Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

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Krieger1309
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Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

Post by Krieger1309 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:55 pm

Hey all! I'm Andy. Completely new to skiing, so for replies to my thread, please assume I'm incompetent.

I'm looking at buying Asnes USGI XCountry skis. I like the price which is why I'm looking at buying them. Dont want to get expensive skis just to learn on.

My first question, there are two sizes available, 200 and 210. What's the difference and does the size make that big of a difference? (Fyi I'm 6' and 300lbs. Yeah im a big guy but I need an excuse to get out of the house)

Secondly, do these skis need special bindings, or are they all kinda universal? I'm looking at USGI bindings and Norwegian boots (see links)

Thirdly, with the bindings I'm looking at, will I need special boots? I'd rather not buy a special pair of boots if I can help it

Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all

https://colemans.com/u-s-g-i-ski-bindings

https://armysurpluswarehouse.com/telema ... -bindings/

https://www.varusteleka.com/en/product/ ... hREALw_wcB

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Re: Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

Post by Telecat » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:02 am

I'm new to XC skiing myself, but Im a fairly experienced downhill skier.

Theres a lot to consider here, but first I'll say that the length of the ski absolutely matters, both in downhill oriented (resort) skis, and XC Skis. But the length matters for different reasons. Generally speaking a shorter ski is easier to turn, but is less stable and gives less float in powdery snow. a longer ski is faster and more stable, giving more float in deep snow but harder to turn. XC skis are in generally longer and skinnier than downhill skis, and for your weight you will want the longest ski you can get (so the 210s). This is to better distribute your weight for more efficient gliding, and less sinking in the snow.

Those USGI skis are XC oriented, and will take a ton of experience to get smooth turns out of. But they will go straight and fast. I dont own a pair myself, but from everything I've read here, they are excellent skis at an insanely good price.

One thing to keep in mind as someone who is new to skiing is that all skis will need to be glide waxed, XC and downhill. Waxing is cheap enough to have done by a shop, but if you take up skiing as a regular hobby, you will definitely want to learn to do it yourself and you'll save toooooons of money over time. FOR XC SKIS: you not only have to glide wax the tips and tails, but you will need to grip wax the kick zone, to give you traction for forward propulsion. That is unless you get waxless skis which have a rough pattern on the base underfoot which will give you adequate traction in most snow conditions. The USGI skis are waxable (not waxless) so you WILL have to learn to wax them if you choose this ski.

That said if you search ebay and craigslist, it's fairly easy to find old used skis for fairly cheap if you do your research and know what to look for.



As for the bindings, those are pretty old tech, I've never skied with that old style binding before. My assumption is that they will work for most Norwegian welted hiking boots (google for referencr). Not sure how efficiently they will perform or how much of a hassle they'll be to use. Someone from an older generation would probably have more useful insight about them.

If you have an average shoe size us men 8-10, you can probably find some used 3 pin telemark boots on Ebay or elsewhere for $100 +/-. And 3 pin bindings are cheap enough, and might very well be installed on some used skis If you choose that route

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Re: Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

Post by EvanTrem » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:15 am

I would definitely recommend getting some dedicated boots and bindings for the skis. Those old military bindings aren't even worth their weight in scrap metal. The Asnes USGI skis will feel so much better if you have a mid to heavy boot driving them. As a downhill skier you may feel a little out of control using a lightweight boot to drive these skis.

I would recommend a 3 pin binding from Voile or Rottefella. You could also consider an NNNBC boot-binding combo.

For boots search for Alico Ski March": on Ebay. They are also military surplus but from the British Army. they are an AMAZING deal. You have to pay a bit for shipping but they are more than worth it, $50 for at $250 boot brand new. Just remember, UK sizing is 1 lower than US (If you wear a US 10, than order a 9). These boots are 35mm duckbills and will fit with the above bindings.

More info on the skis here:
https://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=878

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Re: Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

Post by fisheater » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:44 am

Hello Andy,
I own a pair of USGI skis. I purchased them for two reasons, I owned a fatter ski a S-112 and I wanted something skinnier for when my local single track trail was hardpack. I also wanted to try a waxable ski on the cheap.
The USGI was a great cheap way to start using grip wax. I really like waxable skis. It is also a decent backcountry ski. It offers good float for breaking trail, and is pretty fast on a packed trail. It is well constructed with good edges and a snappy wood core. At your size a 210 would be recommended at face value. I purchased a 200 cm because I planned on sharing them with my son. I was fortunate and received 200 cm skis that are stiff enough to preserve a wax pocket. The point is that there is variation in these skis from ski to ski. That being said you are best off with a 210 cm ski.

As for the bindings. If you are interested in taking up backcountry skiing as a hobby. As a way to ski forest roads, trails through the woods, on the farm, etc. Buy a real ski binding. If you want to try it out and throw them in the corner and say “I tried”, buy those surplus bindings. There is the original Rottefella “rat trap” was invented in 1927 and we still use Rottefella Super Telemark bindings and Voile HD Mountaineer bindings. One of these two bindings are the preferred 75 mm bindings of 99 % ( probably higher) of Nordic skiers in Europe and North America. For backcountry skiing skiers either use 75 mm or NNN-BC bindings. While the are some people using other system bindings similar to NNN. The use of the surplus bindings you noted aren’t used because the other options are much better.

The Ski March boot mentioned in a previous post is a fantastic boot, at a stupid cheap price if.... you find one that fits. You will not send it back, because shipping from the UK is over 2X the cost of the boot. All that being said, I own this boot and absolutely love it. I will say it weighs probably as much as my T 4 plastic boots, but I still really like this boot. Remember if you purchase real bindings you need either a 75 mm boot or an NNN boot. Here is the link to the Ski March boot. Hope you have a larger or a smaller foot. They are running out of some sizes.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-British- ... 0701560232

Now, other than telling us that you want to ski, you have not told us where you want to ski. Where you live in regards to how much snow and is it primarily wet or dry snow? Are you in mountainous, hilly, or relatively flat terrain.

In closing, I hope you chose to take up skiing. I really enjoy my time on skis. I enjoy the places skiing takes me. My suggestion to take up skiing on a budget, would be EBay and close outs. The guys here will help you. I understand very much being on a limited budget. I strongly suggest you keep to either NNN-BC or 75 mm bindings. Tell us more about your skiing, we will offer some gear selections. Oh, when you go on EBay, those cheap Whitewater 75 mm boots aren’t what you are looking for either.

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Re: Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

Post by fgd135 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:50 pm

Hello,
This is also my first post. I do, however have some background with this equipment, as I worked for Paul Ramer at Alpine Research when we were producing ski equipment for the military, including those cable bindings, ending in about 1997.

The Marine Corps and the Army were big customers--iirc, the last order (of several) we completed for the cable bindings Coleman's is selling was in the neighborhood of 5000 pair. Other contracts included thousands of pairs of fixed length military XC poles and also heavy duty twist-adjustable avalanche-probe ski poles, and strap-on nylon plush climbing skins. We also built adjustable poles with self arrest grips for special warfare units.

K2 designed a custom backcountry ski for us, which we bid against the Asnes MT65--this is the Asnes name of the surplus skis Coleman's sells--of course the Asnes ski won the bid--we were told afterwards that the USMC absolutely insisted on the Asnes, as that was the ski the Norwegians were using. Fwiw, the K2 ski had a good nordic flex, more sidecut than the MT68, also wood core, was wider, better turning, and lighter, too-- similar to the eventual Asnes NATO Combat.

We tried to talk the services into a more modern alpine touring binding, but the Army insisted they wanted a copy of the old Silveretta 125A--essentially an older-style alpine touring binding that uses a cable--so that's what we made for them--the Ramer surplus cable binding is just our copy of the Silveretta, made in Denver and Boulder, not Germany.
This binding isn't junk! I've personally skied many many miles with them--but it's not a nordic binding for free heel touring--it's purpose is to accommodate military bunny boots and common welted leather boots to allow reasonable over -the-snow travel. They work quite well for that, and I might also say, they work quite well with plastic climbing boots to access ice climbs, esp. when installed on pair of very short wide alpine skis, which is much better alternative travel than snowshoes. The Silveretta was the tour-de-force for use on McKinley climbs since it works well slogging up snowfields with plastic and leather double climbing boots. They are releasable, as a forward fall will open the cable lever and relieve tension on the foot, if the cable lever hook is properly adjusted.
That being said, they're clumsy to use, as they don't allow a normal stride, just a ~shuffle~, and also can have issues with broken cables from time to time. I'd not use them for casual XC skiing.

Those surplus Asnes MT65 skis are predrilled for another binding--the NATO 120. It also works with bunny boots, Sorels, insulated boots, etc., and is a true nordic cable binding, albeit not so great for edge control.

My recommendations, based on what you say about your skill level and esp. your weight:
1) The 210 Asnes ski is good if you're doing easy to moderate XC trails and if you're willing to learn to use XC wax. Or use short skins as an alternative. Alternately find a shorter, wider, waxless XC ski, maybe 200 cm.
2) I would really consider spending the money on a well made heavy duty XC boot--my recommendation is, like the others, to try the Alico ski-march boot, with the warning it may not be supportive enough; a better but more expensive choice would be a pair of plastic Scott Excursions or similar backcountry telemark boot, I know, heresy here on my first post to recommend ~plastic~, but worth a consideration in this case.
3) I am partial to the Rottefella Telemark 3-pin, but the Voile 3-pin, or Voile 3-pin cable is a very good choice too.
If you can find a pair, the Rottefella NATO 98 binding is also an excellent lightwt. XC touring binding, which is simply the military version of the original Rottefella Riva cable binding. It works only with 75mm boots.

Hope this is informational, if not too verbose,
Cheers!
Last edited by fgd135 on Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

Post by fisheater » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:37 pm

Fgg135,
Wow! Great first post. I was not suggesting that the surplus binding was junk. I was asserting that it was not a good XC touring binding. The joy of touring is the speed of the kick and glide.
I find the Alico Ski March to be a very supportive boot in it’s range, of which I would include the Asnes MT 68. There is nothing wrong in suggesting a Scott Excursion, I do some touring on Scarpa T-4’s, but prefer the Ski March for touring with 75 mm gear. I have MT 68 mounted both 75 mm and NNN BC. I actually prefer the greater ROM provided by NNN BC and Alpina Alaska boots.
I don’t know if you are still connected to the Military, but if you are. Was there a significant purchase of Voile Vectors? The second question, I really like my Ski March boot, are there any military purchases of 75 mm leather Norwegian welt boots?
Thank you,
Bob

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Re: Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

Post by fgd135 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:14 pm

I recommended the plastic boot to the OP, as he might require more stability than a leather boot in order to have good control. Personally I love the Alico ski march boots for most backcountry touring--I have two pair and a pair of the double boots; the SM boots remind me of the best of the older Asolo leather xc boots, the Snowpine; w/more ankle support than the Snowfields, but not as stiff as the Extremes. The doubles are solid and turn pretty well, but not such great boots for day trips except when it's really cold. Nice for hut trips.
I've no connections with current military skiing--only what I read in various journals and on-line. Sounds like the US military is as perplexed as always when it comes to ski equipment--special warfare teams need performance alpine touring equipment, but large less specialized units need simpler (and less expensive) nordic equipment, for over snow travel.
I'll bet the Vector was purchased for special forces--type units, not as general issue, as it is an AT ski with a waxless base, not a nordic ski, it needs AT boots and bindings.
Last I read, wasn't the USMC was still trying to make a decision on what to buy to replace their ancient gear after the debacle in Norway a couple years ago? There were all kinds of specs put out to bid, some conflicting, some withdrawn after award, etc. That's tax money, I hope they figure it out.

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Re: Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

Post by rongon » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:00 am

I'm not in the loop, but it looks like a company named Serket USA partnered with Icelantic to provide skis and has come up with a 'universal' binding to supply the USMC.
https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/y ... ki-system/

Serket USA website shows three different skis available, all made by Icelantic. The Intrepid 10.1 looks interesting.
http://serketusa.com/intrepid-10-1-military-ski/

Just FYI. Please excuse the interruption.
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Re: Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

Post by Johnny » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:31 pm

rongon wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:00 am
I'm not in the loop, but it looks like a company named Serket USA partnered with Icelantic to provide skis and has come up with a 'universal' binding to supply the USMC.
Nice find Rongon... Absolutely beautiful military Iceland skis...
Price is a bit steep at 800$ for 7.5lbs planks though... I guess it's a good deal for taxpayers... 8-)
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Re: Asnes USGI skis/bindings/boots

Post by Inspiredcapers » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:29 am

I agree that the Alicos are a pretty decent boot, especially for the price, as they’re breaking in they’re getting more comfortable. I was lucky enough to get a pair of the size 9’s last year...been contemplating getting a size 13 and experimenting with a liner in it (kinda like the ‘Watermelon Boot’ thread).

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