They are specific to the type of boot purchased. The two main binding systems are NNN/Prolink and SNS/Pilot/Profile. The name of the system is written on the bottom of the boot. The NNN/Prolink binding system is best for the future, but you can still find SNS boots. See the section on Nordic Boots.


It is very important that boots fit properly, for comfort and warmth. Skate boots are stiffer and typically have a higher cuff that reaches above the ankle. Classic boots are more flexible in the toe area and have a lower cuff. A combi boot is a good value. Many combi models have a removable cuff to accommodate for both styles. Again a combi boot is OK for both techniques, but many elite skiers will have separate boots for the various techniques. See the section on Nordic Boots.


This is the “classic/traditional” form of cross-country skiing, in a way similar to running on skis. It’s skiing in 2 tracks with no sideways pushing off. After skiers have mastered skate skiing basics, they will be encouraged to start classic skiing in addition to skate. Equipment: classic skis, classic poles and boots. Example

Classic Skis

Longer, “kick and glide” skis specifically designed for traditional cross-country skiing; are glide waxed on tip and tail and kick waxed in the “kick zone” under the foot of the skis.

Combi skis (classic/skate)

A ski that serves as both a skate and classic ski. Used primarily by beginner or recreational skiers or athletes on a tight budget. These skis sacrifice a true fit for both techniques and also require waxing to be changed according to the technique, sometimes daily. Combi skis are good for both techniques but not great for either. We strongly discourage purchasing combi skiers are better off using our rental skate and classic skis. We do have some combi skis that we lend to skiers to use as "rock" skis (see rock skis below).

Freestyle or Skate Technique

The skiers push off in a skating motion. It’s the faster of the 2 styles. All new skiers start out in skate skiing and all meets will have skate skiing. Equipment: skate skis, skate poles and boots. Examples

Freestyle or Skate Skis

Stiff flexed skis specifically designed and used for skate (freestyle) technique; are waxed for glide from tip to tail.


Also known as a face plant, melon slide, nose burner, biff—A face-first fall. Demostration of a Header.

Meets and Races

Therse are our compition events with other schools. Hopkins is part of the Lake Conference, so most of our meets are with Eden Prairie, Edina, Minnetonka, and Wayzata. Near the end of the season our team races in the Section 6 Meet with 12 other schools, with the top two girls and top two boys teams, along with individual qualifiers, moving on to the state meet, which is in mid-February.

Our conference meets are at a Three Rivers Park (usually Hyland, Elm Creek, or Baker) or Wirth Regional Park, which is part of Minneapois Parks. Parking can fill up fast so the earlier you get there, the closer you can park to the race area. Due to the nature of the sport, meets can be canceled or postponed a day due to weather. See Race Venues for exact locations for the race start areas at each park.

Most of our conference meets are for Varisity, Junior Varsity 1, and Junior Varisty 2 (same day, same location, slightly different start time). Varsity skiers will either ski Skate or Classic, depending on the race schedule and JV1 and JV2 will be able to do a skate or classic race. We encouage all skiers to participate in our Meets--the races are fun and you can be as competitive or relaxed as you want or desire.


As with skis, proper length, weight and stiffness are very important. Skate poles are longer than classic poles. Because of this the stiffness and weight of the skate poles are very important. Skate poles should reach the middle of the skier’s chin when wearing skis. Classic poles should reach just above the skier’s armpit, but below the top of the shoulder.

Rock Skis

i.e. skis that you don't mind hitting a rock with. A beat up pair of skis used on days when snow is less than ideal.

Roller Skis

Roller Skis are used for dry land training. Roller Skis are recommended for athletes who have on-snow experience; typically, only the varsity and top JV1 skiers will have these—they are not required for all. A good roller ski will last many seasons and is the best ski specific training available off snow. A helmet must be worn when roller skiing or rollerblading! Gear West has a great information page on roller skis.

Pursuit Race

These take place more at the end of the season and are used for conference sections and State. In a pursuit race, the skiers will do a skate 5k, wait an hour or so and then do a classic 5K. Wherever you place in the skate, you will start in the classic and the first person to cross the finish line in the classic 5k wins the meet. They can also be classic first and end with skate.


The indentation in the snow made by a fallen skier. It is proper etiquette to repair your Sitzmark should you fall on a groomed cross country trial.

Wax, Glide

Wax, Kick

Wax Room

This is a long narrow room behind the on the far end of the Lindbergh gym that the team uses for, of course, waxing. All skiers will lean how to wax their own skis. It is a locked room and skiers are given the combination to it. Skiers equipment is also stored in here during the day.