Sunday, 7 April 2013

Learning to Skate on Classic Ski Equipment

by Keith and Heather Nicol
Be sure to push off to the side
      Over the past couple of years I have received several emails from skiers asking about trying to learn to skate on classic ski equipment. Many skiers would like to try skating but are not sure about spending the money on new skating skis, boots and poles and so they are interested in trying it with their classic gear first. My experience is that you can certainly try skating on classic gear and you will have the most success if your skis as fast as possible. Therefore remove as much grip wax as you can from your classic skis so that they glide well. Classic skis are longer but as you should be able to skate just fine with them. Classic poles are shorter than skate poles but again you should still be able to skate well with these poles. For comparison, my classic skis are 20 cm longer than my skate skis and my classic poles are 10 cm shorter than my skating poles.Also the fact that traditional classic boots are lower means that you won’t have the ankle
Commit all your body weight to the new glide ski
support and stiffness of a skate boot but you can certainly get the feeling of skating with these lower boots. On a related note, I find that a pair “combi” boots works well since the extra support of the higher boot and plastic cuff makes it ideal for skating yet the flexible sole means you can also classic ski in them. In my case I really like the Rossignol Xium Pursuit ski boot which is actually the only boot I wore all winter. I found it worked well for both skate and classic skiing.
Even though classic skis are longer and ski poles are shorter you should be able to try skating on classic gear
         If you have waxless skis, then learning to skate will be quite abit harder since these skis glide so poorly.  But you can make up for some of the loss of glide by trying to skate down a slight downhill. Clearly you will have most success skating if you have the proper equipment but you can certainly try it out with well prepared classic ski gear. Just be sure to push to side as you skate since many classic skiers want to do a toe push which means that your skis are slipping and the tip will constantly get caught on the snow.  Think about pushing your skis to the side and you will have much more success. Thanks to Rossignol ski equipment, Infinity Ski Poles and Cross Country Newfoundland and Labrador for sponsoring this blog post. 

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