Equipment for Nordic Skiing

Written By: Roger Lohr

Nordic (another term for cross country ski) skating ski equipment gives higher speed and performance than classic Nordic ski equipment. When you select skating equipment, you'll want to consider stability (ability to control high-speed turns) and speed (how far you glide on a ski).

To select skate skis, use manufacturer size charts, which correlate skiers' weight and height to ski lengths. If you already own classic skis, one rule of thumb is to take 10 centimeters (cm) off your appropriate classic ski length.

If a store has a sophisticated flex and/or pressure testing device, they really will be able to know the exact flex and pressure characteristics of a ski. This can be useful even for a beginner in selecting a ski that is just right for a skier's size and ability. It is safe to select a medium flex for your weight.

Skate poles are longer than the poles used in classic skiing. They should reach the cleft of your chin while you are standing in shoes or ski boots on a floor.

Skating boots have features to stabilize your foot and ankle and increase the responsiveness of the "push off" phase. Skate boots also are stiffer than classic boots, because you will want the boot to flex only enough to aggressively drive the ski.

If you find the high-end skate boots too restrictive, lower-end skate or combi boots (boots for both skating and classic cross country skiing) might be a better choice. Classic boots generally are too flexible and cut too low to give a skier a strong push-off and good support during the skate gliding phase.
As with classic ski gear, always have your skate-ski bindings professionally mounted.

 Pre-season ski & Snowboard checklist

Inspect and prep your gear, outerwear and accessories for the upcoming season!

Before the first snowflakes start flying, smart skiers and snowboarders take the time to go through their closets and garages to make sure their first day is stress-free. Doing a little prep early in the season can go a long way when you’re itching to get on the hill. So, that’s why SnowSports Industries America (SIA) has put together a handy pre-season check-list that can help get everyone on the hill a little faster the day after an epic snowfall.  


When’s the last time you had your skis/snowboard tuned? If the answer is “I can’t remember” then it’s time to get your equipment in for a tune. A general rule of thumb: if you've ridden five times on your boards, it’s time for a tune-up. Plus, an expert wax and sharpening makes skis/snowboards last longer and provide more control for turns and stopping.


If your hands are blocks of ice, you’re not going to enjoy any winter activity and your dexterity and performance is also affected. Make sure the whole family has a pair that fits properly.


Does your jacket still fit? Have your kids outgrown their outerwear? Are they up to the demands of winter activities? Some kids Prejackets and pants have hems that can be let out to get one more year of wear. However, if you/your kids are heading out on the slopes in varying weather conditions, it’s worth it to invest in well-made, quality outerwear. 

Travel/Pass/Lesson Discounts

Fall is the time to take advantage of discounts on travel packages, lessons and lift tickets/passes. Check with your local resort and retailer or a destination resort you’ve been planning to visit to see if they’re offering any “early bird specials”. 


Do you have one – does your kid need the next size up? For all ages of skiers/snowboarder, helmets are becoming the norm on the slopes. Not only do they protect against head injuries, but also provide warmth since up to 60% of your body's heat can escape from an uncovered head. 


If you can’t see where you’re headed on a mountain, you’re in big trouble. It’s amazing how much fun you can have on a mountain when glare, snow and flat light aren’t holding you back so make sure your goggles still fit properly. Check to make sure your goggles still fit and didn’t suffer too many scratches last season.

Hit the slopes!

Now that your gear is all up to date and you’re ready to go to the snow, we’ve put together a suggested packing list for you to reference. Download Here

Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and