Built for Cross Country Speed: New Madshus Terrasonic Intelligrip Classic Ski
By Everett Potter
My life as a skier began on a pair of skinny skis on some rolling hills in central Wisconsin when I needed a break from the books during graduate school. It was pretty much love at first sight and while I’ve spent most of the ensuing winter seasons on alpine slopes, I’ve never given up my fondness cross country skiing (even after getting my butt kicked skate skiing with a laughing Olympian, Todd Lodwick, in Steamboat a few years back).
The silence of the forest, the challenge of the hills when you have no edges, and the sheer aerobic bliss of the sport are addictive. But the gear left something to be desired. Those rail thin wooden boards that were made in Norway that needed to be properly waxed in order to glide morphed into wide, fish scale-coated classic skis that forsook the waxing but had all the dynamism of a pair of two by threes strapped to your feet. Change is welcome, especially when it comes to outdoor gear that radically raises your level of enjoyment of the sport.
Cross country gear has been transformed and the new Madshus Terrasonic Intelligrip Classic Ski are a good example. I’ve used them on the tracks but they’ve been designed for “for race-ready classic ski performance.” They’re fast and responsive, even if I don’t foresee a race in my immediate future. They may be waxless skis, but they utilize something that Madshus calls Terrasonic IntelliGrip. In layman’s terms, it means they are the only ski to feature an IntelliGrip skin integrated into the base. That skin is comprised of a mohair/nylon blended skin that’s embedded in the base construction of the ski. There’s no need for kick wax, these things grip and then glide the way they were designed to. At a list price of $370, these are clearly aimed at skiers who are keen on raising their performance and leaving the wax in the basement.
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