Free Cross-Country skiing on Long Island; and used skis found for sale!

Welcome to the 2019-2020 ski season!
"The Winter that Never Was"

Friday, Feb 7, 2020 SKI CONDITIONS FOR TODAY: UPDATE: Huntington / Northport area:  Very windy and becoming cold - but No snow - no skiing today and tomorrow, and probably for the rest of the week. Slight Chance of snow or rain later in the week. -  If the temperatures stay below freezing any time soon, with light to moderate snowfall, we MIGHT be able to ski again soon, but if some rain and sleet come after the snow, it could ice everything up. Icy snow means it will be very difficult to climb up hills, and you will have very little control to turn and stop on the ice.
  In fact, when there was about 4" of snow on the ground, covered with ice from rain or an ice storm after the snow, I tried a funny new take on windsailing! The wind was strong and coming from the north west. I went to a flat open field in Bethpage with skis. I brought a huge nylon sheet that I held wide open against my back as a 'sail'. I started to walk with the wind gusts at my back. Almost immediately the wind pushed the sail (and me on x-c skis) and I think I got up to 15 mph tearing across the field without walking or using poles!
  Temperatures will moderate in the upper 30's to low 40's. But hang in there - Next time we have good snow call us at (631) 486-4818 if you want to ski! We have a few dozen skis and boots and poles to borrow!
 HOWEVER... If you have your OWN skis, this is a good time to get them ready for peak performance. If you don't have skis but would like to buy used equipment, usually for less than $15, I'll list skis here if I see them for sale:

Any used skis  found for sale at the moment: they would be posted below in green. Used ski BOOTS are very hard to find.

2 pairs of skis seen for people taller than 5'4" at Island Thrift on Jericho Tnpk in Centereach. Look in the back room, bottom shelf with sports equipment.
(If this store is close to you, check it frequently. Very often they have decent used skis. Be sure to check what kind of bindings they have - or even if they have NO bindings - so you know if your ski boots will work with them. Many of the larger thrift shops like Savers, Unique, Island Thrift have a few pairs frequently!)

If you have your OWN skis, this is a good time to get them ready for peak performance. Here's how:

I'm old enough (read 'experienced' LOL)  to remember the tubes of SWIX ski wax, sold in ski shops 40 years ago in the 1970's and '80's. (Damn how time flies!! ) If you squeeze a small amount out of the tube, and use the plastic tool it came with to spread the sticky stuff on the middle grip area of the skis, (and that tool helped you to avoid getting it in the center groove), then set the skis outside to chill, you had pretty good grip for climbing hills, as the sharp snow crystals dug into the soft wax. This enabled some of us X-C skiers to ski in icy conditions! Without this special wax, don't even attempt it because you'll fall on hard ice and may get hurt.    On warmer days when the snow is soft and damp, you can ski if you rub a little candle wax on the bottom of the front and back ends of the skis, starting from each end to about 12". Then polish it shiny with a cork. This will prevent the damp snow from 'sticking' to the bottom of the skis (and slowing you down), so you slide easily. Don't wax the middle where the rough grip surface is.  Or you can spray the bottoms with silicone spray, which repels water and lets the skis glide faster.

All of this preparation is no longer necessary with the "waxless" plastic skis that came out in the late '70's. But I include it here for those who have ancient wooden skis (which WAY-OUTPERFORM today's plastic bottoms when it comes to speed and springy bounce, but require a bit of work to really perform better than today's skis.) I was a member of a cross-country ski club back then, but even then  I presented what was probably the last ski-waxing workshop in the Plainview public library!

If you find deep gouges in the bottom of plastic-bottom skis, (usually caused by going over rocks or bare pavement) fill them with a hot glue gun, then use a sharp blade to trim off the excess plastic so it's level with the rest of the ski bottom.
If you are the lucky owner of old wooden skis, (I say 'lucky' because you can't beat the extra-springy bounce of a wooden ski; plastic skis come nowhere near as close to this action!), there is a little more work to do to make these go great. Try to find "Pine Tar", an 'ancient' black, sticky waterproofing compound used on wooden skis before plastic skis came out. It usually comes in a can that looks like a small paint can. It might be in a hardware or outdoors store. Clean the bottoms of the skis. Then ooze out a little pine tar from the can onto the ski bottom. Spread it evenly with an old rag. This can be a very messy job, but it's worth it. Now get a hand-held electric hair blow dryer, (or a gas torch as it was done way back in the day!) Hold it close to the tar, heat the tar, and when the tar starts to bubble, rub it hard with the rag. This will force the tar down into the wood bottom, making it waterproof. After you finish both skis, let them cool. Then wax them the same way you waxed the newer plastic-bottom skis. Now go out skiing and dare your friends to keep up with you!
You can make your ski boots last longer by spraying the leather parts with a waterproofing chemical sold in camping stores. This will keep your feet dryer and warmer!

  Here's a gadget to let us know about the current weather. But the temperature is wrong. The people who operate it are working on this.


WHAT WE DO: I will teach anyone who wants to learn. If you can walk, you can do this. We will teach how to walk, climb a small hill, turn, and stop. We will start on smooth level snow - no hills, and 'graduate' to easy rolling landscapes with beautiful views. No rush - this is not racing, but it is great exercise, so you might want to increase your physical activity over the next 2 days so you're ready to really enjoy the fun. I also will teach anyone who wants to learn how to go faster!
Feel free to invite other friends - I have about 15 pairs of skis you can use for FREE!
Call 631-664-0515 or 631-486-4818. We generally need about 4" of snow to ski.  I'll update this page around noon on days (weekdays included) where there is enough snow, with 'WE WILL' or 'WE WILL NOT be skiing today'.
 If you WANT to be emailed when we ski, please email me at and I'll put you on our list!  However if you are looking for used ski equipment, check in here daily as I will post recent 'finds' above.

WHAT TO WEAR FOR SKIING: DRESS LIGHT, because when you are active you generate a lot of body heat. This makes it feel like it's warm out! Go through your closet to pick out comfy clothes - dress in light, removable layers of acrylic, poly fleece and/or wool (DON'T wear jeans or anything with cotton in it, as cotton wicks up water and keeps it close to your skin, causing a chill that will ruin your day.)
Wear a zippered nylon shell light jacket as your last outer layer to shed snow and wind. (zippered because you'll want to open it partially while skiing - it's amazing how warm you get when cross country skiing.)
I have special cross-country ski shoes that fit on the skis, but you might also want to bring a pair of hiking boots if you have them, in case I don't have your exact shoe size.

We would ski for just an hour or so the first time, as a starter.
Future ski events can be longer.
Please call 631-486-4818 with your height & shoe size if you need skis. Tell your  friends to read this, and RSVP with their height & shoe sizes also. I have a variety of skis and shoe sizes. The amount of snow and conditions each area gets will determine which trails we would ski on, and is an indicator of how much the current climate crisis is affecting us.

It is often difficult to find cross country ski equipment in retail stores here on LI, because typically we get less snow. and less often. Occasionally I come across quality used cross country skis for sale in thrift shops or garage sales at very reasonable prices. I will include that here. You may also find them on listings such as Craigslist, Freecycle, or many of the bidding sites.

We don't know exactly yet when we will be skiing again, but I'll be staying in touch with you here on the possibilities of skiing.

SCIENCE: The weather has been strangely unpredictable; very warm, then very cold, because of the ongoing climate crisis. Getting 5" of snow in the middle of November here on LI 2 years ago is very strange - and that's the result of climate change. A normal autumn rainstorm developed into a strong nor 'easter because of the extra energy trapped in our atmosphere by the 'greenhouse' effect caused by excess carbon dioxide emitted from burning fossil materials as 'fuel'. It became strong enough to pull cold air down here from way up north, changing the rain into snow. Last February 2018 was the WARMEST FEBRUARY EVER ON RECORD. (Every year we are told 'this was the warmest year ever' ... so doesn't that say something about the ongoing effects of climate change?) Many people who do not understand the science behind the crisis "enjoy" the occasional 'springlike warm weather', and are very frustrated by the bitter cold Arctic-like weather. But we must realize this is not normal. It is because huge storms are being overloaded with extra atmospheric energy from the greenhouse effect. They are powerfully pulling up abnormal amounts of heat, from down South, and abnormally cold temperatures from the Arctic, to our Northeast where it DOESN'T BELONG! Because of this, there will be more early snow and extreme cold; then extreme warmth and heavy rain; then cold.... This is a clear warning signal of the climate crisis. I'm saying this because I'm speaking out about the environmental CRISIS we are in. Elsewhere it is producing  droughts causing wildfires in California and Australia, snow in Florida and very heavy flooding rains for days on end, and a new word in the forecasters' vocabulary this year - "bombcyclone" - when a small storm system from the west drifts offshore and picks up tremendous amounts of warmth and moisture over the ocean, and literally 'explodes' into a major blizzard.
If you are interested in getting involved in this effort, going to public programs, creating art, education projects, or just meeting new friends concerned about climate change, click here for my FaceBook site: