Liz has been teaching me to cross-country ski, and we decided it was time we bought our own equipment. No stores in LA had them stocked, and we didn't want to order online since we needed help finding the right type and sizes. As it happened, we had an upcoming family visit to Liz's home town of Hayward, Wisconsin, home of the Birkie and the US capital of Nordic skiing.
We headed to the New Moon ski and bike store once we arrived, and were greeted by Joel Harrison. Like me he fell for a Hayward siren, and moved from Idaho to join her, and has a lot of cross-country experience. He was very knowledgeable and helpful, spending a lot of time helping us pick out the right equipment. We tend to prefer ungroomed but not too gnarly trails, so he steered us toward some intermediate skis that would still fit in groomed tracks, but still had enough width to float in wilder snow.
Once we'd picked, New Moon runs a thriving mail-order business, and was able to post them off, so we didn't have to struggle with them on the plane. Joel couldn't have been more helpful, their customer service was top-notch. Even if you can't make it to Wisconsin, I'd recommend buying online from them.