in Kick & Glide technique, but there is enough camber for good release and decent glide that will keep most skiers happy while they are in backcountry terrain.

The wider overall platform of the ski contributes to great rolling stability. I often get a Gamme or E99 caught in hard snowmobile tracks and the ski will drop to one side and ride on edge, but the Nansen is wide enough, especially in the shovel, to stay flat on an even keel. In snowmobile country this is both an attribute and an energy conserver. The tip, proportionally stiff to the rest of the ski, breaks trail and busts through crust with little complaint. The tail is long and stiff and releases very nicely.

On firm snow, like wind-scoured lakes, the ski holds it own. It is not the fastest ski for this type of skiing due to the lower camber. I would take a Gamme for faster lake skiing. On manky, cruddy, or otherwise sloppy snow the Nansen really comes into its own and forges a path ahead. I find that the ski excels in variable snow conditions as the ride is so smooth and comfortable. Fatigue is reduced and pleasure is increased. In very deep snow, I found the ski was also quite in its element-- HOWEVER, I am skiing these 10cm OVER the Asnes recommendation. If I went with a 195 I am sure I would be singing a different tune. Many skiers comment that the Nansen goes into the dreaded "banana" shape in deep snow, and I am sure this is the case. This thread here demonstrates the profile of the camber compared to other skis in its class (wider less cambered BC skis). I, at my weight and chosen ski length, can get away with it. Other heavier skiers may not be able to.

I brought my skis to the local downhill ski area a few times and ripped around on them as well. The skis, on groomed snow, turned very nicely with traditional step telemark turns. The lack of rocker, such as on the Ingstad, made them less squirrelly at speed, though they took a bit more technique to initiate the turn. In deeper snow, I found the Ingstad to be a better turning ski and more stable. While both skis are stable, the Ingstad rides though other ski tracks with aplomb while the Nansen will get thrown around and needs some discipline to stay on track.

The only remiss I have with this ski is that the lack of pronounced second camber, as is found on the Gamme or Ingstad. This makes me choose other skis if I am going to use skins for long distance or klister. I think I would much prefer a less draggy ski when using high-drag skins or maybe even klister than the Nansen. If I am climbing a hill, the skin won't be much of an issue. But if I am using the skin to overcome icy snow conditions, the skin won't clear as easily as it does on the Gamme, and I could anticipate wasted energy over day-long distances.

Overall, this ski is one of my most user-friendly pleasant skis I own. When I strap in, the Nansen is a good friend joining me for a ski. The Nansen just FEELS so good! They ski like wood skis, that same feel, and it's a good one.

Comparisons:
-Gamme vs Nansen: The Gamme is narrower, rolls easier, and has much more secondary resistant camber. The Gamme is a faster, more technical ski and depends better technique. See my comparison at the top of this thread.

-Ingstad vs Nansen: The Ingstad is wider still, has rocker, and more camber underfoot. The Ingstad and Nansen break fresh snow at the same level of stability and speed. The Nansen is the faster ski on packed down powder snow than the Ingstad in its respective length due to the Ingstad's rocker which shortens the length. The Ingstad's extra camber underfoot makes skins or klister less of an issue for wonky snow conditions. The Ingstad turns easier and is more stable downhill skiing and in turns, especially in softer snow.

Who is it for?
Lighter skiers, optimally under 90kg/200lbs, who wants a quiver-of-one BC ski and for traveling distance over variable terrain. Also very well suited to less advanced skier looking for a very good BC ski that can be grown into. Or, a heavier skier who wants to really bend and turn a classically shaped BC XC ski. Also, anyone who experiences a broad range of snow conditions and wants to keep the quiver down to 1 ski.

Caveats:
Not a very stiff ski, can banana in deep snow if chosen in shorter lengths of if heavier skier. No banana for me.

This is me skiing on the Nansen:



This is Nansen at required lakeside tea-time:
PXL_20210119_183100358.jpg
Last edited by Woodserson on Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:41 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Stephen
Posts: 465
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Ski style: Aspirational
Favorite Skis: Gamme (210), Ingstad (205), Objective BC (178)
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance
Occupation: Beyond

Re: Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Post by Stephen » Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:50 am

Great review!
Thorough, entertaining, good comparisons — thanks for taking the time to write.

Last year, I couldn’t decide how much I actually wanted a pair.
I think I’ll be happy with the Gamme and Ingstad, and expand my toolset more broadly (like V6 and Scarpa boots and appropriate binding).

Liked your Chuck Flannel vid — nice stride.

I am such a wuss — having to peel my oranges first.
D82C4639-A15B-4079-9F03-34293A33571D.jpeg
.
Was there REALLY enough sun visible for a sextant reading?
70727340-54BD-4768-9118-2A67DECAEA48.jpeg



User avatar
Woodserson
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XCD: Asnes FT62, XC: Nansen, E99, Bonna 1800
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Rossignol BCX10
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Post by Woodserson » Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:45 am

Stephen wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:50 am
Great review!
Thorough, entertaining, good comparisons — thanks for taking the time to write.

Last year, I couldn’t decide how much I actually wanted a pair.
I think I’ll be happy with the Gamme and Ingstad, and expand my toolset more broadly (like V6 and Scarpa boots and appropriate binding).
The Gamme and the Ingstad offer a superior 2 ski quiver that covers most skiing one is going to encounter. It's a great set-up. These are two finely honed instruments.

In that vein, I think the MT-51 (sadly discontinued) and the Nansen do the same thing with a focus on slightly narrower skis, with the forgiving Nansen not as super focused as the Ingstad is.

The Nansen, on its own, could very well be a 1 ski quiver, a jack-of-all-master-of-none ski that would suit most recreational skiers out there 95% of the time. That's pretty good!!! It's a solid classical XC-BC choice for a ski.



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lilcliffy
Posts: 3087
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Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
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Re: Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:27 am

Excellent and valuable review mon ami!
I ahve almost bought the Nansen many times...
I think I will await reviews of the new Sverdrup ski-
I am not sure whether I would choose the Nansen over the Sverdrup...
Thoughh the non-rockered shovel of the Nansen surely makes it a better crud/crust buster...

BTW- do you have a waxless version of the Nansen as well?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



User avatar
Woodserson
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XCD: Asnes FT62, XC: Nansen, E99, Bonna 1800
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Rossignol BCX10
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Post by Woodserson » Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:48 am

lilcliffy wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:27 am
Excellent and valuable review mon ami!
I ahve almost bought the Nansen many times...
I think I will await reviews of the new Sverdrup ski-
I am not sure whether I would choose the Nansen over the Sverdrup...
Thought the non-rockered shovel of the Nansen makes it a better crud/crust buster...

BTW- do you have a waxless version of the Nansen as well?
When it comes to the Otto it really depends on Asnes' description of "soft" shovel and tail doesn't it? We are flying blind until we can get side-by-side comparisons to the the Ingstad and Nansen. I have two on order. I'm hoping I didn't waste a bunch of money on a noodle ski.

I do have a WL Nansen, also 205. It is probably the best Waxless-to-ski pairing Asnes makes with their current short pattern area. The soft flex and short pattern work well, I've even towed a pulk with it. Recommended, but there is a good review of the WL elsewhere so I left it out of this one, which focuses on the WAX.

On a personal level I need to decide, T78 or WL Nansen? Too much overlap there, one of them should go. That will be a test for this winter.

I would like to an Eon to compare camber and flex to the Nansen. They seem similar, though I bet the Nansen is stiffer. I have a much older Nansen version as well (not reviewed here!) that has a more telemark flex to it, tuned for turns. The current Nansen flexes by hand to flat, then stops, while the older version really bends into a "C" shape.



User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 16, 2021 12:33 pm

Cool- that's what I thought!
I wonder about the qaulity of the base on the WL Asnes models...
Anyone know if they are sintered or are they extruded?
What is the wax-retention like on the WL version?

Perhaps the thing to do is get the WL Nansen and grip-wax it on cold snow...

Yes- I am fairly convinced that the Nansen has a stiffer more stable flex than the Eon (based on reviews and reports only). The shovel on the Eon is very soft and supple- great for turn initiation- not so great for stability.
I would "guess" that the Eon might perhaps be easier to turn than the Nansen...

On that note- I wonder about the turniness of the Nansen vs the 78?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 16, 2021 12:47 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 12:33 pm
I wonder about the qaulity of the base on the WL Asnes models...
Anyone know if they are sintered or are they extruded?
What is the wax-retention like on the WL version?
The Enlgish Asnes site has the Nansen BC description posted to the Nansen WL base descriptor-

From the Norwegian site- "ekstrudert"= extruded.

What is the wax-retention like on the Nansen WL- especially on refrozen, abrasive snow and ice?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 16, 2021 4:53 pm

@Woodserson

If you had just one version- for your skiing in the Northeast- would you have the sintered waxable Nansen (BC), or the extruded scaled Nansen (WL)?

And to add to this question-

If one "must" have both scaled and grip-waxed touring skis to fully take advantage of the snow conditions in the Northeast (which I believe we do)-

- would you have the Nansen BC and an alternate scaled ski?
- or, would you have the Nansen WL and an alternate waxable, grip-waxed ski?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:22 pm

Perhaps another way to ask the question-

which Nansen are you using more- the BC or the WL?

AND- if you didn't have a Traverse 78- which Nansen would you use more- the BC or the WL?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



User avatar
Woodserson
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XCD: Asnes FT62, XC: Nansen, E99, Bonna 1800
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Rossignol BCX10
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: Asnes Nansen Review: Smooth and Predictable

Post by Woodserson » Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:47 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 4:53 pm
@Woodserson

If you had just one version- for your skiing in the Northeast- would you have the sintered waxable Nansen (BC), or the extruded scaled Nansen (WL)?

And to add to this question-

If one "must" have both scaled and grip-waxed touring skis to fully take advantage of the snow conditions in the Northeast (which I believe we do)-

- would you have the Nansen BC and an alternate scaled ski?
- or, would you have the Nansen WL and an alternate waxable, grip-waxed ski?
Great question! IF I had to really choose it would be a no brainer:

WAX Nansen & Traverse 78 for my non-wax ski. The Offtrack Crown is just so good. When you really need a non-wax ski, you need a non-wax ski. I've been using the WL on forest roads to success but if I had to really ever climb anything steeper than a forest road I'd be screwed, probably.

I'm using my WAX Nansen more than the WL, but that is happening across all my skis now. I am finally received Klistery-Comfort-Power-Up and I use my more highly cambered skis with klister in weirdo snow now. Again, I don't think the lower cambered Nansen is really up for the task for long flat distances on skins or klister like higher-cambered skis. Not that it can't be done, just that I have better options (Gamme).

Also, and mentioned in the other thread, but I don't see a difference between the "sintered" base the "extruded" base, the glide sections both look the same to me in terms of what type of base they are (I know one is clear and one is black, but I'm talking about the performative qualities).



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