Cross-country skiing, which is also called Nordic skiing or XC skiing, mostly took place in flat snowy areas. It can be used as a fun activity, competitive sport, or a mode of transportation. XC skiing is a huge attraction for beginners, but one of the biggest beginner’s mistakes is that they choose the wrong pair of skis. A pair of skis have a huge impact on the skier’s performance, so choose them very wisely for your better performance on the snowy hills. If you are about to buy skis for XC skiing, then better to look at some basic factors, which helps you to buy a perfect pair of skis:
TYPE OF XC SKIING
What kind of skis you need depends upon the type of skiing you want to explore. Cross-country skiing is of different types i.e. classic skiing, backcountry skiing, and skate skiing, and each needs a different kind of skis to explore the snow. Let’s talk about it in detail i.e. what kind of skis you need to buy as per your XC skiing type, which is as follows:
Classic skiing is quite simple and uses a technique that is more like walking i.e. skis are parallel to each other and you need to put weight on one ski, push, and glide on the other ski. For this kind of skiing, you need skis that are long and narrow (around 40-50 mm width), so that it easily fits in the classic track areas and you can easily glide on these groomed tracks. These skis are quite lightweight but without having metal edges. They come up in two bases i.e. waxable and waxless, so choose the one which best suits your requirement.
SIDECUT: The shape of the skis also affects your performance, because it affects the way you travel or make turns while gliding on the snow. It’s quite simple, more straight skis mean more easily going straight-way, whereas more sidecuts mean you can make turns more easily. Now, if we are talking about the side-cuts of the skis, then classic skis are more straight with little side-cuts so that it helps in gliding movement.
CAMBER: It has double camber i.e. makes it easy for you to have a better glide on the groomed tracks.
Backcountry skiing is more of deeper snow skiing or downhill skiing on steeper or ungroomed snow surfaces. The skis used for backcountry skiing are shorter and wider. The shortness of skis is good to have more control on the skis, whereas the width helps to give you stability while gliding on the snow. The skis are heavier than the classic ones, which makes them have a good hold on the snow. They come with metal edges so that you’ll have more grip in freezing conditions.
SIDECUT: The backcountry skis come with more sidecuts. While skiing on ungroomed surfaces, you have to face more obstacles in your way and hence need to make more turns, so skis with more sidecuts help you to have better control over your dynamic turns.
CAMBER: It has single camber for making easy turns.
Skate skiing is more of a faster or aggressive type of skiing but is performed on groomed snow surfaces. In skate skiing, the skis are placed in a v-shape and use techniques just like skating technique. Their main purpose is to enjoy the speed while gliding on the snow. Skate skis are also narrow, and without metal edges just like classic skis, but are shorter (i.e. around 10cm shorter than the classic skis) because they need to have more control on the skis. These skis are also light-weighted but are stiffer.
SIDECUT: The skate skis come with minimum sidecuts so that it helps to hold your skis on the track. So that with better holding, you can fastly glide on those groomed snow surfaces.
CAMBER: In skate skiing, it has single camber i.e. makes it easy for skiers to take effortless turns.
APPROPRIATE SKI LENGTH
Next, pick the skis of proper length because it also impacts your performance on the snow. If you pick too long skis, you may end up getting difficulty maintaining grip. And if you pick too small skis, you may end up getting difficulty in the smooth-gliding experience. So it’s very important to pick the right one, as per your ability and your weight:
ACCORDING TO YOUR ABILITY: In general, longer skis are basically designed for faster gliding and are mostly used by experts or experienced skiers. Whereas, shorter skis are basically designed to have better control on your skis by somehow slowing down your speed, and hence are considered perfect for beginners. So it’s good to know well about your purpose and ability of skiing, before picking the appropriate length of your skis.
ACCORDING TO YOUR WEIGHT: Skis comes in various length, that specifies the weight-range that it best suits for. If you pick the one that is actually designed for more weight range than yours, it gets difficult for you to get the grip on it. And, if you pick the one that is actually designed for less weight range than yours, it will create friction and affects your performance. So just choose the one that best supports your weight range for better performance and for more fun.
If you still find it difficult to choose the one that perfectly suits you, just take the help, and get the right one. As such, there is no hard-n-fast or strict rule for picking the right ski length for you. Do consider some basic things, and just pick the one that you feel is right for you. It’s all about your comfort and your preferences.
WAX OR WAXLESS SKIS
The base of cross-country skis is either waxable or waxless. In general waxless skis are more recommended for beginners, because they get easy to manage and their textured surface will help you get a good grip. As a beginner, this makes it easy for you to go uphill or downhill, but it somehow affects the gliding smoothness.
Whereas, on the other side, waxable skis are more recommended for the experts, because it needs the skill to properly wax your skis. Waxing of the skis needs to be done according to the climatic condition, to get the grip and the best performance. If proper waxing is done that best suits the climate, then the performance is just outstanding.
There are too many cross-country skis available in the market, it’s good to get it on rent first. Then if you feel comfortable and best for you, then you can buy it from the nearby store or from an online store. As a beginner, hope this article will help you get to know about some basics so that you’ll pick the best ski as per your skiing type, your ability, and the purpose of skiing.