I recently got a chance to ski on the Madshus Redline skate skis. Our local rep brought a pair to the shop so we could introduce it to customers and staff. Last weekend was the first real test for me on that ski.
The skis we have are 185cm skis in a medium flex. I am 5’10” tall and weigh 155. That ski is really too short and soft for me. So I asked my wife, 5’1” and lighter than I, to ski on them. Although the skis are labeled 185cm they actually are 180.2cm from the floor to the tip. Her own skis are 177cm long. Well, the skis were just a bit long and stiff for her, but she went out and gave them a try. We skied on some trails that had not been groomed in a couple days and that had been, in a few places, used by snowmobiles. Dani found the skis to be supple in the rough stuff and yet firm under foot in step turns going downhill. We skied for about 90 minutes on flats, steep downs and long uphill trails. This proved to be a stable and forgiving ski that seemed to handle all the conditions we encountered. When we returned to the Nordic Center Lodge at Mt Bachelor, I took the skis out for a short spin. WOW! What I found was a pair of skis, that although they were short and not the ideal flex, skied really well for me. They were stable and held an edge well in a step turn going downhill for me in the same way they did for Dani.
These skis are lighter than the current Madshus Nano HP or the Madshus Nano RS. They are made with a noticeable tip splay and a fairly stiff mid-body. Madshus varies the splay by adjusting the molds in the manufacturing process. Some skis come out appropriate for colder, soft conditions showing a slightly longer snow/base contact zone and some are best for warmer snow soft conditions. This winter on the World Cup, both in Biathlon and in regular Cross Country, skiers have found the skis to be very fast and easy to ski in warmer snow conditions. The skis we see in the fall with have a gray/white base. This new base is produced differently from normal sintering and has some additives that we actually don’t known – this is the secret of the supplier unfortunately. However, testing shows that it works well.
Madshus uses a dense foam as the core of the ski. It is a foam similar to that used in high performance helicopter rotor blades. This is wrapped in a torsion box construction with fiberglass and carbon fiber. Different fibers are being used in the Redline that enable the ski to be lighter and stronger. The actual 3D shape of the ski is an integral part of how it performs. Lots of skis are flat on top and this one is not. The ridges and shaping allows some parts of the ski to be thin and light, while other parts and shape give it the stiffness needed for good edging and push in the skate motion.
The bottom line for me on this short, soft test ski was that I cannot wait to get on one sized right for a skier my size. Even as short and soft as they were, they skied well. Check with us in the fall and we should have a limited supply of the new Madshus Redline Skate with a silky, smooth Madshus feeling.