I’ve been wanting to get into skimo racing for years, and only now do I have the money to put down on gear and races.
Remember: “You date your skis. You marry your boots.”
Too often, I’ve seen mid-to-heavyweight boots on super light skis. I assume it’s because superlight skis are way cheaper than super light boots. But a heavy boot will overpower super light skis. If you’re starting out, I would match the skis to the boot, not the over way around.
A good starting combo is the Dynafit PDG boots and skis. Also, you probably don’t have to buy new gear. There’s lots of used stuff around. Check out the Facebook Skimo Gear Swap.
And weight… “Light” is unfortunately imprecise. A good entry-level target is 800g skis, 200g bindings, and 800g boots (for size 27).
…paths with a grade of 7-25%…
20-25% is ideal.
Will I still get a benefit from doing laps up such small hills if I have to transition that frequently, or is it as good as useless?
It’s not useless at all. But it could be super boring. Having to do that many transitions could be a good thing if you use the time wisely. Most people avoid practicing transitions and give away tens of minutes in races because of it.
I also recently bought a pair of classic roller skis…I was wondering if they’d be good for aerobic base work
Yes! They would work really well. It’ll be hard to use them on anything skimo-steep, but they’ll teach you how to glide a ski because they aren’t very stable. It’s like dodging a wrench. If you can glide a roller ski, you can glide a skimo ski.
Additionally, would I see a big increase in benefits if I use them going up hills…
Yes, for sure, but…
…they’re so unwieldy on the downhills.
What I used to do is use a car and three bikes. Lock the bikes at the top of the hill, and drive down. Then ski up, bike down, repeat.