How to Choose Cross-Country Skis for a Beginner

How to Choose Cross-Country Skis for a Beginner
Even if you are an experienced Alpine downhill skier, you need to learn to crawl before you walk when you move over to cross-country skiing. The skis used in cross-country are lighter and narrower than Alpine skis. The curve at the tip of these skis is also more pronounced. Beginners need to use skis are that correct for this type of skiing to allow them to properly slide forward over the snow with the least possible resistance.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Use touring or light touring skis when you first begin to learn how to ski cross-country. These type of skis are sized according to the weight and height of the user. The quickest way to test for length is to take the ski and stand with your arm raised above your head. Stand the ski on its end;it should reach to around your wrist on your upraised arm.
Step 2
Check the camber on cross-country skis. The camber is the degree of the bow in the running surface. Beginners should make sure that the camber on both skis match. Place the ski on a smooth, hard surface and make sure you can flatten the entire length of the ski when you stand on it. The bottom camber needs to propel you forward when it gets flattened on the snow, so make sure its flattens completely.
Step 3
Decide whether you want to use waxable or waxless skis. For the most part, beginners who do not engage in cross-country skiing on a regular basis will want to go with non-wax skis. Only those who absolutely need high performance should go with waxable skis. Many beginners prefer waxless skis because they offer more convenience and require less maintenance. If you know you are going to need skis that can adjust to a variety of snow types and variations in temperature, you will probably want the advantage of waxable skis, which provide much more control.
Step 4
Consider going with skating skis rather than classic cross-country skis. These skis are typically anywhere from 2 to 4 inches shorter than traditional skis. These skis also differ in having a bottom camber that is much stiffer than traditional skis. They are preferable for beginners because they are supplied with reinforced sidewalks that can handle stress better than old-fashioned traditional cross-country skis.

Article Written By Timothy Sexton

Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.

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