Cross country skiing is for everyone!
What style is best for you?
Like anything, cross country skiing can be confusing! Let's keep it simple. Understand the basics, make an equipment choice, and get out there!
Tour style skiing is as easy as it gets, and should be your choice if you have never skied before, or are simply seeking an enjoyable shuffle through the woods. Tour style skis are wide, stable, usually waxless for easy climbing, and not too fast! Comfortable boots and simple poles complete the package. That's it, you're ready to go!
Classic style skiing is a faster, more aerobic version of tour style skiing. Similar to jogging on skis, classic style skiing requires a "kick and glide" technique that can be executed simply for a moderate workout, or mastered over a lifetime for the most efficient, and traditional style of Nordic skiing. Classic style skiing is often done within a "set track" created by a grooming implement, but can be done on any groomed, or even partially packed snow. Classic XC skis are narrow, require some kick and glide wax, and are faster than a touring ski. Sounds fun huh? It is! Consider a lesson if you're interested in starting out right, or just go out and give it whirl!
The new kid on the block, and pioneered in North America, skate style skiing is a completely different means of propulsion on XC skis than tour or classic style skiing. The motion is similar to ice skating, inline skating, or even roller skating. Skate style skiing can be very natural if you've skied before, and is fast and fun. Skate skis are narrow and have only glide wax applied from tip to tail- no kick zone or "fish scales." Like good classic style skiing, skate skiing requires some technique. A lesson is a good idea if you are interested in learning this exciting style of XC skiing.