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Choose Your XC Skis

Skate Skis Vs. Classic Skis

What's the difference between these two types of skis, and which should you purchase if you're interested in getting into cross country skiing? Learn more and visit us with your questions.

We also have a comprehensive guide to Cross Country Skiing that covers the basics of the sport, the different styles, and the gear you need to get started. Check out the guide and get all your questions answered!

Read The Ultimate XC Ski Guide

Classic Skis

Classic skis are the typical form of cross country skis that most people picture when envisioning XC skiing. Classic style skiing is when the skis are parallel to one another and the skier performs a "glide walking motion" by pushing off on the planted ski and gliding on the other. Classic skiing is typically done in a track set; however, it is also done along trails and in the backcountry on touring skis.

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Skate Skis

Skate skiing, on the other hand, is a newer form of XC skiing that simulates movement similar to inline skating. The skis are typically set in a V-shape and the skier propels themselves forward by pushing off in a skating motion and by pushing with the poles. Skating is the most popular type of skiing in a performance setting currently. Skating is typically done on a groomed and smooth surface. 

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So What Skis Should I Buy?

We recommend that anyone just getting into the sport start out with classic skis. Classic skis will allow the skier to develop the correct balance and control of the skis before focusing on skate form. Although skate skiing can be a blast, it is typically much more enjoyable and easier to pick up once a skier has gained a decent amount of control on classic skis. Also, people who start with classic skis tend to develop better skate skills in a shorter amount of time than those who insist on jumping on a pair of skate skis from the get-go. Plus, classic skiing can also be a very enjoyable and efficient form of skiing.