We get this a lot in Ski Haus… A customer comes in and says they are new to crosscountry skiing and want to buy new skis. In the first place this is fantastic because there are not enough XC skiers in the world and the world can use all the Nordic skiers we can get. However, this does present a challenge because the next question is what kind of crosscountry skiing do they want to do?
We count at least six different ways to go crosscountry skiing.
1. Race/High Performace Skate & Classic at the track (dedicated to the sport).
2. Performance/Fitness Skate & Classic Skiing at the track (fitness motivated).
3. Light Touring (very light equipment designed for a groomed track and casual skier).
4. Backcountry light touring (traditional camber skis and skinnier width skis designed to cover distance easily).
5. Backcountry Touring with turns (medium width skis, more sidecut, good for touring and turning).
6. Backcountry Telemark on the burliest skis and boots with the main goal of making backcountry turns and harvesting powder).
As much as we wish it, there is not one ski or boot/binding system that will do all of the above skiing for us. So the challenge is to figure what you want to do most often and buy that first. Once you have some fun with that it’s a great idea to expand your crosscountry experience and add some additional styles and techniques to your Nordic repertoire. Becoming a complete Nordic skier is a worthy goal.
There are lots of different ways to crosscountry ski and they are all wonderful. Crosscountry skiing is not one dimensional and you’re not locked into skiing only one kind of trail. This is the ultimate beauty of xc skiing…. Crosscountry anyone? You bet!