Injected Carbon Fiber VS Traditional One. Salomon And Alpina Disagree

When Salomon Nordic rolled out their latest S / Lab Carbon Skate boots last year, there were some questioning looks: where are carbon fiber cuffs?

They are there – except that are made very differently.

Traditional carbon fiber is woven, laid up, and then “glued” together with resin that needs to be cured – a time/effort consuming process that requires considerable skill. The result is amazing, however: anything & everything where the cost is no object is being produced that way, from uber-fancy icepicks to intercontinental ballistic missiles.

With injected carbon the process is far simpler and consist of the short, “chopped” carbon fiber strands being mixed with other thermoplastics at certain temperatures. The resulting product ( cuffs in our example) is significantly cheaper.

But is as good as the oldie-goldie? The debate in cross country skiing has just began

Salomon Nordic says it is – and to prove the point has its best athletes use the newest SLabs. Some are totally happy – others still prefer the feel of the previous, traditional carbon model

Unlike Salomon Nordic, Alpina is not a big believer in injected carbon.

Alpina so far uses injected carbon only in its 3d line of products, Competition, aimed at advanced amateur on a budget ( pictured AS classic model, Alpina Competition Skate adds cuffs made of exactly same looking injected carbon fiber)

The Slovenian company’s racing manager Vasja Rupnik says it’s not stiff and torsionally stable enough for the needs of the very best.

For the very demanding world class athletes Alpina is offering Elite 3.0. The traditional carbon fiber elements here are sourced from the company that produces carbon fiber frames for Pipistrel aircrafts

Both S / Lab Carbon Skate 2019/20 and Alpina Elite 3/0 were exclusively reserved for the World Cup athletes last season. In the upcoming one both will go on sale in selected retail shops – soon enough you’d be able to make up your own mind about properties & qualities of injected carbon in xcski boots.

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