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
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.
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
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
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
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
Posting or sending a
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
post through an account with a fake meaningless Email
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
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