Cross Country Skiing – Equipment and Apparel

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,421
    Kevin Hinds, a cross-country skiing and snowshoe instructor for L.L. Bean, discusses the equipment and apparel needed for cross country skiing.

    Kevin Hinds: Hello! I am Kevin Hinds. I am a cross-country skiing and snowshoe instructor for L.

    L. Bean here in Freeport, Maine. Today we're going to talk about some basic equipment for cross-country skiing. First let's talk about the cross-country skies themselves. The modern cross-country skies are a much easier to use than some of the ones in the past. They are usually shorter in length, a little bit wider for more floatation.

    Now let's talk about the parts of the ski itself. First of all, this is the tip of the cross-country ski. As we go back, this is the binding where then boot attaches to the ski. And then we go here to the tail of the ski. On the bottom of the ski are these fish scales, which is kick or grip zone. These fish scales are very important because this is where we grip the snow and to be able kick and glide on the opposite ski.

    The next piece if equipment we are going to talk about is the poles. The poles are really lightweight today. This is the strap, the grip, the pole itself, and at the other end the basket, and the tip.

    Next, we're going to talk about cross-country ski boots, they are very specific so that they attach to the binding. For the cross-country ski boot, you want to have one that's pretty waterproof, also has great ankle support, and then this is an NNN Binding that has this bar in the front. That bar clips into the ski right here just like so. To get out, you push down and then you release your foot from the biding itself.

    These are a few things you want to bring along with you when you go outside in the winter to make your trip enjoyable. The first thing you want to bring is a backpack. In winter, because of the temperatures it's a great idea to put some hand warmers in it. Also, because of the sun reflecting off the snow sunglasses are a must. I also like to carry an insulated thermos. When you are outside too, you want to make sure to bring a lot of extra water. It's a great idea to also carry some extra foods, some quick food. A cellphone also are great thing to carry in case of emergencies. I love to carry an extra pair of mittens. One of the last things I'll usually bring is a nice jacket, a nice warm jacket.

    There are three layers you want to think about, wicking, warming, and weather layers. Over here is a wicking layer. It's a synthetic material that's designed to pull moisture away from your skin to keep you nice and dry. The next layer is a warming layer for insulation. Right here we have a fleece vest. The final layer is the weather layer. Right here we have soft shell jacket that's sort of windproof, semi-waterproof, and breathable is very important.

    Then right here we have just sort of a lighter wind breaker for the weather layer that's windproof and waterproof. It's also important for your lower half to use the same preparation system with the wicking, warming, and weather layer. This is the weather layer that's somewhat breathable and windproof.

    So that's the gear, apparel, and accessories that will make cross-country skiing that much more enjoyable for you.

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