Nordic Ski Advice

Nordic Ski Info


Camber: The “arch” of the ski. The larger the camber means the arch is higher.

MG Base: A classic or touring ski base that is textured in such a way that friction increases when the ski moves backward. This type of ski does not require wax and is commonly referred to as a “wax-less ski”.

Side-Cut: When the width of a ski is more narrow in the middle than at the tip and the tail.

Importance of a Fitting


Skate skis need to evenly distribute your weight on the snow for effective glide and edge control for turning, stopping and skate propulsion.

Classic skis have to be flexible enough to allow the waxed grip-zone to be pressed into the snow when your weight is concentrated on one ski as you kick.

Classic skis, also, have to be stiff enough to lift the grip zone off the snow when your weight is balanced over both skis. This prevents the grip wax from dragging in the snow and shortening the glide phase.

Cycle Solutions is equipped with professional fitting tools. Come in and our employees will help you find the perfect ski for you.

Wax vs. Wax-less

You can enjoy general touring on either waxable or wax-less skis. Many recreational skiers prefer wax-less models because they are easier to care for.

Waxable skis, on the other hand, typically out-perform wax-less models when they are prepared and cared for correctly. Waxable skis are the choice of most weekend racers and cross country enthusiasts.

Waxing Service

Cycle Solutions offers a professional ski waxing service. Drop your skis off at either our main store or our Blow Me Down Trails location.

Skate Skis

Skate skiing involves the skier pushing one ski outward with the ski angled, so that the inner edge of the ski is driven against the snow, much like an ice skater.

Skate skis tend to be shorter and stiffer than those used in classic skiing. The length of pole used for skate skiing will be longer. Skate skiing is faster and more intense than classic skiing but is only suitable for use in prepared trails or firm smooth snow.

Glide wax is required on the entire length of the ski base.

Classic Skis

Classic style skiing is often used on groomed trails or pistes. Pistes are a pair of parallel grooves cut into the snow.

The camber of classic skis should leave the center section of the ski clear of the snow when the skier’s weight is evenly distributed between the pair. The center section of a classic ski will either have “fish scales” or grip wax that will stick to the snow. This section is calle the “kick zone” or “grip zone” of the ski. When full weight is transferred to a single ski the kick zone comes into contact with the snow.

Touring Skis

Ski touring is a form of off-trail (off-piste) skiing that involves traveling over the winter landscape under human power. It can take place in terrain ranging from perfectly flat to extremely steep.

In either case, unlike alpine skiing, the skier’s heels must be free to allow a natural walking motion while ascending and traversing.

Many people also use touring skis for classic style skiing on groomed trails because the ski is wider and easier to stay balanced on.

Junior and Kids Skis

We know that junior skiers represent the future of skiing.

Madshus does not compromise the quality of bases, base finish, or construction in the junior series. By offering top quality skis for both skate and classic styles we strive to keep juniors active in our great sport!

Choosing the Right Poles

Questions to Consider:

  1. What style of skiing will you be doing? The style of skiing combined with your height will determine the correct length of pole.
  2. Recreation or competition? Competition poles will be lighter and stiffer.
  3. Where will you be skiing? On groomed trails use a small basket to reduce wind drag. When skiing off-trail use a large basket to prevent the pole from penetrating the snow too deeply.

Carbon Fiber vs. Composite Shafts:

Carbon Fiber

  • extremely light weight
  • energy efficient & quick shaft movements
  • increased stiffness resulting in excellent power transfer


  • composite is a mixture of fiberglass & resin
  • high end composite includes carbon fiber in the mixture
  • light weight
  • less expensive

Cork vs Resin Grips:


  • warmer on your hands
  • more comfortable to hold
  • light weight


  • less expensive

Importance of the Strap:

First time buyers often over-look the strap when deciding on a pole. Once an uncomfortable strap is experienced, you will never over-look it again.

When you push off with the pole, using proper technique, all of the power is transferred as follows:

Arm — Hand — Strap — Grip — Pole

This means that a supportive strap that does not chafe is very important.

Race Poles

Competitive skiers will benefit from:

Cork grips with a slight bend. The bend allows more energy to be directed in the horizontal plane, which improves propulsion force.

A light-weight, carbon fiber shaft that does not compromise on stiffness.

A small, aerodynamic basket with a tungsten-carbide tip (light-weight and very strong). Weight differences are very important at the basket end of the pole.


Aerodynamics is not a critical factor and weight is less important for recreational skiing.

Some Features to Look For:

Anatomically designed grips will fit perfectly into you hand.

A wider basket with a hard metal tip will allow for use in all snow conditions.

A supportive strap that is easily adjustable will provide comfort.

A carbon shaft will feel better than a composite shaft.

Choosing the Right Boot

In order to enjoy your Nordic ski experience it is important to have a properly fitted boot. Nordic ski boots fit much like a cycling or running shoe. Your boot should fit snug to your foot and your toes should not be touching the end.

When choosing a boot, be sure to wear the same socks you will be skiing in this winter.


Classic boots are built with a low-cut cuff and a soft toe box. These features are designed to give the boot enough flexibility to allow a powerful and efficient kick/glide motion.

Higher end models will be lighter and have increased torsional stability without sacrificing optimal forefoot flexibility.


Skate boots are built with a supportive race cuff and a stiff toe box. These features are designed to give the boot the maximum torsional stability needed during the lateral kick phase.

Higher end models will be lighter and have increased torsional stability.


The universal boot can be used for skate or classic skiing. The softer, more comfortable toe box of the classic design is combined with the supportive cuff of the skate design. This combination creates a great boot for the recreational skier of either discipline.


Touring, simply mean skiing for pleasure, as opposed to skiing for competition. As a result touring boots are designed for functionality with a strong focus on comfort.

Junior and Kids

To enjoy Nordic skiing, kids need warm, comfortable, functional boots. Madshus junior boots are designed with this concept in mind.

The forefoot flex is designed for a kid’s short stride length.


Glide Wax

Glide waxes are designed to make the ski glide faster and also refresh the ski base. There are two basic types of glide waxes that Toko makes: rub-on waxes and iron-on waxes.

The rub on waxes (Toko Express Wax, Toko Grip N Glide Wax) are simply rubbed on and polished in, which is an easy application process. The downside is that they are not as durable as the iron-on waxes.

Iron-on waxes include the Toko System3 (S3) waxes:

  • Above 0 degrees use S3 yellow
  • 0 to -9.5 degrees use S3 red
  • Below -9.5 degrees use S3 blue

Grip Wax

If you are classic skiing with waxable skis, you will have to apply grip or kick wax. There are two types of kick wax, hard wax (stick) and klister.

Hard wax come in small tubes that look like very fat crayons. Klister comes in tubes like toothpaste and has the consistency and stickiness of honey. Simply match the snow temperature to the temperature range of the wax.

Hard waxes should be used in new snow and klister for old snow that has melted and refrozen. Toko Sportline has a very simple system consisting of 3 grip waxes and 1 klister. For more precise waxing the Carbon Line has 7 grip waxes and 4 klisters.