Advice needed XC gear reccomendation for not you avg skiers

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by spaceyoo, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. spaceyoo

    spaceyoo First Runs

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi All
    looking to buy our fist set of xc skis (total beginners) and we're a bit confused - it's cerainly a whole world out there. Also our starting point is a bit "unusual"
    Hubby is 183cm and I'm 170, both sit around 100kg - not atheltic (a.k.a fat), especially me!
    BUT - this has so far not stopped us from hiking and kayaking and last year for the first time we tried to XC Ski (at Dinner Plain) and LOOOVED it.
    We would like to start doing this on a regular basis and since XC gear is not as expensive just get our own kit to suit us.

    We intend to ski around the trails at Mt.Stirling or Dinner Plain, and need ski's that will give us confidence, allow us to figure out what we like, and just enjoy an active (yet not particularly adrenaline packed) time in the snow - maybe even some off-trail down the track?
    Hubby will be travelling to the US soon, so we're looking for advice on potential models to snap up a bargain - or a guideline to length, profile and style (I understand we're better off with slightly wider, metal edged skis) .
    Also - bindings! I will be buying shoes in Melbourne (don't want to buy without fitting) and so might be hubby so something simple like what we had on the rental gear (snaps in and out, worked fine). Are those the NNN ones?
    Sorry about being clueless :)
    Cheers
     
  2. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
    Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    16,863
    Likes Received:
    10,436
    Cross country skiing is a quiver sport, if you get into it you'll end up owning a lot of different pairs of skis and boots. Since you're starting on the groomed trails buy equipment which works well there, then progress into different gear.

    Start off with some classical skis, boots, bindings and poles.

    1. Buy boots that fit, I'd go a combi boot rather than a classic boot if you aren't very athletic (nominally a combi boot is for both classic and skate, but you'll get more control going downhill with a combi boot and is worth the compromise of slightly reduced effeciency).
    2. There are two competing systems of bindings, they are nearly identical and perform about the same (SNS and NNN), so buy the one which your boot fits into. If you're less athletic get an auto binding (has a button rather than a leaver, you don't have to bend down that way).
    3. If you're staying on the groomed trails the category you want is a cruising ski. They don't have metal edges, since they slow you down a lot (extra friction and weight) and don't add a lot of control to those sorts of skis. Cruiser skis are shorter and a bit wider than race skis. Also for skiing in australia buy a pattern base ski. What length to buy is very dependant on the ski, if instore have fun doing the stand on the ski game, otherwise just use the sizing table for that particular ski.
    4. Poles, whatever works, but the stiffer and lighter they are the easier they are to use.
     
  3. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
    Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    27,521
    Likes Received:
    9,883
    @teckel sells and hires XC gear. Her shop is just over the Black Spur if you feel like a pleasant drive. She is very helpful and friendly.

    Otherwise EMC or AJAYs in the Eastern suburbs. Bogong in the CBD didn't used to be very beginner friendly but it may have improved. Not sure about Wilderness Shop in Box Hill.
     
  4. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us
    Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    356
    TP knows his stuff and Currawong's advice is on the ball. EMC at Deepdene will have a range to suit you or Ajays (its partner shop in Heathmont) might be more convenient. Get the gear and get into it.
     
  5. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
    Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    72,552
    Likes Received:
    33,487
    3rding the EMC selection. Go see Doug and he will get you sorted. He recently took care of @Mister Tee on XC Skis
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  6. spaceyoo

    spaceyoo First Runs

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi All! thanks heaps for the advice!!!
    @Telemark Phat - by cruiser skis you mean touring skis?
    @currawong - I wouldn't mind a drive to Black Spur at all :) (we go there often and don't live too far)

    I was wondering though - and it does concern $$$ - if it might be cheaper to get skis in the US and then the shoes here, but then I will have to make sure the bindings fit. (or maybe even rent skis? I do prefer to own the boots)
    Some sale stores in the US (like the house) have pretty cheap options and a huge selection!
    Cheers!
     
  7. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    502
    While it is nice to save the money this is one place where I really feel it is worth shopping at and supporting local businesses, simply because of the after sales service. Bogong, Ajays and MEC all offer excellent service and are very clued up as is Snow Sports in Wodonga where I shop, boot fitting is important no matter what the style. Last seasons rentals are a good place to buy sometimes but also sometimes close to worn out; last seasons cosmetic model is usually what I can afford tho
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  8. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
    Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    16,863
    Likes Received:
    10,436
    No, I mean cruiser skis. Cruiser skis are a category of classic skis. Touring skis are a very different beast.
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  9. teckel

    teckel Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    38,440
    Likes Received:
    6,154
    Hi @spaceyoo . Come on up here in the non-winter months any day other than Tuesdays or Wednesdays (my days off). I should be able to offer your plenty of advice and show you different types of skis & bindings. I could probably sell you some ex-rental (excellent condition) skis suitable for groomed trail skiing. I sometimes have new ones for sale, but not many.
    I'm in Narbethong - on the left side of the road coming from Melbourne. The signs outside at this time of year are for camping and fishing stuff.
     
  10. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,906
    Likes Received:
    3,661
    I can recommend BOGONG EQUIPMENT, EMC and Teckel's shop in Narbethong. Bruce's shop in Jindabyne , NSW is good too. It is best to own your own boots ,skis and poles. Beware, once you own your own skis one pair will never be enough ;-P. I have two pairs of skis already and I am merely a blue run level classic XC/BC XC skier with limited experience.
     
    CarveMan likes this.
  11. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,906
    Likes Received:
    3,661
    I started XC skiing properly , in earnest last season,
    (white season 2018). I did dabble with it in white season 2016 and 2017 but at the end of 2017 , having rented Madhus Epoch back country pattern base skis with metal edges coupled with NNN BC manual magnum bindings from Bruce at his shop in Jindabyne and having enjoyed some skiing near Charlotte Pass in NSW, I went off and purchased the same set up coupled with Fischer NNN BC boots.
    The whole caboodle was not that cheap but being the Green season/ off season, Doug at EMC in Deepdene here in Melbourne gave me a discount for buying the whole package on a lay by arrangement.
    In 2018, I went so many times to so many different places to classic XC ski and Back Country XC ski that I actually ended my season skiing the whole Heathy Spur loop near Falls Creek in 5.5 hours including lunch , photo stops and no falls and hardly any snow plough turns ( they slow you down as you turn).
    So I have become a born again XC skier, ( praise de lawd! ) and half way through the 2018 ski season I got a pair of skinny pattern base Classic XC skis with matching bindings that match my NNN BC boots, 2nd hand for a song from forum member @mr.
    .They made skiing at Lake Mtn. and elsewhere a joy.
    I am now eyeing off these skis
    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/foo...-cross-country-skis-199-cm-salomon/1191667327
    on GUMTREE.
    They would need to have NNN BC Manual ( the Lever) Magnum bindings attached so that they suit my boots.
    I have found I am a better intermediate skier on my skinny skis and can get around quite well on them. If the conditions are icy or fresh/ ungroomed then generally I will use my wider metal edged pattern base skis.Having both kinds of skis has worked really well for me.
    Now some people will poo poo me ( you know who you are !) and my own journey from snow shoes/snow camping and green season bushwalking to becoming a skier who can ski cross country back country routes of up to 16-18 kms in a day as the ramblings of a newbie .
    However I can relate to the OP whose journey into XC skiing is just beginning.
    I can recommend taking up a regular fitness regime so that you can avoid injuries while skiing or recover from them more readily if and when they do occur. That means distance swimming in the Olympic pool, cycling , surfing and long hikes in the Oz Alps.
    Being fit and in good shape means you can XC ski all day even if you do end up walking like Tony Abbott at sundown.
    ;-P
    With the right techniques via good lessons from good teachers and excellent fitness you can cover a lot of ground at places such as : Mt. St. Gwinear; Mt. Buffalo;Lake Mtn.; Dinner Plain to Wire Plain shelter at Mt. Hotham and back in a day; Falls Creek/ Bogong High Plains ; NSW-Spencer's Creek to Charlotte's Pass; Mt. Stirling's Green and Blue Runs ( well some of Mt. Stirling's Blue runs are tricky when they are icy or too steep ) and so on.
    The Circuit Road at Mt. Stirling heading for Howqua Gap is great easy XC skiing esp. when it has excellent cover and often you will have it all to yourself even on a busy August weekend.
    I hope I see you out there at any of the listed places in white season 2019.I am the dude with a bicycle helmet moving on skis :) .

     
  12. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,906
    Likes Received:
    3,661
    I like the lever on manual NNN BC bindings. The automatic NNN bindings get clogged up with ice and snow and swearing at them doesn't work when your hands are too cold to get the bloody things to behave!. The Manual Bindings NNNBC with the lever have a tad more contact with your boot too, which offers a modicum of more control on simple descents and turns.
     
  13. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
    Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    16,863
    Likes Received:
    10,436
    If you're happy bending over the manual bindings work better, but they don't offer any more control, you've got to step up to the comp bindings for that.
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.