Narrow profile in the tip
My aging fleet of skate skis had been reduced to a single race-ready pair by the end of last year, so it was time to pick up another pair. Over the past couple years, I heard nothing but praise for the Salomon Equipe 10 Skate, so I asked Dick Fultz at the Cross Country Ski Shop in Grayling, MI pick out a pair for me.
I'm just going to take Dick's description on the web site:
"For the base, Zeolite is added to the graphite which improves wax absorption and retention. (No one does a better diamond base grind than Fischer, even on their competitor's skis). Speed in softpack while maintaining stability in hardpack is achieved with a low but stiff and reactive camber (laminated carbon reinforcements). The javelin skating sidecut makes this ski insanely quick edge-to-edge and the Aerolite core adds world-class lightness."
Overall, the performance description is accurate!
Where's the Tip?
The most striking appearance about the ski is the minimal tip. There is none! Well. that's a bit of an exaggeration, but as the first couple of photos show, the tip is significantly narrower than other skis on the market and features an exceeding small upturn.
I was a little worried about the small rise in the tip. What if I ran into deep snow? Would the tip bury itself? Wouldn't a more rounded tip be safer?
Turns out, this has not been a problem. In fact, the few times I have caught the tip in soft snow at the edge of the trail, it seemed easier to pull it out on the fly than some older racing skis I had with a more pronounced, rounded-up tip.
A very small upturn at the tip!
The skis weigh in at 1050 grams (according to Salomon) or 1184 grams for a 186cm pair (according to the Cross Country Ski Shop, who independently weigh the skis), typical of high end racing skis.
But the skis feel lighter. I think this has to do with the javelin tip. The front of the ski is so light that swing weight is greatly reduced. The skis feel light under foot and are highly maneuverable.
The Equipe 10 Skate have a sidecut of 41/43/42/44 mm. The sidecut makes the skis easy to turn on the downhills.
The bases were very flat and the groove perfectly smooth. I purchased the cold base model since we tend to have many cold races in Michigan. I also figured it was much easier to put a warmer structure into a cold grind ski that the reverse!
So How Do They Ski?
Like a dream! The skis track very well, feel stable, and have felt great in both hard pack and soft pack conditions I've tried so far. The skis have a low but stiff camber. I think keeping the combination gives it the stability.
I have not had an opportunity to test them in rock-hard conditions nor wet, melting snow.
In cold snow - where I've spent the most time skiing on them - the skis are rocket ships! Wax 'em up with some Toko LF Blue or HF Red/Blue, and they fly!
Cold base, 186 length.
These skis have been a joy to ski on. Others who have tried my skis have also remarked on their performance and light feel. I've been very happy with my purchase!
[One last note: Salomon Equipe skis are made by Fischer to Salomon's specs. Next year, however, the skis will be made by Atomic because Atomic now owns Salomon. If you want the Fischer product, buy them now!!!]