Nordic ski selection is important – incredibly important. When I was coaching with the U.S. Biathlon Team, we spent more time trying to find the right ski for each athlete than we did testing grinds, hand structure or even wax. All of which are still really important.
The correct ski flex gives you that perfect ride that avoids a ski feeling “squirrely” (too soft) or unstable and slippery (too hard.) Instead it finds the ski that is just right. It’s the Goldie Locks conundrum of Nordic skiing.
So how do you find that perfect pair of skate or classic skis for you? While the Nordic ski industry has done its best to impart as much wisdom about their skis as possible, Madshus just set a new level of awesome with their eMpower system. Thanks to our relationship with Madshus, both of Jans’ Nordic locations – White Pine Touring and the White Pine Nordic Center in Park City, Utah have one of the few eMpower units in the country.
What Is Madshus eMpower?
Every pair of Madshus skis is embedded with an RFID chip that holds information on the camber height, flex, and other particulars to give a full profile of that specific Nordic ski. All the skis in our two shops are pre-loaded into the eMpower database, so that when a customer is considering a new pair of Nordic skis, we plug in the skier’s height, weight, and ability level. The machine then shows a list of appropriate Madshus skis based on your personal profile. It’s kind of the equivalent of a dating service to find the best match of skate or classic skis – only you won’t be stuck with a dinner bill.
What’s Does the eMpower system do for Me?
This changes the ski buying experience for our customers and fellow Nordic nerds. What the eMpower system does is help us, the Nordic experts, narrow down the seemingly endless selection of potential skis for you, while demonstrating that process in a visual medium. For the new skier, this additional information can help give a better understanding of all of the different variables that go into Nordic ski selection.
From World Cup Skiers to Weekend Warriors
eMpower is the natural extension of a system that Madshus used to track skis that the company distributed all over the world. The next logical step was to add ski information to these tracking tags. This means that the eMpower RFID chip is available not only in Madshus’ World Cup level skis, but also on skis built for the local racer and even the recreational skier.
The Madshus Hypersonic has been one of my favorite skate skis to put in the hands of those new to the sport of Nordic skiing, and now with the eMpower system we have one more layer to help match the right ski with the skier.
Skis will ski differently based on overall stiffness which needs to be matched with your weight. Other factors include camber height, the flex profile, and the type of ski (Redline vs. Hypersonic.) This is where your ability level is factored in. Medium – high camber skis with a more progressive flex tend to be more forgiving and run best in a variety of snow conditions. As a general rule, low camber skis are best on a hard track, and high camber runs best in soft conditions. The racer looking to expand their quiver can really benefit from the detailed information that accompanies each pair of skis.
The eMpower App
Madshus has created an app that helps you track each individual pair of skis, giving you the option to log every single kilometer of every single workout. The power of this app is in helping Nordic skiers select which ski from their quiver to use on any given day.
For example, Redline Cold skis with a medium flex run well in certain snow conditions, with certain waxes, or even on certain race course profiles. What does this mean to you, the consumer? No more guess work, just definitive and quantified feedback. This free app would have saved me from filling out countless spreadsheets late into the night during my coaching days.
When I first saw this technology at last year’s Outdoor Retailer Show, this is where I went from simply being impressed to pure, unadulterated disbelief. And that was when I decided that Jans needed not one, but two, of the limited number of eMpower machines in our stores.
The eMpower system has changed the Nordic ski buying experience. This technology, paired with the knowledge of our incredible staff at White Pine Touring and the White Pine Nordic Center, will make sure that you find the perfect Nordic ski package to meet your needs And if you don’t live in Park City, you can still choose from a great selection of Madshus skis through our online store.