Remember: When buying ski equipment from a store, be sure to mention you are a high school skier! You usually get 10-15% off.
SLP Nordic team will provide race suit and necessary ski passes to athletes.
Required Ski Gear
Skis: Classic and Skate Style
Bindings: Note that binding and boot styles must match
Boots: "Combi" boots serve for both classic and skate styles
Ski poles: Classic and Skate Style
Jacket suitable* for winter aerobic activity
Pants suitable* for winter aerobic activity
Ski bag for care and transport of skis and poles.
High school has limited ski equipment for new skiiers.
* Suitable: ideally water resistant and breathable material and not cotton.
Important Personal Gear
A. Base Layer (top and bottom); Mid Layer (top); Outer Layer
B. Warm socks (not cotton)
C. Gloves or mittens
D. Neck gaiter / buff / scarf
E. Goggles / sunglasses
F. Winter hat
On Required Ski Gear:
Classic skis - these are the skis associated with what most people think of when they think of cross country skiing. Ski's remain flat and have a mechanical "stick" on the bottom that allows forward motion.
Skate skis are different from classic skis in that they do not have any mechanism to "stick" to the snow to create forward motion. Skate skiiers push - just like ice skaters - to generate power and momentum.
"Combi" boots are designed to be used with both classic and skate skis/techniques. One pair of combi boots can therefore be used with two different sets of skis, as long as the boot/binding systems are consistent.
Boots and bindings can be either SNS (Salomon Nordic System) or NNN (New Nordic Norm) and the must match. If you are buying used gear, make sure you are taking the boot/binding system into consideration
Combi boots/skate & classic boots: These should be sized by a ski shop professional (once you know the size, you could look on Craigslist or hit a ski swap)- boots are in European sizes like “36”
Skis, poles, boots: These can be from the school, former skiers, ski swaps, ski shops, Craigslist, eBay, etc. Again, remember to pay attention to the boot/binding system.
Ski Bag: If you get skis from the school you will likely get a ski bag too.
Winter workout clothes: Appropriate apparel is important both for skiing as well as for preseason, outdoor workouts such as running, when there's no snow.
NOTE: The school has a very limited supply of skis/boots/poles to loan out. Please contact a Coach if your skier is in need of gear.
Where to Find Equipment:
You can go to any ski shop listed below and have them size the skier for poles and skis before you start shopping for gear. It is highly recommended to have a professional fit the skier, the wrong size skis will have a dramatic impact of the performance and enjoyment of the skier. Ski shops will often have last year's skis and poles at reduced prices before the start of the season. Their staff can answer questions you still have about ski gear.
Ski Swaps: Most ski shops in the metro area have ski swaps some time in November each year. This is a great way to get good equipment at an affordable price. Arrive early to get the best selection and it helps to know what sizes you are looking for ahead of time. To know the date of a specific swap, contact the shops directly.
Information About Equipment:
Skis (classic and skate + Bindings)
Skis are fitted to weight, taking height into secondary consideration.
Bindings are either “NNN” or “SNS”. If you have NNN boots, they won’t work with SNS bindings and vice-versa. Bring your boots when you buy used skis to make sure they work together. Most new Nordic ski boots and bindings are now NNN, but be aware of the difference if you purchase boots or skis second-hand.
Combi boots are a good way to save money. However, combi skis are significantly worse than separate skate and classic skis and should be avoided if possible.
Poles (different heights for classic and skate)
These are fitted to your height.
Most skiers who are new to the sport should be using a classic pole height that comes up to their armpits/shoulder and skate pole height somewhere between the chin and eyes. The height needs to be considered as if the skier is standing in boots on snow.
Your classic pole height cannot be more than 83% or your height in the Minnesota high school league.
Velcro grips are better than just loops you stick your hands into because the skiers should “fling” the poles away from them as they pole forward.
Ski Boots (classic and skate or “combi" boots which can be used for both)
Your boots must match the type of bindings you have on your skis. SNS bindings do not work with NNN skis and visa versa, see the bottom of this page to learn the difference between SNS and NNN boots.
Many skiers enjoy using a “Superfeet” insert to make their ski boots more comfortable (available at sporting goods stores, REI, Hoigaards, etc).
Kick Wax: This is the stuff that makes your classic skis grip the snow. Ask for a starter set of kick wax (wax + cork for applying it) when you get your skis so your skier can start to assemble their own “wax box”. Different waxes are needed for different temperatures and different ski conditions. Your coaches and captains will help teach you how to apply the kick wax.
Glide Wax: This is the stuff that makes you glide.
Don't stress the wax. The SLP coaching team will teach you all you need to know. They will make sure you are ready for every race.
If the classic skis have skins (fuzzy strip in the kick zone of the ski), do not use kick wax. The skin creates the grip for the kick. The skins do need to be cleaned and maintained with a skin cleanser. This can be found at any ski shop or online. The skins will last for about 600 miles worth of skiing (give or take depending on conditions and care). They will eventually need to be replaced with new ones at a local ski shop. Take note of the performance of your kick as you go through the season and the condition of the skins. A coach cannot re-skin your classic skis, and to not have any (or poor) kick at a race will cost time and dramatically increase the effort it takes to move forward and up hills.
Bags are critical for transporting, protecting and keeping track of your equipment. Most ski shops sell cheap canvas/nylon bags and you can look for used ones online. Make sure to mark your contact information on your bag to identify it, as many skiers all have the same bag.
Important Personal Gear:
Wool and synthetics (good) versus cotton (bad) are important materials because they do not absorb and hold moisture, be it sweat (working hard) or snowmelt (falling down). Nordic skiing is a highly aerobic activity that generates a lot of body heat. Your base layer needs to be a fabric that pulls sweat/moisture away from your skin quickly.
FOR DETAILS PLEASE REFERENCE THE PAGE:
What kind of boots do I have?
Take a look at the Facebook page for the SLP Nordic Gear Exchange to see if there are available ski gear items that you may need.