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Together with Trondheim’s leading cross country sports store, sportsbua (sports shack), XC-marathon tested the brand new skin skis Fischer Twin Skin Speedmax and Rossignol R-skin Premium C2. We considered the forward momentum (how the opposite ski glides forward after the kick), friction, stability, grip and glide, as well as a general experience from the skis based on our own skills and preferences.
Test venue: 1-km loop from the ´Storsvingen´ starting point of Bymarka, Trondheim.
We tested the skin skis from 09.00 am., in about one hour, and around -10 degrees. The conditions was older transformed natural snow, no artificial snow. This provided possibly an excess of challenging conditions to test the skis, because skin skis are generally considered to be very best down to -4,-5 degrees celcius (but not optimal for even colder conditions; unfortunately we couldn’t do anything about this as this was the day and time we found the opportunity to perform the test). The terrain was in the first part slight incline with some very short hills, some flats and a slight downhill.
Testers: Pro and Amateur
We were two people who tested the skis — a pro and former active skier who knows ski- and grip issues to
the fingertips, and an amateur and hobbyist skier that hopefully harmonize well with XC-marathons readers´ expectations, skills, and experiences. The pro was Kristoffer Grøv, a former active cross-country skier, and presently waxer for Norway’s recruit teams in cross country skiing and also cross country skiing expert at the cross country store ´Sportsbua´ in Trondheim. The amateur was the hobbyist skier and editor of XC_marathon.com, Steffen R. Larssen.
Emphasis was placed on the fact that this is a test of skin skis, and the importance of the skin and the effect it provides for the skiing experience was emphasized more than general glide, etc.
Twin Skin Speedmax and R-Skin Premium C2
Fischer Twin Skin Speedmax and Rossignol R-skin Premium C2 are the top model of classic skis with skins from both brands. Kristoffer from the Sportsbua considers the skis before the test this way: -the soles are of WC-standard and the skis are otherwise designed for top trained skiers with good ski technique. Thiese are skis for skiers who want a training ski with racing tension and good sole material, that can also be used in competition. It is emphasized that the models are for active skiers to training and competition.
We do not select a “winner” or “loser”, but still choose each of our personal favourites. We also describe various experiences and characteristics of what is basically experienced as very good skin skis when it comes to quality:
Fischer Speedmax Twin Skin
Kristoffer, the pro, experienced Fischer’s Speedmax generally as an easy-to-handle and ´kind´ ski, requiring less technique
than Rossignols, but not optimal when it comes to forward momentum. This means, in Christopher’s opinion, that this is a ski many can aquire and ski on, but it still yields greater expectations to technique and weight-shift than a less expensive skin ski.
In addition to the point above when gliding forward, Kristoffer also experienced that the skis frictioned a bit, but we assume that it was due to the snow conditions and the cold. Regarding the grip, Kristoffer was very happy, and thinks Speedmax was one notch better than R-skin Premium. During the test round, he had not had one single slip on the entire 1km long track in varying terrains. Fischer as a trademark is known to deliver an overall stable and good skiing experience, Kristoffer said, and Speedmax Twin skin was no exception.
mine, that’s the amateurs experience of Fischer’s Speedmax was recognizable from previous experiences with Fischer; A reliable ski that is very mindful of the skier’s movements and that follows the terrain in a soft way. It gives a good and distinctive ski experience I think.
The forward momentum properties of the skis was in my opinion almost impeccable, but perhaps with a hint of wobbling. This is probably as pointed out above due to the temperature. Fischer ´ s Speedmax had a bit of friction in some parts of the trail (last part of the hill), but not duringdouble poling although I tried to inflict extra weight/strain through some excessive “jumping”. The friction is probably due to the fact that the demo skis did not fit perfectly to my weight. Grip and stability were by my opinion perfect.
The glide of the Fischer Twin Skin Speedmax was, when we tested, not optimal. But as we know that the ski has the high quality WC sole, we choose to rather explain it with the aforementioned conditions and weight.
Rossignol Premium C2
Kristoffer Grøv experienced in general Rossignols Top Model skin ski as a very good ski with good forward momentum, good glide and as a stable ski. Grip was also good. Furthermore, Grøv believes that Rossignol´s properties as brand requires slightly better technique and weight-shift, and that perhaps it can give the skis a small minus. However, the ski is experienced by tje Sportsbua cross country expert as a very responsive ski when kicking and a ski that is really giving a lot back if the technique is good enough. In particular, Kristoffer pointed out that the R-skin Premium has a good grip in the firmer/harder conditions in the herringbone technique due to the ´ double-edge ´, i.e. an additional enhancement along the outer side of the ski edges under the foot.
For Kristoffer, the forward momentum to the Rossignol R-skin Premium C2 was somewhat less good than the other elements we tested – which were impeccable in following him. All in all, the R-skin Premium for Grøv is experienced as a very good, fun and exciting ski to have as a training mate.
Yours trulys experience of Rossignols Premium was that it was a very good ski (it can be felt from the first stride), but that they are somewhat more difficult to master for an amateur because it has a racing construction that demands a lot of strength and technique from the skier. The ski still feels overall like a ski you can go fast with (we catched quickly up with another skier having started a minute before us).
The grip was impeccable, but because of the above-mentioned points of a demanding ski the forward momentum and stability was somewhat more demanding and thus from my side gets a ´minor minus´. For me Rossignols demo skis had a little friction also, but it can probably, in the same way as for Fischer’s ski be explained by the fact that the demo skis were not perfectly selected for my weight. Rossignol´s skis did not friction during poling, nor with extra effort to provoke it to appear.
The glide was experienced with regards to Rossignols R-Skin Premium, as very good.
We believe that skiing and ski properties are partly related to personal preferences and skill levels. The pro Kristoffer liked Rossignols R-skin Premium C2 Best, simply because it was a very good skiing within most of the elements we emphasized and give you as a skier more, if the technique is good. The amateur Steffen chooses Fischer’s Twin Skin Speedmax because it was similar to Fischer’s general ´ attentive ´ skiing, which I personally find to strengthen the ski experience.
XC-marathon.com thank the Sportsbua in Trondheim for benevolently setting up for this test with skis and expertise.