Intro to Nordic Skiing

Intro to Nordic Skiing

Nordic skiing, also known as cross-country skiing, is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise during the winter months. Unlike alpine skiing, which takes place primarily in ski areas and requires a lift, Nordic skiing takes place on mostly groomed trails and is powered by the skier's own movement. This makes it a great option for those who want to explore the wilderness and get away from the crowds at the ski resorts.

There are two main types of Nordic skiing: classic and skate skiing. Classic skiing is the traditional form of Nordic skiing, where the skier glides on two parallel skis and uses a diagonal stride to move forward. This is the most popular form of Nordic skiing and is often used for longer trips and tours. Skate skiing, on the other hand, is a more athletic form of Nordic skiing that involves gliding on one ski and pushing off the other to create a skating motion. This is the faster and more demanding form of Nordic skiing, and is best suited for those who want to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time.

When it comes to equipment, Nordic skiing requires a different set of gear than alpine skiing. The most important piece of equipment for Nordic skiing is the ski boots, which are designed to be lightweight and flexible for better movement. The skis themselves are also lightweight and have a special camber that allows them to glide smoothly on the snow. In addition to the skis and boots, Nordic skiers also need poles, which are used for balance and propulsion. If you need a more hands on and helpful approach to pick out your gear, ask if Jerry is around. If you’re lucky and ask nicely, he might just tell you everything he knows.

Since we have skis on the mind, we’ve broken down some of the best options for your level of expertise to help get you outside and going while there’s still plenty of winter left. 


Best for All Terrain 

Rossignol Evo OT 65
This versatile cross country ski bridges the gap between Nordic skiing and backcountry touring. The partially metal edge and shorter length on the OT 65 skis provides stability and edge control to venture on various types of terrain, which is why we offer them in our rental fleet. The ski also features a Positrack base which offers the perfect balance of grip and glide in all snow conditions with no prep required. This ski is recommended for an intermediate to advanced skier. 


Best Beginner Skate Ski

Rossignol Delta Sport Skate/Race 
The perfect skate ski for the beginner or if you’re looking for a more durable option. The race inspired construction of the Delta Sport provides a lightweight but reliable build to get you to your destination efficiently. The low-density wood core provides enough rigidity for performance without sacrificing a responsive flexibility to handle all sorts of snow conditions. These are a great purchase if you’re looking to get better and commit to skate skiing. 


Baby’s First Nordic Ski

The Evo Action 55 AR Junior 
The Evo Action 55 is very similar to Rossignol and Evo’s other cross country skis, but smaller for your little one to join. The ski offers a short and wide build for stability and enhanced maneuverability on and off groomed trails in case they veer off track or are feeling adventurous. A wax-free base provides light lifting when it comes to prep. 


Best for Backcountry

Rossignol BC 80 Positrack 
Looking to venture off on your own? The Rossignol BC 80 skis, featuring a fully metal edge and wide body, are perfect for those who need a confidence-inspiring ski to forge your own trail on logging roads, golf courses or your own backcountry adventure. The Positrack system provides a more advanced grip for more rugged terrain so you won’t be slipping and sliding when you don’t want to, but are compatible with skins if you’re looking for even more traction on the uphill. 


One of the best things about Nordic skiing is that it is relatively easy to learn. Most ski areas and parks offer lessons for beginners, and many offer rental equipment as well. In most popular Nordic ski areas, you’ll need a Sno-Park pass, plus another pass for groomed trails. Lucky for you, we offer both at the shop. The key is to start off slow and take it easy, especially if you are new to the sport. You will want to wear comfortable and warm clothes (we offer these in the shop as well). Dress in layers, so you can adjust to the level of activity and weather. Happy skiing!