High-tech cross-country skis tell you where to put the wax
By Ben Coxworth
February 13, 2014
The waxing of cross-country skis can be a tricky business. Not only do you have to determine the proper hardness for the snow conditions, but you also need to make sure that the grippy kick wax and the more slippery glide wax each end up being applied to the proper sections of the ski. Norwegian ski manufacturer Madshus has set out to simplify the process, with microchip-equipped skis.
With each set of skis, details on their production materials, proportions, design and other parameters are stored on their embedded chip.
When the user goes to wax the skis before an outing, they start by wirelessly accessing that chip using the SmartSki app on their smartphone. Once they've entered their height and current weight on the app, it responds by showing them exactly where each type of wax should go.
Additionally, using the phone's GPS, the app is able to produce mapped records of each outing for future reference.
Along with its use by ski owners, the technology could also be used by people who are shopping for skis. It's envisioned that if they were to tell a salesperson their height and weight, that person could use the app to assess different sets of skis, in order to find the one that's best suited to that customer.
Madshus expects its first chipped skis to be available starting this autumn (Northern Hemisphere).
... and just to stir things up a little, at least one researcher claims that cross-country skis work better with no wax.
Source: The Research Council of Norway