Skis: Skis are built differently for the techniques of classic & skate. Skate skis are shorter and stiffer. The center section of a skate ski stays lifted under the foot, whereas the center section of a classic ski must compress in order to get grip. This fundamental difference is why skiers who are learning both techniques need two pairs for an optimal experience. As pricing moves up, you can expect the skis require a much more precise fit, resulting in faster glide.