Factors in selecting the correct Cross Country - XC Ski
When deciding on a new pair of XC skis there are many factors that need to be considered. First is your ability, fitness level and goals. What are you hoping to gain from cross country skiing. Is it a passion for you that you have pursued for many years? If so you probably already have some skiis in mind that would suit your needs. We still recommend coming in to the shop and looking at all your options.
Perhaps you are brand new to cross country skiing. If that is the case its a good idea to ask what your goal is. Are you looking to get a good workout and eventually progress in the sport? Are you simply looking for an enjoyable passtime? Another way to hike in the winter? All of these will come into play when you choose your first skis. For people who are just looking to get out and enjoy the outdoors, are not to concerned with high performance and are more concerned with having good grip up the hills than fast gliding down them; a waxless/non-wax ski may be just the thing. Non-wax skis have a pattern imprinted on the bottom of the ski that provide a mechanical purchase on the snow as opposed to waxable skiis that require a sticky wax appropriate to the temperature to be applied. In the recreational and intermediate level of skis non-waxable skiis tend to focus on good grip and stability and a little less on glide. You can often get away without having as good of technique to get a good grip, propel yourself forward and have an enjoyable time. In contrast waxable skiis often offer superior glide and the grip portion can be adjusted to suit a variety of temperature conditions by changing the grip (sticky) wax. In general a waxable ski requires a little better technique to get good grip from and is better suited to a person who considers performance and good glide an important consideration in their ski.
Check out Peter's explaination of the difference between waxable and non-wax xc skis
What about length?
The correct length of ski is a difficult thing to explain on a website. In this next video Peter explains some of the process McBike and Sport in Smithers goes through to make sure you have the correct ski for your height, weight and intended use. Most important thing to note is if you go into a store and the only thing they ask you to do is raise your arm and they hold a ski up to your wrist and say 'These will work', turn around and find a more knowledable store. A professional cross country ski shop will have a testing board to insure the skiis are correct for your weight as well and that you are getting the best combo of glide and grip for your ability level and intended use.
Hopefully these videos have been helpful in your quest for the perfect XC ski. We really encourage you to call or come into the shop and have a conversation with one of our professionals and get properly fitted.
get out & play today!!
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