resources for skiing on "Classic" cross-country skis  

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Introduction to Cross Country Skiing

The most important resource for getting started is taking some live lessons with a good instructor.  

Since we cannot deliver that on a website, here's the next best stuff we know: 


Helpful demonstrations and tips for beginners -- but only for Classic technique, not Skating.  Not the newest clothing and style, and not "slick" -- but definitely a better way to learn than just reading about it and looking at still pictures. 

This video was not available on the NCCSEF website when I checked in May 2002, but I was able to order it from Akers Ski

(My preference for video as a learning aid is so strong that I'm eager to add more to this list.  Please send suggestions.) 

Here's some older titles: 

  • PBS series: Cross Country Ski School (broadcast in the 1980's) 

I've seen these recommended [see Discussion] -- have not viewed them myself.  I didn't find them in any major XC ski web stores when I checked in May 2002. 

  • Perfect Form - Cross Country Skiing, from Sybervision

I've seen this recommended [see Discussion, Dec 2002] -- have not viewed it myself.

  • Nordicross! by Dan Clausen (1980's) 

I've seen this recommended [see Discussion, May 2002] -- have not viewed it myself.  I didn't find it in any major XC ski web stores when I checked in May 2002. 



  • The Essential Cross-Country Skier: A Step-By-Step Guide, by Rick Lovett, Paul Petersen, John Morton. McGraw-Hill, 1999. ISBN 0070496250 

Lots of helpful ideas and pictures, especially for the beginner.  But I do suggest supplementing it with the "Secrets"

  • Cross-Country Skiing : A Complete Guide (Trailside Series), by Brian Cazeneuve. W.W. Norton 1995. ISBN 0393313352 

Helpful ideas and pictures for the beginner.  But I do suggest supplementing it with the "Secrets"

  • Basics of Modern Cross Country Skiing, by
    Lee Borowski.  1988. 

Helpful ideas packed into a little 30-page book -- but I suspect most novices will need more detailed explanations. 

Those books above are ones I've seen currently available in well-known XC skiing web stores or well-known general book web stores, and which I've personally read and found useful.  There are a number of older good but out-of-print XC skiing books which can be readily discovered by a search on one of the general book web stores -- I'm not going to try to duplicate that on this page. 

Selected older books: 

  • Nordic Skiing : Steps to Success , by Laurie Gullion.  Human Kinetics, 1993. ISBN 0-87322-394-2 

Full of helpful specific ideas and diagrams for beginning and intermediate techniques (especially classic and cross country downhill) -- and lots and lots of exercises to try, some rather creative [see discussion].  Unfortunately this book has gone out of print (as of June 2002), but I was able to purchase it from used book dealers on the web. 

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Classic Skiing -- basic 


See above under Introduction to Cross Country Skiing


  • Becoming a Better Skier, with Zachary Caldwell, from Jenex

I've seen this recommended [see Discussion, Dec 2002] -- but have not viewed it myself.  Both classic and skate techniques, with drills.  Fairly new (2002?).

  • Fundamentals of XC Skiing Technique, from XCZONE, 2001.

Demonstrations of the different motion techniques, not many special drills.  Lots of talking explanations and tips which we had trouble keeping up with -- but all the words are also available in text form.  See description and excerpt on the XCZONE website.  (also on DVD-ROM)

can also try the advanced videos below, 

but be warned that while the athletic styles can be inspiring and elegant, it is difficult to sort out which aspects of advanced and racing styles are relevant and helpful to your own current learning stage and goals (versus other aspects that might be counter-productive).  Especially for the classic striding motion, some of the moves and concepts that are most critical for basic learning are subtle and difficult to recognize in most videos not specifically designed for learning.



See above under Introduction to Cross Country Skiing.  

Downhill techniques


Classic Skiing -- advanced 


Targeted for racers, though probably skiers beyond the beginner level could get some benefit from it.  Inspiring demos by Oddvar Brå, who was World Champion. 

  • Classic Technique with World Champions -- Norwegian Ski Federation (distributed with English-language narration by Nordic Equipment Inc.

Very racer-oriented and very technical.  Close analysis of short segments with good camera angles from the Women's 5K and Men's 10K races at the 1997 World Championships in Trondheim, Norway.  The video of Elena Vaelbe demonstrates many fascinating ideas which are not necessarily discussed by the narrator.  

Targeted for racers -- in the late 1990's, Daehlie was the fastest.  Includes good camera angles of him demonstrating all the Classic techniques. 

  • Janne G's video files on the Web 

Digital video in computer-playable file formats:  Elite racers and recent XC ski races.  Video only -- no narration or analysis. 

Visit main website -- list of Technique video clips 

For announcements and documentation, see the discussion newsgroup rec.skiing.nordic 

  • Level 1 Cross Country Technique Progressions, from the US Ski Team.

I have not viewed it.  Shows the US team's approach to training Development Team athletes.

interactive media 

  • Tao of Skiing, from XCZONE, 1999. 

CD-ROM.  Lots of tips, from a Canadian perspective.

websites -- Racing technique + training 

Waxing Classic Skis



  • Complete Guide to Cross-Country Ski Preparation, by Nat Brown (Mountaineers, 1999)
  • Manufacturer instruction booklets

Dry Land Exercises for Classic skiing

Exercises without snow -- on foot and on rollerskis.  Last I saw, this was available at various XC ski web stores.  There's a tape with a similar title on the NCCSEF website, but the description makes me uncertain if it's the same as the one I own.  

Detailed exercises with conceptual explanations and excellent step-by-step photos.  Targeted for serious racers, but some of the drills look helpful for skiers generally. 


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more . . . 

General XC skiing 

  • Australian Ski Instructor Manual -- lots of hints and exercises for beginners and intermediates -- but targeted for instructors, who are assumed to already know the techniques.

see also 

- - Discussion of Resources for Learning 

- - Resources for learning Ski Skating 

- - Roberts ideas on Classic skiing

- - Other Links 

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