Inside the factory: More speed with less effort
Discover the research and development process that brought about the new skate skis that helped secure the impressive gold medal in the 50-kilometer event at the 2019 FIS Nordic World Championships in Seefeld, Austria.
Madshus has put a lot of hours into the new skate skis that earned the gold medal in the 50-kilometer race at the World Championships in Seefeld this winter.
“We had the 50-kilometer race at the World Championships as a hairy goal for the new Redline skate ski project. We worked really hard to make that deadline,” says Svein Ivar Moen, who is in charge of research and development for skis at the Madshus headquarter and factory in Biri, Norway.
“Throughout January, we were collecting feedback from the various racers who were involved in the testing for this model. Then, toward the end of January we had a 3-week period where a lot of pieces fell into place. We decided to put all our eggs in this one basket and went all in on that, so it was really awesome that we had such a success at the 50km race,” he says.
Part of an integrated process
Moen explains that the gold medal ski has several elements of new construction, both in the core and in the chassie, as well as new base materials, which is an ongoing project.
“Developing new skis is both a long term and a short term project. Some of the engineering that goes into the new skis that were used at the 2019 World Championships are concepts that we have been developing for three years. Other parts were elements that fell into place through feedback and testing. Yet other parts are little details we discover in the process, small things that can end up making a huge difference. The end result is a ski that is more responsive, and in short just gives you more speed for less effort,” he explains.
In these kinds of testing, research and development processes, a flexible production and quick turnover is key, so that the time from the field and testing feedback to the engineers in the lab to new prototypes is a fast as possible.
The Madshus engineering team recently finished the first sprint testing session, which started shortly after the World Cup was over in mid-March. Now, they will take all the field data, observations and racer feedback to the engineering lab and start analyzing the material. Then they will return to the snow for new rounds of testing throughout the spring and into the summer, testing new prototypes of the skis in different kinds of snow conditions and temperatures.
“The goal is that the new Redline skate ski that ships to retailers for the upcoming season will be even better. Additionally, we will look into whether the concepts for the skate model that won the 50-km this winter are transferable to the Redline classic skis. When we came up with the new skate ski this winter, that model was partly based on concepts from the new double-pole ski we developed for the Ski Classics marathons,” Moen says.
At the same time, the evolution of the skin skis is chugging along simultaneously.
“There are a lot of exciting things that are happening to the skins skis right now, which we will talk more about this fall.”
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