Last week top American skiers like Jessie Diggins, Simi Hamilton, Matt Liebsch and Ida Sargent traveled to Canmore Nordic Center for Frozen Thunder. This past spring the Canmore Nordic Center stockpiled a massive pile of man-made snow and buried it under sawdust to protect it from the elements. The stockpiled snow was uncovered to create a 2.5 kilometer training loop which was also used for the Frozen Thunder sprints and time trial later in the week. For many skiers, Frozen Thunder is the first on snow training of the season, where top North American athletes get in some early season racing and citizen skiers get back their ski legs, renew friendships and their passion for nordic skiing.
Looking to build on the momentum of their historic world cup season last year, Jessie Diggins, Holly Brooks, Kikkan Randall, Ida Sargent and Liz Stephen of the US Ski Team are hard at work, preparing for the upcoming world cup season opener. Last Spring we asked top U.S. skiers what it feels like to race on their favorite skis. Here are a couple responses:
"I have raced on Salomon skis for my entire professional career and absolutely love them. This year, Salomon skis helped me towards 13 individual top 30 results on the World Cup. Salomons are fast, stable, and competitive both Internationally and on your local trails and races!"
My favorite race ski is a pair of skis that I got this year in Val Di Fiemme World Champs. The new air core ski just came out during this week, so I was really looking forward to using them. I didn't get a chance to do a skate race on them until Lahti, Finland in the skate sprint where I made my first top ten on the World Cup.
Fischer Skate Skis are fun because they come in all different stiffness levels with many different grinds. This particular pair of skis has become one of my favorite skis because it is considerably stiffer than any other pair I own. The best way I can describe the feeling is that it has a lot of "play". The harder you push off your ski, the harder it pushes back at you- and in response, the faster you can move across the snow. This makes a ski like this especially fun in sprint racing, because for three and a half minutes you have the energy to really push hard at that board! Every time I test my four cold skate skis the morning of the race, I always come back with the same response since I have gotten this new ski. "I pick the new one; it feels like I am having a party on my ski".
I encourage everyone to find their very own party ski so they can join the dance with all of us Fischer Athletes.
My favorite race pair is my pair of softground Salomon skate skis that I raced on in the World Championship Team Sprint. Kikkan and I won that race, getting the first Gold that US Cross Country Skiing has ever had, and my skis were a big part of getting that medal! I know they were the fastest pair in the world that day, because they were out-gliding every other country on the downhill and they climbed through the deep new snow effortlessly. I love how it feels to race of such a fast pair of skis; it feels like they are "giving back" to me every time I push off. The flex of the ski and the way it springs back means that it glides just a little farther every step up the hill, and it feels springy enough that instead of plowing into the snow it continues gliding. A good pair of skis, like my World Champs pair, also tracks really well on the downhills. They aren't squirrely, but continue in a straight line even when moving quite fast. I love this pair of skis and every time I snap the bindings down I get a boost of confidence, because I know my equipment is among the best in the world.
-Posted by Tony Mommsen on Oct 29th 2013