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 Nordic Skiing Equipment


Things To Remember:

  • First Year Skiers can participate in the SLPHS ski loaner program, pending availability
  • When buying ski equipment from a store, be sure to mention you are a high school skier. You usually get 10-15% off.
  • Combi boots are a good way to save money. However, combi skis are significantly worse than separate skate and classic skis and should be avoided if possible.


Required Equipment:

  • Combi boots/ skate & classic boots. These should be sized by a ski shop professional (once you know the size, you could look on Craigslist or hit a ski swap)- boots are in European sizes like “36”
  • Skis and poles. These can be from the school, former skiers, ski swaps, ski shops, Craigslist, eBay, etc.
  • Ski Bag for your skier’s gear (skis, poles, boots, wax) If you get skis from the school you will likely get a ski bag too.
  • Winter workout clothes. This is important both for skiing and for running during the beginning of the season when there's no snow. It is crucial to have:

○ Wool socks
○ Warm jacket
○ Gloves
○ Warm hat
○ Ski pants or something similar
○ Long underwear

Recommended Equipment:

  • Buff
  • Glasses/goggles
  • Digital watch with stopwatch
  • Waterbottle Belt

Where to Find Equipment:

• Ski Swaps:

○ MYSL Ski Swap (11/16) Details:
○ Pioneer Midwest Swap (11/9) Details:

• Ski Shops/Stores:

○ Gear West Bike and Ski (952-473-0377):
○ Finn Sisu (651-645-2443):
○ Hoigaard’s (952-929-1351):
○ Boulder Nordic (952-303-5683):


Information About Equipment:

Skis (classic and skate or “combi”) + Bindings

  • Skis are fitted to weight.
  • 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).

Ski Wax

  • 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.