8 Things people don't tell you when you start Nordic Skiing

Posted by Corey Towle on Jun 5th 2017

As the resident newbie to Nordic skiing here at Gear West (I learned to ski in the winter of 2013) I was tasked with coming up with 8 things people don’t tell you when you start nordic skiing.
#1 There is a difference between Classic and Skate. If you are surprised that people could be that dense, you’ve been skiing for too long. All non-skiers know about us is that we attached long pieces of wood to our feet...
#2 Skate skiing is NOT running. The first three times I attempted to skate ski the only forward progress I made was falling on my face. I’d stand up (or at least attempt to) and then fall on my face a little bit further along the trail. What I wish people had told me? DON’T pick up your knees... also it’s a lot easier on your knees.
#3 Boot fit matters! When I started skiing I got the cheapest pair of combi boots I could find. That was not fun, especially with terrible technique. Nowadays when I am picking a new boot I literally try on every single option possible. Comfort is king!
#4 Even though it is cold outside, you are going to sweat. Wear a lightweight wicking baselayer. Craft, Smartwool, SWIX all have great options.
#5 You are going to sweat. Stay hydrated, get an insulated water bottle of some kind and don’t resort to eating the snow, especially at Hyland.
#6 What is the deal with all the different bindings: NNN, SNS, Prolink, 3 Pin, Profil, Turnamatic. Why are they different, why can’t we just have one system; oh, we are moving in that direction?
#7 Wax matters! To what degree depends on your goals. Doing the Birkie? Hopefully you have the skills of a witch, chemist, and master carpenter.
#8 15 degrees F is not cold - if fact, if there’s no wind, it’s about as perfect as it gets. You don’t overheat and skis glide beautifully at that temp.  A lot colder, skis drag. When it gets above freezing they bog down in the soft snow.
Note: Corey Towle is a Prince Haakon Champion!