How to Select Cross Country Rental Skis

How to Select Cross Country Rental Skis
Since getting the right size ski equipment is critical to having a positive experience, selecting the appropriate size rental equipment is as important as finding the right size equipment to purchase. If you already own skis, make sure to take note of what size and make they are--that will let you know exactly what to request from the ski shop. If you're not sure what size skis you need, knowing your height, weight and skill level will help you make a good estimate of what size skis to purchase.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Determine whether you'd prefer to use skate skis or classic cross country skis.
Step 2
Measure your height and weight as accurately as possible.
Step 3
Consult the appropriate size chart for the type of ski (classic or skate) you've chosen. See Resources for several options. Whenever possible, use the size chart specific to the manufacturer of the ski equipment you're looking at renting.
Step 4
Test whether classic skis are the proper length by putting the appropriate boots on and clipping into the bindings, then having a salesperson slide a piece of paper underneath the center of the skis, just beneath the bindings. As long as you're standing on both feet squarely, the paper should slide freely, but once you shift your weight to one foot or the other the skis should trap the paper beneath them.
Step 5
Adjust the length of skate ski you select according to your preference for stiff or soft flex in the skis. In general, if you prefer a stiffer ski you can use a shorter ski, while those who like soft skis will need to use a longer ski to support their weight.

Tips & Warnings

Remember that classic skis intended for use off groomed trails will need to be wider than those used on groomed trails; the extra width helps support your weight in the soft snow.
It's usually best to stick with the familiar if at all possible; this includes renting not just the skis but also the sort of bindings most familiar to you if possible.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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