Nordic Skiing Vs Cross Country

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It has come to our attention that many people use the term ‘Nordic skiing’ without actually comprehending on its meaning. Nordic and cross-country skiing are normally interchanged which is technically wrong. Nordic skiing is a general term used to refer to a number of skiing methods from the European region, and cross-country is one of them. These skiing styles are fun and offer a great lifetime experience. 

This is what this article is all about. We look at everything that you need to know about Nordic Skiing Vs Cross Country.

Nordic Skiing Vs Cross Country

And as a matter of fact, some of the most frequent asked questions by ski enthusiasts when starting Nordic skiing is; How will they skate or classic ski, or should they learn all at the same time, which is the best location to ski, or what is the best time to ski? And so on. 

Where to Ski

The experience obtained from the game is nothing short of extreme fun and this is especially true when on an adequately groomed and track-set snow within Nordic areas. One of the rarest exceptions is the Crust skiing, which usually takes place where the top layer of snow melts and then freezes. There is, however, a challenge since not all the Nordic ski areas are appropriate for both classic skiing and skate. But in case they do, it is most likely to be an organized top-notch geographical location.

When to Ski

In case you are new to the game and have no clue about skiing, there is no need to worry. Let not the appropriate time for the outdoor fun pass you. When it is summer and people are waiting for winter, join them and do not to keep yourself in the house playing video games and the rest. When winter is finally here, come out and look for a challenge, since skate skiing also provides full-body training if not workout.

Transitions in temperature variations may, however, pose a challenge and especially for the newbie skier.

Effects of Temperature on Classic Skiing and Skate

Skate is all about grip and glide. Classic skiing, therefore, may all go spiral in case of any change in temperature and humidity. Skate skiing tends to be a bit more enjoyable than classic skiing and this brings about some differences in the two.

One similarity or common ground between the two is that temperature changes have adverse effects on both of them. Extremely high temperatures don’t go well with skiing. For starters, high temperatures will force you to do a re-application of the wax after you’re done with your venture.

On the other hand, in case the temperatures are almost zero degrees, and there is less fresh snow the kick wax halts operating. When the temperatures are fluctuating vastly, the skis will not glide well because there is much cold.

Other than this, there is endless fun in this game when the temperatures are right. Putting the effects of temperatures aside, let us now focus on the different types of Nordic skiing present.

The Types of Nordic Skiing

The Nordic Skiing is classified into three different kinds; Alpine touring, cross-country and Telemark. All these types of skiing require a particular style of skiing to be employed. They also differ when it comes to their abilities and purposes.

Alpine and the Telemark types of skiing are intended for vertical travel during the Cross-country for a tame or flat terrain. The other significant disparities among the three styles are;

The Cross-country

Here, the fun just never ends. This is a kind of skiing meant for everyone and can be undertaken in numerous different ways, as outlined

  • Classic

The Classic ski is the unarguably most fun kind of skiing among the different options. This is probably why it is also the most popular. Classic skiing should be practiced in a well maintained and kept venue. This makes it have limited space for skiing. The tracks, nevertheless, are easy to glide along without having to exert excess energy. The classic skis are a bit lightweight, stiff and narrow which makes them glide on the snow quickly.

  • Skate

The main distinction between this type and the cross-country is that the skate is resistant to torsion and not to mention that they are a bit short. The other minute difference between the cross-country and skate style lies in the technique. It is here that, there is the pushing off of reminiscent so that you catapult yourself in front and especially when putting on the ice skates.

  • Backcountry Touring

To perfectly man-up and face the toughest cross-country terrain, the Backcountry type of skiing is usually employed. The skis of this nature tend to have a robust metal edge that ensures added stability on the more in-depth and harder snow.

  • Light Touring

For the adventurous type who wants to try out something new and exciting, the light touring cross-country is a good option to go for. The light touring skis are extra-large, thus providing the stability that allows you to go through mild ungrounded terrain; the likes of parks covered in snow.

This kind of skiing also gives you an opportunity to ski both on and off-trail, granting you another level of fun and experience unmatchable to any other. One thing to note is that safety requirements will add the fun and especially when you go for the ’aloft ride.’ Proper boots will help you out in nailing the fun. 

Nordic boots

Ski boots are essential in that they provide the skier with an attachment to the skis by use of ski bindings. A perfect combination of the boots, the ski and bindings will effectively transmit control inputs from the legs to the snow. Different Nordic boots are available, each with different features and functions. They are as outlined below:

Alpine ski Boots

These are also known as the downhill boots. They come with designed plastic shells that grasp the ankle and foot steadily in place. To have more fun and the best experience, you should have slightly smaller boots which enable the boots to have a perfect grip on you. Please note that continuous use of the boots will result in packing. This is where ski boots expand slightly after having been worn for long durations.

For skiers who will have a hard time fitting in the boots, the custom ski boots are an ideal alternative and will offer a similar experience. The Alpine boots are naturally compatible and are convectional for alpine skiing bindings. The shoes are categorized into four groups;


These kinds of boots come with a stiff flex and some front push hence absorb sudden changes and drops. They are also a bit portable when compared to others. Therefore, due to its grippy sole and light nature, they are used for skiing uphill and boot packing.


These types of boots are for occasional resort skiing and to increase comfort. The performance of piste boots is a bit more precise and stiffer; hence, employing enormous technologies of the race boot


The boots are stiff and tight for the significant purposes of performance. They are, thus, not always comfortable, and it is for this reason that most racers unbuckle them when they aren’t gate-bashing.

Cross-country Ski Boots

These kinds of boots are designed in such a way that they establish your heel but at the same time provide some space for the movement of the toes. The Nordic boots come in two categories; the race\Classic and the Touring; the touring being somewhat higher cuffed to perform with steeper snow. They can also be used for hiking boots. However, there are others which are made using an edge metal but are a bit stiffer. They are also fitted with a plastic cuff that is used to align power to the edge.

Touring Ski Boots

The AT boots are generally instantiated from the downhill in the sense that they possess a switch which is used to change from the skiing to a tourism model. The lightweight touring boots usually have a wide range of motion in making cuffs, and come with inserts which makes them compatible for use with a touring pin.

Telemark Ski Boots

These boots resemble the downhill ski boots and are generally used for the heavy-duty in a cross-country ski boot. These boots are made lightweight for convenience in walking. You will be able to walk with them for long hours without getting tired or uncomfortable.

Nordic Binding

As much as it is nearly impossible to play soccer in the dark; similarly, it is impossible to ski without proper equipment. It is imperative to ensure that you have all the safety requirements to nail their inner happiness as you ski. With this said, you are, therefore, required to bind yourself to the hilt tightly.

Doing so gives you the confidence to navigate the skis, and that is particularly, the work of Binding.

The purpose of ski binding is to help join a ski boot to the ski, and also firmly grasp the boot to assist in maneuvering through the skis. Where one falls as a result of excess weight, the boots may be released to minimize injury to the skier. The Bindings have been differentiated into several two types that are mutually compatible. They are as outlined below:

  1. Alpine touring

This type of Binding provides adequate space for the skier to grasp the ski heel boot properly. They are designed specifically for ski boots that fall under the specifications of ISO one and two.

ISO 9523:2008

These for boots that whereby the pivot is at the binding interface.

ISO 5355:2005

These ones are for the traditional alpine boots whereby the pivot is situated in front of the binding.

  1. Cable Binding

The cable binding comes with a toe section on the boot and a cable that is adjustable to ensure a tight fit of the boot.

  1. NIS (Nordic Integrated System)

The Nordic Integrated System dates back to 2005 and features an integrated binding plate at the upper part of the ski. This meeting point enables for adjustment while skiing with the golden NIS key. 

  1. Prolink (Salomon NNN-Compatible system)

The Prolink kind of binder is a bit lightweight as compared to the NNN and directs to aloft by the use of pre-drilled holes. Prolink was introduced by Salomon, and he claims that it offers proper snow feel when compared to the NNN or the SNS. Its soles are thicker than those of other boots.

  1. SNS (Salomon Nordic System)

When different types of bindings were being developed, Salomon introduced the SNS. The SNS looks almost similar to the NNN, apart from the fact that it has a single vast ridge beside the bar and is slightly shorter. With this, three different variants emanated; the SNS Pilot, SNS X- Adeventure and SNS Profil

SNS Pilot comes with duo metal bars on the boot. SNS X- Adventure, on the other hand, has a sturdy design meant for back-country skiing. It is also known as the SNS-BC. Finally, we have the SNS Profil. This has a single metal bar in the boot toe.

The pilot boots originally contained a front with 10 mm distance from the boots unlike the current pilot boots that have 17 mm from the boot (RS17)

  1. NIS 2.0 (MOVE)

The MOVE bindings provide consistency in the fly-adjustment of binding locations when the boots are locked in. FIS has approved the continued use of the adjustable bindings since they allow the skier to fine-tune ski and glide. This is very fundamental for any classic style racing with wax-less mohair grip-zones in the ski.

  1. IFP (Turnamic)

The Integrated Fixation Plate was introduced by Rossignol and Fischer back in 2016. It has a binding plate that allows less adjustment of binding position. It also makes use of step-in shackling of the boot. The lock opens or closes by any turning of the lever to the side. This kind of Binding is also used with the NNN/Prolink boots. However, it should be noted that the IFP plate cannot match and accept the NIS 1.0 bindings. This is because of its current shackle mechanism.

We never rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. For skiers who want to take their gaming skills a notch higher, you are required to rely on your locomotion to move across the snow-covered terrain.


The cross-country competition revolves around several formats in races over courses with different length variations. The variations in lengths are put in place by the regulations enacted by the FIS (International Ski Federation). 

  1. The FIS-Sanctioned Competition

Over the past years, dating back from 1924, the world championships have been held annually and this includes the Winter Olympic Games. Other notable cross-country ski competitions have also been held. These are inclusive of; the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, the Winter Olympics and the FIS Cup events which include the Holmenkollen.

  1. Various Sanctioned Competition

With the kickoffs in 2011, Cross-country marathons races have been taking place over distances of more than 40 kilometers. These competitions have two cup series; the Worldloppet and the Ski Classics.

The games require the participants to race in freestyle modes according to the stipulated regulations put in place. Some of the competitions held include the following among others:

Ski Orienteering

This is a form of cross country which pre-requisites the navigation in the landscape, thus, making excellent selections at racing speeds. 

Paralympic Cross-Country Ski Competition

The sport is simply the aftermath of cross-country skiing for the disabled; and it involves sitting events for wheelchair users, visually impaired athletes and finally the standing events. They are further categorized for individuals that are blind, those with missing limbs and amputations. That is done to give everyone a chance in the ‘field.’

It is important to incorporate equality in the games, and the Olympics has strongly showcased this. Disability is not inability. So, if you are an enthusiast and go out for the competition as an expert or for fun, always appreciate that you have lived as you believed. This is regardless of whether you win or lose.

To add more fun to the game and bring ‘life’ to yourself, it’ll be of great importance to offer yourself enough protection. That especially, to body parts that may be prone to injuries.


Skiing is fun, and there is no doubt about that. Different styles of skiing suits different people. While others will find classic skiing more fun, others will be much more into light touring. It all depends on your taste. There is nothing wrong with that, and that is why there are many options in the market, for different people.

One common thing with all these styles is this; you have to equip yourself with the right equipment, clothing, and boots being inclusive. Your safety is core, and as much as you will want to have fun, your safety comes first. So whenever, you’re planning to go out to a resort for skiing, ensure you have every equipment with you before leaving the house. 

You can check it out our other skiing articles here.