How to Pick Skate Skiing Equipment
You may have seen them as you kick and glide through the tracks in your cross-country touring gear: bright blurs in spandex suits.
This is a group of skate skiers. They push off poles and skis like speed skaters speeding down the straightaway to the finish line. You claim it looks fun, but what type of equipment is required to skate ski?
Although it is inconvenient, skating on cross-country skis (both touring and metal-edge touring) is doable for short periods. It’s also worth noting that skate skiing equipment isn’t built for touring and isn’t designed for kicking and gliding in the typical cross-country stride.
So, if you’re thinking about taking up skate skiing—or even racing it’s worth investing in the proper skate skiing equipment.
Skate skis must be short and light enough to be taken up off the ground with each forward stride while still long enough to give appropriate glide and stability. Skate skis are typically ten centimeters shorter than touring skis. Keep in mind that the length of ski you need depends on your height and weight.
Width: In general, the narrower the ski is, the faster it moves. Compared to their touring counterparts, skating and racing skis are extremely limited. They glide quickly over packed or groomed snow, with tips ranging from 41mm to 45mm wide. Skating skis fit into existing tracks, allowing skaters to jump in and tuck downhill parts for maximum speed.
Most skate skis do not feature sidecuts (the lengthy, inward side curves), making it more difficult to place on edge and control when skating. The widths of the ski’s tip, waist, and tail in millimeters (specified as 44/43/43 on product specs, for example) define sidecut. The core is the thinnest component of different types of skis. However, some skate skis are somewhat wider at the waist to give a strong edge for skating.
The amount of bend, or arch, incorporated into a ski is called camber. It has an impact on a ski’s flex and strength. By placing a ski on the floor and observing how much light is visible beneath the middle of the ski, you may determine how much arch it has. Alpine camber is used in the construction of skate skis, and that means they have a less-pronounced angle from tip to tail than touring skis with cross-country camber, which have an elevated, high-arch “wax pocket.” This flatter profile helps you push off the skis’ edges more effectively than you might on touring skis with their curved design.
Waxable bases: Waxable bases are available on most skate skis but solely for gliding. This is because grip and forward movement are provided by the edges of a skate ski rather than the base. The grip patterns employed for pushing off during the conventional touring stride might conflict with the skating motion on non-wax ski bases. Ski Boots for Skating
Skating boots have stronger ankle support than touring boots, which helps protect against the twisting forces during skating. They also have firmer soles to reduce torsional and forward flex, which can be detrimental to skating performance. A ski boot’s level of comfort is the most critical consideration.
After you’ve decided on your boots, you’ll need to find a binding system that fits with them. One of several lightweight technologies can be used in skate ski bindings:
- Advanced skiers love the NNN (New Nordic Norm), and it has to be worn with NNN-style footwear.
- NIS (Nordic Integrated System): These skis come with pre-installed NIS plates that breeze installation. NNN racing and touring footwear are also compatible.
- SNS (Salomon Nordic System) series: Unlike the original SNS bindings, the new SNS series bindings are made by various manufacturers. Salomon’s Pilot Sport skate bindings have two connection points for improved control.