Some people might be willing to let you ski around their yard and might even have an extra pair of skis lying around, depending on the part of the country you live in. The instructor will explain the equipment to you (including how to get it on and take it off), and demonstrate how to move and balance on skis, how to hold your poles, how to negotiate different types of terrain (flat, uphill, downhill), how to get up if you fall, and more. They’ll also be able to look at what you are doing and give you personalized tips and coaching. The right boots are important and should fit as comfortably as your running shoes. Boots serve two functions, to keep your feet dry and warm, and to connect the boot to the ski. Cross-country boots only connect to the ski at the toe to allow the skier to raise their heel off the ski in order to glide. Be prepared to spend some money on the boots, it is not a good idea to buy the cheaper boots that might fail on the trail. Think about what style of terrain you will most be traveling and also how often. This will help you decide whether to rent, lease or buy cross country ski equipment and what style to look for.

A cross-country skier may wax for both kick and glide. Kick wax is a sticky wax you apply to the kick zone of waxable classical skis. Waxless classical skis, and skate skis require no kick wax. Kick wax sticks to the snow and allows the skier to get kick. Also know as “kicking”, when you grip the snow with the ski to move forward. Nowax skis grip with the fishscale pattern, was skis grip with the wax, and skating skis grip with the edges. Applying kick wax is simple, but before you apply it you need to determine which kick wax to use. Please see page 19 for help with kick waxing. As speed increases: Your natural instinct is to lower your body to gain stability.This lowers your center of gravity, but:resist the urge to bend forward.If you bend forward at the waist when going downhill, you will throw your center of gravity so far off, that it won’t matter what kind of skis you have – you will be out of control! Correcting this solves most skiers control problems.

For Traditional length classical skis (Your height in inches) x 2.6 + 15 inches = approximate ski length in centimeters. Generally speaking, you will select from skate skis, or waxable or waxless classic skis. A knowledgeable salesperson at a specialty shop can help you select the correct length. A wider model usually provides more stability, while a shorter ski is easier to maneuver. If they are too soft, the kick zone will constantly rub against the snow, which makes skiing more arduous. A pair of skis that is neither too stiff nor too soft will allow you to get kick and maintain good glide. If you are a heavyweight, you will need the longest mid-length ski. If you are a lightweight, you will need the shortest model. If you are a mid-weight, you will need the medium length ski. If you can squeeze them together with both hands but not with one hand they are perfect for you.

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