How to Buy Cross Country Skis

How to Buy Cross Country Skis
Cross country skiing is a great form of exercise and a way to get outdoors during the cold winters. It is a good idea to rent cross country skiing equipment before investing in your own, to make sure you love the experience and know what type of skis you need. When you buy your own, you'll need to take into consideration things like ski length and width, flex, boot bindings and boots. Start your search at a local shop, then search on the Internet for options if you feel the local shops are too expensive.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Professionals to fit you to the equipment
Step 1
Decide what type of cross country skis you want. This depends on why you want the skis, and what activities you want to do with them (i.e. exploring snow-packed trails or venturing off into deep fresh snow). The main types of skis are racing, backcountry, sport or adventure skis.
Step 2
Decide what length you want the skis to be. Usually, the lighter the skier, the shorter the skis should be. Longer skis are faster and ride more smoothly, while shorter skis are easier to control, make turns more simple to do. You will need to get measured a local ski shop to find the right size for you, or use an Internet ski shop's measuring formula to figure it out (See Resources).
Step 3
Pick out the width of the skis that would be right for you. For skiing on trails and hard-packed snow, you will want your skis to be more narrow, but if you are venturing off into fresh deep snow that isn't packed, you will want wide skis for more surface area to "float" on the snow.
Step 4
Consider the different ski flex options. Ski flex pertains to how flexible the skis are. Stiff flex means that you need a lot of weight to flatten them against the snow, while soft flex flattens out much easier. The faster you plan on going, the stiffer you will want the skis.
Step 5
Pick out ski boots that will fit comfortably for you. They must be sturdy with good support, and need to match up with your bindings. If you plan on doing mild activity such as staying on snow-packed paths, you will need lightweight boots. For going off paths, you want the boots to be lightweight but to have ankle support and possibly some coverings to thwart snow from getting in the boots.

Article Written By Lauren Wise

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.

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