View the most recent posts on the forum.


Author Topic: Help with deciding on a skiing style  (Read 2039 times)

Offline Noonievut

  • Coming in From the Cold
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Help with deciding on a skiing style
« on: September 09, 2014, 04:32:37 pm »
I'm an avid cyclist who sometimes cycles in the winter, but want to take up another activity for those days when there is too much snow to bike.  Below I've outlined what I have access to and was hoping for some ideas.  I've skimmed the threads and see there are a lot of different styles of skis out there...at the moment I'm hoping to add only one set (might add more in subsequent years).

What I have access to: I live in Southwest Ontario (about an hour west of Toronto).  There are xc ski trails within a 20-45 minute drive from my house.  I have waxless skis I've used on those groomed trails.  While the skis probably aren't perfect, I'm only used them about 10 times and I have no specific complaints (don't know enought to complain).  Behind my house there is about 5km of pedestrian trails, mainly flat with some very small rolling hills.  These trails are about 5-8 feet wide and are used most often by walkers, including with dogs.  There is another 2km of what I would call singletrack (from a mountain bikers perspective).  Within a 15 minute drive from my house are centres (I already have annual passes for mountain biking) with 10-15 km of xc ski trails that are 'not' groomed.  In addition, there is the Bruce trail (some non-technical sections, but usually quite a few roots/rocks).

My options:
- upgrade my xc equipment for groomed trails (proper camber, better boot fit, etc), from a reputable shop
- invest in skis that work well on the trails behind my house (that would get me out there the most often, but are there skis made for those conditions, or am I better to hike and trail run?)  What skis are suitable for such trails (would use here, and those 'centres' within a 15 minute drive...all are non-groomed)
- other?

My goals, in no particular order: fitness, fun, exploration, enjoying the outdoors and making the most out of winter.

Thanks!

Offline SupGen

  • Stoking the Woodstove
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
    • View Profile
Re: Help with deciding on a skiing style
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 09:16:34 pm »
  What's wrong with the skis you have now? You said yourself, you don't know enough to complain; seriously, wait until you do. Ski the hell out of whatever you have now; unless they're skinny-ass little racing skis they'll work well enough for any of the trail types you mentioned. The thing to remember is that xc started out simply as a way to get around in deep snow-the european version of snowshoes. If the skis you already have are kind of "all around" (touring) skis the only thing I might recommend is a pair of waxable skis of the same type; waxing can be a pain in the ass but the performance difference when you get it right is amazing. The main thing is, get out and ski; get the experience that will help you make those descisions. Above all, enjoy yourself!

Offline Noonievut

  • Coming in From the Cold
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Help with deciding on a skiing style
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2014, 09:43:57 am »
They are "skinny-ass little racing skis"  :) I've only ever tried them on groomed trails.  I may try them on the conditions which I've mentioned, before I buy anything new, but I'm assuming they won't be ideal (kind of like a road bike on mountain bike trails...though not 'that' extreme).

With the ski season here in southwestern Ontario being rather short, I wanted to get skis that are most effective in the conditions where I'll be using them (rail trails, golf courses, and areas with ski trails that are not groomed...these are all very close to where I live), so that I can ski as much as possible.  The most probably scenario is skiing in the mornings before work, when it's dark (will be using a headlight), a few times a week before work.  If there is snow, whether it be fresh powder or days old, semi-compacted, I will ski.  Otherwise I'll be on my bike.  I'm planning to ski 9/10 times on ungroomed trails.

I've checked kijiji and similar sites and didn't come across lots of options.  I'm not far from MEC (similar to REI in the US), and about 1.5 hours from xc ski centres...though I'm assuming they focus on equipment for their groomed trails.  Most of the smaller shops, including ski swaps, are focused on downhill skis.

Since my initial post I've done more reading here and elsewhere, and have identified a few boots/bindings and skis that may work for me.  I'll continue to research and may post back here later with a few specific equipment-related questions.

Thanks

Offline SupGen

  • Stoking the Woodstove
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
    • View Profile
Re: Help with deciding on a skiing style
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 04:53:37 pm »
  Noonievut, do a little reading here: http://home.comcast.net/~pinnah/DirtbagPinner/dirtbag.html . Lots of helpful info. This place has good selection, and pretty good prices: http://www.orscrosscountryskisdirect.com/ .  This site has used equipment for sale, and sometimes trade: http://www.geartrade.com/ . Read everything at DirtbagPinner though, great stuff! Good luck!