Based on results, it appears duckbill boots really are endangered. Crispi will no longer make the XP, the modern version of their best ever 75mm backcountry boot, the CXP. Erik Fey, of TelemarkDown.com, Crispi’s distributor for the United States of America, made the announcement yesterday on Facebook. Who can doubt it if it’s on FB? Sadly, few will miss the XP. Few knew what they were missing.
And then there were 3
Though not unexpected, this confirms the inevitable demise of duckbilled plastic telemark boots. There are now only three models predicted to be produced for the time being: Crispi’s XR and Scarpa’s T2 and T4. If you’re adamant about clinging to your 75mm Telemark experience it’s time to start hoarding.
The Nordic Norm will live on, but only among holdouts. The purpose of the New Telemark Norm was to supplant the 75mm norm. Though high, the bar for performance with 75mm systems has limited out and the physics that define it prevented features that Telemark skiers were asking for – safety release, ski brakes, step-in convenience, and a free pivot.
All things must pass
At the 2007 introduction NTN fulfilled three-and-a-half of those. By 2014 all of them. For the majority of pinheads who spend nearly all their time burning turns, NTN is a smart move. And even more so for those who earn their turns.
But the one thing NTN doesn’t do is provide a reliable, boot dominant flex. 75mm systems are the epitome of Telemark’s legendary flex. It can be matched, arguably exceeded with NTN, but not without some trial and error.
Thus, it is sad to see Nordic Norm on life support, but life goes on. With the death of Crispi’s XP, the demise of the XR is likely around the corner. Get ‘em while you can because, as George Harrison sang, “All things must pass.”