Yellowjackets - Equipment

Equipment (skis, boots, poles)

photo Cross country ski gear can be bought locally at REI (Pittsburgh), Route 31 Board and Ski (Somerset); also at Findley Lake Sporting Goods (NY, near Erie) and through PACCSA's resale page.

Equipment can be rented by the day from the concession at Laurel Ridge State Park, and by the day or by the season from Thrifty Ski Rental, Donegal  This season (winter 2016), the Yellowjackets registration allows access to reduced prices for seasonal ski rental - please ask us about this.

Whitegrass have a "buy once and get a no charge trade up until adult sizes" deal for children.

Purchasing or season rental is recommended over daily rental for its flexibility and convenience. Waxless classic skis are recommended for beginners.

The bunny group ski without poles. Beginner jackrabbits will also not use poles for at least the first few sessions. When the older kids join the skate group they will also need a set of skate skis and poles, combi boots can be used for both skate and classic if the bindings match. The coaches will be happy to advise.

Clothing

Clothing for winter running or cycling would also be suitable for xc skiing. Dress in layers and avoid cotton. The innermost and middle layers should be wicking material (eg polyester); the top layer should be windproof and smooth-textured to shed snow easily. Also recommended: mittens, wool or wool-mix socks, a turtleneck shirt or neck gaiter. The team hat is essential.

Snowpants are fine for the youngest beginners but tend to get too warm for the faster-moving kids - downhill ski jackets also get much too hot. Don't forget sunglasses, at least one spare pair of mittens or gloves, a change of clothes for the journey home and a warm coat and snowboots for the walk from the car to the warming hut. Take a look at one family's example packing list.