what's here


XCSkiForum.com is the best web-based discussion group for cross-country skiing I've found so far [as of December 2007]. Some smart experienced skiers there making helpful contributions.

Racing topics have an area on the forum separate from general skiing -- so you can readily find discussions about recreational non-competitive skiing. Or if you want the racing stuff, it's easy to find that too.

Good place to ask a question.

rec.skiing.nordic newsgroup

Used to be the best discussion of general cross-country skiing topics anywhere in the English language, but alas the energy faded, and I haven't been reading it much [as of December 2007] -- possibly the energy has risen since back when I was still participating.

Note that (unlike the Usenet rec.bicycles newsgroups) there is no separation of racing from general skiing, so there has been tendency for topics and discussions on rec.skiing.nordic to be dominated by people who assume that racing is the main form of skiing, and assume that phrases like "our sport" mean ski racing.

So if you ask a question there about equipment or learning technique, be prepared for answers appropriate to competitive racing, with no mention of any possibility that the answer could be different for non-racers. If you ask about where to ski, understand that "good place" means that it's the site of some favorite race or racer-training camp (not necessarily that the trail network is fun for normal recreational skiing).

Surely the archives of old posts are still a very valuable resource . . .

Almost every question about equipment, technique, waxing, racing has been asked before and given multiple intelligent answers there -- also helpful info about different skiing regions and sometimes particular ski center -- so it's usually helpful to search the previous discussions in the archives of rec.skiing.nordic.

rec.skiing.nordic is a "Usenet" group or "newsgroup" -- not a normal web-based forum (though there are web-forum style ways to get access to it).

Note that if you want to avoid exposing your Email address to spammers, you might need to use some special procedures when posting a message to rec.skiing.nordic

Direct access: To access it directly, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) must offer access to an NNTP server which is connected to the public Usenet groups. You can try to access the rec.skiing.nordic group by typing into your Web browser this address:


Or sometimes you can access it through your Email software program by using a feature called "News" or "Newsgroups", but you likely must first set that up by entering the NNTP server used by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Typically you then tell your Email software to "subscribe" to rec.skiing.nordic, and then it downloads the topics and messages.

If you cannot get direct access to an NNTP server through your Internet Service Provider (ISP), we have heard that there are public NNTP servers available, but we don't know anything about it. Perhaps try a Web search on "public NNTP servers".

Web indirect access: Some websites offer indirect access to some Usenet newsgroups. Here's an example:

As of December 2005, you can freely read the newsgroup messages on Google, but in order to send or "post" a message to the newsgroup through Google you must first register as a member of Google Groups.

Note that Google does not own or manage or control the newsgroup rec.skiing.nordic -- because rec.skiing.nordic is in the public domain. What Google provides is their own proprietary way to access this newsgroup. But there are lots of other organizations (e.g. most Internet Service Providers) that provide access to this newsgroup.

Email indirect access: We heard that there was an Email gateway to rec.skiing.nordic (as of June 2000), but we don't know much about it. Consider trying a web search for "email access rec.skiing.nordic".

Posting or sending a message

warning: Any words that you send to this newsgroup, and any identifying information about yourself in the "headers" of your message or otherwise associated with your message is truly fully public -- therefore available to web search engines, or to any person who cares to read the archives. This has at least two critical implications:

(A) So any spammer could get the Email address you give in your post. Since most people do not like getting spammed. Therefore lots of people . . .

do not use any of their main Email accounts to post to the newsgroup.

Instead they either

  • post through a special Email account which they don't care if it gets lots of spam Emails, or which they can easily dispose of and replace if it starts receiving lots of spam . . . or they

  • post through an account with a fake meaningless Email address.

The disadvantage of these methods is that it makes it difficult for somebody who reads your message and wants to reply by private Email to say something nice to you. So some people devise some clever way to enable intelligent human readers to figure out what Email address to use.

(B) If you put something negative or nasty (or even libelous or otherwise illegal) into your post, you might never be able "take it back" or un-say it -- even if later you change your mind about it, or wish you hadn't sent those words. (Just because you succeed in removing your message from one archive such as Google Groups, does not mean you've removed it from all archives). Therefore some people . . .

  • focus on saying positive and helpful things.

  • contribute to the group by asking interesting questions, instead of claiming to know the answers.

For some other strategies and tips for participating in newsgroups, see


It is often very valuable to search the archives of this newsgroup for a topic you're interested in. Two websites that maintain archives of the rec.skiing.nordic group are:

general XC skiing topics on Yahoogroups

discussion forums on XC skiing websites

regional XC ski groups

more . . .

see also 

concept words: ski skiing cross country cross-country xc snow skier skiers skis nordic roberts

discuss: discussion group discussions forum forums group groups newsgroup newsgroups