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BIA-Brukerstyrt innovasjonsarena

FramSki - The future of high-performance responsible skiing

Alternative title: FramSki – Fremtidens fluorfrie langrennsski

Awarded: NOK 15.0 mill.

Project Number:


Project Period:

2024 - 2027

Funding received from:



Subject Fields:

Cross-country skiing is important for Norwegians as both entertainment and a form of exercise. The demand for enhanced performance drives equipment innovation, contributing to the strong positions of brands like Swix and Madshus. FramSki aims to improve cross-country skiing technology on three distinct levels: ski construction (macro), ski structure (micro), and waxing products (nano). Previous research at NTNU has identified clear correlations between the fundamental design of skis and their gliding capabilities. Further exploration of these connections will serve as the foundation for FramSki's new ski construction. This innovation will facilitate individual adjustments to the ski's characteristics, allowing for customization based on skier preferences and the specific snow conditions on the competition day. The new FramSki concept also improves the possibilities for repairing and recycling damaged skis. The ski sole, the part in contact with the snow, plays a crucial role in friction, with the sole structure (often called the grind) being incredibly important to performance. Ongoing work with a new technology developed in the Nano2Glide project involves using lasers to structure the ski sole on a micro-scale, providing many advantages over traditional stone grinding. On the nanoscale, chemical interactions between the ski and snow determines the friction levels. In FramSki, new chemistry will be developed to produce a permanent surface treatment for the ski. This promises greater durability than traditional paraffin waxes and offers flexibility in the choice of friction-modifying chemical groups. FramSki represents a holistic concept that not only makes skis faster but also promotes responsible and sustainable skiing. Through close collaboration between academia and industry, research results can be quickly commercialized, increasing the excitement and joy brought to skiers at every level of performance.

During the winter season, skiing is important for the health and well-being of Norwegians. Cross-country, alpine and randonee skiing are examples of popular activities that are also significant for the Norwegian economy through tourism, equipment production, and the service industry (sports stores, etc.). Starting from the 2023-2024 ski season, a complete ban on fluorine will be implemented in the sport. On certain surfaces, illegal fluorinated wax can provide athletes with significant advantages. The FramSki project has an ambitious goal of developing a package consisting of: 1) a completely redesigned, glide-optimized ski construction, 2) a new method for sole structuring using lasers, and 3) fluorine-free ski surface treatment with improved durability and tunability. When combined, these three packages aim to outperform the performance of current state-of-the-art cross-country skis with fluorinated glide wax. To achieve this, friction must be understood across various scales, and the concept must be developed based on knowledge and in a holistic manner. The ski's construction represents the macro level, the structure represents the micro level, and the ski wax handles friction at the nano level. The central research and development challenges in FramSki lie in understanding friction at different scales and using this knowledge to develop a product with optimal performance. To accomplish this, we have assembled a research team that will work together on optimizing ski construction, developing new structuring methods and create a novel fluorine-free covalent surface treatment with improved durability. We aim to conclude the project with a joint proof-of-concept where the complete FramSki concept is tested against state-of-the-art skis with conventional glide wax.

Funding scheme:

BIA-Brukerstyrt innovasjonsarena