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Wanting to start nordic skiing (advise?)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Howdy gang!

I'm a pretty frequent poster here, but on the Alpine side of the hill. Now, with this winter coming and me living up in the mountains of Colorado, I'd like to get into nordic skiing - but I don't know the first thing about it!

First, I'd like to purchase a used pair of skis for a reasonable price. What should I expect to pay for a good-enough pair? Where should I be looking?

Second, what size should I be looking at? I'm 6'2" / 180 and in pretty good shape.

Third, is there a big difference on how I should wax the nordic skis? I have a ton of alpine wax - is it suitable?

Thanks for all the help guys/gals!

Daniel Estes
Nederland, CO
post #2 of 7
Go just up the road to the touring center at Eldora, and rent some gear. After you get the hang of it on the groomed trails, try some of the backcountry roads people ski on up there. After you see what you like, decide on the type of gear you want to buy....the range of weight and design is substantial.

Colorado is a good place for waxable skis. Alpine wax is only good for glide zones of classic skis and skating skis. Grip is provided by a sticky wax or a no wax pattern. On Colorado snow the wax will far outperform the patterns most days.

A good pair of skate/classic combi boots can be pretty good for light backcountry touring as well. Find a nice pair of boots to start.
post #3 of 7
Moved to Ned from CCC? Longer commute to the Rocky Flats Lounge.

Are you looking to bust trail regularly, make turns or ski and/or skate groomed track? As newfydog suggested, the Eldora Nordc Center is a great asset in the area for skiing, gear, lessons and info. But the foothills and peaks around there have limitless options for touring off the beaten track, as you know, for turns or just tooling around. That's very similar to here and a light BC touring rig or rugged touring (if for turns) set up might be a good target.

Patterned based skis are easier to maintain in variable conditions and liquid/spray waxes for best for glide versus hot waxing. They 'whistle' at speed and on firm snow though and with no pattern, double cambered skis glide better and you do have the option to apply grip wax, kicker or full length skis in all cases.
post #4 of 7
Like everyone has already said the best bet is to try it out first by renting to determine what type of XC sking and gear one likes. I am into light XC touring on fire roads, groomed and ungroomed trails, meadows, around lakes. My dog also tows me at times for light touring. I have heavier wider backcountry skis and boots, but only use them once or twice a year. I also like skating. I took a class at the local Jr. College. I do not think a class was really needed for skiing groomed trails. XC skiing is excellent for conditioning before downhill. So for my type of skiing, I would need 3 different sets of skis, poles and boots. For myself, I would start with light day touring I use patterned waxless skis without a steel edge. I also have a set with a partial steel edge that is good for more control, but slower. I still use grip and glide wax/spray on them even though they are waxless. I am 6' 225lb and use 210 for light touring skis. My backcountry skis are shorter.
post #5 of 7
(Note here is a concurrent thread on this topic for more information.)

Rather than owning 3 or 4 different poles, an adjustable ski pole works great for touring and skiing. You can shorten them for the downhills.
post #6 of 7
I have aluminum and bamboo poles with different baskets. I was thinking about upgrading to adjustable carbon about $100+ and different baskets.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 


Thanks for all the info! I think you guys are right about renting first, so that's what I'll do. The train car down the road can set me up. I'll let you know how it goes when the snow comes (shouldn't be too much longer - it may even start snowing today by the looks of things )

PS: Yeah, Terry, the commute to Rocky Flats Lounge will be a little longer - but the Pioneer Inn should be a fine substitute! Next time you're up in these hills, lets grab some suds!
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