Accessories, Ski & Spa

Best Cross Country Skis for You

November 21, 2012 by

Cross Country Skis

Like almost every winter sport, cross-country skiing has changed over the last 15 years as equipment becomes more specialized. When looking for the best cross county skis, it can get a little overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

Cross Country Ski Trails

Touring skis are lighter than metal-edge touring skis.

Cross Country Ski Models

When choosing cross-country skis, think about the type of cross-country skiing you plan to do: track skiing, off-trail skiing, or both. Touring skis are lighter than metal-edge touring skis. These skis are the best cross-country skis for groomed trails. In general, they are longer and narrower, which makes them faster for track skiing.

Metal-edge touring skis offer better maneuverability and are more suitable for off the trails. They are still light enough for kicking and gliding, but the metal edges offer a better grip in icy conditions. These skis feature the ability to turn better on steeper slopes, but the same features that make them better for out-of-the track skiing also makes them heavier.

Cross Country Ski Backcountry

Metal-edge touring skis offer a better grip in icy conditions.

All Terrain

If you aren’t the type of skier who always skis the trails or only likes to go off trail, then the best type of ski for you would be an all-terrain waxless touring ski with metal edges. This type of ski is versatile and works well in or out of the tracks.

Waxless or Waxable?

Speaking of waxless touring skis, that’s another thing to consider when buying your cross-country skis. Skis need traction to go uphill or downhill. Waxless skis are designed to create this traction which helps grip the snow.

Waxable skis, on the other hand, require the skier to apply wax to get the same grip. This is one of those things that make it difficult to say which type of ski is best, because it really comes back to the skier. If you want a ski that requires less maintenance, then a waxless model is best for you, however skiers who really want the best performance should buy waxable skis.

Before You Purchase Cross Country Skis

Before you shell out your hard-earned money for the cross-country skis you think you want, talk to the ski shop about renting, first. This allows you to try the skis to find out if they are all you hoped for. It also gives you an opportunity to try more than one brand.

The best cross-country skis are the ones that really perform the way you want them to.

Photo credits: kbrookes, will_cyclist DrStarbuck



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