This question from Shaun Jones was submitted as a contest entry, but it’s something which is on the minds of a lot of skiers and potential skiers at this time of year, so I’m posting it in order for others to share their advice.
“I am looking to purchase new xc gear for my wife and I. We would most likely be skiing trails in k-country and the bow valley and would like to be pointed in the right direction on what type/width of skis we should be considering. We both have a considerable alpine skiing background. Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.”
Please leave a comment below if you have any suggestions/recommendations for Shaun.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m assuming you’ll be classic skiing(as opposed to skating) in machine-groomed tracks. I’ll get things started by saying that you should buy skis at a place where they can be tested to make certain they have the proper stiffness for your weight. A good old paper test will do the trick. That’s critical because it will ensure you have adequate grip and glide.
Buy a recreational ski for classic skiing(as opposed to a racing ski). As you progress, you may want the extra speed of a racing ski, but at this stage, better stability is more important than speed(and they’ll be less expensive). If you’re track skiing, you don’t require metal edges.
We’ve had the debate on here over waxless vs waxable. You can read it here Waxless or waxable. That post along with eight comments contains a lot of good advice about buying new skis.