3 Best Cross Country Skis

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Hey there fellow ski enthusiasts and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best cross-country skis to conquer the back trails with this year.  Cross-country skiing is one of the best full-body exercises you can do and it’s also an excellent opportunity to enjoy an outdoor winter wonderland as well.

And it probably goes without saying but to enjoy this activity, you will need a set of functional and reliable cross-country skis. So, for those of you looking to get yourself some good skis to meet your cross country needs, I have had a look around and come up with three decent options below.

Let’s check them out…

My three recommended cross-country skis

I will review these in more detail below. Still, if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience: 

02/19/2024 02:52 am GMT Lasso Brag

What are cross-country skis?

Cross-country skis are generally lighter and longer than downhill skis, which allows for greater glide and maneuverability on flat or rolling terrain. They also have a thinner profile and are more flexible, which aids in efficient propulsion across various types of snow surfaces. There are two main categories of cross-country skis: classic and skate.

  1. Classic skis: These are used for traditional diagonal stride skiing, where the skier’s arms and legs move in opposition to each other. Classic skis have a grip or “kick” zone in the middle, usually featuring a pattern or a grip wax, which provides traction for pushing off on the snow.
  2. Skate skis: These skis are used for skate skiing, a technique that involves a V-shaped, ice-skating-like motion to propel the skier forward. Skate skis are shorter and stiffer than classic skis, with a smooth, waxable base that allows for better glide and lateral stability.

In both classic and skate skiing, cross-country ski bindings and boots are designed to provide support while allowing the heel to lift, offering greater mobility and freedom of movement compared to downhill ski equipment.

Check out these: Snowshoes

Best cross country skis - yellow cross country skis

What should you be looking for?

The following factors should be considered as you hunt around for a good set of skis for your cross-country skiing exploits…

  1. Construction
  2. Ski length
  3. Ski width
  4. Camber
  5. Waxless vs. Waxable
  6. Additions


In most cases, you should determine the core and reinforcement material used to create the ski.  This is outlined as follows:

Core materials:

  1. Wood: Most skis are constructed with a core comprised of natural fibers (wood or bamboo). The flex life of natural fibers is the longest before they start to deteriorate as well as being incredibly robust and long-lasting. Ash, Maple, Aspen and Poplar are common woods used in ski building. Ash and Maple are some of the strongest, heaviest, and most resilient woods whereas Poplar and Aspen are significantly lighter, more flexible, and less resilient.
  2. Composite: Some skis still use composite cores, sometimes in the form of honeycomb, which have an excellent stiffness-to-weight ratio. The hexagonal design helps producers decrease the number of materials used, lowering weight without compromising strength. Some skis will employ various types of ISO-Core material, including blended foam/epoxy and fiberglass, again delivering a high stiffness-to-weight ratio.

Reinforcement materials:

  1. Fiberglass: The majority of composites are made of this substance which is inexpensive and available in a range of weights and weaves. A ride made of fiberglass is highly “damp” and fast speeds and rough terrain don’t precisely transmit the energy and vibrations into the legs as much since the heavier weight tends to absorb more vibration.
  2. Metal: This material provides the “dampest” ride. Metal significantly increases the rigidity of the ski’s longitudinal and torsional flex because of its strength and longevity. 
  3. Carbon: This material is the strongest and lightest reinforcing material. As a result, the skis’ inherent spring and pop endure a lot longer is not subject to the same natural degradation that occurs with fiberglass. However, as it doesn’t have the same dampening properties as metal and fiberglass, carbon reinforcement is frequently used in conjunction with one of the other materials.

Ski length

In general,  when determining your ideal ski length you should add 15–20 cm to your height in cm. Similar to conventional skis, longer skis are better for long-term continuous improvement, while shorter skis are more straightforward for beginners to control.

If you think of yourself as a heavier skier, I recommend extending the length by 5cm as well.

Ski width

Ski width is usually measured at three locations:

  1. The tip (the broadest point near the front of the ski); 
  2. The waist (the narrowest point near the middle of the ski)
  3. The tail (near the back of the ski). The form of the resulting hourglass is known as the sidecut.

In general, look for skis no wider than 68mm if you intend to ski in Nordic ski areas and keep on the groomed paths (the maximum width of ski tracks). 

For the skis to glide straight and effectively, the sidecut should be as little as possible with most race and performance skis coming in no broader than 60mm at their widest point.

Best cross country skis - woman cross country skiing


A camber refers to the part of a skis profile as it looks from the side when it’s lying on a flat surface. Traditional camber (an upward bend underfoot) and rocker (an upward bend at the tip and tail) are typically combined by downhill and backcountry skiers.

Skate skis typically have a single camber, meaning the tip is pointed upward, the ski is raised underfoot and the tail is flat. All nordic skis have a similar tip shape that enables you to stride out without the tips getting caught in the snow.

Double camber refers to a more clearly defined camber arch rather than two distinct instances of camber. When the ski is evenly balanced, a taller camber means you can count on the tip and tail to glide. 

Waxless vs. Waxabale

Because they need less maintenance, waxless skis are very popular. If you divide the ski into three parts, the part nearest to the tail and the tip portion are both smooth and glide like ordinary skis. The middle third, under the bindings, is the textured pattern (instead of wax).

Although they require some care, classic waxable skis are more performance-focused where you rub on wax the middle third of the ski. This practice is a better choice for days with stable temperatures since it offers outstanding grip and glide.


Other potential additions include:

  1. Ski poles: Some brands include ski poles so that you are on the go once you purchase the cross-country ski.
  2. Bindings and boots: Cross-country skiers prefer specialized bindings that always leave the heel free. This practice enables them to set up a nice stride and rhythm for when they want to travel more quickly or climb a hill.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. Alpina Control 64 Cross Country Touring Skis

This product is perfect for skiers looking for lightweight features allowing you to kick and glide with less effort.  They are the perfect option for recreational Nordic skiers as they reduce weight but not performance as well. See their specifications below:

  • Brand: Alpina sport
  • Type: Classic
  • Core material: Ultralight wood
  • Tip width: 64 millimeters
  • Waist width: 52 millimeters
  • Tail width: 60 millimeters
  • Boot and binding compatibility: NNN/TURNAMIC/Prolink

Other inclusions:

  • Full metal edge
  • Multigrip patterned bases

Why have I chosen them?

The manufacturer has decreased the weight without compromising performance by grinding out some of the core with a 64 mm tip width that ensures the skis will fit in the track but also broad enough to allow for detours too. You’ll also experience excellent grip on everything from newly groomed trails to off-trail adventure skiing with a BC grip foundation as well.

2. Rossignol Evo XT 55 Positrack Mens XC Skis

My next option is built with beginner to intermediate level cross-country skiers in mind. It is a user-friendly set of skis with pre-mounted bindings to take out some of the guesswork that will help you enjoy those snowy trails.  See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Rossignol
  • Type: Classic
  • Core material: wood
  • Tip width: 55 millimeters
  • Waist width: 48 millimeters
  • Tail width: 52 millimeters
  • Boot and binding compatibility: NNN/TURNAMIC/Prolink

Other inclusions:

  • Positrack base for reliable grip and handle
  • Activ Cap construction for torsional rigidity

Why have I chosen them?

The skis give you the sensation of a much higher-end ski thanks to its wooden core construction with a recreational design that lets the skier produce easy turns and control. And for the beginner. the  54/48/52 mm sidecut helps with improved mobility as it gives you that extra width in the tip and the thinner waist as well.

3. Whitewoods Adult NNN Cross Country Ski Package

This last option comes with everything you need for an enjoyable skiing experience including skis, poles, boots and bindings. See their specifications below:

  • Brand: Whitewoods
  • Type: Classic
  • Core material: wood
  • Tip width: 64 millimeters
  • Waist width: 55 millimeters
  • Tail width: 59 millimeters
  • Boot and binding compatibility: NNN

Other inclusions:

  • Ski poles
  • Ski boots
  • Waxless base

Why have I chosen them?

The ski pair is made from laminated wood, meaning the equipment holds its shape well, giving you a more stable and responsive feel. You get increased lateral strength from its poles’ 15mm tapered shafts and as the poles are lightweight and sturdy, the multidirectional fiberglass wrap significantly enhances your performance as well.

02/19/2024 02:52 am GMT Lasso Brag


There you have it, my three best cross-country skis to conquer the back trails with this year. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.