Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

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lilcliffy
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Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:07 am

I put the Fischer Traverse 78 and Excursion 88 to the real test over holidays.
Both 199cm.

I went on an overnight ski trip to a series of lakes in North-Central New Brunswick.
Full-on BC-XC skiing over frozen lakes on 12 inches of cold soft snow over 2 feet of frozen consolidated base.

Other skis for comparison-
Asnes Ingstad BC/Tonje BC
Asnes Gamme 54 BC (both last gen and current models)
Asnes Combat Nato
Fischer E-99 Tour Xtralite
Fischer E-109 Tour Xtralite
Madhus Eon Wax

Start with skis that were not better than the 78/88-
Fischer E-109- totally unstable in deep soft snow
Eon- unstable in deep soft snow

The Ingstad/Tonje was as good or better than the 78/88-
Better trail-breaking tip.
Lighter.
If the snow was not soft and deep the 78/88 would be beter than the Ingstad/Tonje- these skis have a much shorter glide zone on dense snow than the 78/88.

The E-99 and the Gamme 54 absolutely crushed all of these skis. Stable and fast.
The Gamme 54 more stable in deep snow and faster than the E-99.

The real surprise was the 78 vs 88...My mind keeps telling me that the wider 88 should be more stable and more efficient in deep snow than the 78 or even narrower skis- it isn't. I got mutiple skiers to test the 78 vs 88 and everyone preferred the 78- even when trail-breaking...And everyone agreeed that the E-99 and especially the Game 54 was the best...

I think that the only ski I can think of that would be even better would be an Asnes Amundsen...

My ski clan is keen to do more lake touring-
I may just have to get an Amundsen...
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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lilcliffy
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Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:13 am

Oh- and the Combat Nato was close to the E-99/Gamme 54- but not as fast.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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Re: Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

Post by MicahE » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:41 pm

Your recent comments/experiences within the Fischer line sure make me second guess buying the 78/88 in favor of getting the E99.

What terrain/conditions do you think the E99 would be worse than the 78/88's (if any)?

I finally found a boot that feels great, Alpina BC-1600. Skis are next.

Thanks

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lilcliffy
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Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:22 pm

Mathematically- one can get a shorter 78/88 and still have the same surface area of a longer, narrower ski like the E-99. I can understand one wanting a shorter ski for skiing in dense forest and/or skiing down tight, narrow trails.
But one is giving up a ton of XC efficiency for that shorter, heavier ski.

The problem is that the 78/88 still has camber, flex, and a geometry that is intended for XC skiing- a short 78/88 does not turn it into a downhill ski. AND- a short E-99 type ski is every bit as good downhill- if not better- than the 78/88.

I think that if the 78/88 are a better choice than the E-99 type ski- it must be in steep and/or tight terrain and cover. A long 78/88 doesn't make any sense to me- not when you can have a long, lighter and more efficient E-99.

And- if one is choosing a ski for steep and/or tight lines- there are much better skis now available...

I am starting to think that the 78/88 design is obsolete...
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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Re: Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

Post by fisheater » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:02 pm

Gareth, I have followed the 78/88 comparison for a while. I found your comparison to the Ingstad with interest. My thoughts have been that the Ingstad may be more versatile for XC with some D. My perspective is for XC through hilly county while getting some turns in on the D’s. I will add that my perspective is clouded by the fact I have a USGI for thin hardpack with exposed cobble. I guess while I would much rather have hardpack than nothing, if my skis were limited I would give up some hardpack touring performance for a better turning, better soft snow performance ski. For what it’s worth, the USGI turns fine on hardpack even with the Alaska/ NNN combo.
I am NOT buying any more Anses skis for a while. The curse for bringing Asnes ski south of 45 N is killing me!

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lilcliffy
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Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:24 pm

fisheater wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:02 pm
if my skis were limited I would give up some hardpack touring performance for a better turning, better soft snow performance ski.
Interesting...
I do get this- and I think many would probably agree with you on this.
I personally would have a hard time choosing...

I just came in from a truly unbelievable evening tour on my Gamme 54 BC...Swix blue heaven...
The skis were so fast- I felt like I could have jumped down into the valley and skied all the way to Fredericon tonight!!!

Although my Ingstad BC is my favorite XC ski (as the Annum/Guide was for many years)- it is owning a Gamme 54 that enables me to love it so much.

If I had to only have one for my BC-XC skiing in hill country- it would be my Gamme 54.

.................
For what it’s worth, the USGI turns fine on hardpack even with the Alaska/ NNN combo.
I am NOT buying any more Anses skis for a while. The curse for bringing Asnes ski south of 45 N is killing me!
We need to buy a house in Charlevoix and a helicopter.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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Re: Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

Post by Cannatonic » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:17 pm

>>The real surprise was the 78 vs 88...My mind keeps telling me that the wider 88 should be more stable and more efficient in deep snow than the 78 or even narrower skis- it isn't. I got mutiple skiers to test the 78 vs 88 and everyone preferred the 78- even when trail-breaking..

I like the profile of this ski - somewhat wide in the waist and not too much sidecut. One way to interpret this report is less sidecut is better. Deeper sideut comes from the modern era of ski resorts and up & down touring. You don't want a deep sidecut for straight-line XC travel.

It's surprising that the narrow Gamme didn't sink into the powder vs. the wider Ingstad. It shows there's more to float & stability than just width. Plus i"m guessing you have 205cm Ingstads so the Gamme are longer. I've noticed the extra length of 210's seems to act like a snow bridge and makes a big difference on staying on top of soft snow or crust.

The older Fischer Sbound 199cm has less camber than the Traverse and I hope they'll go back to that design. The older one feels more like a tele ski that still does well at XC due to the dimensions & length and being fairly light.
"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)

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lilcliffy
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Posts: 2443
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

Post by lilcliffy » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:52 pm

Did some more comparisons between E99s/Gamme 54s vs 78/88s on Sunday (skiing with friends that had both the 78 and 88). Deep cold snow- moderate terrain.

My current conclusion-
I really don't think that a long 78/88 makes sense to me anymore...
A 199cm 78/88 is heavier than a 200-210cm E99/Gamme 54-
the 78/88 do not offer better stability and float in deep snow-
the 78/88 are MUCH slower.

To me the primary advantage of the 78/88 would be in a shorter length so that they would be more maneuverable if one had to ski down steep and narrow trails...The camber and stiffness of the 78/88 allow one to get decent XC kick in a shorter package- giving up significant XC glide efficiency...
A trade-off that might be worth it depending on the context...

I guess what I am trying to say is if you are considering a "long" 78/88 to get maximum XC glide efficiency, then I strongly recommend looking hard at longer narrower ski (e.g. E99/Gamme) as well.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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Re: Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

Post by fisheater » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:22 pm

I have never even flexed a 78 or 88. What I am really surprised by is how much faster my 210 Gamme compared to my 200 cm USGI. It is really a significant difference. I haven’t had enough miles, but i am starting to believe the 54 mm underfoot Gamme is also much more stable underfoot on packed out uneven snow. Being more narrow underfoot allows less levering by hard tracked out trails. I need more miles, but it seems that way to me.

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Re: Lake-Skiing: Compact skis vs traditional skis (Fischer 78/88 vs E-99/Gamme 54)

Post by Cannatonic » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:40 pm

the music of the 70's was better than today but modern skis have improved a lot! :lol: :lol:
"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)

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