Selecting Cross Country Ski
Comfortable, warm boots are the most important component of your ski
Cross country ski boots
are sized in three different ways: European, American and Mondo
Point. European sizes are numbers in the 30s and 40s. Traditional
American sizes are generally standard sizes for example 5 -12.
Mondo Point is the length of the boot in centimeters.
Bring the socks you'll be
wearing on the slopes when you try on the boots. A liner sock under
a winter sock will provide extra warmth and comfort. The liner will
help draw perspiration away from your feet, help prevent friction
blisters and keep you warmer with an additional layer.
boots to be used on groomed trails should feel like running shoes.
They should be comfortable, flexible and lightweight.
Classic touring boots that come up over the
ankle might be a good choice for new skiers. For off-track skiing
you will need boots to handle the conditions so opt for a
lightweight boot with more ankle support that is moderately rigid to
resist twisting. Boots should have some insulation between the
inner lining and the outer shell. Some boots have extra features
such as lace covers and rings for attaching gaiters. These can be
especially helpful for keeping snow out of the boots when you're
skiing off track.
homework, spend some time reading magazines and researching on the
internet so that you have a good idea of what you are looking to
purchase. If possible go to a specialty ski shop. They will have a
better selection and knowledgeable salespeople. Don't be afraid to
Due to the different ways
boots are sized you will need to try on a variety of styles to see
which boots suit your foot best. Always try on both boots, laced up
at the store. Walk, jump, run, move in the boots. Pay attention to
how they feel. The fit should be snug and your heel should remain
in place. You should be able to wiggle your toes.
What are Bindings?
The basic concept
of bindings is to keep the toe and front of the boot locked in place
and the hell and back part of the foot free to move up and down.
There are many different types of cross country ski bindings
available. Boots and bindings are normally sold together since
they must work as a team. So it
is extremely important that the bindings are matched to the type of
boots that you select.
important that bindings be set by a certified technician, because
if they are set incorrectly, you could suffer a severe injury.
What Kind of XC Ski Poles Are Needed?
Skiers use their poles to push forward. Any reasonably light pole
will be fine for a beginner. The height of the pole and the size of
the basket are important features to consider when purchasing poles.
If you plan to ski on
groomed, maintained trails then you will need strong, lightweight
poles. The pole should reach from the ground to under your
armpit or slightly higher.
to avoid poles with overly large baskets. The basket is the loop or
plastic cup at the bottom of the pole and its function is to keep
the pole from sinking too far into the snow. Since the snow on these
trails typically involves packed, groomed snow your pole baskets
should be relatively small. Make sure the poles have a
comfortable, adjustable strap assembly for a full range of poling
If you plan on off track
skiing, touring outside of the groomed areas, you will need a
slightly larger pole basket. The larger the basket, the better it is
for use in deep snow.
You may also want to consider
multiple-piece, telescoping poles that will allow you to shorten
both poles to climb uphill comfortably, lengthen both poles for
descents, or shorten one pole and lengthen the other for traversing
for Buying Kids Equipment as Their Child's Skills Progress Through
beginner, a pair of no-wax skis that should be approximately the
same height as the skier. It is better for the child to outgrow
their skis than to grow into them.
Classic length poles are needed. The height should reach the
child’s armpit with the pole tip in the snow. Select a binding
that is not difficult to operate, but is not prone to releasing
either. If you select strap-type bindings used in conjunction with
snow boots, ensure that all the straps are integrated into the
As your child progresses to the next level of skill development it
is preferable to have waxable skis, even if it is the child's first
pair. Skis can be dual purpose (classic skis that can also be used
for skating), but poles must remain classic length.
When the child is ready to progress to skating techniques they will
need classic, dual purpose skis, but they now require both skating
length poles and classic length poles.
Eventually, as skill levels progress, parents may wish to provide
the child with two sets of equipment (both skating and classic) if
their ski skills and future involvement in the sport appear to
warrant the investment.
should reach just below the wrist of the skier's outstretched
arm, with the camber suitable for classic skiing.
should be 3-4 cm above the head of the skier, with a camber
suitable for skating.
skis should be a length mid-way between the length for a classic
ski and a skating ski, but the camber must be determined by what
is suitable for classic skiing.
Poles must have
should reach under the arm when the skier is standing on the
should be the same height as the chin