Hopefully my last gear question before I finally get some skis. From what I understand, the old Karhu Supremes are an older version of the Karhu 10th Mountain. I'm wondering what changed once the name changed to 10th mountain. I found supremes for a decent price but cannot manage to find 10th mountains, so I was thinking of getting a pair in 188 or 193cm for myself being 145-170lbs depending on whether I have a pack on. Is it worth it or should I be patient and find the 10th mountains that I've been looking for?
Karhu XCD Supremes?
Based on Pinnah's website I'm going to have to guess that those would be early 90's at the latest? He's got the date marked with a '?'
I like old cheap skis as much as the next guy but I'll throw in a note of caution: my buddy had a binding rip out half way through a hut trip on some old garage sale skis, which led me to bench test a pair of garbage bin Tua's that I had been using: I managed to rip off the binding and found dry rot in the core. Any old XCD/tele skis of this vintage that you're looking at should be cheap as chips and if well used may be partially decambered anyways. Unless they have a super stiff high double camber I reckon you should just buy a length that suits the terrain and intended use. By design. most skis of this style don't have a well defined wax pocket compared to track style classic skis.
Anyways, skis from that vintage may be solid, or you might be taking your chances 10km in from the trail head!
I just got a shiny new pair of BCX99 (the e99) that I'll be taking for their maiden voyage this weekend.
New from that vintage? Groovy! If you can physically check them out you should be able to get a sense of the camber (or lack thereof) with a hand squeeze test. Then if you want to know things in detail you can do a paper test or proper camber test to see. With any single camber or camber-and-a-half ski you will probably be able to compress the wax pocket pretty easily by a hand squeeze. This kind of ski will drag a fair bit on hard packed trails, but will likely work well for soft snow, breaking trail and climbing. If you struggle to squeeze the camber together with one hand you're probably looking at a reasonably stiff double camber which will kick and glide faster but negatively affect turning, climbing, and floundering around in deep bottomless snow (hard to compress a stiff camber on depth hoar). A stiff hand test result probably means that you might want to do a paper test if you can find a really flat floor just to see if the thing is built for a 300 pounder who kicks like a mule
All my XCD style backcountry nordic stuff is way undercambered for me compared to my track skis. But I wouldn't want to use stiff double camber for most of the touring around here in the Rockies: but typically we use skins for much of the up anyways and glide as much as possible on the way back.