Home / Nordic Ski / Beginners Guide: F.A.Q.


They are faster in almost all conditions than a no-wax ski, assuming they are waxed properly. There is something special about classic skiing when you hit the right wax on the right day, bomber kick and fast glide. These days we sell waxable classic skis mainly to racers and/or skier who grew up before “no-wax” skis were a viable option. Remember “no-wax” skis still need glide wax on the tips and tails.

Cross country skis are sized by skier weight. There are certain instances where strength, height and ability may push a skier into a shorter or longer ski. Each of our ski companies have recommendations for ski length based on skier weight. We print these ranges on all our skis and will help guide you to your next favorite pair.

Glide wax is for sliding on snow. Grip wax is used to “stick” to the snow for a split second while classic skiing. Grip wax is used only on waxable classic skis. Grip wax can be applied a few different ways but is always found on the kick zone (under foot). There are two components to the classic stride: kick and glide. Without grip wax you can get no kick on a waxable classic ski. During the glide phase of the classic stride the kick zone “releases” from the snow and ski glides on its tip and tail. Glide wax is used on the tip and tail of ALL classic skis, and the full length of all skate skis, snowboards, alpine skis etc.

Klister is a type of wax with a honey-like consistency used on waxable classic skis. Klisters are used to get kick on snow that has gone through freeze/thaw cycles. This type of snow is commonly seen in the spring. Klister will work in hard/icy conditions when your no-wax skis are slipping.

Meissner Nordic. Please donate time and/or money to this great organization. At Sunnyside we have committed $7,500.00 to date.

Metal edges come in handy in very firm snow (or icy) conditions on steep descents. All backcountry skis have partial or full metal edges. Metal edges do have a few negatives; first, they add weight to the ski; second, they can interfere with the double camber flex of the ski. At Sunnyside we specialize in skate and classic race skis along with light touring. We do not recommend metal edged skis for use at our local snow-parks or nordic areas. Most of the time, metal edged skis are overkill for snow-parks–it is more fun to have a lighter cross country setup and skip the few icy mornings we see in the spring.

Skate technique was developed on classic equipment in the 80’s. We have come a long way. Skate skis are shorter, stiffer and more torsional rigidity than racing classic skis. A skate ski should never completely flatten out under skier weight, conversely a classic ski has to flatten out in order for the skier to get “kick”.

A “no-wax ski” is a type of classic ski that does not require a kick (grip) wax. Instead, this type of ski uses a mechanical pattern in the kick-zone to grip the snow while striding. All classic skis require glide wax on their tips and tails. The term “no-wax ski” is unfortunate. Many people assume that this type of ski is a no maintenance ski. An easy alternative glide wax is SWIX F4 or TOKO paste wax. These rub-on glide waxes can be used tip and tail and even on the no-wax pattern if icing becomes a problem.