In addition to cold weather clothes, you will need: boots, skis and ski poles. These items should be purchased at the same time and budget about $400 for them. Used equipment can sometimes be obtained at Goodwill or a used sporting goods store.
Start with boots. When you fit boots, wear your thickest socks and make sure you can easily bend your toes. Your boots will have a coupling that mates to the X-country ski’s fitting. (Downhill ski boots are not flexible and have different bindings.)
Next, the skis. Skis are measured in metric lengths and are typically manufactured in Europe. To measure for your need, stand with your arm extended up. Measure from the wrist to the floor; that is the length of ski that is advised. You may purchase a little longer or shorter based on personal preference. If you purchase used skis, make sure the fittings match your boots. If they don’t, the fitting will have to be replaced. (You can buy the parts and do yourself or have a repair shop modify.)
A pair of ski poles is needed as well. Again, X-country poles differ from downhill.
While these items are available online, fitting, especially the boots, can be a problem. Sporting goods clerks are often quite helpful, especially for novices, when it comes to proper fit. Having a budget and knowing what you want are vital whether buying online, used or from a brick and mortar store.
Continued on part 3