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The Beginners Survival Guide to Cross Country Skiing

  1. Introduction & Equipment Sizing
  2. Boot/Binding Combinations

Part 1
Skills For Flat Terrain

  1. Basic Diagonal Stride
  2. Adjusting Pole Straps
  3. Arm Movement in the Diagonal Stride
  4. The Double Pole
  5. Kick Double Pole

Part 2
Skills For Uphill Terrain

  1. Uphill Diagonal Stride
  2. Edging your skis for control
  3. Side Step
  4. Herringbone

Part 3
Downhills & Turning

  1. Getting Up From a Fall
  2. Kick Turn
  3. Track Snowplow




Introduction and Classic Ski Equipment Sizing

The things make help make cross-country skiing one of the best cardiovascular sports, can also make it extremely strenuous. A first-timer will probably get a great workout but often gives the sport up after 30 minutes, while the skier that understands technique, skis for hours, enjoying the beauty of winter and a life-long sport. Each person gets exercise - one enjoys it more than the other.

This Survival Guide will make the sport enjoyable by helping you learn the technique of gliding with the least effort possible. That’s where the beauty of the sport is: spending your energy looking at the scenery and enjoying the movement rather then fighting it.

Spending a few moments reading this section, and practicing one technique at a time, and you’ll soon be enjoying a freedom over the snow you never thought possible.

To get the most out of your skiing experience proper fitting equipment is essential.

Ski Length
A traditional rule for ski length is to lift your arm above the head and have the tip of the ski come to the wrist. If you’re petit go 5cm shorter or 5cm longer if your heavy. The newer mid-length skis can fit as the same as your body height and even shorter.

Pole Height
Classic ski poles should not be above shoulder height. One rule is that the pole should fit snugly underneath the arm pit.

Opt for the Salomon Profile™ or NNN™ boots for groomed trail skiing. They provide more downhill control than the older style 75mm boots. Wear a medium weight wool hiking sock and have at least 1⁄4 inch of room in front of the toes.

Boot/Binding Combinations
There have been lots of boot/binding combinations over the years and many of them are still floating around in your local thrift or used sports equipment shops. If you decide to go the used route you better double check that you get the right boot/binding combination! It's a little embarrassing to get out on the trail then struggle for a half hour trying to get the boot into the binding - only to find out later that they are two different species. Click here to see a few of the Boot/Binding combinations available.



CLASSIC TECHNIQUE: Diagonal Stride; Adjusting Pole Straps; Arm Swing; Double Pole; Kick-Double Pole. CLASSIC UPHILL TECHNIQUE: Classic Uphill Diagonal; Edging; Side Step; Herringbone. DOWNHILLS AND TURNING: Getting up from a fall; Kick Turn; Track Snowplow; Five Tips for the Diagonal Stride; Kick Double Pole. SKATE SKIING: Ten Tips for the V-1; V-2 skate technique; Marathon Skate. ALL AROUND: Stationary Turns; Step Turns. RESOURCES: Nordic Glossary; 20 Q and A; History of Cross Country Skiing

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