Cross Country Skis: Buyer's Guide
Cross Country SkisCross Country Skis can be divided into 4 main categories:
Each ski type length, width, weight, and binding type is tailored to the specific category of nordic skiing.
Skate skiing has come into popularity since around 1980 and was introduced to the United States by famed cross-country ski racer Bill Koch. Skate skiing mimics the movement of ice-skating by thrusting the ski from side to side. The boot and binding are fairly stiff and the ski tends to be narrow and fairly short for ease of movement. Poles are quite a bit longer than the other 3 categories of skis.
When selecting a skate ski consider the caliber of ski you want to use. Many who are entering the sport choose an entry-level ski and move up in quality over time. Some jump in and purchase a high end ski right at the beginning. There is no disadvantage of purchasing a high end ski. The performance/race ski tends to be easier to maneuver and lighter, making a more pleasurable ski experience.
Performance Skate Skis include:
Mid-Level Skate Skis include:
Entry-Level Skate Skis include:
Sidecut = tip/middle/tail width in centimeters. The narrower the sidecut the straighter the ski will want to travel. The greater the sidecut the more ski will want to turn. Also, the wider the ski (such as the BC 90) the more the ski will want to float on the snow and not go straight.
Classic skiing has been around for a long time. In 1843 the Norwegians were the first to have held a competition on wooden skis attached to their boots. Classic skis is what most people think of when they hear the words "cross country skis". The classic skis are thin and long, with a more flexible boot and binding than for skate skiing. Classic skis use a kick wax that is applied below the foot in the "kick zone" of the skis. Classic skis now also come in the waxless version. Waxless skis are a bit slower than the waxable type, but are useful in tough waxing conditions.
Like skate skis, when selecting a classic ski consider the caliber of ski you want to use. There is no disadvantage of purchasing a high end ski. The performance/race ski tends to be easier to maneuver and lighter, making a more pleasurable experience.
Performance Classic Skis include:
Mid-Level Classic Skis include:
Entry-Level Classic Skis include:
Touring skis are made for the recreational skier that wants to use the ski for both groomed conditions as well as skiing from the back yard. Touring skis use the classic ski technique, but the skis are wider and more stable than a traditional classic skis. Touring skis provide a waxless ski base and is designed for ease of maneuverability and stability. Touring skis also come in a variety sizes based upon the person's weight. Some skis are designed especially for women.
Our touring skis are also sold as ski packages, and the table below should get you started on choosing the right ski for you.
Touring Skis include:
Backcountry skis are made for the recreational skier that wants to use the ski for both groomed conditions as well as getting into the wilderness. Providing a metal edge and a waxless base, these skis are wider and provide more stability than a touring ski. Boots and bindings are also more substantial. Some skis fit in groomed tracks, while others do not. Three-pin bindings are also available and can be mounted on these light backcountry skis.
Backcountry Skis include:
*Ski will not fit into a groomed ski track (track is about 70cm wide)