Join Date: May 2001
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Waxless skis, in my experience, are really only good for back country bushwacking. For training and racing, they're no good, but they're tops when you're trekking into the woods in February dragging a sled of camping gear behind you. In that kind of situation, speed and efficiency aren't really big issues, and it's hard to plug in a waxing iron in the middle of the Boundary Waters. I have a pair of waxless for just that purpose, but I wouldn't dream of training on them.
So far as how the wax goes on (or comes off), it depends on your ski style - skate or classic. They're both the same thing at first, but there's a few more steps with classic kick wax or klisters. As Captain said, your local shop would probably be able to give you some pointers. Sone shops and ski area hold clinics on that sort of thing too.
I still recomend getting a combi set up if it is possible. That way you can do both skate and classic. I favor skating, but I have classic skis too and use them every once and a while. With combis you could do both, at least until you found a favorite style. Another option, which I think someone mentioned before, would be renting skis to try them out before buying them.
velocipedio does have a good point about the availability of skate trails, because you can't do it everywhere. Ask a shop about the availability of dedicated trails for each style in your area - if there are a lot more of one than the other (and if there's more of anything, it will be classic), that might be something to consider in your decision too.
Work to eat. Eat to live. Live to ride. Ride to work.