Update for 2013-2014 here: Madshus RED Series Skis

Overview – Madshus has been manufacturing cross country skis in Norway since 1908. Visiting the factory is like stepping into a Volkswagon commercial – the environment is bright, clean, and has a high degree of automation. During the past few seasons, Madshus has made considerable changes in the design of their skis and the current product is not comparable to that from even just a few years ago.

Heat Damage – Madshus skis have a reputation in Canada for being susceptible to heat damage. By improving tolerances for the density of the core, Madshus has addressed this problem to a certain extent. However, unlike other brands, the core of the skis is foam and does not absorb heat. Contrary to the popular practice of using extremely low iron temperatures. Madshus skis should be ironed using a temperature that will allow the wax to melt quickly and easily (i.e. hotter than you might think). The wax should be ironed in a single continuous pass (no going back to fix “mistakes”) and the skis allowed to cool before further heat is applied.

The Madshus Skier – Madshus skate skis are made for active skiing. They build speed from stride to stride and are noticeably quick as they are transitioned onto edge. The classic skis have some of the longest wax pockets in the industry and have an exceptionally supple feel.

The Madshus skier will be someone who skis with energy, as distinct from power. Their turnover will be high and they will be quick and light on their feet. If Lance Armstrong was a cross country skier, he would probably do well with Madshus.

Madshus Skate Skis

*116 (regular conditions) – Designed as a ski for universal conditions, this model does not see a lot of action on the World Cup. The resting camber is very high and the finishing stiffness is very soft. This results in an active, lively ski with a smooth feel. This model also features 4mm of sidecut (the others are straight) which provides a very secure feel, even in the most tricky of conditions.  

*118 (universal cold) – Marketed by Madhsus as a hard pack ski, it would be more appropriate to think of this as the universal cold ski. This model has a high resting camber, a medium finishing stiffness, and is by far the most used Madshus skate ski on the World Cup.

119 (universal warm) – It is best to think of this model as the universal warm ski. A low resting camber and a stiff finishing flex, as well as a softer tip, combine for excellent feel in slightly softer conditions. The light front end and focused pressure distribution mean excellent speed as the moisture content of the snow increases. 

Madshus Classic Skis

*102 (universal hardwax) – These hardwax skis have the longest pocket available and a camber that is high at rest, but low under load. This makes for a smooth, active feel that is easy to kick in a moderately forward position. These skis are at their best in colder conditions, but will work well right into red hardwax if picked with enough stiffness.

103 (plus conditions) – With a very different feel from the 102 model, the plus ski has a much lower resting camber that stays high under load. This is very effective in keeping warm hardwaxes and klister up off the snow and allows for excellent free glide. This ski has a short pressure distribution and quite a lot of tip splay, making it excellent it high moisture conditions.

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