How to Select Cross Country Skis

How to Select Cross Country Skis
Cross-country skiing is one the best aerobic exercises and an enjoyable way to explore the winter landscape. Although cross-country skiing is relatively easy to learn, advances in ski technology have made choosing the right ski far from easy. You need to consider the style of ski, the type of terrain you are interested in skiing on, and your ability level.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Choosing Between Skate and Classic Style Skis

Step 1
Decide what style of cross-country skiing you would like to do. There are two main types: skate skiing and classic style skiing.
Step 2
Choose classic style skiing if you are looking to ski on trails, groomed tracks or moderate backcountry terrain. Classic ski equipment is designed for propelling the skier with a diagonal stride, a forward kicking and gliding motion.
Step 3
Choose skate skiing if you are looking for a high-intensity workout. In skate skiing, the skier pushes each ski out on an angle in a motion similar to ice skating. Skate skiing can only be done on groomed trails.

Selecting Classic Style Skis

Step 1
Determine your ability level. Individuals new to the sport should select a wider ski, which provides more stability and control. Seasoned skiers may want to select a narrower ski that allows for more speed.
Step 2
Think about the terrain you will be skiing on. If you plan on using your skis only for skiing on groomed tracks, you should select a longer, narrower ski that will provide more glide on the trail. If you plan to ski on ungroomed trails and moderate backcountry terrain, select a wider, shorter ski.
Step 3
Choose between non-wax and waxable skis. Non-wax skis are easier to care for and are a better option for casual skiers. Waxable skis tend to outperform non-wax skis but require frequent waxing.

Selecting Skate Skis

Step 1
Skate skis are typically sized based on the skier's height. Select a skate ski that is 5 to 10 centimeters longer than your height.
Step 2
Consider camber and flex. Camber is the amount of bend built into the ski and flex is how much your ski is able to bend. Backcountry.com suggests that beginners choose a ski that is moderate in both camber and flex.
Step 3
Visit an outdoor retailer specializing in ski gear. All ski manufacturers provide specific size charts for all of their ski models. A salesperson can help fit you with the correct gear.

Tips & Warnings

 
Try different skis before you buy. Many resorts and gear stores rent cross-country skis.
 
Skate skiing requires a lot of exertion. Make sure you are in shape before attempting skate skiing.

Article Written By Wren Mcilroy

Based out of Salt Lake City, Wren Mcilroy has been writing outdoor recreation and travel-related articles for 3 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and biology from Winona State University in Minnesota.

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