Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Product Review: Peltonen Skis


"Are those new Peltonens?!?" was the question I heard at least four times while waxing at Eastern Highschools. Yes! They are!

Alpina is bringing in Peltonen skis to the U.S. now, I'm not sure if Alpina is the only distributor, but the U.S. hasn't seen new peltonens in many, many years. The only world cup skier I could find currently on Peltonens is Ville Nousiainen, a Finnish skier, and he is pretty fast. Of course, Sam Morse also skis on Peltonens, and he is also pretty fast.

Peltonen claims to be the world's first XC skis with nanotechnology, using Hybtonite. I don't know what Hybtonite is, but it has a nice feel on my tongue when I say it. Anyway, they have extra light tips and tails, and three profiles-- wet, universal, and warm. I assume each of these comes with a factory grind, but people tend to not stick with those nowadays. They also have an optional NIS plate, which might be becoming a standard thing out there, I'm not sure.

Alright, on to the actual testing part. Skate skis: These skis were very nice. I compared them to my Atomic RS11s and some old Fischer RCS skis that I still race on. In terms of weight, they felt comparable to the Atomics, which are lighter than the Fischers (granted, I was just holding them in my hands). On snow, the factory cold grind was running pretty even with the Q1.3 grind on my Atomics from Zach Caldwell. The conditions were pretty sugary, and the flex was just about perfect for those conditions, resulting in my rocket skis during the Sugarloaf Marathon. I felt comfortable enough on these skis after 15 minutes of skiing that I chose to race on them, and I am very glad that I did! The downhill cornering and tracking was very good--I felt like I had a lot of control on all the hairy corners and switchbacks, and the skis felt light underfoot, allowing for some quick movements. On the flats and uphills, they were fast and stable, but not too stable. They felt pretty lively, unlike my Fischers, which are probably too soft, or any of the Rossignol skis I've tried, which feel like blocks of wood strapped to my boot. Overall, I'd say that they feel most like Atomic skis.

Classic skis: I have to be honest, I was using a powder ski in klister conditions... the review isn't going to be stellar. These skis felt very similar to Madshus classic skis, with a nice pocket despite being pretty soft skis. I had good control on the downhills, with the skis responding similarly to skate skis on the corners. They were a little draggy, but we all know that is what happens when you klister up a soft ski. The factory cold grind was definitely not agressive enough for the slush I was skiing through, so saying that they were slow is hardly fair.

Overall, I would give the skate skis an A+ (the + comes from the fact that they were so much faster than everyone around me at sugarloaf on the downhills...), and the classic skis get an A-, with the - due to the dragginess, which is because I was using a powder ski on a klister day. dummy. Very light, responsive skis, that were fun to ski on. Hopefully these skis will be available to the public pretty soon. I think they will have very competitive prices, since that seems to be one of the goals of this little Finnish company. I think I will be skiing all on Peltonen by next year!

10 comments:

Jess said...

Ok get prepared for a rant from the scientist part of me:

Nanotechnology is such a bullshit buzz word as it is used by marketers these day. As a researcher who works with real nanotechnology, I pretty much want to jump off a building now that I hear ski companies using the word. People think nanotechnology is this magical science that's gonna save the world. Hell nowadays anything that has some passing relation to being nanometer sized (1,000000 times smaller than a millimeter) gets branded as being magical nanotechnology.

Phew... sorry for that. Yay for Peltonens back in the US!

Jess said...

OK OK I did some research. Hybtonite is an epoxy resin with.... dun dun dun... carbon nanotubes. A carbon nanotube is like a paper towel tube made out of carbon atoms and really really small. It's the ugly cousin of the bucky ball.

When scientists came up with carbon nanotubes they thought they were super cool. But since you can't really control their formation, they haven't really presented us with any good uses yet. Some people think that they'll provide strength (like the strength of a diamond or your carbon fork) to a material, but I have my doubts.

I guess in this case Hybtonite can really claim to be a nanomaterial, but it's definitely not gonna save the world =)

Alex said...

All I ask of my skis is that they go really fast... no saving of the world necessary...

Luke S said...

If these skis are good and end up being cheaper than the hyperexpensive ones out there now, I might have to buy a pair.

Jamie said...

Well, these sound a lot better than my old Peltonen skate skis. They were definitely fast but so squirrelly that you weren't sure where you'd end up on downhills and corners sometimes.

Alex said...

Luke, the skis are good, for sure. I don't know how much they retail at, but I can guarantee it will be less than the Fischer Carbonlites...

Jamie, I thought these skis were very good on corners and fast downhills. According to my GPS I hit 35 mph during the Sugarloaf marathon, and I never felt out of control. I liked that I had good control on the downhills but still a fun ski on the uphills. I also have a pair of Peltonen "skate racing" skis from probably 1988... they are flexed for someone at least thirty pounds heavier than me! But they do the trick for rock skis...

Luke S said...

Well, now that the Atomics and Rossi's are both $500 a pair...

Anonymous said...

See here or here

Christopher Tassava said...

That's a nice review. And they sound like great skis. Now I wonder, though, about the skis you have used at each race. Being newly re-involved with racing, I'm trying to get a better handle on the ski-choice issue.

(That said, I must not have my priorities in order, because the reason I'd want to get Peltonens is that they're Finnish. Being cheap - like your average Finn - doesn't hurt. I still have a pair of Karhu blues in my ski bag - without bindings, unfortunately.)

Colin R said...

I'll be interested to see how much the Peltonens actually sell for. Back when I was in high school Great Glen carried Peltonen and they were the most expensive ski in the store, $500 for the race skate skis when Fischers were $440 or so.

So while I do think that lower prices would be nice, 1) they certainly weren't cheap 10 years ago and 2) who the hell pays retail anyway?

Oh and 3) add word verification so your blog stops getting spammed.