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Cross Country Ski

Cross Country Skiing
Gear Guide
Safety Tips

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Cross Country Skiing Gear Guide

Your first step in choosing gear for cross country skiing gear is to decide what type of skiing you plan to do. In you plan to stay on predominately groomed trails, defined trails and moderate terrain, you are probably looking for general touring equipment. This type of gear is designed for the classic style of cross country skiing. While it is heavier than skating equipment, it is considerable lighter, and therefore less supportive than the equipment that is used for backcountry cross country skiing.

Body weight and skiing ability are also important factors to be considered when choosing your gear. Additionally, most skiers prefer the waxed model skis as opposed to the non-waxed models. When you are trying on cross country ski boots, make sure they fit comfortable while providing adequate support. They also need to be compatible with your bindings.

Because of the newer technologies that are utilized in modern cross country ski design, today’s skis are relatively shorter than those of their ancestors. In general, touring skis are narrower. As a result, they produce less drag, which in turns helps glide faster while covering more ground and expending less energy.

The term side is used in reference to the long, inward curves on both sides of a ski. A ski’s side cut is determined in millimeters by the width of its tip, waist and tail. The greater the difference in measurements, the larger the side cut. A ski’s side cut enables you to keep more of a ski's edge in contact with the snow when you turn. It therefore facilitates easier carving. Touring skis have minimal side cut, since carving is usually unnecessary on groomed tracks or on gentle terrain. However, if you plan to occasionally venture off-piste where you may encounter hills, trees and other obstacles, seek out skis with a moderate side cut. Touring skis have cross-country camber, which is the pronounced arch in the center of the ski. You should also look for skis that have a stiff flex, since their glide is more efficient.

In track cross country skiing uses lighter poles with relatively small baskets. Wider baskets are needed for skiing off-piste. Also, if you plan to ski in any area that has hills, look into telescoping poles that you can shorten for the ascent and lengthen for the descent. In track boots are lighter and more flexible than off-piste boots, which offer more support.

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