If you can, coaches recommend purchasing a classic and skate set up, rather than a “combi”.
Bindings are either “NNN” or “SNS”. If you have NNN boots, they won’t work with SNS bindings and vice-versa. Bring your boots when you buy used skis to make sure they work together.
Poles (different heights for classic and skate)
These are fitted to your height.
Most skiers who are new to the sport should be using a classic pole height that comes up to their armpits/shoulder and skate pole height somewhere between the chin and eyes. The height needs to be considered as if the skier is standing in boots on snow.
Your classic pole height cannot be more than 83% or your height in the Minnesota high school league.
Velcro grips are better than just loops you stick your hands into because the skiers should “fling” the poles away from them as they pole forward.
Ski boots (classic and skate or “combis” which can be used for both)
Your boots must match the type of bindings you have on your skis
Many skiers enjoy using a “Superfeet” insert to make their ski boots more comfortable (available at sporting goods stores, REI, Hoigaards, etc).
The school will provide "glide wax" (The stuff that makes your skis faster)
Individual skiers must purchase "kick wax" (the stuff that makes your classic skis grip the snow) ask for a starter set of kick wax (wax variety, cork for applying) when you get your skis so your skier can start to assemble their own “wax box”. Different waxes are needed for different temperatures and different ski conditions. Your coaches will help your skier learn about how to use them and also how to use a wax bench and wax iron.
When classic skiing you should have kick wax and a cork on you
Ski Bag (Hoigaard’s has cheap canvas bags or you can look for used ones online). This is critical to keep track of your belongings. Downhill ski bags work here as well.
Winter Workout Clothes – a cold, wet skier is an unhappy skier.
You can get basic, decent quality sweat wicking "base layers" at Target, and you can find many fleece products, windproof shells, hats, and sometimes even ski pants at stores like Marshalls or Midwest Mountaineering.
For higher prices, you can get high-quality base layers from any ski shop. They will last longer, feel better, and be warmer –but they do cost more.
Look for ¾ zippered necks to help you regulate heat without having to remove a layer.
Windproof (test them by blowing through the fabric) shells and pants are great for warmth.
Winter biking gear can also be used for skiing. Multiple light layers work better (they trap air) than big bulky down jackets, which will become very warm, very quickly).
Gloves (rather than mittens) work best. Make sure they fit through your skier’s hand grips on their poles.