Nordic Skis

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What a great time to be a nordic skier here in the upper valley.  There are more groomed areas than ever to ski, there are great skiing programs for kids, lots of other people to go skiing with, and lots of local backcountry.   We carry all types of nordic skis, boots, and poles (except jumping skis) from great brands like Fischer Atomic, Salomon, Rossignol, and Alpina.  We also carry all the wax, tuning supplies, and XC clothing by Swix, Sporthill, Craft, Salomon, and  Daehlie to help get the most out of your experience.

Cross-country skis have evolved beyond their simple origins into several specific categories. Trying to comprehend all of the subtlety at once can seem like a daunting prospect; the best approach is to ask yourself some key questions and narrow your focus to a more manageable field. Below you’ll find information to help you find the right style of ski for you.

Where do you plan on skiing?

There are three basic answers:

  • “In-track.” You live within driving distance of a Nordic ski center with groomed and track-set ski trails, and you want the skis designed for it. Well-suited skis are narrow, fast gliding and lightweight. You’ll cover a lot of ground and get a great aerobic workout. Consider either Classic Track or Skating skis for this application; you just need to decide which discipline to pursue.
  • “Both in- and out-of-track.” You want the versatility to ski at the Nordic center one day and in the fields behind your house the next. Light Touring skis are typically narrow enough to fit in machine-set ski tracks but also have the width to make adventures into untracked natural snow much more fun.
  • “Out-of-track.” For dedicated skiing on natural snow away from the crowds. Rugged Touring skis are the best match for neighborhood hiking trails, forest service roads or remote mountain ascents where you want skis designed to handle natural snow and the terrain that comes with it . The additional width gives more stability on downhills and floatation in powder, gliding on top where narrower skis plunge beneath and are harder to steer.

 

What is your Nordic skiing ability level?

The properties of your ideal ski are also governed by your experience and Nordic technique. For example, an advanced skier will be happiest on a stiffer pair of Classical skis; since he knows how to transfer weight and pressure the kick zone effectively, he will be able to glide faster on a stiff setup. Beginners often prefer softer models that are more easily pressured for grip without precise technique. Your fitness level also plays a role in selecting skis. Less active skiers look for skis that are easy to balance on, stable on downhills and soft-flexing for climbing grip without slippage.

Do you want waxable or waxless skis?

This question refers to the method by which a Classic style XC ski  can get grip on the snow so that the skier can push off and propel themselves forward.  A  Waxable ski is designed so that the skier applies a “kick wax” to the base of the ski under and in front of where the foot is.  The wax that is used depends on the temperature and snow conditions.  Waxable skis have the most glide, which is why they are used almost all the time in racing situations. The grip on Waxless skis  comes in two types.  Either a grip pattern is molded or cut into the base during manufacturing, or a section of mohair is attached to the base under and in front of the foot.  Waxless skis are good for lots of skiing situations from touring centers to the backcountry.  Like all skis they should still be glide waxed to avoid snow clumping on the base and for best performance.

What are your Nordic skiing goals?

It could be to improve your time in the Nordic 20k races, maintain general fitness, spend time outside with friends and family, descend steep backcountry ski trails or simply explore the woods around the local golf course. Your goals will influence the category of skis you examine, as well as the appropriate model within that category. Someone interested in cross-training for triathlons will be matched with a different ski than a fellow who’s looking for a faster alternative to snowshoeing with the dog.

How much are you going to ski?

Generally, the more you’ll be skiing the more performance you will expect out of your equipment. Beginning skiers who plan on skiing frequently are best served purchasing a ski package that will grow with them as technique and confidence improves.