Basics of Cross-Country Skiing

Basics of Cross-Country Skiing
I recently went skiing with a friend who hadn’t been skiing for several years. My dear friend forgot many of the important basics necessary to ski at all. With a few gentle reminders, however, my friend was laughing while gliding, and having a good time in a matter of minutes. If you have never been skiing before, it is worthwhile to get lessons from a good instructor. Reading these tips will help you today if you have already skied in the past. These tips are also good things to keep in mind before your first lesson.

Get the right size equipment
Make sure you have the right size skis, boots and poles. Most ski boots use European sizes. If you do not know your European size, the outfitter where you get your equipment should be able to help you. Ski poles for beginner classic skiers should come up to the middle of your shoulder – in between your underarm and the top of your shoulder. A ski's length is determined by your height and weight. If you are unsure, get skis that are as tall as your wrist when you hold your arm up in the air.

Get equipment that works
Make sure that your bindings and boots are compatible! If you have three pin bindings, you will need three pin boots. There are three common types of clip bindings, and they each need a boot that is designed for that specific binding. For example, if you have NNN bindings, you will need NNN compatible boots.

Additionally, get equipment that works well for your area. Waxless skis are great in areas where the temperatures stay above -10 F. In colder weather, you may want waxable skis. If you will be skiing on groomed trails, narrow skis are a good choice. In backcountry areas, you may want wider, metal-edge skis. Your local outdoor shop should be able to assist you well.

Get the equipment on
Your boots will have a slippery bottom. Wait until you are getting ready to begin skiing to put them on. Putting them on too early means you risk falling on icy roads, or jamming snow into your bindings making it difficult to connect your boots to the skis. Most ski boots lace up to the ankles to provide support. There maybe a place to take in your lace or Velcro over the laces after they are tied to prevent catching the laces on anything. Make sure your boots are tied snugly, but are not overly tight. They should fit well over the socks you plan to wear skiing.

Next, put your skis on the ground and get your boots connected to your ski. The toe area should be anchored to the ski, while the heel remains free. If you have clip bindings, simply press the bar into the clip area by pushing down with your toe until the binding snaps into place.

The last part of getting on your equipment is the poles. Place your hand through the wrist loop, and then grab the molded handle at the top. Tighten the wrist strap so that you can move your hands comfortable, but the strap isn’t so open that you are likely to drop your poles.

You are now ready to begin skiing!!!

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