Thursday, January 30, 2014

Prototype grind tests, and new product tests...

Factory matched test skis.
Here's a pic of a few of the test skis as they're ready to head out the door for testing.     New snow overnight means that I can try the recent prototypes on new snow to compare test results versus the old beat-up snow that's been on the ground the past couple weeks.    Right now there are 5 new prototypes in the bag along with 2 benchmarks for comparison.  

The test skis are factory matched skis that are treated identically except for the grinds.   Same wax, same flex, same camber.    It is the only way to compare grinds effectively - you have to remove all the variable but one, it's that simple.

Meanwhile, I opened a box from Madshus this morning and out popped a brand new pair of the 2015 Nanosonic skate boots in my size.   I'll be testing them in the coming days and let you know what I think.    You can see they're a different color (these are an update to the $424 Nano boot, and not the $$$ RedLine SuperNano boot), and a fit test tells me that they've got a little roomier toe-box than the current production Nano skater.     They've got the Xcelerator sole, too, which has a lower heel and a little different flex feel...      ...but let's wait until I get them on snow for a more thorough discussion, okay?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Poster arrives, well timed..

Brian & Caitlin Gregg
and some Madshus skis and poles.
This poster arrived today, with a thank you note and signed by Brian Gregg & Caitlin Gregg.  Nice photo, although I'd just as soon see them wearing USA hats instead of Norge hats (okay, they're Madshus hats, but still...).  

Congratulations to Brian for being named to the 2014 US Olympic Team!

Stone Grinding Schedule

You've been training  fall and winter to get the most from your skiing, so make sure your skis don't limit all of your hard work!

Prepare all of your skis to run their best with a fresh grind and hotbox service. At Nordic Ultratune, a grind batch starts every Thursday and those skis are ready for shipping on the following Monday - just 4 days later.

Return shipping is typically FedEx Express Saver, which is 3rd day delivery. So skis that are shipped out on Monday will arrive back to you on Thursday.

Here's the upcoming service schedule at Nordic Ultratune. Use these dates to make sure you get your skis ready before your most important races:
  • Skis in by Jan 23rd will ship out on Jan 27th and arrive back to you by the 30th.
  • Skis in by Jan 30th will ship out on  Feb 3rd
  • Skis in by Feb 6th will ship out on Feb 10th
  • Skis in by Feb 13th will ship out on Feb 17th.
You can see that there are still service batches scheduled before the big mid-winter events (JOQ's, Marathons, etc). There is still time to get a fast grind on your skis before the season's biggest races! But don't delay! Fill out our Work Order and get your skis ready! Fast boards are a joy to ski on and they're a real advantage.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

US Olympic Team

Brian Gregg.   USA Olympic Team 2014
The USST officially named the Cross Country Ski team for the Sochi Olympics today.

Represented in the mix are 3 skiers from the Methow Valley (Winthrop/Mazama, WA), and a couple with very close ties.   Five Washington State skiers!      A really big congratulations to all of those skiers -  Erik & Sadie Bjornsen, Holly Brooks, Brian Gregg, and Torin Koos (alphabetically, of course).

I was looking at the FIS points list the other day, and was really struck by the depth that the US is showing now.   The top 10 men and women on distance and sprint lists are very solid, and any of them would be worthy of representing us at the Olympics.    That's such an endorsement that the grass-roots development pipeline is doing something right.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Schempp & Hofer tie for first in Antholz

Hofer & Schempp on the podium.   Double winners.
Photo courtesy of Rossignol.
Germany's Simon Schempp and Italy's Lukas Hofer tied for first place, with a time of 22:44.9 in the Antholz sprint today.      Both were skiing Rossignol.      It coincides with the roll-out of the 2014/15 Rossignol Xium skate ski, with all new graphics.

I'll have a review of the new skate ski in the first week of Feb.   Watch for it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Methow Valley Ski Clinic with Sam Naney

Sam Naney
Photo by Steve Mitchell
Sam Naney will be leading an instructional clinic in the Methow Valley, this coming weekend.

The clinic on Jan 18th will run from 9am - 3pm, and will include a delicious sandwich lunch provided by the Mazama Store kitchens. Sam is limiting participation to the first twenty sign-ups to make sure we've got a great small-group feel (there will be 3 coaches), and will do his best to divvy up the groups by ability level so everyone gets the most focused attention. Focuses will include basic and advanced technique in both skate and classic, as well as more specialized instruction (as applicable) in up/downhills, cornering, and wax selection and application.

But that's not all...

The clinic also has partnered with Madshus Skis to offer equipment demos throughout the day. This demo is open to the public in addition to clinic participants. It will be a great chance to try out the latest Madshus RedLine skate or classic skis. Clinic participants who are anxious to take part in the demos should plan to arrive early to get set up with their demos before the 9am clinic start time.

More info here (click).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gregg + Gregg

Caitlin skied alone today.    Way, way, off the front.
Photo: Ian Harvey / Toko USA
A great day for the Greggs!  

Caitlin threw down some heavy skating and none of the other women could touch her.   She skated free to a 3:36 lead - over a kilometer ahead of 2nd place!  

Brian skied a big last lap and nearly caught Sylvan Ellefson, finishing less than 3 seconds back with a very clear and solid 2nd place for the 30km skate race.      Ellefson skied a great race for the win.

Brian & Caitlin didn't have any time for celebrating their day.     Brian called on the phone while on the way to the airport (no, he wasn't driving...);  he and Caitlin had a 5 o'clock flight to Europe to catch!  
Brian Gregg free skating in the 30K.
Photo:  Ian Harvey / Toko USA

Best luck to Brian & Caitlin in their upcoming World Cup starts.   And best luck in your quest for an Olympic start!

Brian & Caitlin are both skiing on Madshus skis and boots.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Another title for Koos

Torin Koos leading the pack in the A Final
Photo by Ian Harvey / Toko USA
Torin Koos won another US National Sprint Title today in Soldier Hollow.    Torin sent this note this afternoon:

From: Torin Koos
Date: Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM
Subject: RE: nice work

Thanks Mark!
Raced on my grind of choice for SoHo once again, the XCO2. The same ski in the qualifer at 5f at 10am and in the low 20s in the afternoon.