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Cross Country Ski Recommendations (Read 76 times)

    I don't like running in snowy conditions, and neither does my wife, so we are considering about taking up Cross Country Skiing.

     

    I went to look at skis on Craigslist, but I have absolutely no idea on what to buy.  I don't want to buy something expensive right away and figure out it doesn't work for me.

     

    Just a little info about me. I'm six one and have a size 12 shoe.  My wife is five seven and wears a size 8 shoe.

     

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    day after day sameness

      A couple videos on selecting x-country equipment...might help in some way:  LL Bean youtube

      I've done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day...


      Fat butt on couch

        Do you plan to classic (forward-and-back motion in groomed tracks) or skate style?  What do the trails around you that you plan to use groom for?

         

        I recommend you find a good ski shop in your area and buy new.  Skis and poles must be properly selected for your weight and height or you will have a miserable time.

         

        The initial investment of a few hundred dollars is worth it, if properly cared for they will last a very long time.  I don't use them often at all anymore as we usually lack the snow and I usually lack the time to justify waxing for just a day or two of skiing while we do have snow, but the gear I bought in 1997 is perfectly servicable.

         

        Finally, the only skis you don't have to put time into waxing would be "fish scale" skis.  Frankly, fishscales suck and they are classic-only.  But they are cheap and will give you a workout.  Waxes also need to be selected appropriately for the snow temp.

         

        I know you don't want a big up-front investment, but this is one of those cases where if you don't a) do it right up front at a shop who knows what they are doing, or b) have someone who really knows what they are doing shop Criaglist for you, you will have a miserable first experience.

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         

          We rented some skis today.  They were Fischer Control.  I wasn't traveling very fast at all, but it was a good workout.  I'm not sure if the skis were right or not, or if the poles were the right height either.  The poles seemed kind of high (around my shoulders)

           

          The trails weren't groomed very nicely (there were lane like things for your skis) but I did the forward and backward classic style anyways.

           

          The main thing was it was fun.  I think I will go to a store and get a hold of someone that knows what they are talking about so I do have a good time out there.  Thanks for the tips.


          day after day sameness

             The poles seemed kind of high (around my shoulders)

             

             

            That's about right, for a 6' person...you'd want a pole between 150 - 160cm depending on skate or touring style. The height of the pole gives you the push off behind you -- not planted in front as you'd do in alpine skiing.

            I've done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day...

              You might also check around for a local ski club or ski area that gives beginners lessons. They may be able to help you dial in on gear for your size and your locality and type of skiing. Skate and classic skiing are usually done on groomed trails, but ski touring can be done on most anything. We've got folks touring on our single track - although not everybody has that level of control.

               

              Winter Trails day was a few weeks ago, but there might be some places that didn't celebrate on that day. You can check out skis (usually waxless) or snowshoes or whatever your place has for free for a couple hours. Some places may offer instruction. Some places may be so busy, it's a zoo on that day, but at least it's an opportunity. (I think they estimated we had 400 at ours - combo Winter Trails day and ribbon cutting for new chalet at new ski trails)

              http://www.snowlink.com/wintertrails.aspx

              "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
              SillyC


                Agree with Spaniel all the way on getting skis from someone who knows what they are doing....

                 

                But disagree on this....

                 


                 

                Finally, the only skis you don't have to put time into waxing would be "fish scale" skis.  Frankly, fishscales suck and they are classic-only.  But they are cheap and will give you a workout.  Waxes also need to be selected appropriately for the snow temp.

                 

                 

                 

                Classic fishscale skis get a really bad rap, but they are still lots of fun.  I have a pair of waxless touring skis.  They are pretty freeing because it means that I can ski even IF I can't get it together to wax them.  My neighbors have non-fish scale skis, and I think I ski twice as much as them because I can just grab my skis and go.  Also, the pair I have work well on ungroomed trails.  Okay, yeah, if I had some "good" wax skis I could go faster.  But I don't really care.  I get a decent workout and I still have a good time.

                http://heatherrunstoomuch.blogspot.com/


                Fat butt on couch

                   

                  That's about right, for a 6' person...you'd want a pole between 150 - 160cm depending on skate or touring style. The height of the pole gives you the push off behind you -- not planted in front as you'd do in alpine skiing.

                   

                  This.  A lot of your drive comes from your poles, so they are tall so you have a long power stroke.  This is why the sport is such a good workout.

                  "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                   


                  Fat butt on couch

                     

                     

                    But disagree on this....

                     

                     

                    Classic fishscale skis get a really bad rap, but they are still lots of fun.  I have a pair of waxless touring skis.  They are pretty freeing because it means that I can ski even IF I can't get it together to wax them.  My neighbors have non-fish scale skis, and I think I ski twice as much as them because I can just grab my skis and go.  Also, the pair I have work well on ungroomed trails.  Okay, yeah, if I had some "good" wax skis I could go faster.  But I don't really care.  I get a decent workout and I still have a good time.

                     

                    Well it's personal preference for sure.  My first pair were fishscales.  I knew nothing and I actually was trying to skate on them...boy was that a heck of a workout.  Smile

                     

                    But once I went to waxed skis there was no going back, I just enjoyed it so much more.  I also completely dropped classic style....just personally enjoyed the speed and flow of skate so much more.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                    SillyC


                       

                      Well it's personal preference for sure.  My first pair were fishscales.  I knew nothing and I actually was trying to skate on them...boy was that a heck of a workout.  Smile

                       

                      But once I went to waxed skis there was no going back, I just enjoyed it so much more.  I also completely dropped classic style....just personally enjoyed the speed and flow of skate so much more.

                       

                      And then a lot of this comes down to what's available to you locally.  Around where I am, there are a lot of "rail trails" you can ski on, and only a couple of groomed areas.  On the weekend, the groomed areas are chock full of grandmas, people towing babies in pulks, a busload of developmentally disabled adults, bird watchers, and folks actively drinking coffee while cruising down the path.  You've got a couple of choices here - you can curse and whine at their existence while your heart rate drops, or strap on a pair of classic skis and join the party.

                       

                      Locally (I live in Massachusetts) I have seen such antisocial behavior out of the skate skiers.  The worst being about 4 of them that kept knocking over a developmentally disabled man that was struggling to get up.  Every time another skier got the guy up, a skate skier would push through the crowd of classic skiers (who were waiting for the guy) and take him down again.  Awful.

                       

                      Nearly every time I go out a skate skier will take down one of my kids.  The kicker with this one is that most of the skate skiers that have done this are ultrarunners.  And I recognize them!  But they don't recognize me because I look like just some other fat mom.  Lemme tell you - I got a list now of people who will never be getting any damn rolaids out of MY drop bag.

                       

                      I suppose it isn't ALL of the skate skiers, though.  There are TWO guys that are really nice and don't plow down my kids.  Two.  Just two.

                      http://heatherrunstoomuch.blogspot.com/


                      Fat butt on couch

                         

                         

                         

                        Locally (I live in Massachusetts) I have seen such antisocial behavior out of the skate skiers.  The worst being about 4 of them that kept knocking over a developmentally disabled man that was struggling to get up.  Every time another skier got the guy up, a skate skier would push through the crowd of classic skiers (who were waiting for the guy) and take him down again.  Awful.

                         

                        Nearly every time I go out a skate skier will take down one of my kids.  The kicker with this one is that most of the skate skiers that have done this are ultrarunners.  And I recognize them!  But they don't recognize me because I look like just some other fat mom.  Lemme tell you - I got a list now of people who will never be getting any damn rolaids out of MY drop bag.

                         

                        I suppose it isn't ALL of the skate skiers, though.  There are TWO guys that are really nice and don't plow down my kids.  Two.  Just two.

                         

                        That is awful.  That sounds like more a factor of geography and crowded trails that "skate skier personality".  I never witnessed such a thing in northern Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota.

                        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                         

                        HCH


                          Locally (I live in Massachusetts) I have seen such antisocial behavior out of the skate skiers.  The worst being about 4 of them that kept knocking over a developmentally disabled man that was struggling to get up.  Every time another skier got the guy up, a skate skier would push through the crowd of classic skiers (who were waiting for the guy) and take him down again.  Awful.

                           

                          Nearly every time I go out a skate skier will take down one of my kids.  

                           

                          Same story here. What is up with that? It reminds me of biking. 20 years ago, cross-country skiing and biking were both vaguely counter-culture, backroads pursuits full of good natured, off-beat folks. Not anymore, at least around here. I hate to generalize (but I will anyway) but now both sports have been taken over by obnoxious yuppies who are more interested in showing off their expensive gear than sportsmanship. It's been a very odd transformation to watch.

                           

                          Oh, and I agree that fishscales are great for beginners and for classic skiing. They are the most practical choice if you will touring and/or blazing. The technology has gotten so much better over the last decade. They are a huge improvement over the first and second generation waxless skis!

                          - Holly

                          HCH


                              I never witnessed such a thing in northern Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota.

                             

                            Or maybe it's an urban/rural thing? I have never witnessed that sort of behavior in northern Minnesota, where I spend a lot of time each winter, but here in the Twin Cities metro the ski trails on the weekends have a sort of Lord of the Flies mentality about them. It's awful.

                            - Holly

                            Durrr


                              When it comes to skate ski bullies, I'd be most worried about biathletes. They're packin'!

                               

                              If you're like me and you live in an area that typically only gets a few light dustings of snow over the winter (i.e., never more than 3") --- and thus your cross-country skiing is limited to a couple confined rambles around your yard or a local playground park --- then waxless/fishscale classic skis are the way to go. Especially if you're a novice.

                              HCH


                                Ha, but I love biathletes. They're about as fringe of an endurance athlete as you can get.

                                - Holly

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