XC Ski For Women

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JohnSKepler
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2022 6:31 pm
Location: Utahoming
Ski style: XCBCD
Favorite Skis: Voile Objective BC, Rossignol BC 80
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XC Ski For Women

Post by JohnSKepler » Tue Aug 22, 2023 12:36 pm

Really looking forward to winter and getting out with my pretty lady of 37 years. She's still as spry as when we hooked up in college. In fact, she cross country skied before I did when I was still all about downhill. I started and was hooked and then moved into XCD, XC/BX, and then, invariably, to 'full' telemark. I bought several pairs of skis last year and experimented with waxing and skins. She's not interested in any of that but still likes getting out. I'm hoping to find her a better set of skis this year for what she likes to do. She's very athletic and has great balance. The kind of person who makes everything look effortless. She says she's working but I can't see it. But, she's not going to practice or work hard to get in shape and she's not particularly ambitious in this regard. (Or obsessive.) Her form is not great (tends to sink deep on the front leg when kicking, no lift of the rear leg, won't use the poles properly, etc...) but (intensely) dislikes any corrections from me.

As to what she likes, she likes going up and coming down the local canyons on the groomed tracks but doesn't like the track itself. In her defense, she's pretty tiny and the track width is uncomfortable for her. But they do a good job grooming for skaters :| and she mostly skis along there. We've been to a few places with a narrower set track and she likes it better. I got her out last year on some rolling backcountry and she really enjoyed that, but she's not too interested in going very high on the hills. The best spot we found was a canyon with a mostly flat base and finger-like hills on the edges. She kick-and-glides along the base and I'd go up and down the hills. There are a lot of places like this around here so we'll be doing more of that, this year, I hope.

As for the skis themselves, she started with some Fischer Spider OTX 65 (scaled) our first year and liked them paired with some kind of Fischer BC boot and NNNBC bindings. We had a good time on fairly easy stuff and I had a similar set up. I quickly found the limitations and upgraded to waxable (and not) Asnes and Voile skis with skins and scales, went to an Xplore binding and Alaska and Alfa Free boots. I got her a set of waxable Asnes Liv skis with all metal edges and some sidecut (can't remember which ones) with Xplore bindings and Alaska XP boots. The liked the binding and boots but not the skis, so much. I found she prefers a pattern ski and gets annoyed with they slip, which wax and her poor technique makes more likely. She'd love to feel more in control turning but is (for some reason) openly hostile to learning even a limited Telemark technique. So, something with some sidecut but any turn she makes will look more alpine than tele. Did I mentions she's quite stubborn?

I'd like to get her another set this year that might be better suited to what she likes and thought I'd poll the group. The Fischer OTX were okay but I think there's better patterns out there now. My own thoughts are something 60-70 mm underfoot with a tip width that'll fit in a track. Metal edges but maybe not full edges. Probably an Xplore binding since she likes the Alaska boots. Definitely a pattern ski or maybe an integrated (permanent) skin. (She really doesn't like slipping when climbing.) Her preference has always been for skis that are too short but she got past some of that last year with the 170cm Liv skis. And she liked my 172cm Asnes FT62 when she used those a bit. She did not like my Voile Objectives. "They don't kick and glide." Never got her on my 190 Gamme 54 but then, she doesn't like wax skis. Maybe what she really needs are some lessons from a woman???

Oh, as a quick edit, she's 5/2" 115 bs

Thoughts?
Last edited by JohnSKepler on Tue Aug 22, 2023 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Veni, Vidi, Viski

mca80
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Re: XC Ski For Women

Post by mca80 » Tue Aug 22, 2023 12:52 pm

It's nearly unanimous opinion here, and elsewhere, that Fischer makes the best patterned xc skis.



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Lhartley
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Re: XC Ski For Women

Post by Lhartley » Tue Aug 22, 2023 12:55 pm

My GF's traverses grip much better than my guides, but mine are older than God. Just noticed Fischer updated their colors this year



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Manney
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Re: XC Ski For Women

Post by Manney » Tue Aug 22, 2023 1:04 pm

Agree with @mca80 on Fischers. Their charts also include some “Kentucky windage” for skill level, which is nice to see.

Also, an interesting thing came out when running bmi numbers and comparing them to Asnes women’s skis…

viewtopic.php?p=59733#p59733

Raising this because weight and height in combination can affect weight transfer etc. So there’s a k&g aspect to consider.

Not making any judgments on anyone’s bmi… just throwing in a variable that might affect the k&g that your lady is seeking.
Manney wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 11:32 am
Tonje (widest woman’s ski) in 175cm length, for a skier 170cm tall (tallest recc height for ski) weighing 50kg (lightest weight for that ski) adds up to bmi 17.3. Ingstad (designed for skinnier men?) in 175cm length, for a skier 170cm tall weighing 55kg adds up to bmi 19.0.

A market percentile thing? Googled it. The numbers fits into the 2nd (lo bmi) to 62nd (hi bmi) percentile of the US population. Don’t know about Europe. Scandinavia. Maybe something like 10th to 75th percentile of pop?

So there is a svelt bias for BC skis. Most apparent for women. Less so for men, but it’s still there. Skiers fall inside the charts if they are normal or slightly under weight/height. Can carry a few extra #s and stay in the charts. Can carry a lot of extra #s if you’re a man. Run out of chart at the upper end of super stocky bmis. Not my view. The charts say it.
Go Ski



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spopepro
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Re: XC Ski For Women

Post by spopepro » Tue Aug 22, 2023 1:29 pm

My vote: Fischer transnordic 66 crown. It only kinda fits in the track, but it fits the bill for everything else.

If better track performance is desired, go transnordic 59 with the EZ skin cut to about the center of the heel. This will glide ok enough and give stellar grip. They "turn" ok, but the 66 is significantly better.



mca80
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Re: XC Ski For Women

Post by mca80 » Tue Aug 22, 2023 4:17 pm

JohnSKepler wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2023 12:36 pm
My own thoughts are something 60-70 mm underfoot with a tip width that'll fit in a track.
Most tracks are set at 70mm. I don't know of any skis with 60 to 70 underfoot and a shovel no wider than 70. You're going to have to decide: tracks or not. In fact, anything more than 66 in the shovel makes it not ideal for tracks, and given that all these skis have some sidecut you probably can't find anything that isn't low to mid 50s in the waist.



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Manney
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Re: XC Ski For Women

Post by Manney » Tue Aug 22, 2023 4:42 pm

Worth checking with your favorite clubs and trails too. Some get snarky with wider, steel edged skis… a few simply won’t allow anything more than a 3/4 edged ski on their tracks. Others are ok with wider, fully edged skis as long as you stay on corduroy skating track (be prepared to give way to faster skaters tho).

A fully edged ski wider than about 60mm will screw up a standard 70mm track. The skier won’t notice it because most of the damage is caused by the tails (coming back down into the track with anything other than a perfectly aligned foot).

Backcountry? Not the same issue, which is the nice thing about that side of the sport.

Agree with @mca80 about measurements of skis. Might find some Finnish skis that have very little side cut (some Jarvinen’s are reverse side cut… wider in the middle than at the tip) but most of what we get in the US (and Canada?) is narrower under foot.
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CwmRaider
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Re: XC Ski For Women

Post by CwmRaider » Wed Aug 23, 2023 8:06 am

Transnordic 66 (formerly E99), or Gamme/Finnmark 54 "fit" in XC tracks but may rub the sides during turns in the tracks.
They are very likely to be more forgiving in turns than the Fischer Spider or Åsnes Liv, with more sidecut and rocker. As waxless is a must the Transnordic 66 Crown is the only real option here, considering that the Gamme is waxable only and the Finnmark 54 has limited grip without very active striding technique, but there are several threads here suggesting that the TN66 / E99 do work ok-ish in tracks. There are lots of people who love the TN66.

If you go wider you could be looking at the Fischer Traverse 78 or Excursion 88. Neither will fit in tracks unfortunately. Any more sidecut eg. Sbound 98 and you will have more challenges keeping the ski tracking straight. With experience one gets used to this effect.

Has your wife tried the Liv with 30 or 45mm mohair skins? Its quite a good solution for grip and glide.

Regarding hostility to telemark technique - with this kind of skis Telemark can be a means to an end, the stance gives huge front to back stability both skiing straight in uneven snow, and in turns. I tend to use whatever ski techniques work best at any given time, and the result is an eclectic combination of all kinds of ski hacks, telemark included.

TN66 crown vs Åsnes Liv ->
TN66 crown has a lot of rocker --> TN66 has easier turn initiation at the cost of deep snow XC performance and XC versatility in variable snow conditions
TN66 crown has more sidecut --> further facilitation of turns
TN66 is waxless, does not accept short skins. Åsnes liv is waxable and can be used with short skins.

So from your description, I second @spopepro 's recommendation of Transnordic 66 crown. But only if waxless is a must. It was a must for me until I taught myself to be happy with hard grip wax + skins.



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phoenix
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Re: XC Ski For Women

Post by phoenix » Wed Aug 23, 2023 9:29 am

There's a lot going on in fitting all the needs fora solution here. I haven't skied any of the skis in question, so I won't address those, but from a general perspective:
Simply skiing the groomed outside the track, as mentioned, seems a simple solution to the width issue. It also allows more control on the down staying out of the tracks.

A snowplow, or even the most basic parallel techniques are far easier to utilize than trying to "telemark" on that gear. Don't get hung up on the tele turn.

Keep in mind the Alaska, while a very nice boot, definitely has an upper limit for control as skis get wider. Sounds like this should not be an issue given what you're looking for, but just in case. For instance, while I sometimes ski the Alaskas with my Objectives, I limit that to easy touring on decent snow; I would NOT recommend it as a generally good idea.



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JohnSKepler
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Occupation: Rocket Scientist

Re: XC Ski For Women

Post by JohnSKepler » Wed Aug 23, 2023 1:38 pm

Manney wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2023 4:42 pm
Worth checking with your favorite clubs and trails too. Some get snarky with wider, steel edged skis… a few simply won’t allow anything more than a 3/4 edged ski on their tracks. Others are ok with wider, fully edged skis as long as you stay on corduroy skating track (be prepared to give way to faster skaters tho).
On our local trails, which get groomed pretty regularly, skis on the wide-side in tracks are a non-issue compared to dogs, kids, joggers, snowshoers, postholing walkers, and sledders all over the tracks. Most of the locals just take the view that since their taxes are paying for the grooming they can do whatever they want. While I think that's a shitty attitude in and of itself, I also let them know that the trail maintenance is 100% volunteer and we raise all the money ourselves.
CwmRaider wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2023 8:06 am
Has your wife tried the Liv with 30 or 45mm mohair skins? Its quite a good solution for grip and glide.
She has. It works okay but it does significantly affect both turning and the glide part of the kick. In my own experience, scales have less effect on glide than skins, of course, you can remove the skins and you can't remove the scales. Knowing her and listening to her comments, I think the right pair of waxless skis will be a better fit than the Liv with a kicker skin.
CwmRaider wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2023 8:06 am
Regarding hostility to telemark technique - with this kind of skis Telemark can be a means to an end, the stance gives huge front to back stability both skiing straight in uneven snow, and in turns. I tend to use whatever ski techniques work best at any given time, and the result is an eclectic combination of all kinds of ski hacks, telemark included.

TN66 crown vs Åsnes Liv ->
TN66 crown has a lot of rocker --> TN66 has easier turn initiation at the cost of deep snow XC performance and XC versatility in variable snow conditions
TN66 crown has more sidecut --> further facilitation of turns
TN66 is waxless, does not accept short skins. Åsnes liv is waxable and can be used with short skins.

So from your description, I second @spopepro 's recommendation of Transnordic 66 crown. But only if waxless is a must. It was a must for me until I taught myself to be happy with hard grip wax + skins.
I know she likes some camber - though she doesn't know that she likes camber. Though I don't think she'd like a double-camber ski. It really sounds like that TN66 is a good option but it doesn't look as if it comes in anything shorter than a 180. She'd take one look at 180 cm and start talking about how short skis... I guess I felt the same way when I got my first set of long skis, but within a few minutes they didn't feel long anymore. But I am highly motivated. She just wants to get out in now-and-then when conditions are good. Maybe her original Spider OTX is a better choice and by getting her 'better' equipment I just messed things up!
Veni, Vidi, Viski



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