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!