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XC Design Research

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone! My name is David Roseberry and I'm an Industrial Design student at the University of Cincinnati. I'm currently working on a project designing 3 products based on an outdoor activity and I chose to do cross country skiing. Being in Cincinnati limits my research ability since I don't really have access to snow and cross country skiers so I'm on here hoping you all can help me out. If any of you are willing to answer a few questions for me please let me know!

post #2 of 28

Just post them up, somebody will answer.

post #3 of 28

Interesting choice, if you do not have much access.     Ask away.

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

With regards to back country skiing, what kind of equipment do you find necessary to take with you for a long trip? Other than the obvious skis, boots, and poles

post #5 of 28
Have you done ANY research?
post #6 of 28
More info needed. Where, when, how long? And, given your apparent lack of familiarity, how did you happen to choose x-c skiing?
post #7 of 28

Additional obvious: food, water, pack.  


Beyond that I would say it varies greatly by the individual and the tour they are doing.  The Canadians do cross country skiing really well.  You may try searching North of the Border.  I enjoy getting out on cross country skis, but since I have invested in AT gear, if I am going on a long tour I will be looking to ski down hill as well so the xc stuff usually stays at home.

post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 

I chose xc skiing because from my perspective it seems like the gear you use has some room for improvement. I'm looking at long, back country tours and the how I can improve the gear you would use for such a trip. Since I'm obviously not an expert on this that's why I'm asking you guys.

post #9 of 28
Originally Posted by David Roseberry View Post

I chose xc skiing because from my perspective it seems like the gear you use has some room for improvement.

Which gear specifically, and why, or in what way does it seem it could be improved?

See where I'm going with this?
post #10 of 28

You may not be aware that your request as stated 'long, back country tours'  is still somewhat nebulous to readers here-  

'Backcountry' on this forum has two almost completely separate meanings


1) Randonee or telemark tours where one generally uses skins to access the top of slopes whereupon the skins are removed and the skier descends.    This is called backcountry because it is not lift-served skiing.      On this forum this is the primary meaning of the words 'backcountry tour'.      "Long" would imply several ascents.

2) Making one's own tracks in snow that's substantially on flat ground, using XC gear that either has scales on the bottom, or uses kick wax/klister, or (if there is enough crust) skate-type XC gear that only uses glide wax.     This is called 'backcountry' because it is not in prepared tracks such as one sees at a touring center.    It may involve some ascents/descents but they are comparatively mild and not the focus of the exercise.   "Long" would imply >10miles.

I suspect it is meaning #2 that you want to focus on.


Now, you're probably right that gear needs improvement, but, unless you wish to do something super general like a backpack/fanny pack/shoulder bag, we're going to need to know what it is you're prepared to work on.

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

Yes I'm talking about the second version you described. My project requires 3 designs that follow a family of form. I was thinking one of them could be a backpack designed specifically for long, flat ground, xc skiing like you described but I am willing and prepared to pursue any type gear that you can help improve the sport.

post #12 of 28
I think in any case, narrowing down the list of stuff from water to hard copy terrain maps (to back up your GPS in case you run out of batteries) to clothing to first aid kits, beyond the actual ski equipment would help.

If it's 2, Epic is probably not the best forum for you. Yes there are some XC skiers, but there must be another forum that's better than here.
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thank you sibhusky. I just assumed this would be a good forum since it's described as "backcountry, telemark, and cross country"

post #14 of 28
That's kind of a subset of Epic as a whole. Most of the members here focus their interest on alpine. I don't know the name of a cross country forum, but there must be one. Google gave me this, but know nothing about if that's the best.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 

Yeah I posted in that one a few days ago and no one has replied. Thanks for the help though. I really appreciate it

post #16 of 28
Well, it's summer. Not a lot of us on skis aside from our New Zealand members.
post #17 of 28

Well, you could always undertake the notorious "how to have accessible hydration that doesn't freeze" problem.  

Or the "XC system boots are not really nice to walk around in when /not/ clicked in" problem - say at road crossings, underpasses, rocky bits or wet areas.   Bonus points if the skier doesn't have to dig compressed snow/mud  out from around the toe bar when they want to click back into the binding.

Heck, while you're at it you could even do an XC boot -compatible crampon.    For those days when soft sun slush has frozen back into solid ice.    


Edited by cantunamunch - 6/27/15 at 3:19pm
post #18 of 28
It would be nice if there was a very light ski/binding/boot combo that does both kick-and-glide (or skate) well but turns very easily. Extra points for waxless but quiet.

Waterproof/breathable clothing fabric could use a lot of improvement - more breathable, but still waterproof.

There aren't any avalanche detectors on the market. There's an opportunity.

Beer that weighs less.

I may have some more ideas later.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 

These are all great ideas. Thanks guys! I'll see what I can come up with

post #20 of 28

Well, we're kind of pulling your leg a bit here, as these problems mostly have long and storied standing without significant resolution.   


  If you can make something work as a design study, though, that's great, more power to you.

post #21 of 28

Bob, th

Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

It would be nice if there was a ...
Beer that weighs less.

I may have some more ideas later.

Bob, powdered alcohol is now available.

post #22 of 28

Clues generally may be found here: .  E.g.,


And here:


Another idea: downhill both ways.  You can invent plz?

Edited by ts01 - 6/29/15 at 2:03pm
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 


post #24 of 28

here's an idea... make snowshoes that are compatible with cross country ski boots.. it's the same principle.. a hinge at the front and you wouldN,t have to fumble with straps ... (off course i never actually look if it existed or if it actually serves any purpose)

post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 

I'm going to be posting three pictures of some concepts I've been working on and I'd like everyone to take a look and give me your feedback. I decided to take a look at xc ski boots with built in crampons/cleats, a hydration pack that uses body heat to keep it from freezing, and sunglasses that flip up to help eliminate any fog build up. Any help would be great. Thanks!

post #26 of 28
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post #28 of 28
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