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Ski Differences

The ideal situation is to work with a professional Ski Shop when trying on skis so they can measure you for the right size for your weight and height. This is VERY important since you could be throwing money away if they aren't sized just for you. Below is a quick breakdown of the difference between Classic and Skate skis and how to test them for you!

Ski and pole size chart

Skate Skiing

Basic skate skiing is when you skate in a "V" stride and actually shift all your weight from one ski to the other as you skate on. (You do not ski in the set tracks but rather on a smoother usually groomed trail.) The basic "V" Skate starts with a skier standing in a slight V position. Edge one ski to the inside edge and simultaneous push off that ski while driving out onto the other ski. Repeat the other direction.

HOW TO TEST - WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A SKATE SKI?

To see that you have the right skate skis ski for your weight put the skis on a flat floor, stand on the skis as you would if you were going to ski (you don't need the boots on though). Take a piece of paper and have someone slide it directly under your boot area on both skis (up at least a foot in either direction of the front and back of your boot) - the paper should slide up and back easily between the ski and the floor. Put all your weight on one ski. If the ski collapses so that the paper can not move directly under your boot area, the ski is too flexible and soft for your weight. You will want a stiffer ski. A skate ski needs to be slightly stiff because you don't want it to make contact with the snow (directly under your ski boot area). If it does, it will work but it will be much slower because you have more surface contacting the snow - also you want the skate ski stiffer so that when you go to kick off in a "V" stride, it will give you more of a spring in the glide and it won't be so sluggish.

Classic Skiing

Classic (or Diagonal) skiing is when you slide one foot forward, the other one back, and so forth usually in a set track (about 1.5 foot wide). You wax the classic ski with a "kick" wax which is a sticky type wax that you cork in just under the area where your boot is. When you are classic skiing, you shift most your weight from one ski to the other shuffling on. When most your weight is on one ski, you want your ski to collapse and have the "kick" wax make contact with the snow so that it will "grip" the snow. Then you "kick" back with that ski and propel yourself forward. If the classic ski does not make contact with the snow (is too stiff of a ski) then when you go to "kick" back with your ski, you won't grab the snow to help propel you forward.

HOW TO TEST - WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A CLASSIC SKI?

The test you want to do to see that you have the right ski for your weight is to stand with your classic skis on a flat surface. Stand on the skis as you would if you were going to ski (you don't need the boots on though). Take a piece of paper and have someone slide it directly under your boot area on both skis (up at least a foot in either direction of the front and back of your boot) - the paper should slide up and back easily between the ski and the floor. Then put all your weight on one ski. Slide the paper again from front to back. You want the ski to completely collapse so that the paper doesn't move at all directly under the boot area. This tells you that the ski will make direct contact with the snow (and the "kick wax"). If the paper slides easily under the boot area, the you are either to light for that ski or it is not a proper classic ski. It also means that the kick wax will not make contact with the snow when you put your weight down the kick wax will not help you propel forward.

Classic Ski waxing pocket - PDF