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A little about cross-country skiing

Before you move forward in cross-country skiing you need to decide what type of skiing you would like to do. There are two types of cross-country skiing: classic-skiing and skate-skiing. Requiring more physical effort than classic-skiing, skate-skiing, moving side to side, similar to skating on ice, is much faster than classical-skiing. However, skate-skiing will require wider trails, which are very frequently groomed. Thus, depending on where you are located, classic-skiing may be a better option, if you will not always have access to freshly groomed trails. As you trail off into fresh, powder snow, this type of cross country skiing is called back-country skiing. If back-country is the type of skiing you are most interested in, it is recommended that you look for wider skis, which will give you more support as you glide over the snow. Evidently, it is important for you to greatly research many different types of cross-country, in order to find the type that works best for you and which aligns with your interests.

Once at the trail: You will surely find that you will naturally start to shuffle along the trails. Start with a path with a limited amount of hills. This will allow you to become familiar with how to maneuver around while in your skis.

Going up: Once you move to steeper hills you will need to begin to point your skis outward (creating a V shape) in order to avoid slipping. Don’t forget to use your poles to help you balance.

Coming down: Now that you understand how to go up a hill, you will need to know how to come down. If the hill is mellow, no worries! Simply put your skis together (you can place your hands on  your knees) and slowly ride down. Once the hills get steeper you may want to slow down your decent. To slow down you can use the snow plow technique. By keeping your tips pointed inward (the opposite from the V shape you created going up a hill), and keeping the inside edges of your skis angled downwards, you will maximize your breaking power. The deeper you dig the edges of your skis in the snow, the stronger your breaking will be.

Now that you know the bare fundamentals, go out and rent a pair of skis! The only way to learn is to go and be active! Try and try again until you get the hang of it.

Greg

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