I have been cross country skiing my entire life, and classic skiing has always been my favorite of the two disciplines. There are few things I enjoy more than a long jaunt on the perfectly groomed tracks of the Birkie Trail! Somewhere in the midst of transitioning from a competitive collegiate racer, to traveling sales rep, and now Gear West Nordic manager, I have found myself skating on a more frequent basis. Why? Because it is so darn easy to pull skate skis out of the back of my car and get going, and in the winter I am always going. The nature of my job has me hustling to every race every weekend, coaching practice for skiers of all ages and abilities, and at the store as much as possible in between. The time and attention I feel is necessary to get my classic skis adequately prepped seemingly does not exist anymore. I have always loved the process of figuring out the perfect combination of kick and glide, and will readily admit that when skin skis entered the market I brushed them off as an unnecessary item to add to my personal quiver - a fad, at best. But when I finally got around to trying them, boy did my opinion change. I was happily surprised that the skis were both lightweight and provided excellent kick – and when fit and glide waxed properly, they can be super fast. But the best part? I can pull them out of my car and get going. Whether it’s an advanced Master’s practice early in the morning, coaching Trail Kids in the evening, or meeting up with my friends for a Sunday morning long ski – I know I am going to have a great time. If you are someone who is looking to try classic skiing, or already an experienced classic skier, give skin skis a try. They have certainly simplified the challenges of classic skiing without sacrificing performance, making my favorite discipline more accessible for racers and enthusiasts alike.