New Nordic Skates

Jamie Hess
Posted February 1st, 2000

Help cross-country skiers conquer ice and asphalt.
Bet you never knew how     versatile your nordic ski
boots could be! Thanks to a couple of new inventions from Sweden and Holland, you can now ice skate and in-line skate in the same pair of boots in which you “kick and glide.”  So even when the ground is bare and there’s no snow in the forecast, you can still get a great outdoor workout.
Nordic Skate
Almgrens, a Swedish company, makes a product called the Nordic Skate, a detachable ice blade optimized for comfort, convenience, and speed on outdoor ice.  You can mount a nordic ski binding on its lightweight aluminum platform, which means you can leave those painful hockey or figure skates in the closet, and skate in your comfortable nordic boots.  One of the best aspects of the Nordic Skate is that you can put on your boots at home when they’re warm, and clip on the blades when you get to the lake.  No more sitting in the snow on a frigid lakeshore struggling with your skate laces while your fingers go numb.  Imagine racing a winter triathlon without a single shoe change!
Underneath the Nordic Skate’s aluminum platform is a hardened steel blade, built for speed, with a gradual curve at the front for smooth gliding over bumps and cracks in lake ice.  The Nordic Skate is available with a Salomon SNS Profil binding, with a Rottefella NNN-2 or NNN-3 binding, or without bindings.  It’s also compatible with the Salomon Pilot system.  The Nordic Skate comes in three lengths: 44, 50 and 55 cm (18″, 20″, 22″).  The 50 cm length fits most adult skaters.  Retail price is $159 with bindings, or $85 for blades without bindings.
Eagle Sport Skater
When the snow and ice melt and the frost heaves settle down, you can cross-train on the Eagle Sport Skater, a product made by Eagle Sport in Holland.  It’s a detachable two-wheel in-line frame with an innovative design that combines the best features of in-lines and roller skis.  You can use them with or without poles.  Just like Nordic Skates, the Skater frame has a nordic binding mounted on its lightweight aluminum frame, and it clips on and off your ski boot in seconds.  Talk about convenience:  You can skate to the deli to pick up a sandwich for lunch.  Roll up to the curb, unclip the frames, and walk right inside the front door.  Try that on conventional in-lines, and you’ll be grabbing everything in sight just to stay upright.
Eagle Sport Skaters offer high stability with a lower center of gravity than in-lines, and a fast ride on their oversized 100 mm diameter wheels.  They’re available in a range of sizes to minimize the frame length.  The Skater comes fully assembled and ready to roll, including frames, SNS or NNN bindings, wheels, axles and ABEC-3 bearings.  Retail price is $199.
Are you a hiker, or a backcountry or telemark skier?  Skyllermarks Langfardsskridskor in Sweden makes detachable skates with special bindings to fit hiking and telemark boots.  The hiking boot model is a bargain at $109, while the telemark model sells for $199.  And Almgrens makes a special Nordic Skate with Salomon SNS-BC bindings for $199.  There’s no in-line skating attachment for hiking or telemark boots, at least not yet.  But as you’re reading these words, some creative Dutchman or Swede is probably building a prototype.
Skyllermark has a kid skate that fits all types of kids’ winter boots and adjusts to fit larger boots as your kid grows up.  For ages 4-10.
Almgrens Nordic Skates, Eagle Sport Skaters, and Skyllermarks ice blades are available from The Nordic Skater, PO Box 89, Norwich, Vermont 05055, (802) 649-3696,