Renting Cross-Country Skis

You are responsible for borrowing or renting your own ski equipment (skis, boots and poles) for the entire weekend. Increasingly, there are few rental sources in the metro area, so you may need to rent equipment at the ski resort. Since there is a possibility of the event being cancelled due to no/unskiable snow conditions, make sure you understand the outfitter's refund policies. The in-town and resort outfitters who rent cross-country ski equipment are listed to the best of our ability. Current as of January 2021.

An important aspect of the skis you rent is their camber. The camber is the bend of the ski that lifts the section of the ski immediately under your foot off the snow when you have equal weight on both skis and allows this same section of the ski to contact the snow when you put all of your weight on one ski.

The section of ski under your foot (about 18-24 inches long) is intended to "stick" to the snow when you are walking uphill. This is accomplished by having a plastic "fish scale" texture on waxless skis or a special kind of wax on that section of the ski for waxable skiis (dependent on outside temperature and snow conditions). Back country and all-terrain (AT) skiers use "skins" (originally animal fur, but now synthetic fabric) for climbing. Most casual skiers stick with waxless skis.

What this all means is that when you rent skis, you should be sure that the skis have the proper camber. You can do this as follows: when you try on the skis, put a $1 bill between the ski and the floor in the section right below your foot. When you have your weight distributed equally on both skis, you should be able to pull the $1 out from under either ski; however, when you have all your weight on one foot, you should not be able to pull the $1 from under the ski.

If you rent (or purchase) skis with too little camber, at the top of a hill when you want to ski down, the section of the ski immediately under your foot will contact the snow and will drag so strongly that you will have to "climb down the hill" - no fun! If you have skis with too much camber, the section under your boot will not contact the snow even with all your weight on one ski - and you will slip backwards when you try to walk up a hill - also no fun!

Below we have compiled information on sources of rental skies. it is accurate as of January 2021.

Ski camberPATC Ski Fair