Skate skiing is a fairly new skiing technique that aims to generate more power as the skier mimics a skating movement similar to that of ice skating. Here the skier propels with more velocity and acceleration as compared to the traditional classic stride, and the result is something that revolutionized the cross country skiing industry.
In skate skiing, the power is generated by lateral movements as well as by the shifts in your body weight in order to create forward momentum. It is ideally done on smooth packed snow.
Best XC Skate Skis for Women and Men
If you are fascinated by the pace, performance, and thrill that skate skiing is famous for, here are some of our most recommended skate skis for both men and women:
1. Salomon RS 7 Skate Premounted Mens XC Skis W/Prolink Access Bindings
The Salomon RS 7 Skate Skis come with the Prolink Access bindings and are great for skiers who want to step up their skiing game. Promising you the speed you need by constructing it to be less in weight (665 grams) but top-notch in quality, you will be covering more area in less time with these amazing skate skis.
They are constructed using Densolite core and have a side cut of 42/45/43/47. The dimensions not only help the ski with rebound and edge grip but also with keeping them on a straight line.
Whether you are new to skate skiing or are have been skiing for a while, the Salomon RS 7 Cross-country Skate Skis with Prolink Access bindings are ideal for all types of skiers. They are available in different sizes from 174 cm to 191 cm.
2. Atomic Pro S2 Skate Skis
The Atomic Pro S2 Skate Skis will not just let you enjoy the snow and slopes, they will keep you in great shape throughout the season. For this reason, many skiers prefer the quality that Atomic Store delivers. Featuring a double-grooved base, these skate skis are constructed using a BI 3000 base which ensures a great pace, and their ultra-high Densolite core keeps your skis light in weight yet stable in performance.
The S2 Skate Skis belong to Atomic’s Pro series which is much easier to handle and more forgiving than the Redster fleet. These skate skis are elegant and stylish and have the dimensions of 43/ 44/ 44 mm. Available in 172 cm, 178 cm, 184 cm, and 190 cm – get your size and enjoy the unmatched performance these Atomic Pro S2 Skate Skis offer.
3. Fischer RCS Skate Pluse Skis
If you are into skiing and want to get hold of a great pair of skate skis, the Fischer RCS Skate Pluse Skis are for you. The RCS skate skis are a popular set of skis for a majority of active skate skiers.
For a stronger design to give you a better performance on the slopes, these skis have Air Core with carbon fibers. While having a great quality wood core is not a new thing for all Fischer skis, the addition of carbon fibers in the Fischer RCS Skate Pluse Skis give you a performance boost.
These skate bindings and skis may not be well-suited for high-end competitions but are great if you are into recreational skiing, or go for skiing for fitness purposes. It may be heavier than many skate skies out there with a weight of 1.090g grams (186cm), still, you cannot question its durability and performance on the slopes.
These beautifully designed eye-catching skate skis have a side cut of 41/ 44/ 44. When set up with the IFP plate and the race skate bindings these Fischer RCS skate skis come with, the IFP plate lets you move your bindings backward or forward depending upon your preference and the snow and terrain conditions.
4. Fischer 2020 SCS Skate Skis w/Race Skate Bindings
An elegant combination of increased performance and light weight, the Fischer 2020 SCS Skate Skis will elevate your skiing experience. These skis are constructed using Fischer’s signature Air Core Basalite Pro for a stiff yet lighter core. Incorporating Basalt fibers in its wooden core, Fischer achieved a super-cool construction for skate skiers who know their game.
These skate skis come with race skate bindings. With Fischer’s IFP plate, you get the flexibility to move the bindings more to the front or the back. This is quite helpful when you ski in different terrains and weather conditions or prefer a certain way. By moving it forward, you get more grip, and when sliding it backward you get more speed.
The Fischer 2020 SCS Skate Skis feature a World Cup shape boasting an arrow-shaped side cut of 41/ 44/ 44. Weighing 1270 grams, these skate skis are available in multiple sizes: 171, 176, 186, and 191 cm.
For a great combination of grip and glide, you can get your Fischer 2020 SCS Skate Skis with Race Skate Bindings for $350.00.
5. Rossignol DELTA Sport Skate Skis – IFP
Rossignol has been a trusted name for over a century and its products for winter sports tell you exactly why. Constructed with technical expertise and innovation, and keeping a large array of skiers in mind, Rossignol designs its skis keeping the most competitive athletes to the novice beginners in mind. The Rossignol DELTA Sport Skate Skis is one such example of the versatility and performance that Rossignol is known for.
With race skate bindings, these cross-country skate skis for men have an IFP plate and constructed using Active Cap technology. It has a site cut of 40/ 44/ 43/ 43. With a K7000 base and an LDC premium wood core, the Rossignol DELTA Skate Skis give you the pace and performance you need no matter where the snow takes you to.
These elegant looking skis weigh 630 grams each and are available in different sizes ranging between 160 cm to 190 cm. Whether you are into recreational skate skiing or are into competitive skiing, you can get your DELTA Skate Skis for $220.95 to $249.95.
6. Rossignol 2020 X-IUM Premium S3 Skate Skis w/Race Skate Bindings
If you are looking for one of the top-in-line skate skis that give an unmatched performance for racers and recreational skate skiers, the Rossignol 2020 X-IUM Premium S3 Skate Skis are what you are looking for. They come with race skate bindings and the duo will pace up your skate skiing experience like never seen before.
The race skate bindings in these skate skis are attached to an IFP plate. You can move the bindings forward or backward depending upon your preference of glide and grip.
With the Nomex core that contains extremely lightweight Aramid fibers in the shape of a honeycomb, the core becomes very light yet stable and stiff at the same time. As a result, you do not get just a high-performance skate ski, but an extremely durable one as well – one that can easily carry the heavy weight of the skier and pace-up covering uncountable slopes. With its unmatched strength to weight ratio, the X-IUM Premium S3 Skate Skis weighs around 540 grams per ski.
The Rossignol 2020 X-IUM Premium S3 Skate Skis have a side cut of 40/ 44/ 43/ 43 and the S3 Camber is ideal for warmer weather as well as slushy snow conditions. With different sizes of 174, 181, 187, and 193 cm, you can get your Premium S3 Skate Skis for a well-deserved price of $575.00.
How to Choose Skate Skis?
Whether you are a beginner in skiing sport or are into skiing but have not tried skate skiing before, choosing your right skate skis can be something that could bother you. A skate ski is quite different from other types of skies including its cross-country cousins – the traditional classic skis. However, with the right knowledge and guidance, you can find your perfect pair and enjoy the pace and performance that skate skiing is famous for.
Consider the following factors when choosing your skate skis:
Skate Ski Sizing
Choosing the right size of your skate skis could be confusing not just for beginners but for skiers who had been doing other types of skiing in the past. Unlike downhill skiing, you do not have to choose your skis based on your height. It has more to do with the bodyweight of the skier. Just like classic cross-country skiing, your weight needs to determine the length of your skis. Skate skis are generally 10 to 15 cm shorter than the classic ones.
Often the manufacturer’s recommendations are a good source of information when it comes to determining your right size. If you are not sure about which ski length to go for even after determining your weight, it is better to consider other factors including your skiing skill set as well as goals you want to achieve with your skate ski.
While the shorter skate skis can be handled easily and are recommended for beginners, the longer ones give you a better and a longer glide. If you have been skiing for a while, it can be a good idea to go with a longer skate ski.
Skate Ski Flex
The Skate skis need to show resistance towards twisting, something that is known as torsional rigidity. It is also best to look for a stiff flex as it helps in gliding and pushing. In a way, you can say that the skate skis, as compared to their traditional counterparts, are more rigid and responsive. These qualities come in very handy when you use these skis on the slopes with full velocity.
The rigidity level may vary depending upon your skiing experience. If you are a beginner, it is better to go with a relatively flexible skate ski as in case of a fall (which you will encounter many times as a learner), a flexible skate ski is more forgiving.
If skiing is your thing, you can go for a more rigid ski which will be more responsive. The stiffer a ski is, the better will it perform at a fast pace. This is important when you are aiming to improve your glide.
Before making the final purchase, you should ensure that the skate skis you are going for are according to your technical skills and what you want to achieve when on the snow.
Medium vs Stiff Skate Skis
As we have already established, the stiffer the skis are, the faster they are. However, medium flex and stiff skate skis do perform differently depending on the temperature. While medium flex skis glide faster in extreme cold, when the snow is dry and loosely packed, but everyday winter cold produces harder snow in which stiff skate skis perform better.
Type of Snow
The skiers who practice skate skiing for professional competitions often go with two pairs of skate skis – a pair of skis for a certain snow type and one that is a universal pair. Here are the main snow types and the skis used for these situations:
- Cold snow skis – they are for hard-packed snow and have an extremely stiff flex for cold.
- Wet snow skis – also known as the slush snow skis, these types of skis come with a high camber that comes in real handy for gliding on slushy wet snow.
- Universal skate skis – these are the most versatile kinds of skate skis. As the name suggests, they are great for all kinds of snowy weather conditions.
Whether you are new to the skiing sport or have been skiing for a while but have never tried skate skiing before – you must have heard its name or have seen skate skiers boast about their powerful glide.
In 1982, American skier Bill Koch used the skate skiing technique to win the World Cup and since then it is famously referred to as the freestyle XC skiing, with the traditional cross-country skiing being given the term classic. Though the concept of skate skiing first surfaced somewhere around the 1970s, more and more skiers are drawn towards it these days. Why not try it yourself?
In order to choose the perfect skate ski, make sure you find the right length of skate ski based on your body’s weight; find a ski that matches well with your skiing skills and goals, and go for compatible skate bindings and boots. Find your ideal skate ski in our list of recommended skate skis for both men and women, as stated above. Once you are past this initial stage, nothing is stopping you to enjoy the snow, the pace, as well as the glide.