With so many different skis on the market, choosing a nordic ski can often become a daunting task. Each type of ski will have benefits for certain skiers and the different terrain that they may encounter. Let's dive into a basic overview of the different types of Nordic skis available.
Nordic Disciplines can be divided into three main categories:
- Classic Touring
- Metal Edge (Back country)
Classic skiing involves making forward strides to travel. This is typically the most popular option for beginner skiers and is approachable as it mimics a walking motion by. There are a number of different types of classic skis such as cross country, performance, and metal edged models. The base of these skis will often have a fish scale type pattern that gives grip to propel forward while allowing the skis to continue to glide in the same motion. The type of model that one chooses will be determined by their level of experience and desired performance.
This is a great choice for those who want to have an enjoyable experience outdoors on a groomed trail and are not necessarily looking for a high intensity workout.
Skate skiing gets its name from the skating motion that is performed when traveling forward. This style of cross country skiing will differ from classic in that the ski will require a different type of movement. Instead of a motion similar to walking, a motion similar to ice skates or roller skates will be the most efficient. This will tend to require more effort and give more of a high intensity workout for the skier.
Back country skis are designed with the explorer in mind. Often being on the wider side, these are less likely to be seen on groomed trails and used predominantly on golf courses, out in the woods, and anywhere in between. With a sturdier binding and boot combination, the skier will have more control on traverses and a metal edge will give some benefit to short, down hill terrain throughout the tour.
With sturdier boots with stiffer soles, some skilled skiers can perform more challenging turn shapes like the telemark. This video is an example of great form and the advantage of using stiffer gear.