how to learn techniques for them

what's here

Here are some "games" for Classic skis 

I call them "games" because they involve relating to other people.  

For moves you can enjoy on your own, see "fun". 

For a whole other way to experience skiing, there is taking your skis into snow-covered areas other than an organized cross country skiing center -- exploring the backcountry on skis.  But that's a whole other set of challenges and hazards and risks -- which require a different set of skills, knowledge, and intelligent strategies -- completely outside the scope of this website. 

back to Top | more Learning | Secrets | Resources | more Classic

Ski with other people 

[ more to be added ] 

This can be lots of fun.  With a wider trail, you can ski and talk -- like running and talking, and walking and talking. 


back to Top | more Learning | Secrets | Resources | more Classic

Achieve Correct Technique  

As you might guess from what else is in here, I'm not much interested in the idea of "correct" technique.  I think skiing technique is about having a range of choices, with different styles good for different skiers at different times with different goals.   

But lots of skiers do think about "correct" style, so I'll say something about it. 

My guess is that what many skiers are looking for in "correct" technique is a pattern of movement that: 

  • looks visibly good to others 
  • follows some purity of concept 
  • shows other motions to be inferior 
  • is not easily imitated by athletic beginners 

If your goal is something like that, here are my suggestions: 

Learn the points -- but also learn to exaggerate them as needed to achieve the desired impact on your intended audience.  (Often, exaggerating is a helpful step on the way to learning.) 

  • The theme to latch onto for purity of concept is: 

"getting the most out every stroke" 

  • Key moves are: 

 - - strong follow-through of arms
 - - follow-through and extension of legs
 - - strong side-to-side weight transfer
 - - long glide, above all

Note that this theme and pattern is not the fastest or most efficient style.  (though if you say it is in a confident tone of voice, lots of your audience will believe it.) 

This style both is visibly dramatic and comes with a "pure" rationale for both knowing and explaining why its pattern is "right" and any deviation is "wrong". 

  • Solid balance on one ski is required for the weight transfer and long glide. 

That should take care of the "problem" of easy imitation by athletic beginners. 

back to Top | more Learning | Secrets | Resources | more Classic

Show off -- entertain -- Ski with flair 

Some approaches to skiing for an "audience": 

  • Exaggerated motion 

see "getting the most out every stroke" under Achieve Correct Technique.  

  • Marvelously smooth 

So fluid that people aren't sure how you could be generating any grip or push for moving forward -- see Striding Smooth

  • Syncopation 

Offset pole timing is interesting because people sense there's something different about your rhythm, but they're not sure exactly what it is. 

  • Variety 

Even the best-executed single technique is going to get boring, so keep your audience entertained switching every few seconds: 

Switch techniques:  classic stride to double pole to kick double pole 

Switch timing:  offset pole timing to synchronized to "linked kick single pole" 

Switch styles:  exaggerated to smooth to exaggerated

back to Top | more Learning | Secrets | Resources | more Classic


Of course to start racing you don't need any special techniques at all.  

  • The key step is to choose your first race and show up and try to restrain your exuberance and speed enough so that you actually finish. 
  • And don't forget to have fun. 

For "serious" racing, the pre-requisites for speed and endurance are: 

Not that you should always be performing every point, but that you need to have the ability to perform any of them whenever you want.  

The key differences between "serious" racing and sound non-racing techniques are: 

  • Optimal technique for speed and endurance requires compromise.  

Conceptual purity of form is not optimal.  What looks good is not optimal for speed.  What feels good is not optimal.  No single principle is optimal for speed. 

Classic skiing technique is too complicated for that.  It's about playing with trade-offs among multiple factors.  And at the higher competitive levels it's about measuring. 

back to Top | more Learning | Secrets | Resources | more Classic