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Demand for Nordic Ski gear is at an all-time high and supply is at an all-time low. Our manufacturers are struggling to overcome logistical issues with supply chains and shipping caused by Covid-19 shutdowns and delays. As a result we continue to deal with unprecedented shortages. We apologize for the inconvenience and will re-activate the category online as soon as we are able to secure more stock.

November 25, 2020

NORDIC SKI BUYERS GUIDE
Nordic skiing (also known as cross-country skiing) is a great way to get out there and enjoy all that winter has to offer. It is divided into two main styles. You can either classic ski or skate ski. Both are similar in that your heel is not connected to the ski (as with downhill skiing) and you use your muscles and gear to move forward. Here are some key differences between them.

CLASSIC SKIING
Uses a forward and back striding motion that resembles how you walk or run. This makes it a logical starting point for those new to Nordic Skiing. Classic skiing is typically done on groomed tracks or in the backcountry.
SKATE SKIING
Uses a technique that resembles a speed skater on ice. You propel yourself forward by pushing your ski edges out to the side. Skate skiing is done on wide groomed trails.
The equipment for classic and skate skiing differs some, though not dramatically. The main pieces of gear required to enjoy a day on the trails are skis, boots, bindings and poles.
SKIS
Choosing the right ski for you will depend on where you want to go and what type of skiing you are looking to do.
CLASSIC: SPORT/TOURING SKIS

These skis are designed for skiing on groomed tracks. They are a great option for people who want to have fund and get some exercise but are not interested in getting a major workout or set course records.

CLASSIC: PERFORMANCE/RACE SKIS
These skis are similar to sport/touring skis in that you use them in groomed tracks. They tended to be built for faster, more aggressive skiing making them less forgiving and requiring better technique. They are a great option for people who want to move quickly and get a major workout on groomed trails.
Backcountry / Off Trail Skiing: Group of people backcountry skiing in open area
CLASSIC: BACKCOUNTRY/OFF TRAIL

These skis are made for skiing out-of-track or on steeper terrain. Compared to Sport/Touring skis, they are typically shorter, wider and have metal edges. These features make them better suited for out-of-track skiing by making them more maneuverable, have better float in deeper snow and offer better grip in icy conditions.

Skate Ski: Two people climbing hill in Skate Ski style
SKATE SKIS

Skate skis are light, skinny, stiff and generally shorter than classic skis. They are designed to grip using the edge of the ski and glide using the base of the ski.

SKI LENGTH
Once you have decided on the right type of ski, you then need to get the right length of ski. Body weight is the most important factor with determining what size of ski to get. This simple size chart below will give you a very general idea of what length of ski might be best for you.

SKI LENGTH VS SKILL LEVEL

Longer skis tend to be faster than shorter ones. So, if you find yourself between sizes when looking at size charts and recommended weight ranges, think about your skiing ability. If you have never skied before, you will likely want to choose the shorter option. Experienced skiers will generaly be better off with the longer option

SKI BASES: WAXLESS VS WAXABLE VS SKINS
In order to climb hills or maintain forward momentum on flat terrain skis need to grip the snow. Skate skis reply on their edges for traction. Classic skis achieve their grip in one of three ways.
Classic Ski Base: Waxless/Fishskin
CLASSIC SKI BASE: WAXLESS/FISHSCALE
These skis have really good grip but can detract you from the glide. They are perfect if you are starting out in Nordic skiing and you use the classic ski groomed trails.
Classic Ski Base: Skin
CLASSIC SKI BASE: SKIN
Skin skis are making a comeback thanks to the new generation of skins developed for backcountry skiing. These kinds of skis are a great compromise between grip and glide. They can withstand more wear and tear than waxable skis, and they can even be used in long distance races. The skins can be changed depending on whether or not you want to grip more or glide more.
Classic Ski Base: Waxable
CLASSIC SKI BASE: WAXABLE
Waxable skis allow you to achieve good glide. The amount of grip can be changed by applying different types of wax to the kick zone. Choosing the right kick wax (or grip wax) by considering the temperature of the snow on the trail is quite an art and something that you will learn with practice. You will need to master this to get the best performance from your skis. Waxable skis are therefore best left to the experts.
BOOTS
Boots are a key part of the package. It is important to choose boots that are comfortable, fit you well, and match the type of skiing you are doing. Here are the key differences between each type.

SEE THE BOOTS

CLASSIC SKI BOOT

Classic ski boots offer a combination of flexibility for striding and torsional rigidity for turning and stopping. Touring/Sport boots often emphasize comfort and tend to have more insulation than Race/Performance models. While Race/Performance boots are typically lighter and sometimes have lower cuffs to allow for a greater range of motion.
SKATE SKI BOOT

Skate ski boots offer more ankle support than classic ski models to help protect against the twisting forces involved in the skating technique. They also have stiffer soles to help minimize torsional and forward flex.
COMBI SKI BOOT

Combi ski boots are designed for both skate and classic skiing. They have a blend of features that allow them to perform pretty well for both styles.
BINDINGS
The performance differences between bindings are subtle so let your choice in boots guide what type of bindings you get. Boots have different types of soles on them, making them only compatible with specific bindings. There are 4 main types of soles: NNN (New Nordic Norm), SNS (Salomon Nordic System), Turnamic and ProLink. While Turnamic and ProLink and NNN are all interchangeable with one another, SNS soles only work with SNS bindings.

NNN BINDING
SNS BINDING
TURNAMIC
PROLINK
BINDING CHART
BINDINGS: MANUAL VS AUTOMATIC
MANUAL: Manual bindings require you to bend over to lock your boots to the bindings or to release them. They typically make a more solid connection with boots and are something serious skiers prefer.

AUTOMATIC: Automatic bindings allow you to step into them without bending over and to lease them with the press of a ski pole. The convenience of automatic is nice and it is a feature many recreational skiers enjoy.

BINDING PLATES
Some skies come with binding plates installed on them .These allow for quick and easy binding installation without drilling and the ability to reposition the bindings forward and back based on this like snow conditions and skiing ability. Skis with plates on them need to have compatible bindings installed.


POLES
To complete your ski setup, you need a quality pair of poles. Poles come in different materials, have different baskets, straps and lengths, depending n the type of skiing you plan on doing.

MATERIALS

Aluminum: Aluminum poles are more durable and economical choice, aluminum poles are typically a bit heavier than composite poles. They are usually designed for Classic Touring/Sport or BackCountry/Off Trail skiing.

Composite: Composite poles feature shafts that are made either of entirely or partially from carbon composite. They are lighter and more expensive than aluminum and are preferred by dedicated skiers on Skate skis or Race/Performance Classic skis.

ALUMINUM POLE
COMPOSITE POLE
BASKETS & STRAPS

BASKETS: There are two styles of baskets to choose from:

Small Semicircle Basket: These baskets are best suited for packed snow. Making them a better choice for skate, classic touring/sport and classic race/performance skiing.

Bigger Baskets (~3: diameter): These baskets are best suited for deep powder snow. Making them a better choice of backcountry/off trail skiing.

STRAPS: Straps keep the poles with you and when worn properly, give you something to push off of while poling. Strap styles range from basic webbing loops to elaborate systems with hook-and-loop fasteners and quick-release mechanisms.

Simple Webbing Loops: These are typically intended for either classic touring/sport or backcountry/off trail use.

Elaborate Strap Systems: These are often meant for skiers who are on skate skis or race/performance classic skis. The straps hug you hands tightly and keep the poles positioned perfectly for efficient polling.

SEMICIRCLE BASKET
BACKCOUNTRY BASKET
WEBBING LOOP
STRAP SYSTEM