The Fischer E109 Tour Xtralite cross country ski is helping xc skiers come full circle. Back to the future. Way back when I was first getting into my Nordic mode, waxable cross country skis were the choice. I’ve had more kick waxable skis than I can remember. While I may not remember each model of ski I’ve used, I sure do remember the glide those skis gave me. The turns I made on them. The long haul tours that went towards moonrise… all the memories (including missing the wax now and again) are wonderful.
And then a funny thing happened along the way these past couple decades. The Cross Country Industry decided if they made skis with a “no wax” pattern (ie, Crown, Positrack, Omnitrak, BC grip etc.) and shortened the length of xc skis it would make it “easier.” And, yes, they did make it easier but my thinking has lead me to believe they didn’t necessarily make it better.
Enter the Fischer E109. I really like this ski. Fischer made this ski with a Crown pattern for a few years and I do own a pair of them. The thing I loved most about these skis is that I could ski it in a 200cm length. Most of the other choices of backcountry touring skis these days have me on a 180cm or a 185cm. I learned on 215’s, 210’s, and 205’s. The shorter length skis work as advertised (they are easy to maneuver and set the kick) but I was not a satisfied skier. Where was my glide? Where did the nice fluid motion of striding along a cross country trail go? Where were my old skis?
With the Fischer E109 I was a step closer to the feel that I wanted back. I finally had a long ski that glides and even lets me make some turns along the way. But as my luck would have it, Fischer stopped producing this ski and I was crushed. I had several customers come in looking for that ski but I had to share the bad news – too late. SOL.
Each time I had the opportunity to ask Fischer to bring it back I did. Last Spring Fischer said there was a version of this ski made for Europe and allowed me to preseason the E109 in a kick waxable model named the E109 Tour Xtralite and I ordered it. You’ll find the E109 on the ski rack at Ski Haus. You won’t find this ski anywhere else in the USA. This is a Ski Haus exclusive. Fischer sells tons of these skis in Norway, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden… You’re getting the picture, right? Europeans don’t mind kick waxing longer length skis because they know how wonderful they feel on snow. Kick! Glide! Kick! Glide! Kick! Glide easily…
The Fischer E109 Tour Xtralite comes in 170, 180, 190, 200, and 205 lengths. They have the Easy Skin attachment option. The sidecut is 82.60.70. Plenty of length for glide. Plenty of sidecut to make turns. Plenty of fun!
Kick waxing in Colorado is pretty darn easy on the vast majority of winter days. Swix Blue or Blue Extra will nail it. If you do miss the kick wax all it takes is 5 minutes or so to make an adjustment (add a layer or two of the same wax, perhaps lengthen the kick wax, or try a layer of warmer or colder wax depending on temperature) and you’re off skiing again. If this doesn’t work you have the failsafe Easy Skin as a backup. The Easy Skin also allows you to climb a steeper ascent if you want to “B” line it to the top). The essential difference here is the glide of the ski. I can’t overstate this enough. If you enjoy a ski that is smooth under foot, glides out in front of you allowing you to cover more distance with less energy, and offers plenty of sidecut to make graceful backcountry turns, then this ski is for you!
I know you are out there. I know not every cross country skier is enamored with the t-shirt sizing, short lengths, and kick patterns that reduce glide. I know you are out there looking to go back to the future!
Fischer E109 Tour Xtralite – $379.95
P.S. I have my skis mounted with a Voile 3 Pin binding. I ski the Alpina Alaska 75mm boot and my skis are 200cm long. Talk about old school or maybe even grad school! This gear replaces my old Asolo Extreme black leather boots, Rotteffella cable bindings, and old Rossignol Rondonee skis, some old Trucker skis, some old Rossignol Descent skis, some old Evolution Mtn Quest skis, some old Swallow skis, some old Chouinard Toute Neige skis…