How to choose classic cross-country skis
Classic: Selecting your grip system
Skis with scales
Skis with skins
Skis with wax
Classic: Selecting the range
Choosing the right skis
Once you have defined the category of skis, you have to define your needs, your level, your aspirations and make a choice about the brand and the size of your skis.
You have to choose the size of the ski according to your weight. If you want to have enough grip through the uphills you need to be able to push hard enough on the ski so that the entire grip zone (scale, skin or wax) is in contact with the snow. Without this, you won’t be able to push properly on your legs and have a powerful propulsion. Remember that the skis also need to glide when you are standing straight on them, when they are parallel and your weight is equally distributed on left and right leg. For these reasons it is important to determine your weight and level before making your pick.
Common examples of what skiers say:
"I am 5ft7 (175cm) and I want a 5ft9 (180cm) ski, it is tall enough". Wrong, this is a mistake!
Now, imagine that this skier weighs 210lb (95 kg), he will need a stiffer ski than a 145lb (65 kg) skier. For a skier of 5ft7 (175cm) and 210lb (95 kg) we recomment a ski between 205 and 208cm.
If another skier of the same height but weighing 155lb (70kg), he can ski with a shorter pair, a ski between 200 and 203 cm is perfectly fine.
Why? In classic style, 30 up to 60cm of the ski is dedicated to grip, you then have to compensate by a longer length to get better gliding performance.
The only exception is the compact ski, it is shorter, wider, nimbler and the camber is higher, it usually belongs to the leisure category because it doesn’t offer the same gliding properties as the other skis you can find in longer lengths.
Size grid for traditional classic skis:
|100 to 120 lb (45 - 55kg)||Between 187 and 190cm|
|120 to 140 lb (55 - 65kg)||Between 192 and 198cm|
|140 to 160 lb (65 - 75kg)||Between 200 and 203cm|
|160lb and over (75kg+)||Between 205 and 208cm|