How to Choose Cross-Country Skis

Whether it's your first time on skis, or you're a seasoned pro, we'll help you find the right gear for your next ski adventure.

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How to Choose Cross-Country Skis

Hi. I'm Nathan Mack, and I work in product development at L.L.Bean. I'm here today at the Bike, Boat & Ski Store in Freeport, Maine, to talk to you about how to select the right pair of cross-country skis. At L.L.Bean, we offer three main categories of skis.

1. Recreational touring skis, like our Discovery Ski Set are suitable for flat or rolling terrain. They're wide for increased stability, have a no-wax bottom, and great traction for both in and out of track skiing, making them an ideal option for beginning and intermediate skiers. The Discovery Ski set features a durable wood core, making these skis a great value for the price. They also come in a youth size so you can outfit the entire family for winter fun.

2. Backcountry touring skis can be used to break trail over rolling, packed or icy terrain in variable snow conditions, but they're versatile enough to be used in groom tracks at Nordic touring centers. These skis feature metal edges that make it easier to maintain control while going downhill and around turns. The no-wax base is low maintenance and provides an efficient glide and superior traction for climbing.

3. Performance touring skis are designed for groomed trials at Nordic touring centers and are available in both classic and skate styles. These skis are lightweight, efficient, and provide a great aerobic workout. They're narrower, faster, and typically feature a centered base that holds kick and glide wax, making them a great option for novice racers and fitness skiers.

Whether it's your first time on skis or you're a seasoned pro, L.L.Bean has everything you need for your next ski adventure.