Thursday, January 10, 2013

Trying to outfit a family with X-country skis for cheap


It shouldn't have been such a big deal.  My mum already had several pairs of skis for us to choose from, one's she'd bought at yard sales over the past few years, so really, all we needed were boots to fit the family.  (She had bought 1 pair that fit Chris and a pair that might have fit Squatch, but then they moved and now those boots have disappeared.

I just want to say that someone should slap whoever's idea it was to have about a dozen different type of bindings for X-country skiing.  When I was a kid, there were the 3 pin kind that had shoe type boots that looked like they had a duck bill on the front.  Now there are all these ones with bars on the front, which look almost the same, but have enough small differences that finding a match between boot and binding leaves you feeling like Prince Charming on a search for Cinderella. 

We started our search last year, and it didn't get very far because the skis were still at my parents and we didn't know what they had...this fall we brought home the skis and started hunting second hand shops for boots.

It took two months, and finally we ended up buying one new pair of boots for bubbie, a pair of used boots with skis for me (the only pair that fit me came as part of a set), and used boots for Squatch.  The process required switching bindings between 8 pairs of yard sale skis, and a whole lot of headaches.

So yesterday, Chris and I went out for a short trip around Ken Reid in Lindsay.  He spent a lot of time down hill skiing as a kid since they lived minutes away from Sir Sam's Ski Hill in Eagle Lake but had never tried X-country.  I was a little worried, after all that effort, and expense (more than we'd planned) he'd decide 5 minutes in that he really wasn't fond of it.  The trail conditions weren't great for an introductory trip.  Ice would catch at the ski every few feet and either one leg would slide out sideways or it would just jerk you to a stop making balance difficult.

But Chris isn't one to give up and our short loop ended up being much longer than we'd planned.  I hadn't skied since I was about 12, and was huffing and puffing like I'd just hiked a steep incline, and he looked like he'd just been standing around. (Needless to say, I need to get into better shape) and he probably would have kept going if it hadn't been for me dragging myself along behind him.  

Now we just have to introduce the kids to the sport...and that is a prospect I'm half dreading.  Anyone have any advice for getting kids into X-country skiing?  Other than being patient?

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