The different styles of classic cross-country skis and how to choose them?
Classic skis are generally longer than skating skis, with a few exceptions. They have this length because in order to provide the necessary restraint for the alternative step a restraint zone is mandatory, this zone is located at the level of the skate, i.e. 20 cm at the front of the foot and up to the rear foot. But to be able to keep a maximum of glide it is necessary to add length to the ski in order to have sole length at the front and at the back which will compensate the lack of glide of the restraining part by the effect of friction on snow.
There are several types of restraint systems:
- The scales which are less and less in sight today.
- Skin systems, which are currently the most used.
- Waxing skis used in the competition environment and whose grip depends on a restraining wax adapted to the snow temperature.
- Finally, there are the so-called 0 skis, which are made for falling snow that tends to make the skis kick. These skis have a micropore retention zone and are generally only used for competitions in specific conditions.
Most skiers have nowadays adopted skin systems that are the best compromise between grip comfort and gliding performance. As with skating, there are skis suitable for all levels. In classic even more than in skating the choice of a ski is made by level of course but also, and especially according to the weight of the skier. This is the most important criterion of choice if you want to have skis with a good grip and glide ratio. A ski too long and rigid prevents you from finding the grip on difficult profiles. And a ski that is too soft will penalize you strongly in terms of glide.
Classic boots what design and what to choose?
Most classic cross-country ski boots have a lower upper than skating boots. On the one hand, this is because the movement of the classic style is axial and not lateral, and on the other hand, because classic boots must have maximum forward flexibility for optimal foot roll. Therefore, they do not have collars like skating boots and have a much softer sole at the front. Depending on the level, there are boots with very different designs.
The top of the range boots are equipped with frames with carbon side stiffeners which stabilize the foot laterally for changes of tracks and turning steps. Their soles are also made of carbon and offer more dynamic propulsion. Performance-oriented mid-range models are usually equipped with carbon or plastic and injected carbon side buttresses, and leisure models are equipped with plastic buttresses with soft plastic soles. So there's something for everyone, depending on what you want to do and your budget.
One important thing to remember about shoes is that there are different standards that fit different bindings. The most popular are now the NNN, Prolink or Turnamic boots, these three standards are 100% compatible and allow a much wider choice of equipment for skis and bindings. Then there are the SNS Profil and SNS Pilot standards which are now more in the background because they do not offer the versatility of the other systems.
It is therefore very important when choosing your equipment to make sure that you make the right choice of boot and binding standards. We are here to help you with this, so if you have any doubts, do not hesitate to contact our advisers.
Classic cross-country ski bindings, specificities and choice :
Classic bindings are for the most part very similar in terms of design to skating bindings. The big difference is usually due to the flex pad located on the front of the boot. In classic style, the flex should help you extend your axial movement and foot roll, so flexes are quite flexible. For the choice of bindings, you have to refer to the standard of the shoe, even if as said before, today three 100% compatible standards have taken over, the NNN, Prolink and Turnamic systems. They are compatible with Rossignol, Fischer, Alpina, Madshus, Salomon Prolink and Atomic Prolink shoes. Shoes under SNS Profil standards are only compatible with bindings of the same standard, it is the same for the SNS Pilot standard.
There are of course several levels of ranges, and these generally depend on the materials used to make the plates or at Turnamic the different lever clamps.