Buyer’s Guide – Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Gear
If you’re shopping for a cross country skier this holiday season—whether they are just getting started in the sport or are seasoned experts—this guide is here to get you started. Though these specific items might not be exactly what you need, they should get you in the ballpark. And the links provided can hopefully lead you to the perfect gift purchase! Happy ski-shopping!
For The Novice Adventurer
For those that are looking to start skiing, and that care more about exploring their winter wonderland than they do racing quality performance, these adventure-ready waxless skis are a must have. These skis are pre-mounted with an included binding, so you can click into them right out of the box. Featuring Fischer’s proprietary Offtrack Crown base, the 62’s are designed to climb whatever hill your go-to terrain has to throw at them.
Salomon R20 Poles – $80
I’ll come right out and say it: these are not, strictly speaking, “beginner’s poles.” You can probably find slightly cheaper options, and options with a few less features. But the R20’s, with their proper cross-country adjustable strap with thumb hole, lightweight carbon-tungsten shaft and a medium basket suited to all snow conditions, will make a beginner skier’s life a whole lot easier, and your early skis that much more enjoyable.
These entry-level cross country boots, backed by the solid reputation of French Nordic pioneer Rossignol, provide comfort and all-day foot stability at a great price. A padded insole and grippy outsole make for warm and cozy skiing and safe, steady walking once you’ve popped out of your slippery sticks. The outsole is also compatible with most all bindings, so you’ll have no trouble fitting in!
Crescent Moon Eva Snowshoes – $139
Widely hailed as some of the best snowshoes around, these innovative foam-based shoes are the perfect gift for the experienced snowshoer and the first timer alike. Inspired by the design of Hoka running shoes, these are as intuitive and user-friendly as snowshoes come, ready to get people out into the woods and onto the trails.
For The Racer
Rossignol Unisex X-Ium Skating Skis – $449.95
Designed to suit all the needs of the expert skier, the X-Iums boast a generous amount of flex and a long “sweet zone” through which the skier can multiply her muscle with the tension built up in the springy ski. Experienced racers or longtime skate-skiers are sure to find the Xium’s power and versatility perform up to the highest standards, in all conditions. For optimal performance, pair these skis with Rossignol’s race-caliber skate bindings.
There are no two ways about it: these are nice skate skiing boots. Combining high tech materials with careful design, the Competition Skates are ultra-lightweight, while retaining an unbelievable degree of ankle stability and insulating warmth. Competitive skiers will find these boots responsive and easily capable of keeping up with your hardest pace.
Swix Quantum 2 Racing Poles – $195
Engineered with efficiency and performance in mind, these carbon poles are lightweight, perfectly balanced, and ready to swing along with whatever you throw at them. They come strapless, but are compatible with most Swix systems: consider pairing them with the excellent, and reasonably priced, Triac 3.0 straps!
For The Kids
Salomon Aerogrip Junior – $129
If you want to get your kids out and onto the snow, a solid pair of waxless classic skis are the way to go. With a stabilizing “S-Cut” shape, generous grip zone, and lightweight construction, these skis are designed for kids to get a feel for the sport, allowing them to stride fast, stay upright, climb hills with minimal hassle and cruise down them at maximum speed.
Designed with all-day comfort in mind, these kid-specific touring boots are equipped with extra insulation, easy lace-up fastening, and a beefed up sole for superior stability. Combine with Rossignol’s Step-In Junior Nordic Bindings (Retail: $39.95)for optimal performance and skier control.
For solid poles that won’t break the bank—and won’t break under whatever strain your young skier puts them under—it’s hard to go wrong with these classic Fischers. Built with a fiberglass shaft and touring baskets perfect for both deep powder and well packed tracks, these poles will keep your kiddos gliding in every condition.