I enjoy cross-country skiing and snow camping in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. I would like to buy my own skis as opposed to renting. I over 250 pounds and find that many of the skis I've used have had little or no glide. It ends up feeling like I walking on plywood boards. Do I need a stiff ski? Or a wide ski? I would also be using a Berwin binding with this ski. Tim Appleton, Wisconsin
The solution is this: You need as big of a ski as you possibly can find, yet still maneuver on it. Something in a wide-ski style, for instance, such as the Karhu Orion ($239; www.karhu.com). It's a waxless, steel-edged ski with moderate sidecut but with a wider profile than most cross-country skis. In the 190-centimeter length, it should offer about as much flotation as any ski around. And it will take Berwin bindings, which as you know are bindings that allow softer, warmer boots to be worn.
Check out the Snow Report 2005 from the November '04 issue of Outside for the season's best planks and boards, terrain parks, lodges, parties, and more.