How to Fit Cross Country Skis

How to Fit Cross Country Skis
Cross country skiing is an ideal way to stay in shape while enjoying the snow. Wearing properly-fitted cross country skis will make the experience all the more enjoyable. Known as "skinny skis," cross country skis are typically longer, lighter and narrower than their alpine counterparts. Several factors should be considered in fitting cross country skis, including an individual's weight, experience level and the type of skiing terrain.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Find a ski shop or sporting goods store with salespeople who are knowledgeable about cross country skis. Your salesperson should be aware that a skier's weight is more important than height when fitting cross country skis.
Step 2
Refer to manufacturers' tables matching ski lengths to a skier's weight, as a starting point (see Resources). Don't forget to add extra weight if you'll be skiing with a pack.
Step 3
Use a sheet of paper to test the flex of cross country skis. The paper should slide under the skis on a hard surface when your weight is evenly distributed. The paper should not slide under when all of your weight is placed on a single ski.
Step 4
Select traditional touring cross country skis if you will be gliding along machine-groomed trails. These narrow skis are light and responsive.
Step 5
Choose wider cross country skis if you'll be visiting off-track settings. These skis are heavier and the extra surface area also provides more stability.

Tips & Warnings

Consider buying a pair of ski poles, which help provide forward thrust in cross country skiing. With tips on the ground, the poles should fit comfortably under your armpits.
Since cross country skiing is a rigorous activity, individuals who are obese or in poor physical condition should exercise caution.

Article Written By Kirk Brown

Kirk Brown is an award-winning freelance writer with two decades of diverse media experience. A former newspaper reporter and editor, he also was managing editor of an acclaimed scuba diving magazine. Brown has written scripts for more than 50 half-hour TV programs focusing on technology and health topics.

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