Of all the new skis in the shop this fall, the RED series skis from Madshus are generating some of the most interest and buzz. These skis were introduced on the World Cup about half-way through last season and have arrived on the retail market a year ahead of schedule. In many cases, a major product launch, such as this, is met with scepticism as to the impact of the changes. But the RED series of skis are not hype; they are the real thing. The RED skis are revolutionary not evolutionary. Let us help you understand why.
|Madshus REDline classic cold|
The RED stands for "Race Engineered Development" and is a true representation of the Madshus development process. More than any company, Madshus works directly with a small group of athletes and testers to provide feedback on the skis and ensure they are building exactly the product that optimizes on-snow performance. With a mandate to build around the finest materials, regardless of cost, the RED series has been in development for more than three years and makes use of a great deal of new technology.
At the onset of the RED project, Madshus invested a massive amount of money in advanced 3D modelling the CAD engineering. This allowed the engineers to do "virtual prototyping" and test the results of their designs before having to ever build a physical product. This is a big change for the ski industry and greatly reduces the time of the development process. Hence, the skis have arrived to market a year early. Additionally, the virtually prototyping process has allowed Madshus to design the RED series with no compromises. In other words, the marginal cost of testing one more idea was low and Madshus tested tirelessly until both the engineers and the on-snow testing team was satisfied.
The RED skis make use of a variety of new materials that represent a major change in ski production.
- The development of a new fiberglass reduces the volume of material required by 40% while adding strength and reducing weight.
- New carbon laminate sheets have less "string" and more Carbon which adds strength and reduces weight. Additionally, the new Carbon sheets can be wrapped around the edge of the ski, increasing torsional strength in ways not possible before.
The RED skis have a radically different geometry (shape of the core and overall ski) with a significantly altered thickness profile of the skis both in the tip/tail and also in the bridge. The difference in tail thickness is illustrated below to moderate effect (click on the picture to enlarge).
|Madshus Nanosonic classic cold above, Madshus REDline classic cold below: note the dramatically thinner tail profile in the REDline ski.|
The most dramatic impact of the RED project is with respect to the classic skis
- The extremely thin tip and tail results in a much softer feeling ski with increased smoothness and a silky feel to the glide.
- A redistribution of the material in the bridge results in the thickest point being near the front of the foot, as opposed to near the heel. This new geometry allows for a higher cambered ski compared to previous models (which keeps the wax up off the snow) while improving kick. The best of both worlds!
- The action of the pocket is elastic and extremely easy to kick.
- The stability of the ski is excellent... maybe the best of all classic skis.