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Nordic Equipment Guide

Having the right equipment will allow athletes to maximize development and FUN!

We know skiing is a very gear-intensive sport. If your family has financial restraints that keep you from being able to procure the appropriate gear for your child, you can request equipment rental at registration.  If you have questions, please contact Scott directly. We want to see ALL of our athletes succeed and have multiple team resources and avenues to help.

Nordic Equipment Guide


Ski length is not based on height, but on weight and skiing ability. Beginners should start with shorter skis, and older and more experienced skiers can use longer skis.

There are three types of cross-country skis: classic, skate, and combi. Classic skis are best for groomed trails, skate skis are best for skating, and combi skis are good for both.

If you are buying skis for a beginner, do not get waxless skis. They are slow and will not work for skating. Instead, get combination skis that are designed for both diagonal stride and skate techniques.

A rule of thumb is that classic skis should be 110-120% of your body length, and skate skis should be 105-110%. However, it is important to use the weight charts provided by the manufacturers to find the right ski for you.

Key points:

  • Ski length is based on weight and skiing ability, not height.

  • Beginners should start with shorter skis.

  • Do not get waxless skis for a beginner.

  • Use the weight charts provided by the manufacturers to find the right ski for you.

Additional tip:

It is important to have someone knowledgeable help you choose and adjust your equipment.


Cross-country ski boots come in two main binding systems: SNS and NNN. The industry is moving towards NNN as the leading system, so there are many used SNS boots available at cheap prices. However, keep in mind that if you buy SNS boots, you may need to switch to NNN in the future.

If you are buying used boots, you can look at the sole to see what type of boots they are. Here is a picture explaining the different types:


Pole length varies with the technique.  Poles that come just above the armpits are recommended for our program.

Clothing - Dress in Layers

  • Ventilation layer: This layer is closest to your skin and wicks away sweat. Wear breathable polypropylene or other synthetic long underwear. Avoid cotton, which absorbs sweat and can make you cold.

  • Insulation layer: This layer traps the warmth generated by your body. Wear fleece, wool, or other synthetic material. Again, avoid cotton.

  • Protection layer: This layer protects you from wind and wet. Wear a junior Nordic jacket, a pullover type shell, and wind pants if needed.

Additional tips:

  • Wear a hat and mittens to keep your head and hands warm.

  • On cold days, wear a neck warmer.

  • Vary the insulation layer based on the temperature. Remember that skiers warm up when they are moving but cool off when they are not.

  • To keep your feet warm, wear wool over polypropylene socks. You can also use toe warmers but be sure to place them on the top of your foot and toes, not underneath, to allow for heat exchange.

  • Dress in layers so that you can adjust your clothing as needed.

  • Bring a spare layer of clothing in case you get wet or cold.

  • Avoid wearing jeans or other heavy, non-breathable clothing.

  • Wear sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

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