Here’s Some Tips For Hiring or Buying Your Cross Country Equipment: 
FOR SKATING: 
Skating Skis 


Look for lengths between 175-185 cm depending on your height and stature. Go for the lower end of the range if you are shorter and the higher end of the range for taller people. 

 

Skating Poles: 


Should be of a length between your chin and no higher than your mouth, when measuring up against you. Poles with hand grips which fasten with Velcro are ideal. 


Skating Boots: 


There are specialised boots for skating, so ask for skating boots but you can also use Combi (meaning Combination) boots which will allow you to do some Classic skiing as well. Generally skating boots have a higher cuff than Classic boots (which look more like running shoes) and have a stiff outer plastic cuff to provide some support to the foot and ankle. 
Most importantly, check with the Hirer/Shop Assistant that the boots are compatible with your ski bindings. For example: if your bindings are SNS or SNS-Profile then you need Salomon boots; if they are NNN, then you need Alpina boots. 

 
 
FOR CLASSIC SKIING:

 

(Using the Diagonal Striding Technique) 
Classic Skis- which will be used for the first couple of sessions of the Nordic Novices Program: 


These should be between 185-200 cm depending on your height and stature. Choose the lower end of this range if you are shorter and the higher end for those who are taller. A test you can do in the shop to check if the skis are the right length for you, is to stand on both skis on the ground and change your weight from one ski to the other. You should be able to feel the ski spring up slightly.

 
Classic Poles: 


These should be of a height between your armpit and shoulder when measuring up against you. Poles with hand grips which fasten with Velcro are ideal. 


Classic Boots: 


Make sure you ask for a Classic boot or a Combi boot. A specialised Classic boot looks more like a running shoe with a low ankle-cuff. They have a bar at the tip of the boot. 


You can also use a Combi (meaning Combination) boot which can be used for Classic skiing and Skating skiing, which would be an ideal boot for the Nordic Novices Program where the first couple of sessions will be using the Classic technique. 


Most importantly, check with the Hirer/Shop Assistant that the boots are compatible with your ski bindings. For example: if your bindings are SNS or SNS-Profile then you need Salomon boots; if they are NNN, then you need Alpina boots. 


What to Wear: 


Generally you want to follow the rule of layering, starting with a base layer thermal top and sometimes pants (for very cold temperatures of below zero degrees C) made of polypropylene or “Smart Wool”. Sometimes you may also need a vest over the thermal base layer or if you don’t have a vest, you could wear 2 thermal base layers.

The final layer is the outer layer often made with “Soft-Shell” material or light Gortex, which is breathable and semi-water proof (Soft-Shell) and if it’s Gortex, fully water-proof. 


And don’t forget a beanie and full-fingered gloves and sunglasses. For snowy weather, the fold-down shield, style glasses are excellent. The gloves should be lighter and thinner than used for Alpine skiing, and are similar to winter bike gloves. Alpine gloves are often too bulky for the hand grips on XC poles.