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Please help to get a newbie started

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I need some introductory advice to get me started into cross country skiing. I only skied once in Colorado, but it was fun and the black trail wasn't too scary for me: I loved the speed. I moved to Michigan about 3 years ago from a much warmer city and I have been miserable until this summer when I discovered mountain biking. Biking has been great but obviously you can't bike here for about half a year until April. So I am doing some research to get into cross country skiing so I'll have some quality outdoors time when the snow falls and shuts everything off. 


My questions are pretty basic. What equipments are absolutely needed? Like snow pants, goggles etc? Should I start buying them now, if they are cheaper off-season? And should I buy online or in a local store? Also I'd appreciate if anyone has some good starter articles for me to read about. 



post #2 of 5

Not so many XC skiing enthusiasts on here as downhill skiers, especially in summer.  I've dabbled with XC skiing for many years, but own old, waxless, classic style equipment for low-level recreational use.  You should probably start by visiting a nearby Nordic ski center next winter that can rent you the necessary skis and boots to get a feel for your preferences.  I would assume there are a lot of Nordic ski operations in MI.  They may be able to sell you used starter equipment and give you advice.  The essentials are specialized skis, boots and poles.  Sometimes preseason "ski swap events" at local ski shops can offer this too. The clothing you wear should be thin/layered and more like what you might use for running in cool temperatures (polypropylene and fabrics that transfer moisture away from skin), than the warm parkas or heavier ski pants you might wear for cold downhill skiing.  Goggles aren't really needed, but sunglasses are useful.  Never good to buy boots online.  At first XC skiing can be like walking in sand, but as you get better it can be quite active, like running on a track.  Since you are starting from scratch you might consider the versatility of learning on telemark gear, kind of a hybrid, it can be used for going up and down the countryside, but also seen quite often at downhill ski areas.  However, you don't want telemark gear if you primarily plan to tool around on level XC ski trails for long distances.






BTW, there is downhill skiing in the midwest if you still crave speed - in small burstssmile.gif

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the heads up! I guess I'll wait till the winter comes and visit a nearby Nordic ski center to see how I like XC skiing and take it from there.  Gotta do something this winter or I'll be miserable inside :). 

post #4 of 5

if you like to go fast try out skate skiing. Alot of people these days do not bother with classic anymore especially if your reasonable athletic the only downside is you need groomer track for skate skis........


skate skis mimic XC MTBing better than classic jsut because of how much faster you can go on them.


I am pretty inexperienced at both but the little skate skiing I have done is way more fun than classic.

post #5 of 5
Originally Posted by angkec View Post
 Like snow pants, goggles etc?


Just use your cold weather MTB gear, you'll be fine.    Anything warmer and you'll boil over in 2 miles or less.


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