For the 2013-2014 season, Madshus will have a new top-of-the-line skate boot called the "Super Nano". I've seen early stealth prototypes that weren't quite finished, but yesterday a box arrived with a pair of size 44's that looked ready to go.
Starting from the outside, before youven dig in to the goods, you see a very "sustainable" brown corrugated cardboard box - gone is the glossy box that is harder to recycle. Small thing, but it seems that the M company is doing their part to stay green with packaging.
Open the box and there's a little surprise; a mesh boot bag for storing the boots, or more likely a bag for carrying the damp and dire ski clothes after they've done their dirty duty. Another nice little touch. This is a pair of boots that will retail for over $700, so the nice little touches might be expected.
Boots and boot bag. Red is mostly black.
It's pretty obvious that in Madshus' case, the new "Red" program means a black boot. The upper of the boot still uses a generous amount of the durable and breathable Membrain fabric, and the interior space and construction look familiar to anyone who has worn the recent iterations of the Nano skate boot. The bottom section material is no longer the rugged "cordera-like" red fabric, but is instead a black shiny (almost patent leather shiny) material with a subtle "carbon weave" design in it.
The upper carbon cuff seems to be from the same mold as last year's boot, but with different trim finish, and the hinge pivot fasteners are the same.
From the front.
So where's the big magic? With the new Super Nano boot, the sole is the soul. The outsole and lower cuff are all a single molded piece of carbon fiber that extends from the forefoot to the heel and up and around the sides. It makes one really bad-ass stiff footbed! Easily the stiffest skating foot-to-ski connection I've ever experienced. This is the one thing that makes the boot expensive and high-tech and more noteworthy than the old Nano boot (which was and continues to be a great boot in its own right).
Fit... ...you gotta wear this thing, right? For me, this pair of size 44's is distinctly snugger and smaller-feeling than the 2012/13 Nano Carbon Skate boot that I normally wear. It feels a little narrower in the toe box, and generally feels like I'd like to move up a half-size.
My opinion? This is a super stiff, high performance racing skate boot. The cosmetics are good, and construction is top notch, as it should be in a premium boot. There's so little wiggle and play in the connection to the ski, that you'll notice it if your bindings are old and a little wiggly - something that most people never notice because of other bigger wiggles in the system. The connection to the ski, and transfer of skating force, is the best I've experienced. This will be a great skate boot for sprinters or short-distance racers.
Time will tell (and some long ski days, if I have a chance before this pair gets called back to the mother ship) if this super stiff footbed will be comfortable for long easy ski days, or marathons. My guess is that a well fitted insole, and good skate technique, will make the trade-off off of higher efficiency vs flex/comfort a good exchange.
The soul of the Super Nano is the sole.
One big wrap-around molded carbon fiber piece.
NOTE - This is a late prototype, and it's not a final thing (I'm told) so fit may be tweaked yet. Likewise the rubber NNN section will be fitted with the newest version with the lowered heel.
March Stone Grinding Schedule at Nordic Ultratune
You've been training this to get the most from your skiing, so make sure your skis aren't a limiter.
with a fresh grind and hotbox service. At Nordic Ultratune, a grind batch starts every Thursday and those skis are ready for shipping on the following Monday -- just 4 days later.
Return shipping is typically FedEx Express Saver, which is 3rd day delivery. So, skis that are shipped out on Monday will arrive back to you on Thursday.
Here's the upcoming service schedule at Nordic Ultratune. Use these dates to make sure you get your skis ready before your most important races.
- Skis in by Feb 28th will ship out on March 4th.
- Skis in by March 7th will ship out on March 11th.
- Skis in by March 14th will ship out on March 18th.
- Skis in by March 21st will ship out on March 25th.
There are still service batches scheduled before the end of the season. Whether you're prepping some spring grinds for the spring tour events, or getting skis ready for next season, it's a good time to get your skis ready.