Saturday, 5 October 2013

Madshus RED Series Skis

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 Skis

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. 
Due to the incredible consistency of the production and the revolutionary nature of the design, we are very excited about these skis and the opportunities they offer to skiers of all calibers.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Poles: what you need to know

Often overlooked, selecting poles is an important consideration in optimizing your skiing experience. Important considerations are weight, stiffness, strength, and comfort. Therefore, we must consider the shaft, handle, and straps.

Fast Trax carries a variety of poles from Swix, Salomon, and Madshus to ensure we can pick the perfect pole for your skiing needs.

For simplicity, this synopsis focuses on Swix poles. 


The shaft for the pole can be constructed of either a carbon composite or Aluminum. The most important shaft properties are stiffness, weight, and strength.

Composite Shafts:

The lightest shafts are made of 100% carbon fiber to reduce weight and maximize stiffness. However, 100% carbon shafts are easily damaged by sharp-edged impact and are prone to breaking in the event of a fall. By replacing some of the carbon fiber with fiberglass, the impact strength increases dramatically. Although the weight also increases, a blended shaft is a good choice for a junior racer or loppet skier who may take a tumble from time to time.

Aluminum Shafts:

When the percentage of fiberglass in a composite shaft reaches 60%, the weight becomes so high that aluminium is a better alternative. Aluminum poles are less expensive and much more durable than composite poles. This makes Aluminum a great choice for a skier who is just learning to enjoy the sport.


Handles are first and foremost a question of comfort. A soft handle feels better in the hand than a hard one. Also, a handle make of nature cork feels warmer than a hand made of plastic. The Swix handles are available in three versions:

PC - soft rubber grip zone that is comfortable with high durability. Available on the Comp pole.
PCU - cork filled, urethane grip zone with better insulation qualities and high durability. Available on the Cross and Carbon poles.
PCC - 100% natural cork grip zone, best insulation qualities, perfect felling in the hand, and lightweight. Available on the Team, Star, and Trian poles.


High level skiers have been using velcro straps for many years. All skiers can benefit from using this type of strap due to the additional feeling of security and control it provides. The velcro strap is standard for Triac, Star, Team, Carbon, Cross, and Comp poles.

Less expensive models offer simpler straps such as the traditional loop or shaped straps. Although these straps do not offer the same level of comfort and performance, they are fine for beginners.

Summary of Poles:

CT5 (Comp):
  • 50% carbon fiber
  • PC handle
  • Among the most durable composite poles
CT4 (Cross):
  • 65% carbon fiber
  • PCU handle
  • Compared to Comp: 10% lighter
CT3 (Carbon):
  • 80% carbon fiber
  • PCU handle
  • Compared to Cross: 11% lighter, 7% stiffer, 3% stronger
CT2 (Team):
  • 100% carbon fiber
  • PCC handle
  • Compared to Carbon: 15% lighter
CT1 (Star):
  • 100% carbon fiber
  • PCC handle
  • Until the introduction of Triac, the gold standard in poles for more than 10 years
  • Compared to Team: 4% lighter, 25% stiffer, 13% less strength
Triac 2.0:
  • 100% carbon fiber
  • PCC handle
  • The most technologically advanced pole on the market today
  • Compared to Star: 11% lighter, 19% stiffer, 11% stronger
  • Stay tuned to the blog for a detailed review of this amazing pole


At Fast Trax, our goal is to use our experience and knowledge to help you find what you need to enjoy your time on snow. We add value to our products by providing exceptional service to fit you properly and to simplify equipment and waxing, focusing on the following four categories of skiing for both adults and juniors in both classic and skating equipment. 

While there are an infinite number of options when selecting equipment the examples below are a good representation of what we have to offer. The examples are options from Fischer and Swix and are classic only for presentation purposes but we offer similar packages from Salomon, Madshus and Rossignol. (Pricing factors in the "in season" 10% discount but does not include gst.)
  • Sport touring ~ Fitness oriented skiers looking for a successful fitness outing in the snow.
    • Sound performance for skiers in search of exercise in the fresh air. The shorter length of the Fischer shortcut construction compared to traditional cross country skis gives you more stability and robustness and is the first choice for the athletic ski hikers who want to set off without a care in the world.
Fischer Sportglass or Fibercrown Ski with NNN Tour Binding,
Fischer XC Comfort Boot and Swix Nordic Pole - $382.50

  • Sport ~ Loppet novices to traditional classic and skate skiers ~ speed & control.
    • Sport category skis are particularly light and produce a very dynamic kick for sport loppet racers. As well leisure skiers can also achieve high speeds by channeling their strength efficiently and effortlessly.
Fischer SCS Classic Ski, NNN Exercise Classic Binding,
Fischer RC3 Boot and Swix Comp Pole - $598.50

  • Performance ~ Loppet racer to aspiring world cup athlete ~ speed & lightweight.
    • This enables performance-driven skiers to convert power into high speeds more efficiently than ever before.
Fischer RCS Classic Ski, Fischer Carbonlite Boot,
NNN Xcelerator Binding and Swix Star Pole - $1372.50

  • Ultra Performance ~ Loppet racer to aspiring world cup athlete ~ speed & lightweight.
    • True enthusiasts are interested in one thing more than anything else, speed and equipment naturally plays the decisive role here.
Fischer Speedmax Classic Skis, Fischer Carbonlite Boot, 
NNN Xcellerator Binding and Swix Triax 2.0 Pole - $1687.50

Ski Ready Service
Each pair of new skis purchased from our shop comes with the following;
  • Hot Box (sport and performance skis)
  • Glide Wax
  • Base Binder (classic skis)
  • Binding Mount
  • Ski Straps
  • Wax Clinic
  • Technique Clinic
Shop Specials
In addition to our preseason sale of 15% off the entire shop running from Tuesday October 15th to Sunday November 16th, we are also running a few specials;
  • Fischer RCS XC Ski Boots
    • Free Xcelerator Binding with purchase of Fischer RCS XC Ski Boots
      • Valid on 2013-14 adult models
      • Valid in shop until December 24th
  • Fischer Race Service Boots - 40% off - limited supply
Fischer Race Service Boots with Xcellerator Sole
  • Swix Triax Poles
    • Swix Triax 1.0 - 20% off
    • Swix Triax 2.0 - Free pole tube
Free pole tube with Triax 2.0
If you come in before the sale starts and you ask nicely we will extend the pre-season discount:-)

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Ski Season Has Arrived

Ski Wall

Boot Wall

Pole Wall

Wax Wall

Bag Wall
Roller Ski Wall

New Ski Tester
Stay tuned as we post more about the new arrivals such as the new Swix Triax 2.0, Fischer Speedmax, Madshus Redline and the Xcelerator binding from Rottefella.