New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

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Alxtomlinson
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New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

Post by Alxtomlinson » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:34 pm

Hi im new to the XCD ski thing. I've had the idea come to me a few times in the past, but didn't know how to vocalize my needs so I could get the right hardware.

I live in a river valley city with plenty of rolling forest hills and trails. Mountains are a few hours away, so I my xcd setup should be for in town. When it dumps it opens up new terrain I'd like to explore... but here I am on my old xc setup in tracks going "oh it's impossible to have fun exploring that terrain as going downhill without alpine skis is dumb because there is a rolling up hill in 20 seconds anyway."

I have a great time mountain biking rolling hilly trails in the summer, is there anything close in the winter?

So I tried going to mountain equipment co-op and dedicated xc shops to ask about what kind of hardware I'd need and they are all mystified... its either classic, skate, or tele... aaaand those weird fat xc skis in the corner I can't really describe who wants them or why. Wait, try these snowshoes.

A few years ago I ended up getting rossignol BC 59 with Salomon XA 6 boots and SNS XA bindings.
I thought this would be "it" the 59s can fit in a track, but
When things go downhill I can maybe steer maybe because they have metal edges, and my boots are badass. I got the 200cm skis because I thought I can get good kick and glide with a heavy pack if I wanted to go to the mountains for overnight tours. I'm 5'9" and 170pnds.

What happened is I got a heavy duty xc ski package, that was terrible on the downs, sank in the fresh, boots hardly work in the track... still cant have fun exploring fresh terrain in the valley.

I'm thinking a combo of things here, and thank you reading this far into this garbage.

1. Skis too long, too much camber for any kind of steering.

2. Salomon xa boots and bindings, maybe not great for handling, although that's what they were marketed for.

___

What to get,

1. Not sure if 3 pin system and boots necessary, can and xa system handle rolling hills and having fun?
2. Should I get a Fischer 98 s-bound, and how long?
3. Not too hellbent on kick and glide efficiency at this point, but dont want pigs. Doesn't have to fit in a track.

Anyway, if anyone can relate or wants to chime in, I'm into a discussion.

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fisheater
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Re: New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

Post by fisheater » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:25 pm

I have both NNN BC and 75 mm gear. I am very impressed with my Alaska and NNN-BC, and I have read some people believe the NNN version of that boot offers better power transfer than the 75 mm version. I have my suspicions on that particular boot, but I respect the men that offer differing opinions. I guess with that boot, NNN and 75 mm are pretty equal. If you want to xcD, I think that Alaska would be the minimum.
I ski more of my XCD on a heavier leather boot and Voile 3 pin cable bindings, with the cable mostly in my pack.
If you really want to know about skis read the Community Ski Review section. There is a lot of information in that section. You would need to spend some time reading to glean that information.
I find Fischer’s size recommendations to be too short, size up.

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Alxtomlinson
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Re: New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

Post by Alxtomlinson » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:35 pm

Thanks for the heads up, I'm venturing into new terrain when it comes to ski lengths, boots and bindings. I want to hit that sweet spot of not too slow/ not under powered valley setup.

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Tom M
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Ski style: Skate on Groomed, 3 pin Off, Backcountry Tele
Favorite Skis: Fischer S-Bound 98 Off Trail, Voile V6 BC for Tele
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Re: New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

Post by Tom M » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:53 am

This is a great place to start. Lots of experience and advice available here. The good news is that you have some skiing experience and know that your current setup isn't working as well as you had hoped for off trail XCD skiing. While I don't know what is best for you, this is what I would pick for myself for off the trail rolling terrain:

Binding: NNN-BC Manual
Boots: Alfa Skarvet
Skis: Fischer Traverse 78's @ 189 cm (great in a straight line, OK turner, but not a carver)
Fischer SBound 98's @ 179 cm ( tolerable on the flats, turns great in soft snow, but not a downhill ski)

If you are curious about what I'm currently skiing, check out the link to my youtube channel in my signature to the right.

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Alxtomlinson
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Re: New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

Post by Alxtomlinson » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:28 am

Thanks for the information Tom! I've been catching your videos on you tube about the s bound 98s. Looks like a great setup. I dont want it to be a downhill full on tele setup, but good enough steering so that I'm not doing crazy French fries into the bushes. I'd say ease of downhill control would be the #1 fun factor. I do downhill skiing and snowboarding already, so I dont need the overlap, but it would be cool to bring the setup to a local hill and then ski the trails home.

I looked through the nordic backcountry wiki forum and got caught up with the differences in levels of gear.

I like the idea of the garmont excursion, 3pin binding and a wide ski.

This may seem like overkill, but if it allows me to have turn confidence in any low angle terrain, it sounds like the ticket.

I've been reading about my sns xa or bc binding boot setup, and how that x adv 6 boot can drive narrower skis. Ice also heard that longer skis have more float... so this is exactly my setup, but I feel that the rossi bc 59 have way too much camber and length at 200cm for any type of parallel turning.

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Tom M
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Ski style: Skate on Groomed, 3 pin Off, Backcountry Tele
Favorite Skis: Fischer S-Bound 98 Off Trail, Voile V6 BC for Tele
Favorite boots: Currently skiing Alfa Skarvet, Scarpa T2, Rossignol BC X-12
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Website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCam0VG ... shelf_id=1

Re: New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

Post by Tom M » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:08 am

I have not skied the Scott Excursion boots, but I have owned a couple pairs of the Scarpa T4's, which are similar in their capabilities. If you are leaning toward a plastic boot, then that indicates to me that you probably want a more downhill focused ski. Fischer's Adventure line of skis (Traverse 78, Excursion 88, Sbound 98) and a soft boot are a great combination for rolling terrain and moderate downhill in good snow conditions, but they might not be the best choice for you. I haven't skied many of the other ski choices that others on this forum have, so I hope they will weigh in with their advice, so I don't know what I don't know. That being said, the Fischer skis work well for me for the kind of skiing and terrain I ski. The traction pattern, easy skin, price, and availability are all pluses in my book. One thing is for sure, the more experience you gain on a set of skis over time, the less limiting they seem to be. I love this youtube video. Its brings me back to reality when I get the itch for a better ski / boot / binding.


PS: Does anyone know if the teleman in this video is an active participant in the forum?
Last edited by Tom M on Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Alxtomlinson
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Re: New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

Post by Alxtomlinson » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:39 pm

Yeah that's pretty much the answer, I do have too much camber in my skis! Lol

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Re: New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

Post by Lo-Fi » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:32 pm

Alxtomlinson wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:28 am



I like the idea of the garmont excursion, 3pin binding and a wide ski.

This may seem like overkill, but if it allows me to have turn confidence in any low angle terrain, it sounds like the ticket.
Image

If your vision/interest or circumstance is to cover a lot of ground/distance (more than a few kms/couple of miles) without a lot of turning then this suggestion is probably not for you.

If your express interest is skiing to find turns in your immediate micro-terrain, then this equipment is unusually suitable:

+ You can parallel, wedge, snow plow, side slip, or tele, and noodle your way through all sorts of bush, trees, drops, and gullies etc.
+ Great float in soft snow, good edge hold on firm snow.
+ Excellent climbing for a fish-scaled traction base. Good glide in untracked snow.
+ Bindings are easy in and out, with good shuffle touring and control on the downs.
+ Boots are maximally controlling and comfortable.

Just one guy's opinion, but if the description above speaks to you, I find Excursion boots(or T4s), cable bindings like Hardwires ( or Cobra R8, Rivas, G3), and short fat fishscaled Kom skis (or Vector BCs) are uniquely evolved to deliver maximum control, comfort and fun.

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Re: New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

Post by lowangle al » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:56 am

I'm with LoFi on this one. My most fun gear combo is very similar to that. T4 boot, Voile ultra vector bc and a cable binding. I feel confident that I can handle any terrain I come across and still be able to cover about 4 mph without pushing hard. IMO you will have more fun more of the time because the equipment can better handle a wide range of conditions.

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Re: New to xcd, need help figuring out gear for rivervalley exploring

Post by Alxtomlinson » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:44 pm

Lo-Fi wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:32 pm
Alxtomlinson wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:28 am



I like the idea of the garmont excursion, 3pin binding and a wide ski.

This may seem like overkill, but if it allows me to have turn confidence in any low angle terrain, it sounds like the ticket.
Image

If your vision/interest or circumstance is to cover a lot of ground/distance (more than a few kms/couple of miles) without a lot of turning then this suggestion is probably not for you.

If your express interest is skiing to find turns in your immediate micro-terrain, then this equipment is unusually suitable:

+ You can parallel, wedge, snow plow, side slip, or tele, and noodle your way through all sorts of bush, trees, drops, and gullies etc.
+ Great float in soft snow, good edge hold on firm snow.
+ Excellent climbing for a fish-scaled traction base. Good glide in untracked snow.
+ Bindings are easy in and out, with good shuffle touring and control on the downs.
+ Boots are maximally controlling and comfortable.

Just one guy's opinion, but if the description above speaks to you, I find Excursion boots(or T4s), cable bindings like Hardwires ( or Cobra R8, Rivas, G3), and short fat fishscaled Kom skis (or Vector BCs) are uniquely evolved to deliver maximum control, comfort and fun.


That's pretty perfect for a setup actually! Thanks for sharing.

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