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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Winter Camping and Activities
      x-country ski advice     

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lundojam
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10/21/2016 01:57PM
Hey team-
As a condition of moving up north, I told my wife I would go skiing with her. I've done it a dozen times; it isn't my favorite thing, but I like getting outside. Here is my question: What brand/kind/style of ski should I get? What is a way to get decent used skis? I will not be skating or whatever they call it. Is there anything I should know? I like to keep it simple. I'm 6'2" 250#.
 
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Mocha
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10/21/2016 05:14PM
if you aren't in a hurry to buy you might consider renting from Bearskin, Golden Eagle or Gunflint Lodge this winter so you know if you like classic or skate or both! (Ben Franklin/Joynes might still rent gear, too).

there is a ski shop just past Pincusion overlook that might be able to help you get started. they just had a sale a few weekends ago.
Northwoodsman
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10/22/2016 08:59AM
I like Mocha's suggestion of renting so you can try different styles before you purchase.
Pinetree
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10/22/2016 09:25PM
There is a few areas about now have ski swaps and sales.

No experience-rental the first time is a good idea,and yes the Gunflint has endless ski opportunities.

One thing like canoe people,you find a die hard cross country skier and they will help you to no end getting set up.

REI usually has a lot of skis.
OldFingers57
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11/06/2016 06:27AM
I agree go with renting the first time not only to see what works for you in the way of equipment but also to see if you like it or not. Realize there is a bit of a learning curve with cross country skiing. It is not as easy as say snowshoeing to learn and get the technique down.
jwartman59
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11/06/2016 11:39AM
it doesn't sound like you are looking at performance skis. i'd suggest looking for a pair of old wood skis with three pin bindings. these type of skis won't win any races but are stable and forgiving of a less than perfect wax job. i know of lots of wood skis in the cities that haven't been used in years. do NOT go with forty year old bamboo poles. these will not be safe as they may be too dry and subject to breaking and splintering.
for a guy of your size 205-210 should be good.
SaganagaJoe
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11/07/2016 12:35AM
Hey jwartman, what length would you recommend for a guy about 160 and 5'9'' ?
Banksiana
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11/08/2016 11:26AM
I think the new NNN or Salomon bindings are much better to ski and learn on than the old 3-pin set ups. The new boot and binding systems provide much better control. If you are planning on skiing on lakes or rougher trails manual bindings are preferred (slush can make step in bindings inoperative until thawed). Wood skis are more forgiving for waxing but prone to breaking, especially if they've been stored for years. When wood skis were in vogue you had to carry a plastic "ski tip" with you in case broke your skis on the journey- no longer- the new skis are lighter, sturdier and offer much better glide.

As for sizing- skis are sized by weight (how much force it takes to compress the ski) first and then length based on experience and expected conditions.

I would begin with no-wax touring skis- it can be difficult to find skis sized for folks over 200#. When choosing skis light weight boards makes the learning process easier. E-bay is loaded with used Touring skis.
flopnfolds
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11/08/2016 04:21PM
quote Banksiana: "I think the new NNN or Salomon bindings are much better to ski and learn on than the old 3-pin set ups. The new boot and binding systems provide much better control. If you are planning on skiing on lakes or rougher trails manual bindings are preferred (slush can make step in bindings inoperative until thawed). ="

I agree, though I would head to REI and buy a combo pack. You could get a new set of poles, boots, skis bindings for fitted to you for a reasonable price. And if you want to step up to a faster ski, you can always buy a new set at the end of the season.

It sounds like you may want a classic ski, rather than a skate ski. I prefer classic skiing up north, better ski options and easier. I prefer skating when I am at home in MInneapolis. A waxless/fishscale ski is a great ski for most people, although you still need a wax once in a while, you don't need to deal with kick wax on a daily basis.
schweady
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11/10/2016 07:02PM
Midwest Mountaineering has a lot of skis, etc on sale, now thru their Winter Expo (go now; once the Expo starts, it can be a crazy time to get helped properly). We were very happy with their expert advice and proper fitting.
 
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