Ski Review: Åsnes Storetind
•Width/sidecut profile: 103-68-93mm
- effective sidecut: 92-68-93mm
•Length: 172cm, 180cm, 188cm (I own the 188cm)
•Weight: 2.25kg per pair (180cm)
o sintered and waxable
o Skin-Lock/X-Skin insert
•Edges: full-length, wrap-around steel
o Rockered tip
o Low single camber (“Alpine” camber)- EDIT: camber-and-a-half
o Very slightly rockered tail
o Considerable Nordic-rockered tip
o Slightly Nordic-rockered tail
o Stiff and uniform flex throughout length
o Torsionally rigid
•Measurements from tail (188cm model):
o Balance point (BP): 92.5cm
o Narrowest point of sidecut (NPS): 83.8cm
o Boot-Center (BC) mark: 83.8cm
o Chord-Center (CC): 93cm
•Manufacturer’s recommended mounting point: pins on BP
•Current binding: Voile 3-Pin Hardwire
o Scarpa T4
o Alico Ski March
o Stiff, rigid and powerful edge-holding downhill ski- this ski wants to charge and carve.
o Superb stability, flotation and early-tip rise- especially considering its narrow waist.
o Fantastic and effortless turn initiation- the tip rocker shortens effective edge and moves binding point forwards
on effective edge.
o Fantastic full-length stability and support when cross-country (XC) skiing and climbing in deep snow- especially
considering its narrow waist.
o Excellent XC kick and glide (K&G) performance on deep soft snow:
On deep snow this ski feels completely balanced like a Classic XC ski.
In deep snow this ski tracks reasonably well- considering the sidecut.
On soft snow there is enough camber and stiffness to offer a decent XC kick.
o Poor XC performance on dense consolidated snow:
Too little camber to offer an effective XC kick on dense consolidated snow- feels somewhat “dead”.
The rockered tip makes this ski feel somewhat unbalanced when XC skiing on dense consolidated snow- the
rockered tip moves binding point forwards on the gliding surface of this ski.
This ski will not track straight when XC skiing on dense/consolidated snow- too much sidecut, too little
camber, no track groove.
BUT- still better XC performance on dense/consolidated than very soft-flexing XCD skis (e.g.
EXPERIENCES TO DATE
The Åsnes Storetind (Norwegian: Storetind = “big peak”) is a midwidth backcountry Nordic touring ski- with a design and performance focus towards Nordic downhill skiing. With the Storetind, Åsnes has capitalized on all of the Alpine ski tech development of the last 20 years- and designed a truly modern Nordic touring ski for mountainous terrain.
The Storetind has been recently redesigned and replaced with the Falketind 68 (“falcon peak”). The only significant change in the FT68- according to Åsnes- is the addition of the tip notch for attaching climbing skins. (With the bushwhacking that I do here in the Northwoods, I greatly appreciate the durability of the full-wrap steel edge.)
Åsnes describes the Storetind as a hybrid between a “fjellski” and a “toppturski”. (“Fjellski” translating to a traditional backcountry cross-country (BC-XC/XCD) ski; “toppturski” translating to Alpine touring ski.) In other words, the Storetind is intended to be a hybrid of sorts between a BC-XC ski and a BC-downhill ski. Hybrid “XCD” skis have been around for decades- the most notable being Karhu/Madshus’ XCD series and Fischer’s S-Bound series.
Most hybrid “XCD” skis have approached this design from the XC end of the spectrum- adding some downhill characteristics to essentially XC skis. With the Storetind, Åsnes has approached the “XCD” thing from the downhill end of the spectrum- capitalizing on the last 20 years of Alpine ski innovation.
How many big-mountain skis are there out there that are designed from a purely Nordic perspective? Don’t know how many- but, I am certain that the Storetind is designed for a Nordic binding and a Nordic skier. The Storetind does have boot-center (BC) mark on it, and can certainly be mounted and skied with an Alpine binding and boot. BUT- the design of this downhill-oriented ski is clearly intended for a Nordic binding and boot!
Åsnes’ Nordic mounting instructions are pins on balance point (BP). BP is traditionally a Nordic XC mounting point- for Classic K&G XC skiing. What comes next is pure engineering brilliance- following these mounting instructions puts my ball-of-foot (BOF) precisely on the narrowest point of the Storetind’s sidecut (NPS). With pins on BP- the Storetind feels like a Classic XC ski when XC skiing. BOF on the NPS makes this ski perfectly balanced when making telemark turns on dense/consolidated snow- this ski feels quick and turny on dense snow/consolidated snow. When making turns in deep soft snow, the stiff rockered tip adds early-tip-rise and supportive flotation- also making it feel like the mounting point has been moved back! Brilliant- and oh, so much fun!
As far as the XC part of this hybrid- the Storetind offers very good XC K&G performance on deep soft snow. The Storetind is stiff and supportive throughout its entire length- offering surprising XC performance for such a narrow-waisted ski- even in very deep snow.
To be quite honest I have always been a bit underwhelmed by the downhill performance of all of the hybrid XCD skis I have owned and/or tested (e.g. Karhu/Madshus Eon, Epoch. Annum; Fischer 78, 88, 98, 112). To date any of these that I have tried have offered only moderate downhill performance- and- here’s the real kick in the ass- often these skis have lost considerable XC performance in order to make them easier to turn!!! (And the ones that do offer some Classic XC K&G performance are often a real challenge to turn!)
The Storetind- for me- hits the “hybrid” XCD mark with a bullseye. The Storetind offers superb downhill performance- with more than acceptable XC performance on backcountry snow.
I have mounted the Voile 3-pin Hardwire binding on this ski. I am very impressed and pleased with this binding- it offers a perfect balance of XC and downhill performance for this ski and the terrain that I locally ski here in the NB hills: rolling, hilly terrain, with 350m hardwood ridges and steeply cut river and stream valleys/ravines. In 3-pin mode I can utilize the full XC capabilities of this ski and cover significant distances to access truly sweet remote lines. When I truly want to charge on challenging forested terrain, the hardwires are much appreciated!
The Storetind is 68mm underfoot. In today’s age of “go phat or go home”- 68mm is a meagre dimension indeed. I must admit to being very pleased with the stability and flotation of this ski in deep fresh snow. The Storetind has an extremely supportive flex- I can feel the entire length of this ski supporting my weight. All of that tip rocker produces highly effective early-tip rise- these ski rise up and plane very effectively at downhill speeds. Obviously these are not “powder” skis by modern standards- and if I had endless deep dry “champagne” powder to ski in, they would not be wide enough. But on the deep moisture-rich fresh snow of the Northeast- this ski offers very effective flotation. AND- WHOA- that narrow 68mm waist, coupled with ample sidecut and torsional rigidity allows this ski to hold a wicked edge on dense icy snow!
I have been using my T4 boot almost exclusively with this ski. (I have tested them with my leather Ski March boot, but I am having fit issues with this boot and therefore am not using them much. (I need to spend some time and focus breaking them in and customizing the fit.)) I can completely overpower and drive this ski with the T4- it is a perfect match. And the T4 with a 3-pin binding gives truly pretty decent XC K&G performance. This is a perfect balance for when I have to ski significant distance on my touring for turns. (This ski is incredibly light- and therefore, could be used with a XC boot and binding. But, it is a rigid and powerful ski- I personally need a Telemark boot-binding to take full advantage of this ski.)
The combination of hard grip wax and the integrated Skin-Lock/X-Skin kicker skins is ideal for my local terrain, snow and winter temperatures. I am ironing in Swix Polar to the entire base, applying kick wax to the “kick zone”. (I say “kick zone” but this ski really does not have a wax pocket like a double cambered ski.) I am using Swix Green and Blue as my kick waxes. I have not found any negative effects of applying the kicker skins over the harder kick waxes. I drop kick wax and switch to the kicker skin when the snow requires a softer wax/klister.
When the snow is very cold I am getting excellent climbing performance out of just grip-kick wax alone- certainly more grip than waxless scales. If I need more climbing traction the kicker skins are just the ticket!
I am thrilled with Åsnes’ Skin-Lock kicker skins (now redesigned as the X-Skin). I am using the kicker skin for both extra climbing traction and for when the snow requires a soft wax/klister. The kicker skins allow me get away without needing soft kick wax/klister and/or waxless scales.
My favourite Skin-Lock for this ski- by far- is the 60mm Mohair.
I have been testing this ski back-to-back with my 162cm Kom. Here are some comparisons:
•The Kom- despite being wider- allows for much tighter, smeary turns.
•The Storetind is faster and more powerful- it wants to charge and carve.
•The Storetind holds a better edge.
•Flotation seems to be about the same between the two skis.
•The Storetind is a MUCH more efficient XC K&G ski.
I am truly impressed.
April 25th (and still skiing!), 2018 https://www.asnes.com/produkt/storetind-carbon-2/