Skin skis outglide even double-pole skis

Skin skis outglide even double-pole skis
Erik Wickström was 11th at Holmenkollmarsjen 2019 using Madshus Redline Intelligrip skin skis.

Erik Wickström (SWE) debuted to eleventh place in Holmenkollmarsjen on Madshus Intelligrip®skin skis.

Wickström (SWE) was only six minutes behind the winner and the podium in the 52-kilometer classic marathon in Oslo on Saturday. The race featured plus/minus 1 degree Celcius and soft, wet snow and strenuous conditions.

Complete results 

The accomplished marathon racer and cross-country ski coach proved that Madshus skin skis are on par with and in some parts of the course even outperform traditional classic skis and double-pole skis.

Wixkström, who hung on the lead group for almost half of the race, is impressed with the glide.

“The difference in glide performance was quite large among the top racers in different parts of the course, given elevation variations of more than 400 meters. My skis outglided my competitors particularly at the top of the course. Overall, I would say my skis were slightly better than the average among the top 25 finishers, of which half were using double-pole specific skis and no kick wax. Even compared to those skiing completely without kick wax, my skis held up well on the downhills, says Wixkström, who is confident that skin skis will be far more prominent on the racing circuit in the future.

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The prominent marathon racer is thrilled with the glide the skin skis provided, and don’t think his skin skis were any slower than traditional classic skis or even double-pole specific skis.

“I’m sure my skis were as good as those who had opted for traditional klister skis, and I’m happy with my choice of skis for the race. The only other option for me was double-poling the whole race, since I haven’t done any diagonal striding in races for the past four or five years,” Wickström says.

However, if the conditions are similar for Vasaloppet in three weeks, he will opt for double-pole skis over skin skis.

“Striding was really hard on my arms, and I was totally spent when I had to let the lead group go after the first 20 kilometers.”

Rune Malo Ødegaard won the race in 2.36:58. Wickström clocked in at 2:43:16.

Prerace prep:

  • Wickström had prepped the glide zones with a homemade steel scraper borrowed from a friend.
  • After scraping, Wickström rilled the glide zones with a coarse structure, using a threaded rod from the local home improvement shop.
  • A wax tech from Borås (SWE) put a liquid glide wax and powder onto the glide zones.