Cross Country Skis
On of the great dichotomizations between the different genres of ski are between alpine skis and cross country skis. The latter category will be the primary focus for this, but will be compared to the first subgroup.
The distinction between cross country skis and alpine skis is important. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference is by length. By comparison, the cross country skis are longer than is comfortable to the alpine skier because the length and smoothness of the ski helps to carry the skier farther on the same amount of exertion that a short ski used primarily for carving in downhill skiing. The skis are usually between 4 and 5 centimeters wide, which has given them the nickname of skinny skis, as they are skinnier when compared to alpine downhill skills, and exceptionally skinny when compared to powder floating skis that can be as wide as 140 or 160 cm.
Cross country skis can also be differentiated from alpine skis in the identification of the ski binding. In alpine skiing the binding is fixed in both the front and the back, although it compensates for this immobility through a torque threshold release that is specified by a DIN number. The cross country skis have a binding that is less rigid, with there being only one fixed point at the toe of the ski boot, and the heel is left free, although a tie is sometimes made between the heel and the rear of the ski binding, but this is typically more indicative of a telemark skiing method.