Nordic skiing includes both Freestyle/Skate and Classic methods, which use two different sets of equipment, each including boots, skis, and poles. A bag is needed to keep the gear together when traveling to meets.

For the ISD 196 Nordic Ski Team, there are different options for boots and skis for new skiers versus returning skiers, including a Ski Rental Program for newer skiers to support new skiers trying out the sport and to minimize costs.

Skiers should have their equipment prior to the first ‘on snow’ practice day, which for most years is a few weeks after the season begins.


  • Label all of your skier's equipment -- each ski, pole, boot, and bag!  We recommend writing your skier's name on a piece of tape (a FUN tape is even better!) and placing it on each item. Key is that a skier can find their skis when their skis are in a large group of skis.
  • When skis are not in use, keep skis together using ski ties (Velcro straps).  A ski tie should be on each end of the skis.  This keeps sticky wax (used on Classic skis) from getting on Skate skis and other equipment.
  • When a skier travels, like to meets, store ski equipment in a ski bag.  A ski bag can be purchased at Finn Sisu, secondhand, or online. It can also be sewn. When selecting or sewing a ski bag, ensure the bag's length is sufficient to fit the skis. A drawstring at one end is helpful.


There are three types of boots used in Nordic skiing to support the two skiing methods: Freestyle/Skate ski boots, Classic ski boots, and Combi/Pursuit ski boots, the latter which can be used for both Classic and Freestyle/Skate methods.

Salomon Freestyle/Skate ski boot, right foot
Freestyle/Skate ski boot
Salomon Classic ski boot, right foot
Classic ski boot
Salomon Combi boot, right foot
Combi/Pursuit ski boot


Each skier needs two pairs of waxable skis: Freestyle/Skate skis and Classic skis.

Racing skis are needed - not touring skis, as touring skis are not effective for competing.

Skis are fit by their flex, which is determined by skier weight; therefore, the teams' skiers will be fit for their skis whether renting skis or purchasing them.

Will your skier rent one or more pairs of skis from the ISD 196 Nordic Ski Booster Club?  If so, you will be able to sign up for ski fitting and rental at the beginning of the season.

Will your skier purchase one or more pairs of skis? If so, you will be able to sign up for ski fitting with Coach Abery at FinnSisu as well.

When not in use, keep skis bound together with ski ties on the top and bottom of the skis.

1 pair of Freestyle/Skate skis next to 1 pair of Classic skis, which are longer
Freestyle/Skate skis and Classic skis


A skier cannot get away with one set of poles as pole length has an impact on ski technique; therefore, each skier needs two sets of poles: Freestyle/Skate poles and Classic poles. And like skis, the pole height is dependent on the skier's size, their height.

(Note that Freestyle/Skate skis are shorter than Classic skis while the Freestyle/Skate poles are longer than Classic poles, which supports the different ski techniques.).

The same model of pole can be purchased for each sport but with different lengths.

1 Freestyle/Skate poles and 1 pair Classic poles, Freestyle/Skate poles are longer
Freestyle/Skate poles and Classic poles

Equipment costs

FinnSisu is Coach Abery's top recommendation for purchasing Nordic Ski equipment. All ISD 196 Nordic Ski Team skiers receive 10% off of equipment at Finn Sisu.

When asked for the shop's recommendations for Nordic Ski equipment specific to middle school/high school teams, FinnSisu provided the following information.

Purchase Prices of Nordic Ski Equipment at Finn Sisu with 10% Discount

The equipment listed includes a lower end model and its price as well as a higher end model and its price are are a subset of the equipment available at Finn Sisu.

Note: The prices INCLUDE the 10% discount and are relevant to Finn Sisu only.

Where to purchase

If your skier knows their sizes needed, there may be used gear available in your size on the For Sale page. Coach Abery will provide ski fitting with the Ski Rental Program and at Finn Sisu. Otherwise, for poles and boots, the following Twin Cities stores are recommended.

Finn Sisu Ski Shop >>

2436 Larpenteur Avenue West

Lauderdale, MN 55113


Gear West Ski & Run >>

1786 West Wayzata Boulevard

Long Lake, MN 55356



Pioneer Midwest >>

415 County Road 81

Osseo, MN 55369


ISD 196 Nordic logo

ISD 196 Nordic Ski Booster Club | email:

Head Coach: Brian Abery | email: