Frequently Asked Questions about
Ski Skating in cross country skiing

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How can I not look Stupid in ski skating?

See our special page on How can I not look Stupid?

What are the main skating techniques and names

My story:  I found learning these names confusing.  Some of them  seemed obscure or misleading, and Canada and the U.S. use completely different terms which seem to contradict each other.  And the European cultures have different naming schemes of their own. 

Here's my best attempt to make sense of it all: 


I'm having a lot of trouble learning V2 skate

The surprise "secret" is balance -- see discussion

My story:  I was happily doing open field skate, but I was getting strong with double-poling -- so I thought it would make me faster if I could learn V2.  First I tried to think out how it should work, but my attempts felt pretty awkward.  Next I watched the NEI video on skate technique.  Actually seeing somebody doing it made the difference for enabling me to do something that felt recognizably like V2.  

But I was operating under the model that the key to success was to learn to double-pole at a fast enough cadence so that it could "fit in" each pole-push in between my leg-pushes.  Then I saw Nathan Schultz's post about balance.  And I practiced just like he said.  I already had basically strong balance from other kinds of skiing and no-poles practice, so that approach was able to quickly focus and sharpen it for V2.  Then I added the poling back in, and right away I could feel the difference.  It felt great, and now V2 is my favorite skating technique. 

In the most effective V2 cycle, the skater's balance is so solid that there is sufficient time on each side for a distinct "raise the upper body up high for strong pole-push".  For more on this, see Hints on the V2 Skate page.

see discussion of Learning V2

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