Gear Preview 2013-2014: Fischer

Audrey ManganFebruary 13, 20135
Fischer's new Speedmax skate and classic skis waiting for testing at the SIA on-snow demo earlier this month.
Fischer’s new Speedmax skate and classic skis waiting for testing at the SIA on-snow demo earlier this month.

The ski industry comes out with better, faster, lighter equipment every year, and each time I think companies must be close to reaching the upper limit in product development. Earlier this month I discovered just how wrong that assumption was at the SnowSports Industries of America (SIA) on-snow demo at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colo. It seemed that every company there to show off their 2013-2014 equipment had revolutionized the top of their product line to make skis, boots and/or poles that are better than the nordic ski world has ever seen before.

Fischer’s Speedmax skate ski was the first new ski I tried — there’d been a lot of buzz about the new manufacturing process that makes it and I was curious to see what could possibly be better than a Carbonlite. To make the Speedmax, Fischer engineered a new step on the factory production line called Cold Base Binding, which separates ski core production from the step that attaches the base material to the rest of the ski. Where once it was all one big step, the base now goes on at the very end. The adhesive Fischer concocted specifically for this process allows the ski to better absorb thermal fluctuations in all snow conditions and iron temperatures — so its speed comes from both the base’s ability to absorb more wax as well as its consistency as snow temperatures change.

The Speedmax ranks somewhere between a Carbonlite and an RCS in weight, but even though it’s not Fischer’s lightest ski the new  construction method definitely makes it the fastest. And because the ski comes with all the responsiveness and stability we’ve come to expect from Fischer products it is without a doubt one of the best skis that will be on the market in 2013-2014. World Cup athletes have been racing on it (hidden behind old graphics) all season and have landed on multiple podiums with it. Results like that speak for themselves.

After I tested the Speedmax skate ski I found myself comparing others products to it for the rest of the day. When I went uphill it felt like they climbed for me, and on the descents I was speeding by fellow testers without even trying. Though I’d like to think this was due to my own ability, I’m fairly certain the skis deserved most of the credit.

Watch Fischer’s promotional Speedmax video for endorsements more credible than my own:


Fischer has also made improvements to its Carbonlite skate and classic boots. They’re less bulky, more breathable, and have an antibacterial treatment on the insole to make them less stinky. Here’s Nordic Division Vice President Peter Ashley describing the new features at SIA:

Audrey Mangan

Audrey Mangan (@audreymangan) is an Associate Editor at FasterSkier and lives in Colorado. She learned to love skiing at home in Western New York.

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  • highstream

    February 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Since WC skiers are testing and using next year’s designs already, how do you account for skiers on other brands making it to the podium, even though Fischer has the largest stable of skiers by far? And as for the boots, the cross strap and buck are still there, keeping the binding points that a lot of feet don’t like.

  • Tim Kelley

    February 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    When it comes to Fischer skis, a good Fasterskier article would be about the 11 year old RCS classic skis you see Kershaw and Harvey using. FS had a picture of Kershaw using these old 2002 vintage, yellow RCS skis, with red “RCS” lettering, in last year’s TDS. And there was a picture of Harvey using the same skis, or a similar pair, in the Canmore WC this season. Maybe these are old race skis of Justin Wadsworth’s? Anyway – a good story would be the history these skis, and why they are so special.

    Knowing that top World Cup racers are still using skis that are 11 years old … it makes one roll their eyes when reading articles like this. Thoughts of the “game changing” and “revolutionary” Short Cut and Skatecut Fischer skis come back.

  • campirecord

    February 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Hi Tim, the old Fischer skis actually come from a stash owned by the Norwegian tech working for Canada. The skis come from a unique mold, still to this day, one of the best production ever, much like a Stradivarius. Btw you will also notice a certain Peter Northug use the same skis during Oslo and whistler Olympics. Harvey and Kersh actually paid big bucks for that fleet.

    You will also note that they are typically used in warm weather, potentially as a klister ski. The rest of this article I find is a shameful advert for Fischer. Fischer does one thing very well and it’s to sign some of the top athletes in the world with hard cash, that 50$ premium you pay is straight for the marketing budgets. I will say a fast Fischer is a really nice ski to have and a unique ski, but the hit ratio of a good Rossi and Solomon is slowly creeping up on the yellow skis. Especially in the skate sets. I know some soft ground Solomon to be untouchable in certain conditions.


  • Tim Kelley

    February 14, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Campi, Thanks! Very interesting information about these unique vintage Fischer classic skis. I have a pair of these, and I can’t imagine how any classic skis could be better. Fasterskier – again, research (based on Campi’s leads) and more info on these “Stradivarius of skis” would make for a good article.

  • jrulseh

    February 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    This is very interesting. Would love to hear more about these special skis. Tim: Are you the crust guy from AK? That crust skiing site is amazing! Way to inspire people to get out and ski it all!

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