High-tech cross-country skis tell you where to put the wax


February 13, 2014

The new microchipped skis are designed to take the guesswork out of waxing (Photo: Madshus)

The new microchipped skis are designed to take the guesswork out of waxing (Photo: Madshus)

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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

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth
1 Comment

Or just use one of the new all condition waxes like Maxiglide and it doesn't matter if conditions change, you'll always have the correct wax.

Frank Cianflone
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