Picking up Madshus skis
When I picked up a pair of Madshus skis at the American Birkebeiner expo, I almost threw them in the air they were so light. You know that feeling when you anticipate something heavy and you brace to pick it up only to find it is much lighter than expected? That is how I felt when I first handled the skis.
They felt this way for good reason. Madshus nanosonic skis are the second lightest cross-country ski on the market. The first is also made by Madshus. Madshus is located in the Nordic skiing homeland of Norway, and they have been around since 1906. The name of the company is pronounced like matches, except the us is enunciated instead of an “e” sound at the end. They produce all of their skis in Norway with the finest materials available.
I could not wait to try them on, and I did not have long to wait. Less than 24 hours later I was at the start of my third Birkie with the Madshus skis, shoes, and poles ready to go. I really wanted to beat my time of the previous year of 5:34 minutes, but with over 15 inches of fresh snow on the ground from a blizzard that struck two days before, I knew this was not going to be easy.
Last year, I borrowed a pair of Fischers skis. They were fantastic and had great glide thanks to the fantastic work of Devils Track Nordic in Grand Marais, Minnesota who hot waxed my skis a couple of days prior. I did not get a good kick wax going as I did this myself, and it was my first time using wax, so it was no surprise that it did not go well.
Ben from Madshus skis told me via email that they would make sure the skis were waxed prior to the race. It did not take long to find out that they did a tremendous job on both the kick and the glide.
Wax on/wax off
For those unfamiliar with waxing, there are two important techniques. A glide wax is applied by a hot iron and helps keep your glide going downhill. A kick wax is applied to the are just under your feet and grips the snow and gives you momentum especially going uphill and on flat surfaces. If done right, but techniques save a lot of manual effort and help you go faster and save you much needed stamina for the 54 kilometer Birkie Race.
I had never skied with a good kick wax. It was great how I could climb uphill sections with less effort. There were times where I was neck and neck with another competitor who was grinding away at the uphill sections while I nonchalantly kicked uphill with half the effort.
The Birkebeiner race
The Madshus skis also had a great glide that was equal to the Fischer skis from the year before. I made up a lot of ground on other skiers who on downhill sections were ahead of me by continuing my glide longer after they stopped and began kicking.
It was an interesting experience racing with two different kinds of skis over the last two years. I definitely give the nod to Madshus although the Fischer skis were great too. The Madshus are a little more expensive, but they are quality and worth it.
I finished with a time of 5:34, which was 3 minutes slower than last year. Even though I had a faster time on Fischer skis, I think when you weigh the variables; my performance from this year validates the Madshus skis.
Bad racing conditions
Everyone stated that the conditions were the worst for fast skiing that they had seen in a long while. I had breakfast the next morning with a Worldloppet Master skier Andy Johnsen who had just completed his 35th Birkie, and he said the conditions were the toughest he had seen. If anyone would know, it would be him.
Also, I was in better skiing shape last year. I got off to a slow start conditioning wise this year after December/January trips to Asia and Florida. Last year I did more running too, so I had better stamina last year.
Bottom line is Madshus Skis rock
The bottom line though is that Madshus skis are a pair I would recommend to anyone. I also was provided with a pair of boots and poles, and I was equally impressed with the performance of both. The poles were extremely light and the shoes were quite comfortable.
Madshus graciously lent me a pair of skis, boots, and poles for this year’s Birkie, which I returned the next day at the Sunday expo. Their generosity, which was great appreciated, did not impact my thoughts on this post. I am sold on Madshus, and I highly recommend if you are looking for a top quality ski that you give them a shot.
The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).
On the right sidebar is a donate button. If you would like to donate in order to support the site, it would be appreciated. All donations would cover travel expenses and improvements to make the site better.