Sunday, 1 January 2012

Use the diagonal skate to climb hills

By Keith and Heather Nicol

Use an alternate poling motion with the diagonal skate
     When I teach a 1 hour skate lesson for novice skiers I use CANSI's standard progression of free skate drills and then I introduce the 1 skate (V2 skate for U.S. readers) which is a good technique for the flats.  But I also like to leave students with a way to climb hills. Usually in the last 10-15 minutes of a lesson I teach the diagonal skate with the aim of showing skiers that it is really a free skate with an alternate poling action. I often get students to try it on the flats by first free skating with good arm swing and then have the skiers add a pole plant when their arms come forward. Once they can master the timing on the flats I then lead the skiers up a small hill. I emphasize that the key is to keep the skis moving so you will need to increase the tempo on the hills compared performing the diagonal skate on the flats. The diagonal skate may not be the fastest uphill skating technique but it relatively easy to learn and it gives new skiers a way to ascend hills. For more nordic ski tips see:  For other nordic skiing instructional videos see:

Thanks to Rossignol skis, Infinity Ski Poles and Cross
Country Newfoundland and Labrador for helping support the diagonal skate video seen below.

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