Code: WINTER20


Over the hills and through the woods.

Cruise across snowy fields and drop into a few turns on Karhu's XCD Guide Ski. At 78mm underfoot and 109mm at the shovel, these wide cross country skis break trail and carve through deep powder. Unlike slimmer, no-edge cross country skis, the XCD Guide Ski's full-length metal edge won't send you slip-sliding away on downhill slopes. The Greenlight core keeps this touring ski light and manageable, and a progressive sidecut makes turning easy. Karhu's Omnitrak No Wax base gives you a smooth, efficient glide across your snow-filled landscapes. Karhu recommends Dynafit or light plastic telemark boots with the Guide Ski.

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Karhu XCD Guide Ski

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Here's what others have to say...

Unanswered Question

what does the term "no wax base" mean on...

what does the term "no wax base" mean on the guides? I've noticed that they dry out if you dont wax them.

5 5

Karhu XCD Guide

Bought a pair in 2006 when they first came out. I used to have Karhu Catamounts for touring. These are much nicer on the downhills. In soft snow, with T2s, it is even a decent OB combination for Steamboat. A lot of our OB climbs are pretty short and it is nice to not have to slap on skins. That being said, these are no fun coming down in area at the end of the day.
So I mostly use them for touring. Definitely not as much fun for serious BC stuff- I leave them home when I head up to Teton Pass, for instance.
They are really fun on mellow pitches with good snow, and tour nicely (where we ski we break trail a lot, and these are nice for that).
Bottom line: 5 stars if you use them as intended. Some are claiming these are serious BC skis, and I disagree. But they are a big step up, and the most serious "no wax" skis out there.

I am 160 lbs. With clothes, boots & extensive...

I am 160 lbs. With clothes, boots & extensive day pack I will be about 185 lbs. What lenght ski do you think, I would prefer the 175 if they won't be a problem. What's the pros and cons. Thanks.

Responded on

The 185cm XCD Guide is better suited to a full skiing weight of 185lbs (pack and all), but that doesn't mean the 175cm is out of the question. It all depends on the kind of skiing you plan to do, and what you're looking for in the ski. Going with a shorter XCD Guide will provide more maneuverability and quickness in turning in tighter spaces, and better grip from the waxless base (since the weight will press the camber and pattern more). Going longer will provide more stability and flotation in open snow, and greater glide. Thanks,Graham at Karhu

Unanswered Question

What length ski should I buy if I weigh...

What length ski should I buy if I weigh 175 lbs and ski mostly in the back country?

This sounds like the ski I'm looking for,...

This sounds like the ski I'm looking for, and Garmont Excursions seem to get the nod for an appropriate boot. Okay, Graham -- how about binding recommendations?

Responded on

Bindings depend on the use, but I usually ski my Guides with a Voile 3-pin cable. It's light and easy for kicking around in the woods, and I can keep the cables in my pack going up and toss them on for longer stretches of turns. I know a lot of other people who are matching theirs with TwentyTwo Designs' LiteDogz 3-pin binding. Thanks,Graham at Karhu

Will skins adhere to the no wax base on...

Will skins adhere to the no wax base on the Karhu xcd Guide ski?If not, what is the steepest climbing the ski is capable of?Thanks

Responded on

You can still use skins with the XCD Guide's Omnitrak NoWax base. When it gets too steep, I'll use my old (first pair) of Ascensions, which are pretty skinny. If I need a little extra grip though, a lot of times I've found a removable ski crampon to work just as well. It's a positive molded base, meaning that it's molded separately and then pressed with the ski and set so the peaks of the scales are slightly higher than the edge. That provides better grip than a negative base (one cut into a finished ski) on firmer snow, but snow conditions are the biggest factor for grip with the waxless base. In light, dry powder the grip won't be quite as good on steeper terrain, but the XCD Guide gets the best grip in spring conditions like wet, heavier powder and corn snow, where it can set a really good pattern. Thanks,Graham at Karhu.

I'm looking for a ski for my tiny wife to...

I'm looking for a ski for my tiny wife to follow me into the wild unknown. I've noticed the women specific market is growing. Would a smaller size XCD Guide suffice for my wife or would she be more comforable and have better control on a women specific cross coutry ski? I haven't found any women specific cross country skis that are comparable to the XCD Guide in perfomance characteristics (half tele / half cross country). Any ideas?

Responded on

There are no other skis out there like the XCD Guide (men's or women's skis that fat and waxless), but a smaller XCD Guide would definitely suffice. For our women's telemark and AT skis, we use the Greenlight Core with our Die-Cut Titanal for a solid ski that's a little lighter and quicker edge-to-edge. All of our XCD skis already use the Greenlight Core to keep the weight down, so you would really look to the sizing (down to 165cm for the Guide) and the mounting position (we have three suggested mounting points to accomodate differently-sized feet) for an optimal fit for your wife. Thanks,Graham at Karhu

I'm about 173 pounds and appear to be right...

I'm about 173 pounds and appear to be right at the breaking point between a 175 and 185 length for the 2009 Karhu XCD Guide backcountry ski. According to the Karhu web page, I should probably go with a 185. Other web pages say go with a 175 length up to 180 pounds. With a day pack on I'll probably go 175 pounds to 180 pounds I suspect. Any ideas on a length I should chose for the XCD Guide.

Responded on

This really depends on your personal preference. If you like your skis to be a little longer, you'll have increased speed and stability along with more ease to float over the fresh powder. The shorter length will be easier to control and manuever. You would be fine with either size really.

will karhu be making a 195 cm version for...

will karhu be making a 195 cm version for this coming season? or just up to 185 cm?and for a guy weighing in at 195 lbs that is not a real muscle-y skier, any thoughts on whether to go with 185 cm or 195 cm?

Responded on

We are making a 195cm length for 2008. The 195cm length would be appropriate for your weight, but it depends on your ski preference and use. Going shorter with the 185cm length would provide better grip with the waxless base, and more manueverability in tight spots. The 195cm XCD Guide would provide slightly better glide, and more stability from the longer length. Hope that helps. Graham at Karhu

what do you have for a weight on these...

what do you have for a weight on these fatties? And do the tips curl up high for all them logs hiding under the pow in the timbers? i need something i can climb in all day without faceplanting over hidden deadfall on the ascent? I currently run the alpina backcountry boards and the low tips kill me on the ascent. i'm always hangin' up and that slows me down when i'm racin my fellow pow'ers to the top for the next freshy.ultimately i need fatties with a big tip curl.jtp.s. if not,do they make tip extenders for low tip bc ski's?

Responded on

Nice and light at 5.5 lbs per pair for the 185cm length. The XCD Guide has a tall tip height at 74mm, almost 2cm taller than our Telemark/AT skis, so it floats well and cruises over deadfall. Definitely my ski of choice for bushwhacking in tight woods after pow. Thanks,Graham at Karhu