Saturday, November 27, 2010

Assessment and Preparation

The first days of skiing are in the log book now (hopefully!).

Whether you were at West Yellowstone, or Silver Star, or on the local 2 km Gerbil Loop, you've gotten a chance to put some km's on your skis. At this time of year it's important to assess the performance of your skis and prepare them for the next races.

Brian Gregg got a podium spot at West Yellowstone.
Photo Credit - Ian Harvey / Toko 
If you've got a few pairs of skis, you'll need to decide if your favorites have the stone grinding structures to match the skiing that you've got planned. If you're a competitor you have to try to match the skis with the conditions - this can require a bit of "crystal ball gazing" and guesswork.

If you have several pairs, then it's important to make sure you've got the majority of situations covered to get the maximum performance from your available pairs of skis.

In the first half of the season, especially in the Western USA and Canada, emphasis on good pair of skate and classic skis for cold/dry conditions is a must. At altitude and in dry climates, the fine structures perform much better than the universal grinds that come on new skis.

For cold new-fallen snow, high altitudes, and dry snow, the Nordic Ultratune S1 will run well and performs down to the FIS limit.    Try the S1 on skate or classic skis - it's very versatile in cold/fine conditions and has excellent top-end speed.  The S1 has already proven itself this season with top results in West Yellowstone SuperTour races.

The S2 makes an excellent cold climate all-around grind. If the snow hasn't been through significant thaw/freeze cycles and humidity is low, then the S2 will perform up into the upper 20's (F), with a bottom end near 0F.

Another tried-and-proven performer is the Ultratune XC02, which is a long-time favorite among skiers and is a great choice for anyone with a dedicated pair of "very cold" classic or skate skis.

Turn-around times on grind work continue to be fast. Skis arriving at Nordic Ultratune by Thursday will be shipped back out (or ready for pick-up) by the following Monday - just 4 days later.

Be ready for your big events. Get the skis up-to-speed now.

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