Do you need equipment?  (Updated 11/14)

The first few weeks you shouldn't need equipment.  We will be doing dryland work, which involves running and walking on the hills and flats of Como Golf Course.  By the end of November we usually have enough snow to teach on.  If you need equipment you have a couple of options.  If you are doing classical you can rent from Joe's Ski Shop, which is about 3 miles to the east of Como Park on Hwy 36.  They charge $15 per day.  You could pick them up before class and return them that evening or the next morning.  They rent waxless classical only.  A pretty messy proposition.  If you are skating there aren't many places that rent skating gear and it's not very good.  The club has 2 pair of skate skis and 2 pair of classic skis that can be borrowed for a while, but you will need boots with Salomon bindings. Drop me an e-mail about your equipment questions and I'll do my best to help.  We'll have a weekend trip to a ski shop where I will help you pick out equipment sometime late Nov or early Dec.

See Skier Profiles below

What to buy: (If you're buying for the first time or still a beginner and upgrading to  modern equipment)  It's important to get the right equipment.  Lack of instruction and poorly fitting equipment are the biggest reasons people give up the sport.  It's difficult with bad equipment, especially if you don't know what you are doing.  We'll help you buy the right equipment.  Yes there will be cheaper packages out there, but they are not worth much.  We've had 10 years of helping people select equipment that best suits their needs and still with a mind on the budget.  We've got lots of suggestions, especially in the line of waxing supplies that will save you money.  So wait for the "Buying Events" and get the best stuff for your money.  If you must buy early feel free to contact me with any questions.


Boots are the most important piece of equipment.  The more expensive boots are easier to ski in especially for skating.  Make sure they fit and they are comfortable.  Don't be afraid to splurge on good boots.  The binding system isn't too important.  Buy the boot that fits best.  If you have two choices go with Salomon.   Make sure you get the right boot for the technique you have selected.  You can skate in classic boots but you won't be very happy.  The right boot makes all the difference in the world.  Salomon makes a combi boot with a removable cuff that is serviceable for both skate and classic.  The top of the line skate/classic boot would be a good choice if you want to do both and don't want to buy both types of boots.  It will be a compromise when it comes to skate performance, but classic performance will be just fine. In fact it's probably one of the best buys around for a classic boot.


Poles are the next most important piece of equipment.  Light stiff poles work best, but they are expensive.  I think most beginners can get by with $50-$70 poles.  If you plan on racing consider a little better pole to begin with and you won't have to upgrade later.  Don't buy the $150-$200 poles right off the bat unless you know you really are serious about this sport.

Skis : I'm not talking about high end race skis here.  Anyone buying high end race skis should demo them first.  We can make suggestions, but you need to try them before you buy.   Watch for the Demo Days that are held every year.  The skis I'm talking about here also are not heavy touring equipment.  They are Light Touring, Sport and/or entry level race skis. Skis meant to be used on groomed trails.

If you're not sure you're serious about skiing I suggest you buy waxless skis.  They are good for the beginner and easy to use.  You'll be happier in the long run.  When it comes to mid-range skis I'm a big fan of the Atomic line.  They make good well performing skis at atractive prices.  Look for the POSI designation, that indicates waxless.  These skis will serve you well and be a good second ski if some day you decide to buy waxable.  There are several mid-range skis, let your seriousness about the sport dictate which model you choose.

If you're sure about this sport then buy a waxable ski.  Waxing isn't that difficult and a properly waxed ski is 20% faster then the best waxless ski in most conditions.  That said once you get into serious skiing you will probably buy a pair of waxless for those difficult waxing conditions.  , The Atomics area good choice again (see above) or look at the Rossignol Max.   Buy a tin of Swix Extra Blue and a waxing cork and some form of glide wax and you're all set to go.

So next you need to decide what type of skier you are going to be

Skier Profiles (Find yourself)
Classic Casual Touring: You ski on Tuesday nights and a few weekends during the season. You donít plan on racing, but you might do a Tour thatís part of a race. You might go to a State Park to enjoy a nice sunny Winter day.

Waxless: Buy some Fastwax  paste wax, apply it to your tips and tails and your ready to go. Do this a few times per year. If you want you can pick up the Simple Glide Wax Package and hot wax your tips and tails a few times per year. Talk to a coach about this if you have any questions.

Waxable: Buy the Simple Kick Wax Package and some Fastwax Paste wax for the tip and tails. If you want you can also get the Simple Glide Wax package and hot wax your tips and tails. Talk to a coach about this if you have any questions.

Classic Racing or sport category skier: You plan on racing or you are serious about skiing as your vehicle to keep fit during the winter. You ski on Tuesday and virtually every other chance you get. Skiing is an important part of your fitness plans.

Waxless: These are you specialty skis for those difficult waxing conditions. You want to treat these skis just like Skate racing skis. Buy the Performance Glide wax Package and prep the tips and tails

Waxable: These are your fitness or racing skis. Buy the Performance Glide Wax Package for the tips and tails and the Performance Kick Wax Package. Then depending on how important racing and fitness are to you track down a coach and talk to them about what else you need to meet your goals on skis, like fluoro waxes

Skate Casual: Very similar to Classic Casual, but since itís skating your already a bit more serious about it. Skating just takes more time and commitment and more paraphernalia.

The easier your skis glide the happier youíll be. You need a good mid range wax that covers most of the conditions youíll encounter. When you get into difficult conditions like very very cold or warm and sloppy your glide will be compromised, but youíre out to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. Thatís whatís important to you. Buy the Simple Glide Wax Package or if you're really looking for simple (you'll loose a little performance)  get the high-fluoro Fastwax paste wax kits mentioned above.  See Waxing 101 for how to apply.

Skate Sport or racing: Same as the above classic category, but you might even be more serious about fitness and performance.

Performance is important. Your skis are sport cars that deserve the proper care. Buy the Performance Glide Wax Package. Then depending on how important racing and fitness is to you track down a coach and talk to them about what else you need to meet your goals on skis, like fluoro waxes


What skis,boots, and poles should I buy? See this article.  Then continue with wax and tuning supplies below.


What wax and tuning stuff to buy: If you still need to buy wax and tools here's a suggested list for various types of people. 

For glide we are listing the basic hydrocarbon Fastwax products because they are made locally, inexpensive and work well.  If you get into the more exotic fluoro waxes everyone has their favorite.  Fastwax makes some as well and they're inexpensive and a good way to get started with high performance waxing .  There are several other brands  like Swix, Toko, Rex, and Solda.  Talk to a coach about what you need and pick some waxes and get to know them.  At a minimum however every serious skier needs the basic hydrocarbon waxes.  You don't use only flurors .  Casual skiers wax every other week or so and with pastewax.  Racers and serious skiers wax once a week or more and need more wax and equipment.  Even waxless classic skis need to be glide waxed.  Definitely go with the Simple Casual package

These packages will get you started. Later on you can branch out to more exotic stuff as you gain experience. When that happen ask someone whoís been there. Any of the coaches will be glad to help you decide what you need.

Go to the article on Waxing Steps and Tools.  Click here to find out how wax and what tools to use