Cross Country Skis: What’s New this Season + Staff Picks

Cross Country Ski Headquarters cross country skis for sale

If you’re wondering about cross country skis, what’s new this season, and what our staff favorites are, you’ve come to the right place!

While most of the exciting updates for cross country skis involve race skate skis this season, most cross country skiers are NOT racers; they just want fun, stable skis that get reliable kick and a little bit better glide than their friends’ skis. Here are HQ Crew’s favorite skis that continue to impress us (read until the end to find out about what’s new in the skating world):

Fischer Twin Skin Superlites: These are what they sound like; lightweight skis but with a sport-touring design (48mm tip), plus a race-quality base, and easy kick from Fischer’s Twin Skin grip section. The results are fun and easy skis with absolutely great glide! Tying for second in the sport-touring category are the Atomic Savor Skintecs which offer slightly more stability with a 51mm tip, and the Rossignol Evo R-Skin XC 60 Tour, providing maximum control at 60mm wide.

The Rossignol Evo XT 60 Tour and XT 55 Action: In tracks or out your back door, these skis are our perennial favorite “jack of all trades” skis. As their names describe, the XT 55’s have a 55mm tip, making them slightly better suited than the 60’s for in-track skiing. Both are ideal skis for both groomed and ungroomed trails. PosiGrip underfoot delivers consistent grip, while their soft tips and quality base deliver effortless glide. There are plenty of stable touring skis out there, but these two flat out outperform the rest.

Fischer Spider 62’s: Whether it’s light Back Country skiing or if you’re just a member of the “Careful Club”, these skis deliver. Their full-length metal edges and shorter-than-most design offer maximum control, whether you are in-track and just want as much stability as possible, or if you are blazing your own trail. Offtrack Crown underfoot climbs like a mountain goat, AND these skis still glide surprisingly well. Runner up is the Salomon Outpath 60, with a slightly narrower sidecut and longer length, providing better glide than the Spiders even if they’re little more ski to maneuver.

If you’re really hitting the ungroomed wilderness, look no further than the Rossignol BC 65 or the Rossignol BC 80. These metal-edged adventure skis are built to handle heavy terrain, with 64mm and 80mm tips, respectively. Pair with burly back country boots, and you’ll be out there all day, soaking in the pristine and seldom-tread yonder! Okay, now for the skate ski updates…

Fischer has added TWO different models to their top-end Speedmax 3D Skate line. The Fischer Speedmax 3D Skate 61K mold is designed to be a quiver ski for softer snow conditions, with flex characteristics that provide even more pressure relief at both the tip and tail than Speedmax’s traditional “610” mold. Most skiers will find the greatest benefit of these skis on softer snow. Also new from Fischer is the Speedmax Helium Skate skis.  Though largely unavailable in 22/23 for purchase due to small-batch manufacturing, you’ll be sure to see them on World Cup podiums this season.

Cross Country Ski Headquarters
The Cross Country Ski Headquarters crew tried the new Fischer Speedmax Heliums and 61K Skate Skis last spring, and both live up to their expectations!

The S/Lab Carbons have always had the most amazing feel and balance underfoot, and new for 22/23, Salomon has tweaked both their base material (introducing “G5%” base) and base grind (“SL22”), which effectively  made their “Universal” model have a broader temperature range of optimal performance.

Also exciting from Salomon is their continued improvements to the Salomon S/Max Carbon Skate. For 22/23, they are constructing the skis with a core that is 45% (by weight) made from 9 recycled plastic bottles (dubbed “S-Core”) – earth-friendly and very cool!

Cross Country Ski Headquarters Salomon Race Skis

Last but not least is the Atomic Redster S9 Gen S Skate. This model is new to our lineup this season, and has completely re-imagined the design of a skate ski with the  new “Speedline” sidecut, which not only provides more stability, but adds major efficiency to each stride by tracking the ski to the middle of the trail at each kick.

Head to XC Ski HQ, where you can demo any of these ski packages for free before purchasing.  Call a ski expert at 800-832-2663 to hear about all our cross country skis for sale.

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