The Excel and the Sequoia are both older versions of the popular Nordic Track skier. The Sequoia was the original skier. The Challenger model came next, followed by the Excel. These two skier machines have more similarities than differences. The main differences are in the design materials and the machine's mobility.
Nordic Track was started in 1976 by Ed Pauls. Living in Minnesota, Pauls wanted to build an indoor machine that mimicked cross-country skiing. Nordic Track kept its roots in Minnesota -- the skiers, including the Sequoia and the Excel, continued to be manufactured there even after the company grew. In 1998, Icon Health and Fitness bought Nordic Track and eventually moved production overseas. The Excel and Sequoia are considered Nordic Track classics since they were made before the company was sold and production left Minnesota.
The Sequoia is the original Nordic Track skier model. It is made with pine and steel. The pine has a redwood stain finish and the steel is black. The Excel came two skier models after the Sequoia. It is made with oak and stainless steel, which gives the metal a shiny appearance. The oak wood is coated with a clear finish.
Both the Sequoia and the Excel skiers fold for easy storage. The upright folds-down and rests on the base. However, the Excel model is more mobile than the Sequoia. It has wheels on its back legs. You can fold the unit down, then tilt it on its wheels and roll it to a storage area.
The features of the two machines are identical. They both have adjustable upper and lower body resistance settings. The hip pad can be tilted and moved to fit each individual user. You use both skier models in the same manner. Start sliding your feet in a smooth back and forth motion. Grab the hand grips and move your arms opposite your legs. Your left arm moves back when your left leg is forward. The motion should be smooth and natural.
Nordic Track no longer manufactures the Sequoia or the Excel. The only skier currently produced by Nordic Track is the Classic Pro Skier. However, you can purchase the Sequoia and the Excel as refurbished machines from businesses that find original skiers such as these and refurbish them.