Those who are living near the snowy winter mountains or are planning to go on a winter ski trip would surely be interested in giving cross country skiing a try. Though there is an option to hire the cross country skis from resorts that render them for rent, the costs definitely add up.
Those who are regular fans of cross country skiing and wish to take it up as a regular hobby, it is good to buy one’s own skis, at least to save the money. It is always a wise option to buy one’s own equipment that would fulfill individual requirements.
Check here for the most comprehensive list of the best cross country skis. We also provide you with enough information on how to choose the ski so as to help you in choosing the best fit for the money spend.
Best Cross Country Skis
Quick Answer: Top 5 Best Cross Country Skis – 
- Rossignol BC 70 XC Skis Mens
- Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross Country Ski Package
- Fischer Spider 62 Crown Cross Country Ski
- Madshus Annum backcountry touring ski
- Alpina Sports Discovery 102 Back Off Nordic Touring Skis
Best Cross Country Skis Reviews
The Rossignol cross country ski is perfectly capable of all off-trail exploring and has the design of traditional camber profiles. Its dimensions are ideal for a traditional cross country feel. The skis are ideal for touring and feature full-length metal edges and waxless posit rack bases without the need for climbing skins. It is ideal for off-trail exploring and is best to use on trial as well. Its full-length metal edges offer excellent control on a variety of terrain. On icy terrain, it is possible to hold an edge well and boost one’s confidence in exploring tricky terrains.
The BC 70 also has a tall camber zone under the foot while helps boost one’s ability on groomed terrain. This ski is a perfect mix of performance for skiers who want to get out and have fun while exploring. It’s waxless posi-track base offer the ski an excellent grip for growing uphill but also glides perfectly so that the user does not feel dragging when going downhill. For those looking for fun touring ski that one can take on local trails or on the golf course or backcountry powder terrain this ski offers the versatility that one expects.
The whitewoods cross country ski package is about 197 cms in length for skiing and is ideal to use by those who weight about 151-180 pounds. These white wood cross tour skis feature a laminated wood core. They feature a lightweight cap construction and features a negative waxless base. The ski features ABS tail and a side cut at 64-55-59. The ski features a 75 mm and 3 pin touring binding that is pre-mount on the skis. This is an excellent solution for all those users who do not ski on a regular basis. It demands a binding that is easy to step into and is easy to open. The ski includes flat heel plate discs as well.
The ski features cross trail Nordic ski poles. Its 15 mm tapered shaft provides more lateral strength. Its multi-directional fiberglass wrap helps in strength and lightweight. It features an adjusting strap padding and includes ski baskets. The ski features whitewoods pin cross country ski boots that have the best design to keep the feet warm and dry. It has 100 grams Thinsulate lining and a quick dry liner for warmth. It has a breathing waterproof upper portion with best metal lace guides for ergonomic lace pressure.
The fisher Spider 62 crown cross country ski is one of the most popular metal edge touring skis. These are the top skis of preference for cross country skiers. They are stable, lightweight and nimble. The skis include turnamic bindings that help in adjusting the position of the equipment without mandating any tools. The skis feature full-length steel edges that render excellent control for the sports enthusiasts, especially in icy conditions.
It features an off-track crown waxless pattern that features a secure grip in a wide range of snow conditions. The equipment features Air Tec Wood core for exceptional strength and durability. It does not feature the classical step in bindings and does not fit the classical step in boots as well. Users may have to buy new boots with a slightly thinner pin to accommodate the binding. The bindings on the skis are compatible with all types of boots.
The Madshus Annum touring ski offers the best thrilling and an efficient kick and glide on the snow. It is a truly classical off trail cross country ski that renders a smooth and a snappy glide and kick for the user. Its best features are that it breaks the trail pretty effortlessly and tracks pretty well on the snow. It features a brilliant design and has enough progressive sidecut to be able to turn when the need actually arises. It features a straight tail and it tracks pretty beautifully.
The ski equipment has a perfect downhill performance. It has a 109 mm shovel, a classic camber under the foot and a straight tail, perhaps everything that a perfect skiing trip ever demands. The equipment has an effective waxless base, a tail notch for the skins and is perfect for all cross country ski trips. It is not really a telemark ski and offers the best performance and the true value for the money spent.
The Alpina Sports Nordic touring ski with exceptional side cut at 102-64-87. This ski has the shortest radius of all the ski equipment that is available in the market. For those skiers for whom turning is of paramount importance, then this is the ski equipment for them. It features a polyurethane core and can be a little heavy for average skiers. It has exceptional stiffness for a perfect uphill and downhill performance. This ski equipment adapts to both a technical backcountry terrain and also a pure powder ski.
The equipment turns pretty quickly and they climb very well. This is the best tool for anybody looking for a downhill oriented ski with plastic boots. Its early rise tips help keep the tip above the snow and ease the turning experience. It features a lite air edge wood core with integrating and durable sidewalls and metal edges. It’s no wax base offers the grip required for serious off-trail climbing. The speed grind on the tips and tail of the ski enhances glide. The ski is available in compact sizing and in three lengths namely 168, 178 and 188 cm.
Things To Consider While Buying Cross Country Skis
Most of the cross country skis are built for park trails and ski resorts. This equipment are stiff, narrow and light for a quick and smooth ride. However, there is lots more to add to the qualification of the best cross country ski. Let us explore them here.
- Ground feel
- Ease of use
This is the most important aspect to consider while choosing to buy a cross country ski. The desired width and length of the ski depends on one’s intended usage. For those planning to explore the ungroomed trains or rough terrain, a shorter ski is the best choice. They are also easy to maneuver and makes it easy to change direction or to stop instantly while encountering obstacles.
For those hitting the groomed trails, and to explore the snow faster, a longer ski is the better option. The additional material that is in contact with the snow will help the user to enhance their speed. The same rule applies for the width of the ski as well, skis that are built for speed are narrow. Touring skis and those built for beginners are wider with greater stability and comfort for long time use.
The ability of the ski to glide depends on its base, whether it has a wax coat or not. Those skis with wax base have better glide potential and allow the wearers to go faster and have more control. Skis that have no wax have less glide and require less maintenance. The waxless option offers better traction as its middle section under the middle of the ski grips the snow. Waxed skis make use of rubbed on wax that is generally applied on the middle of the ski for its traction. They are faster in terms of glide on ice. Wax can be applied on the top and the nails of the ski as well making them great for skating.
More than durability it is the safety factor that is paramount. If the ski breaks at some point, the user will be left stranded in the middle of the woods. It is thus always better to choose a pair of the ski that can stand the test of time. Skis that are durable also offer a good return on investment.
Ease of use:
The ease of use and the quality of the cross country ski is an important criterion for choosing to buy the equipment. The ski that one buys should be ideal for multiple types of cross country skiing. The skis should also be able to handle the different types of terrain efficiently. Explore between the different types of skis such as the classic, skate, touring and backcountry one and buy the one that offers great control and manoeuvrability.
Apart from the ski equipment, skiers also require boots and bindings. The type of boots that is required varies depending on the type of binding and the skies. Apart from these, skiers also require poles irrespective of whether they are racing or touring. The types of poles depending on the ski style as well. Other accessories that skiers require are insulating clothing, goggles, outer shell jackets, and gloves.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) with Cross Country Skis
Should I buy a cross country ski or rent it?
For the casual skier who has not decided to explore snow-covered trails and hills outside the vacation resort, it is the best to rent the ski equipment as a package including the boots, goggles, etc. But for those who have made up their mind to continue skiing and are actually trying to hone their skills, then it is better to buy the equipment for self rather than to rent it.
Should skis be maintained the same way as snowboards?
The snowboard bag and ski boots bags are the best places to store the boots and the board. But for storing the cross country skis it takes more than a mere wall mount. Most of the users dump their things in their ski bags forgetting it keep the equipment ready for next season. Thus it is mandatory to wax the base of the skis and then take stock of the bindings. It is also good to check for issues at the base attachment and the locking mechanism. After ensuring all these features, the skis are good for storage.
Which is more appropriate, classic cross country or backcountry ski?
The classic cross country skis are most popular as they are very versatile and could be used on the resort and in other groomed places. It allows the user to blaze their own trails as well. Backcountry skis, on the other hand, don’t work on groomed areas but float on the powder pretty well. For users who are not sure which ski to pick up, it is better to stick on to the classic cross country skis.
Is it really important to wax the skis?
No matter which type of ski that one uses, it is always important to wax the equipment to get a good glide with it. Glide wax is best to apply on the tip and the tail of the ski. Though it can feel a little overwhelming in the beginning, the task will be much easier with universal paste wax. It is important to use apply the universal wax often, but hot wax is also way better. Though it takes a lot of time, it lasts longer.
Cross Country Skis Buyer Maintenance Tips
- Choose a grip wax
- Preparing the kick zone
- Wax application
- Testing the ski
1. Choose a Grip Wax:
It is important to choose a grip wax for waxing the cross country skis. The grip wax comes in several forms. The hard waxes resemble a stubby crayon and the klister waxes are glue-like and come in tubes. The other form of wax is the spray waxes that offer a quick parking lot fix for the skis.
2. Preparing The Kick Zone:
The kick zone is the middle third of the ski, about 70 cm from the heel of the binding forward. For a stronger kick, it is possible to increase the length of the zone forward by a few more centimeters. Users can mark the front and back of the kick zone with a thin strip of masking tape. Then scrape the area with a plastic scraper to apply a small amount of base cleaner with a cloth to remove the dirt and old wax.
3. Wax Application:
It is important to perform a complete wax application on the cross country ski to enhance its life and to keep it ready for next season during storage. It is important to distribute an even layer of wax at the front and back portion of the kick zone.
4. Testing The Ski:
Before taking the equipment on the real grounds it is good to evaluate its performance on the track that is 100 feet or so. If the ski is slipping, then the wax is too hard. It is good to scrape the excess with a plastic scraper and apply a softer layer. If the ski is gripping too much and snow builds up at the bottom of the ski, then it is ideal to scrape off the soft wax and apply a harder coat.
Cross country skiing is a relaxing and fun way to enjoy the winter snow. This snow sport is best to perform in the mountains and also flat land and does not involve any danger of downhill skiing. With the right equipment, it is possible to explore the sport to a great extent. We hope our list of best cross country skis and buying guide will help our readers in choosing the best equipment of their winter sports.