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Åsnes is a renowned Norwegian brand that has a history of producing high-quality skis for touring and mountaineering for over 100 years. The brand was established by the Åsnes family in 1922, and in 1933, they built their first factory.

The company expanded over the years and experienced significant success, manufacturing over 137,000 pairs of skis in 1977. However, the beginning of the 1980s was a challenging time, and in 1998 the company declared bankruptcy. This led to the establishment of a new company called Åsnes Ski AS. Currently, Åsnes Ski AS is a subsidiary of Active Brands AS, which continues to operate the brand.

Today, Åsnes is a world leader in the production of backcountry nordic skis, also known in Norway as “fjellski,” and is the preferred choice for skis among polar expeditions worldwide. Additionally, the brand is a distributor of trap brands such as Colltex and Pomoca. Åsnes is famous for its alpine and cross-country skis, touring poles, and patented trap lock introduced in 2003.

Apart from skis, Åsnes also produces other ski-related equipment such as bindings, poles, and skins. The company has a strong focus on sustainability and uses environmentally friendly materials and production methods wherever possible.

Åsnes has a long history of supplying the Norwegian military with skis, and the brand is also popular among international expeditions and adventure skiers. Despite the production being moved out of Norway, Åsnes still designs and constructs its skis in Voss, Norway, and continues to be a market leader in mountain skiing and leading other developments in the category.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of skis does Åsnes offer?

Åsnes offers a wide range of skis, including cross-country skis, telemark skis, and touring skis. Many of these skis are designed for off-trail use and are known for their durability, stability, and versatility.

What materials are Åsnes skis made of?

Åsnes skis are made of different materials depending on the model and purpose of the ski. Most of their backcountry touring skis use a combination of lightweight wood cores, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and other materials to provide durability, stability, and performance in varied snow conditions. Their cross-country skis, on the other hand, are often made with lightweight materials such as foam cores, carbon fiber, and/or honeycomb structures to maximize speed and efficiency.

How long do Åsnes skis last?

The lifespan of Åsnes skis depends on the model and usage. However, most Åsnes skis are built to last for several years of use.

What is the difference between Åsnes touring skis and backcountry skis?

Touring skis are designed for cross-country skiing over flat or rolling terrain, while backcountry skis are designed for more challenging terrain, such as steep slopes and deep snow.

Can you explain what a ski skin is?

While skins may seem like simple strips of carpet with glue on the back, they are actually complex tools that can greatly enhance your backcountry skiing experience. Made from a combination of mohair, nylon, or a blend of the two, skins feature directional fibers that allow them to grip the snow while you ascend and release it while you glide downhill. The glue on the back is specially designed to stick to your skis, while still being easy to remove and store. With proper care and maintenance, skins can last for multiple seasons and provide a valuable tool for exploring the backcountry.

What is a short skin, and what is the purpose of using it?

Åsnes, along with other ski manufacturers, began experimenting with short skins in the 1970s and 1980s. The main objective was to create a skin that would provide good grip in all conditions and enough glide while skiing. The length of the short skin was standardized to be slightly longer than the size of an average wax pocket on cross-country skis designed for the mountains (known as fjellski in Norwegian). Åsnes intentionally makes their skins a little long so that users can customize the length to suit their weight, technique, and preference. Unlike grip wax, skins are not temperature-sensitive, making them a versatile and dependable solution for all weather and conditions. Short skins can be compared to universal wax as they perform well in all conditions.

When is it appropriate to use short skins?

The short skins provided by Åsnes are a reliable and versatile solution that can be used in various conditions during cross-country skiing in the backcountry. They require little maintenance and are considered standard equipment for all Åsnes BC skis. Short skins are particularly useful in deep snow, on long tours, and when waxing is challenging, as they provide a solid grip under the ski without significantly impairing glide. They can also be attached permanently under the ski, on top of hard grip wax, or for those who want a little resistance on difficult descents. The Åsnes short skin has become the industry standard, with a tested insertion and attachment system that has been put to the test in some of the world's most hostile environments.

When it comes to choosing between short skin and long skin, what are the factors to consider?

Short skins are a must-have for any mountain adventure. They can save you a lot of energy if your wax fails or if you need to climb. Additionally, they're a convenient solution for getting grip without waxing your skis. On the other hand, long skins offer more resistance and grip, making them ideal for steep terrain. However, they may not be suitable for flatter terrain unless there are specific circumstances that require them.

What are some guidelines for using functional skins?

Skins are a wonderful tool for experiencing nature, but there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure they perform well. Here are some guides for using functional skins:

  1. Keep the adhesive clean and dry.
    Keeping the glue free of dust, dirt, vegetation, stones, and other debris is crucial to keeping your skins performing well.
  2. Remove ice and snow from the glue.
    Snow and ice can accumulate on the glue in the mountains. Brushing it off with a glove or scraping the back of the skin with a steel edge can usually remove it. Alternatively, folding the skin up and placing it in an inside pocket can allow the ice and snow to melt and the glue to warm up and become sticky again.
  3. Keep the skin warm in cold conditions.
    When it's very cold, the skin may become stiff and the glue may not stick to the ski. To warm the skin, store it in your jacket or inner pocket when not in use. If temperatures are below -15°C, keep the skin in your inner pocket to keep it warm.
  4. Establish good routines.
    Glue tends to fail first at the back of the skin, near the attachment. Check your skins regularly, removing any debris and storing them in an inner pocket if necessary. It's also a good idea to bring skin wax and glue for spot repairs in the field.
  5. Have emergency solutions on hand.
    In case of a skin emergency, ski straps, gaffa tape, or sports tape can save the day.
  6. Keep skins dry.
    Wet snow can cause skins to become damp and attract ice, especially if temperatures fluctuate. To prevent this, apply skin wax or glide wax to protect the skin and improve glide. Between uses, allow the skins to dry and warm up in your inner pocket.
  7. Deal with icing on the skins.
    If your skins become covered in ice, scrape away what you can with a steel edge or other tool, then apply skin wax liberally. If you don't have skin wax, use Vaseline, sunscreen, silicone, or cooking oil. When cleaning off the wax, use a rag instead of spraying base cleaner on the skin.
  8. Dry skins at room temperature.
    Always dry skins before storing them, but avoid exposing them to direct heat. Hang them on a drying line at normal room temperature, and store them somewhere cool and away from sunlight.
  9. Store skins properly.
    Most of us store our skins glue-to-glue, but when storing them for a long period, it may be best to use a mesh skin protector between them. Store your dry skins somewhere cool and away from sunlight, such as a cellar or garage.
  10. Re-glue skins when necessary.
    Eventually, glue wears out and needs to be replaced. Re-gluing a skin takes time, but it's much cheaper than buying a new pair.

What are the differences between Mohair, Nylon, and a mixture of the two?

When it comes to skin materials, each has its own unique advantages, disadvantages, and uses. Mohair has superior gliding ability compared to nylon, while nylon offers better grip than mohair. If you're looking for skins that can withstand wear and tear, nylon is the way to go, especially for expeditions or steep descents. On the other hand, if you prioritize excellent glide, mohair is your best bet, particularly on loose snow and cold tracks. For those who want a balance between durability and glide performance, a mixture of mohair and nylon is an excellent compromise. Typically, mixed material skins contain 60-70% mohair and 30-40% nylon, providing the best of both worlds.

For your primary skin, we recommend a Mohair or Mix skin with a width of 45mm, which should be suitable for most skis. If you need additional skins in the future, you can consider purchasing a durable Nylon or a faster Race skin. If you primarily use short skins rather than wax, we suggest buying a narrower skin and trimming it for optimal glide. For longer trips, a combination of 2-3 skins at varying widths can create a highly versatile and reliable system. With this approach, you can have a bombproof setup that's capable of handling a wide range of conditions

Why my skin has fallen off?

Although skins can fail, there are steps you can take to fix them. One common issue is the skin coming off while hiking, especially on steep slopes or due to large temperature fluctuations or snow and water getting between the base and glue. Here's what you can do to remedy the situation:

  • Dry the skin either indoors, on your body, or in another dry location.
  • Ensure that the adhesive is clean and free of dirt, snow, ice, and water.
  • Heat the skin by keeping it in your jacket, holding it in your hand, or placing it indoors. The warmth should help the glue become sticky again.
  • Use a spare skin if you have one. It's always a good idea to bring extra skins on a tour.
  • In the worst-case scenario, you can improvise with tape or a tight strap until you return to your tent or cabin.
  • If your skin is worn out, applying new glue can give it a new lease of life.

What are some ways to achieve good glide?

Preparing your alpine touring, alpine, or freeride skis for optimal performance is a simple process that doesn't require much equipment. While the type of wax you choose is important, it's not the only factor to consider. By following these steps, you can enjoy better glide and protection:

  • Place the skis on a ski box with holes, ski vices, or a similar practical surface.
  • Remove the old wax before applying new wax. Use a soft wire or brass brush to clean the sole of debris and dirt and "exfoliate" loose, dry sole material to create a fresh sole that glides better.
  • Clean the sole with base cleaner and fiberlene paper.
  • Heat the wax using a wax iron or an old iron from a charity shop (avoid using the steam iron you use for your shirts).
  • For an all-round wax, use a medium-hard wax (such as red/pink/purple) that works for most people. Quick/universal glide or liquid glide can also be used when you're out in the snow, but they are less durable.
  • Let the wax harden for around ten minutes; placing the skis outside in the cold can speed up the process.
  • Scrape off the glide wax with a plexiglass scraper, ensuring that you remove as much as possible.
  • Finally, brush the sole until it's smooth and shiny. You can use a fine fibretex pad or cork to polish it up for an even shinier finish.

How are bindings typically selected for different types of cross-country skiing?

For narrow cross-country skis used on tracks and easy terrain, the typical binding pairing you'll see is NIS/NNN bindings with light and synthetic boots. If you're looking for slightly warmer boots and a more durable binding, BC bindings and boots are a good choice.

When it comes to cross-country skiing on mountainous terrain, BC bindings are the general choice for 90% of skiers. These bindings have a wider and sturdier design compared to the narrower NNN bindings. Some skiers touring for telemark turns prefer 75mm bindings.

On wider, more downhill-oriented cross-country BC skis with a waist of 60mm or more, we recommend using BC Magnum or 75mm/75mm cable bindings for optimal performance from your skis, boots, and bindings.

What is the difference between 75mm and BC bindings?

One advantage of the 75mm bindings is their flexibility. With the same bindings and skis, you can choose shoes with the stiffness that suits you. You can even select 75mm bindings with a removable cable, which offers greater flexibility in terms of boots and cables.

For broader skis and turns, 75mm bindings are recommended. Wider mountain skis with a waist wider than 60mm require greater stiffness in boots and bindings for proper steel-edge engagement. A stiff boot and 75mm cable binding are great for descents. Many 75mm cable bindings come equipped with plates and heel risers, making them more attractive for steeper skiing than BC bindings.

For comfort, hiking, and longer tours, BC bindings offer the best experience. The main focus is on comfort and distance, and BC bindings provide a much larger selection of compatible boots with more variation in stiffnesses, materials, and fits. This may make the choice a bit more challenging, but it increases the likelihood of finding the right boot.

The recommendation is to pair BC Magnum or 75mm bindings with stiffer boots on skis with a waist wider than 60mm. For those who prioritize comfort, frequent use, and longer tours, BC bindings offer the best experience.

What are the options available for BC bindings, and how do they differ from each other in terms of advantages and disadvantages?

BC bindings are popular for backcountry skiing and are available in three options: BC Auto, BC Manual, and BC Magnum. All three bindings have a metal-toe pin with a 37mm width, but they differ in their locking mechanisms and level of resistance. BC Auto is the simplest, requiring no hands to lock in, but can freeze and requires two hands to release. BC Manual is the best-selling binding, with a lever-operated locking mechanism that is resistant to icing and dependable, and can be released with one hand. BC Magnum is the most solid and stable, recommended for wider skis and can be driven quite hard with the right shoe. The resistance level can also be customized with a rubber flexor block mounted against the toe of the boot.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of telemark bindings compared to other types of bindings?

Telemark bindings, available in 75mm with three pins and cable options, provide stability and control for telemark turns. The 75mm bindings are recommended for wider backcountry skis and require boots adapted to the 75mm binding system. The standard 75mm binding is a classic and bomb-proof option, while the 75mm cable binding provides more stability, forward pressure, and control for aggressive telemark turns. The rigid 75mm binding, without pins, is suitable for downhill skiing with wider skis but may not be comfortable for distance hiking. The main disadvantage of telemark bindings is their weight and width, which can create resistance in deep snow.

What is Mountain Skiing?

Mountain skis differ from cross-country skis in several ways. They are generally wider, have a steel edge, and a wooden core. They also tend to have a more curved shape and a lower camber and grease pocket compared to cross-country skis. These features make them more versatile and suitable for varying conditions, including steeper terrain and deeper snow.

What is Top Touring Skis?

Top touring skis are designed to be significantly lighter, more forgiving, and versatile than traditional alpine skis. They are built to perform well in a variety of conditions, whether on or off-trail, and must be able to handle a range of terrain.

What is the best way to care for Åsnes skis?

To care for Åsnes skis, you should store them in a dry place away from direct sunlight, wipe them down after use, and apply wax to the base to protect it and improve glide. It is also important to have the skis regularly serviced and maintained by a professional ski technician.