Buying Cross Country Skis
In this guide, we will provide you with information for choosing the right pair of cross country skis.
When you are going to buy new or your first cross country skis, there are several things you need to consider. Most important: The skis should fit with your cross country skiing style. There is a great difference between skis for backcountry cross country skiing (skiing outside the tracks) and cross country skis for races (e.g. for the Vasaloppet race).
Cross Country Skiing – What to look out for?
It’s crucial when buying cross country skis to look out for the cross country skis size, weight and degree of camber, in order for you to find a ski matching your body and cross country skiing style. It’s important that your cross country skis match your weight, in relation to the ski's height. Besides that, the ski's weight depends on your cross country skiing style, e.g. if you need a ski for race, it should be lightweight.
Cross country skis - 3 Types
Generally, there are three types of cross country skis.
Cross country skis - CLASSIC
Classic cross country skis are suitable for groomed tracks and are designed for speed with a lightweight and narrow design. With these skis, it’s of great importance to get the correct level of camber, in order for you to get the optimal speed and kick on the tracks. Classic cross country skis are the most common cross country skis and are often used in races, such as Vasaloppet.
If you buy a cross country ski with too much camber you will not be able to press down the skis and the underfoot wax zone will thereby not get in contact with the snow, which results in a backward glide.
In comparison, if you buy too soft cross country skis, you will experience the opposite. You will get an amazing grip, but you will experience an extremely bad glide, because the underfoot wax zone will be pressed too much and constantly down in the snow. This therefore emphasizes the importance of finding cross country skis with the correct amount of camber.
We recommend you choose classic cross country skis, which are around 25 cm taller than yourself.
Cross country skis - SKATING
Cross country skis for skating can be defined by their long glide zone. This kind of cross country skiing is known for a long glide and no grip. Cross country skating skis also comes with a high amount of camber and with a shorter design, compared to classic cross country skis. Therefore, it’s again important to choose the right amount of camber, to get an optimal experience. The cross country skating style can be compared to the movements and feeling of rollerskating.
We recommend you to choose cross country skating skis with a ski height equals your own height.
Cross country skis - BACKCOUNTRY
Backcountry cross country skis are created with a wide ski design, which makes them optimal for cross country skiing outside the tracks. Because of this, backcountry skis are suitable in both soft and on hard/icy snow.
The wider ski design will make sure that you will not drop down through the snow, since your body weight is distributed on a larger surface area. On some backcountry cross country skis skin can be mounted, in order to prevent you from sliding backwards. Additionally, backcountry cross country skis are often designed with steel edges, for a good edge grip on icy snow.
As with classic cross country skis, we recommend you to choose backcountry skis around 20 cm taller than yourself.
A Classic Cross Country Ski's Zones
Classic Cross country skis have three zones on the base (the underneath of the skis). The middle zone is called the underfoot wax zone and is where you apply your kick wax. This zone makes it possible for you to make a kick, when it grips to the snow. Besides that, the back and front parts of the skis are called glide zones and as the name applies these zones makes it possible for you to glide on the snow with glide wax.
If you are still in doubt about which cross country skis to buy, you are welcome to contact us.