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Madshus Epoch

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Madshus Epoch nordic touring ski

Versatile off-trail xcountry ski.


  • Versatile performance
  • Value
  • Not really a telemark ski


  • Jack of all trades, master of none?
  • Not really a telemark ski (if that's what you are looking for)

This ski is identical to the Karhu XCD 10th Mountain. This ski is marketed as a hybrid between a telemark and a xcountry ski.  Perhaps the best way to review this ski is by comparing it to its two siblings: the Madshus Eon (Karhu XCD GT) and the Madshus Annum (Karhu XCD Guide).

First of all, from my perspective, all of these skis are designed to be first and foremost off-trail, classic kick and glide xcountry skis. Yes, they do have a progressive sidecut; they will turn on the downhill. However, these skis have quite a straight tail, and track 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.

The Epoch sits in the middle between the Eon and the Annum. The Eon is the slimmest and has the best glide. The Annum is the fattest and excels when breaking trail through deep powder. The Epoch, I assume, is supposed to split the difference and be good at both.

Although this is an excellent ski, I find that it doesn't excel at either. When the snow is dense and hard, and you can really cruise, the Eon will perform better than the Epoch. When the snow is deep and soft, the Annum will offer better flotation and break trail more efficiently than the Epoch. In short, I currently have the Eon, the Epoch, and the Annum to choose from. I find myself choosing either the Eon or the Annum and leaving the Epoch in the shed.

On the other hand, if you want one ski for light-duty off-trail xcountry, this ski may be the best choice. The Epoch is good at everything. However it is not the best at anything.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $280

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Price Historic Range: $159.97-$300.00
Reviewers Paid: $280.00
Product Details from Madshus »