Skate skiing might just be the best winter workout ever invented. It works your entire body—like running, roller skating, and backcountry skiing combined. Plus, it’s a nice way to explore the wilderness in winter without battling crowds at a ski resort. Bonus: you’ll drop a lot less money on a new skate skiing setup than you will on your average alpine ski setup. That said, the gear can be intimidating, so here’s a primer on what you'll need to get started.
Fischer’s CRS Skate NIS skis ($250)
You don’t need an elite race ski if you’re just getting started. Opt for Fischer’s CRS Skate NIS skis, which are priced like entry-level skate skis for recreational users but still have many of Fischer’s high-end technologies, like World Cup-quality sidecut, a fast-gliding base, and a lightweight wood core for a playful, energetic feel. It comes with a built-in binding in the skis’ NIS plate system.
Fisher’s RC7 Skate Boot ($300)
That ski and binding will pair well with Fisher’s RC7 Skate Boot, which lets you adjust the cuff height for the perfect fit and has an EVA foam lining that shapes to your foot after a few days of use.
Swix Comp CT5 Composite Pole ($80)
You want a pole that’s light enough for long days but also durable enough to last forever. Swix’s Comp CT5 Composite Pole works for both skate skiing and classic skiing and comes with a featherweight composite shaft, a grippy polycarbonate handle, and baskets built for hard snow.
Bjorn Daehlie Pace Pants ($150)
Bjorn Daehlie is a Norwegian Nordic skiing god. During his competitive heyday in the 1990s, he won a whopping 29 medals at the Olympics and World Championships. His line of eponymous apparel is some of the best quality Nordic ski wear you’ll find. Try the Bjorn Daehlie Pace Pants, which are stretchy and windproof and not too tight.
Osprey’s Talon 6 ($50)
If there’s one sport where fanny packs are still cool, it’s cross-country skiing. Stay hydrated by toting Osprey’s Talon 6, a lumbar pack that comes with two BPA-free water bottles and has enough room to store snacks and sunscreen.