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Madshus Eon

rated 4.0 of 5 stars

The Eon has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best nordic touring skis for 2024.

photo: Madshus Eon nordic touring ski

Versatile and efficient off-trail xcountry.

Pros

  • Performance
  • Efficient in dense snow
  • Value
  • Not a telemark ski

Cons

  • Not a telemark ski (if that is what you are looking for)
  • Lacks flotation in deep powder

This ski is identical to the Karhu XCD GT. This ski comes in either a waxable base or a waxless base. I currently use the waxless base.

These are well designed off-trail xcountry skis. I have skied several hundred kilometers on my current pair, with no problems. Although this ski is marketed as a hybrid between a telemark and a classic xcountry ski, it truly excels as an off-trail classic kick and glide ski.

Yes, it does have a progressive sidecut; it will turn on the downhill. However it has quite a straight tail, and tracks very efficiently during the kick and glide (this sacrifices some turning efficiency).

As far as telemark skiing; there are other skis that turn much more efficiently ("true" telemark skis).  There are different perspectives on what a "true" telemark ski is. My perspective is that telemark skiing is first and foremost a downhill skiing method and system. I see these "hybrid" skis as first and foremost xcountry skis. I am not suggesting that they cannot be used as telemark skis. I am suggesting that if your primary pursuit is downhill performance there are better options out there.

My everyday skiing is off-trail kick and glide, through rolling terrain, with the occasional steep climb and descent. This is an excellent ski for this use — except in deep powder. If you are routinely breaking trail in deep powder, this ski is not enough. For deep, fresh powder I use the Madshus Annum (formerly the Karhu XCD Guide).

For off-trail kick and glide skiing I recommend NNNBC bindings with a burly boot (I am currently using the Alpina Alaska with NNNBC magnum bindings). 75mm bindings are much more versatile; but the NNNBC system is much more efficient with classic xcountry skiing (stride and glide).

Contrary to the marketing, I would recommend choosing a long length. I am currently on 195cm (me: 5'10"; 185lbs). When I am in the perfect conditions for this ski; I often find myself wanting 205mm (better glide and better flotation). If you want them short for telemark turns; I would recommend considering a more downhill-orientated ski.  

As is often said, "this ski is more about the tour than the turn."

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $220

The Madshus Eon is something of a throwback, insofar as it retains much of the original design of the 1st generation downhill telemark skis which were produced in the late 70s/early 80s. The metal edges made more sense back then than they do today, given that skis with these dimensions are now better suited to cross country skiing in low angle terrain where metal edges are superfluous. The original double camber (now 1.5 camber) never made much sense for downhill telemarking, but it makes perfect sense for classic kick and glide touring.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Easy to turn
  • Good value for the price

Cons

  • Because of their significant side-cut they don't track as well as less shapely skis.
  • Metal edges add pointless weight.
  • Limited flotation

I've been skiing on the Madshus Eons for eight years now. I've paired them with Scott Excursion boots and a burly Voile 75 mm binding. I find them perfect for kicking and gliding over gently hilly terrain in boot-top snow (or less), where descents seldom require more than step turns or stem christies. They are very nimble in these conditions. I have the waxable model in the 205 cm length, which when waxed properly is a joy to ski. They handle speed very well.

Background

I learned to telemark on the precursor to these skis (Karhu XCD) in the late 1970s, though these early models had a foam core rather than the Eon's wood core. Today the Eon is my go-to ski for backcountry classic skiing. I'm now in my early 70s and have been a cross country skier all my adult life, though I spend more time alpine touring when conditions permit.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Don't recall. Likely around $250 CAD

Good, but not great ski for nordic touring.

Pros

  • Reasonably good kick and glide for a 1.5 camber ski
  • Good price point
  • OK in descent on softer snows

Cons

  • The scales are not pronounced enough for steeper ascents in harder snow conditions (Norway) requiring skins more often.
  • The ski is a bit soft for harder snows.

I have skied the Eon for four years mostly in northern Norway/Sweden. It is reasonably efficient under most conditions but not a great climber on any snow due to the shallow scales (as compared to Fischer crowns for example). 

Perhaps they used flatter scales to improve downhill performance, but this ski is not downhill oriented and would actually work better all around with a thinner tip of perhaps 78 or 79 mm. Works well in deep, new snow.

Background

Long experience and do two multi-week trips in Lapland every year and ski regularly in the Dolomites.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 200 EUR

In my opinion the top cross country mountain ski.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Waxes well
  • Skins superfluous
  • A joy to ski on
  • Handles most terrain

Cons

  • Not light weight
  • Wide section

I have had Madshus for over 60 years and skied in Scandinavia, Scottish Highlands and New Zealand. These are not downhill nor cross country skis but top varied terrain touring skis. The choice of bindings is the key to getting the most out of them; a good ski mountaineering binding is what I have found best. Over the years I have found a shorter ski better than the traditional long ski. Shorter enables more control but at the cost of less suspension in deep powder.

Background

Nordic ski instructor, mountain guide and outdoors pursuits instructor

Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: N/A

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Specs

Price MSRP: $329.95
Historic Range: $179.94-$295.00
Reviewers Paid: $220.00
Sizes 165, 175, 185, 195, 205
Length 165-195/10cm
Sidecut 83-62-70mm
Weight 2026 g/185 cm
Core Multicore (Wood)

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