View Full Version : Looking to purchase XC skis...30 years after my first set

10-13-2015, 07:45 AM
So a couple of years ago my DS (12ish, at the time) was running with me. Eventually we picked-up running snowshoes so that we could continue running in the Winter, but not have to play chicken with cars (motorists around here are kind of dicks when there aren't 3'+ snowbanks and 0 shoulder).

Unfortunately, neither of us fell in love with it. I couldn't figure out a way to run without them whacking together with each step -- the movement felt entirely awkward and made my lower back and hips very angry as I tried to run sorta duck-like. I have relatively narrow hips and my foot placement tends to fall in a pretty narrow stance. My kid seemed to struggle with the same thing.

As a pre-teen/teen I had XC skis and did a fair amount of skiing. For probably 20 years I've contemplated new equipment. My shoes were long-since outgrown and my bindings were the old 3-peg. Last Winter my son's class did a field trip to a nearby Winter sports complex. Even though he had the option to try skating and luge, he opted for XC skis and that's what he did for the entire day, stopping only for lunch, then clipping back in.

So...I guess we're looking at something like touring skis. I've seen some that are sort of a hybrid of a backcountry and classic/Nordic ski (or is this essentially what "touring" means?). We have some groomed trails (including a few places that offer lit nighttime skiing), but also lots of parks without formal XC facilities, but where lots of people go back and break trail, hike, snowshoe, etc. Does that sound appropriate? What other things should we know before wandering into a ski shop? I'm guessing sizing for my kid could be tricky. He's grown ~4" this calendar year and gone up something like 3 full shoe sizes in just over a year. Hopefully he fills out soon. He's not been >100#s for long (think spider monkey, heh). Is it a bad idea to buy skis a weight-range above where he's currently at? He can't stay 115-120#s forever at 5'8" and growing! He's nearly 15 and we're expecting he'll hit 6' and bulk-up in the next couple of years. His dad is 6'2 and barrel-chested (as is my kid. His ribcage is sort of freakishly large proportionate to the rest of him). My brother is 6'3 and average build.

10-13-2015, 05:44 PM
Zoom Zoom, I've never bought skis for a kid/teen, so I don't know how to address your question about size, etc. But, yes, you are on the right track with what type of ski is good. I have Fischer Spyders, which are metal edged classic skis. Personally, I don't like breaking trails, but they are advertised to be able to do this, on a moderate level. Most true back country skis are wider. I once went on a group ski and one of the women had back country skis. She couldn't ski in the tracks, and was frustrated. So I wouldn't buy true back country skis if you might be at a groomed touring center at times. To me, the most important thing is the edges. They help so much climbing and descending.
When I was in the Methow Valley last winter, the leader of our trip set me up with much skinnier, true classic skis, for advanced skiers. Although the conditions were terrible, I definitely felt faster. But, those skis would not work in New England.
I would go to shop at a bigger center to ask your questions about weight, etc. But, it seems like it wouldn't be good to get him skis for a 150 lb person when he weighs 115 now.

10-13-2015, 07:04 PM
Yeah, definitely don't want true backcountry skis...I don't envision us doing big-time deep powder and breaking trails. More like 6" of fresh stuff and trails that have maybe had only a couple of people on them before us. And maybe 50% on groomed trails.

With the kid we may even look at used skis, since I'm thinking he may not get more than a year or two on a pair, given his recent rate of growth. Or buy him pretty cheap ones, now, then sell in a year or two -- once we have a better idea what will work for him and where his weight may start to settle.

11-22-2015, 05:04 PM
We got these (http://www.cross-country-ski.com/product/27-off-2016-rossignol-evo-xc-60-tour-no-wax-ski-package), today! I actually went with upgraded boots and poles. The upgrade boots fit my goofy wide/duck foot much better. And the upgraded poles were a lot lighter for only $7 more. My kiddo's skis are the exact same size (at 5'8" he's at the light end of the weight-range and at <5'4" I'm at the top -- incentive to get down to the lighter end and not gain any more over the holidays), so it's good his bindings are different so that we can tell them apart. We hope he'll get a couple seasons out of them.

Now we need to get real snow!!!

11-23-2015, 01:46 PM
I don't know anything about skiing, but it looks to me like you are going to have some fun this winter, enjoy the new gear!

11-23-2015, 04:07 PM
Nice purchase, Zoom. Enjoy your skis.

11-30-2015, 02:45 PM
Nice purchase, Zoom. Enjoy your skis.

If only we'd get some snow. Most years I dread snow...2 years ago we had record snow, last year we had a ton of snow and record cold. This year...we've had maybe 3" total...nothing that stuck long and it was slushy. Naturally. Because we have brand new, shiny skis that are itchin' to use! :p

11-30-2015, 05:03 PM
It's kind of early for snow. At least around here, we rarely get any big storms until January. There have been a few years when we get one in December, then nothing for awhile. Last year we had snow the day after Thanksgiving, and then it didn't snow again until January 23. Of course, then, it didn't stop until the end of February.
There's been some snow up north, but not enough for x country skiing. This is why I love it so much. I wait and wait and waitn, and then 8 weeks of heaven. I could get at least 4 more weeks, if I went up north in March, but, by the end of the first week of Mach, I am thinking about my bike. Most years, I am out by 3/5, though last year wasn't until the 28th.

12-01-2015, 06:38 AM
We don't usually get much snow before Dec., but our long range forecast is a good 10º too warm for snow well into Dec...which is not normal. Our average seasonal snowfall is 96". I doubt very much that we'll get anywhere near that in this El Niño year. It's rough for the hardcore Winter cyclists, too. It's been too warm/muddy for mountain biking, but cold and wet is no fun even to move to gravel roads or fat-biking on the beach.

ny biker
12-03-2015, 01:26 PM
I hope you ladies get just the right amount of snow for your skiing.

Down here I hope we get none. ;)

12-03-2015, 02:35 PM
Getting some pictures from touring centers up in VT and NH, with snow falling and a little on the ground.

12-04-2015, 10:00 AM
Nothing here...and nothing below 40s for the coming 15 day forecast. Figures. The past 2 years we were pounded with snow, which inspired the purchase in the first place. I'll be super bummed if my kid only gets a few uses before he's too heavy for his skis and needs new boots. At nearly 15 he's growing like a weed! I'm really hoping we get some snow over his holiday break. We've been SO looking forward to going out a bunch while he's out of school for a couple of weeks.

12-04-2015, 11:01 AM
Yeah, there's nothing predicted in the Boston area, either. In fact, it is supposed to be 60 on Sunday.
Be patient.