Cross-country skiing – For cross-country skiing or for classic skiing?
Cross-country skiing has evolved into almost two separate sports – one using the skating technique, and the other using the diagonal step or the classic technique. In our ski shop we ask ourselves if we buy skate equipment or classic ski equipment in the beginning. What’s the difference? And can a package be used for both skating and the classic xc technique?
Nordic Skiing and Cross Country Skiing
Most are familiar with the classic xc technique or known as striding. Many who just want to venture into the backyard choose a tour package – a ski around which can be used on both untidy and well-kept xc routes. These classic skis are wider than the race equivalent and have fish scales that serve to replace the blow wax in the area under the foot. This allows the user to propel a hill forward without slipping back or “missing” a shot. For more serious athletes, classic xc skis, boots, ties and poles are very different from touring skis. Cross-country skiing is lighter and thinner than the equivalent of cross-country skiing. A classic Nordic boot is flexible, allowing the foot to bend as you propel forward. The link is mainly used to keep the boot on the ski and offers low stability compared to a skating boot. The length of the ski pole for classical technique usually extends to the pit. These poles are light and rigid and are usually made of carbon fiber or slightly equivalent material.
The xc skate ski equipment is very different from the classic Nordic equipment. Skate skis are usually shorter than the classic variety, but they are also light and thin. Unlike classic boots, skating boots are extremely rigid and tend to fit perfectly to the foot. The skating boots extend above the ankle, allowing greater support when pushing from side to side. The skate connection is also rigid, allowing greater stability than the classic connection. The length of the XC pillar is also longer than the classic pillar. Skating poles usually extend to the height of skiers’ noses. These poles are also light and rigid.
The world of cross-country skiing makes a “combined” boot than can be used for both classic and skating, but the disadvantage of this boot is that it does not do any good. For classic skiing, it tends to be a little stiff and quite uncomfortable. For skating, the boot tends to be too soft, resulting in a less stable ski.
Classic vs Skate Cross-Country Skiing
For serious cross-country skiers, separate ski packages for skating and classic skiing are ideal. To answer the question of what to buy first – ski skis or classic skis. Here in Mammoth Lakes California, we saw a general trend to buy skate skis. Skateboarding is faster, more dynamic and, in general, a more cardiovascular workout. It is worth taking a skating lesson if you are a beginner – or even if you are an experienced skier xc – a good technique will go a long way. There is nothing wrong with classic skiing – but it tends to require more skill in technique to become skilled at it. There are some who only choose to skate, but this limits the number of ski days available, because on snowy days or after heavy snow, classic skiing will be ideal. After heavy snow or on snowy days,
Brian’s Bikes and Cross-Country Skiing is a full-service online retail and cross-country skiing store. Serving Mammoth Lakes California for over 30 years, we offer cross-country ski packages, xc ski racing packages, ski wax, cross-country skis and ski equipment.