Nordic Ski Clothing FAQ

    What do I need know about clothing for Nordic skiing?

    The key concepts for Nordic ski clothing are:

    ·     Layering– Bulky winter jackets restrict motion and generate excessive body heat, so they are not conducive for Nordic skiing. Wearing multiple light layers works better, as it allows freedom of motion and traps warm air between the layers.

    ·     Moisture wicking fabrics --  Wetness and cold air is not a good combination.  Base layer clothing should be made of moisture wicking fabrics, such as synthetics, wool, and silk.  Cotton absorbs moisture and should not be used for Nordic ski clothing.

    ·     Wind protection  -- The outer layer of clothing should protect the skier from wind.

    What clothing do I need for Nordic skiing?

    The following ensemble can be used for most weather conditions:

    ·     Long underwear bottom made of moisture wicking fabric (synthetic, wool, or silk).

    ·     Long underwear top or turtleneck made of moisture wicking fabric (synthetic,wool, or silk)

    ·     Wool-blend socks

    ·     Mid-layer top --  for example a ¼ zip turtleneck made of moisture wicking or quick-drying fabric

    ·     Windpants or Nordic ski pants 

    ·     Windproof outer shell jacket

    ·     Winter gloves, lob-claws, or mittens

    ·     Winter hat or headband

    ·     Neck gaiter or buff

    Skiers will quickly learn what clothing works well for them for various weather conditions.

    What if it’s really cold outside?

    Nordic skiers work hard and generate heat, so only minor adjustments are needed for colder weather. Here are some strategies for colder weather:

    ·     Windbriefs– This highly recommended for male skiers.

    ·     Boot covers – If your feet get cold, boot covers will block wind and snow.

    ·     Neck gaiter and buff – It is important to cover your face.  A scarf is not recommended for skiing.

    ·     Multiple mid-layer tops – Add more layers of clothing

    ·     Team issued jacket  -- If you have a team issued jacket, it works well in cold weather 

    ·     Add light gloves – Wear some light gloves under your winter gloves/mittens

    ·     Don’t overload with socks – Tight fitting boots restricts blood to your feet.

    Do I need to get Nordic ski specific clothing?

    Nordic ski clothing is specifically designed for the motion of Nordic skiing, but it also tends to be more expensive than other winter activity clothing.  Here is one person’s opinion on where to invest in clothing:

    ·     Nordic ski pants – Most skiers will only need one pair of Nordic ski pants that they will wear everyday.  Nordic ski pants work well in that they have wind protection in the front and are able to breathe in the back.  They are also designed specifically for the Nordic ski motion.

    ·     Nordic ski gloves – My skiers favor lob-claw gloves (Imagine the gloves Mr. Spock would wear).  They provide better use of the hand than mittens, but are warmer than gloves.

    ·     Good long underwear  -- This isn’t Nordic ski specific, but higher end long underwear do work better in keeping you moisture free.

    What clothing does the school supply?

    The school provides each skier with a uniform consisting of a spandex top and bottom.  More experienced skiers will get the newer uniforms. In addition, many skiers will get a team issued jacket.

    Isn’t it cold racing in spandex ski uniforms?

    A skier can wear plenty of layers underneath the uniform.  The team has blankets that will keep the skier warm while they are waiting to start the race.

    What is Podiumwear?

    Podiumwear sells Edina Nordic jacket and ski pants.  This clothing is optional.   About 25-40% of the skiers will own the jacket, and much fewer will own the pants. The pattern for the jacket and pants change about once every five years, so it can be used from year to year.  The clothing is a little expensive, but it is of good quality.

    What is spirit wear?

    Spirit wear is optional Edina Nordic ski clothing that can be purchased.  The clothing is usually not used for skiing (T-shirts, sweatshirts), but sometimes ski clothing (mid-layer top) will be offered. 

    What should I know about ordering clothing?

    All the clothing is offered for only a limited time, so be mindful of deadlines.  Also, if you are ordering clothing as a holiday gift, please let the apparel coordinator know this and they will take appropriate action when handing it out.  Did I mention ordering clothing is optional?

    Where can I buy Nordic ski clothing?

    In addition to stores that specialize in Nordic skiing, other places to get active winter clothing are Alpine ski stores, running stores, and sporting good stores. Slightly used Nordic ski clothing is also often available at ski swaps.

    Any more suggestions?

    Yes, the skier’s name should be put on their clothing.