What Are The Best Skate Skis: The Ultimate Guide

If you are searching for a pair of the best skate skis on the market, look no further. Here you'll find the best skate race skis for the 2021/22 season.

On December 18/19th 2021, we have tested the newest of the best skate skis in the high-performance category. It was a weekend under near perfect conditions with lots of sunshine and plenty of snow.

The category race skate skis hold six high-performing models of the best-known XC ski manufacturers. These models are all high-tech products because they reflect the latest technological developments in ski construction.

Good technique is key to control the best skate skis

Since all the best skate ski models are designed for speed, you should be in good physical shape. The target group are race level athletes and ambitious recreational XC skiers.

They would suit an enthusiastic cross country skier like James.  And they could be for you if you have good technique and are on the hunt for best times and victories.

avatar james

Name: James

XC Ski Experience: Several years of regular ski training

Fitness: Ambitious athlete who participated in many Nordic ski loppets

Hi I'm...

James, an enthusiastic cross country skier and have been a regular on the ski trails all over Europe for many years.

I've pretty much finished most of the big recreational freestyle ski races and spend around 30 - 40 days in the winter season on snow. 

Currently  I train and race on mid-range skate skis but am now looking for a pair of competitive skis. The price pays a subordinate role for me!

So far however, I  was concerned that carbon skis are too sensitive and more reserved for professionals.

Can I master such a top model with my good but not professional fitness?

Here, dynamic, preload and smoothness are aimed to ski skillful and if necessary, with enough power. If you don’t meet these requirements, you are better off to get skis in the performance or sports category.

After we have tested all the top skate skis in the race category, I must admit that it was difficult what ski performs best. Not all ski models had the same wax job on their bases. And also not all skis had the same identical ski base structure.

Despite this, all tested skis performed well. But to take lots of notes for every single model remained a real challenge. 

So, in the end, our test group awarded six times five stars in the category high-performance skate cross country skis.

It sends back the high level on which the skate ski models of the most famous ski manufacturers operate. Despite all their different character traits.

The six leaders manufacturing cross country skate skis

Like Fischer, the Austrian and Salomon, the former French ski manufacturers. Of course, they didn’t surprise me at all with their new top models of Nordic skate skis.

I had used Fischer skate skis for racing for many years, so no surprise there. Fischer has been doing aggressive marketing for many years and is the leader in the XC ski racing area.

But the new Salomon skate skis surprised me with their gliding ability. I haven’t skied that many times before on a pair of Salomon skate racing skis. But on the Salomon S/LAB, I felt like I was flying.

Then there are the dynamic models of Rossignol and Atomic who build some of the best cross country skate skis on the market.

Atomic came out this season with a different sidecut than the other brands. That means that the tip and tail are a bit wider. But it’s not a racing ski for everybody because it requires good technique.

And let’s not forget Madshus. The Norwegian ski equipment manufacturer is well known. And even Kästle (Kaestle) doesn’t have to hide their new racing models either. Kaestle celebrated its big comeback in 2019. Now they have its own racing department and three XC model lines.

Yet, the models from Madshus and Kaestle demand a bit more power and/or technique from you as a cross country skier.

So, below are the best skate skis in the category race skating:

Atomic Redster S9 Gen S   

The Atomic Redster S9 Gen S is undoubtedly the most interesting ski for the 2021/22 ski season. It has a striking design and is only available in one length and therefor breaks the current standards. But because it requires good technique, it’s certainly not a ski for everyone.

Fischer Speedmax 3D Skate Plus

The almost perfect balance of its “frame” makes Fischer’s top racing model interesting for an extremely broad target group. I would say that the demands that this ski places on you are rather low compared to other test models. There are not really any real weaknesses with the Speedmax 3D Skate Plus.

Kaestle RX10 2-0 Skate

When Kaestle (Kästle) developed the RX10 2.0 Skate, they did a lot the right way and reduced the gap to the leading ski manufacturers. If you are looking for a stable and light skating race ski with good characteristics, you are in good hands with Kaestle. It suits you when you are a powerful skier with a high technical level.

Madshus Redline 3-0 Skate F2 / F3

If you are looking for a ski with excellent gliding properties on less demanding and mainly flat terrain, then the Redline 3.0 is a good choice. Once in motion, the ski shines with its properties as a gentle glider. This comes in handy when you are a less powerful skier with technical deficits. With a pair of race Madshus skate skis, you are well prepared to ski fast. 


Rossignol X-IUM Skating Premium S2

If you are a strong skate skier with an explosive leg kick, you will find a racing horse for different snow conditions in the Rossignol X-IUM Premium S2. The acceleration is so playful as with no other skate ski as with this Rossignol skate racing ski.

Salomon S/LAB Carbon Skate

With the S/LAB Carbon Skate, Salomon delivers an extremely light, low-lying, and lightning-fast ski for racers and good recreational skiers. The direct power transmission is unparalleled in the entire field in this race category.

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