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The Beginners Survival Guide to Cross Country Skiing

  1. Introduction & Equipment Sizing
  2. Boot/Binding Combinations

Part 1
Skills For Flat Terrain

  1. Basic Diagonal Stride
  2. Adjusting Pole Straps
  3. Arm Movement in the Diagonal Stride
  4. The Double Pole
  5. Kick Double Pole

Part 2
Skills For Uphill Terrain

  1. Uphill Diagonal Stride
  2. Edging your skis for control
  3. Side Step
  4. Herringbone

Part 3
Downhills & Turning

  1. Getting Up From a Fall
  2. Kick Turn
  3. Track Snowplow




Part 1: Skills For Flat Terrain
Level: beginner thru advanced

Adjusting Pole Straps

fitting cross country ski poles

Pole straps need to be adjusted properly to learn a poling motion that provides power while allowing the arms and hands to relax.

Correct grip through the pole strap is the first step. Start with the hand below the strap then bring it up through the bottom of the loop (1a). The midway point of the strap should now rest on the top of the wrist. Now when we grip the pole the rest of the strap is under our palm.

Next, check to see that the strap lays flat as it wraps around our hand. A flat strap is necessary for comfort. If it twists, unwind the strap until it’s flat. If it still twists we’ll need to release the strap from the pole, unwind and reattach.

The final process is adjusting strap tightness. A tight fitting strap allows us to control the pole with only a slight pressure between out thumb and forefinger. Grip the pole so that about a quarter to one-half-inch of the top, or knob, appears above your hand. Then tighten the strap( 2a).

The knob is designed to fit and lock in the saddle, between our thumb and forefinger, as we extend our arm behind us. To help it along, point the fingers back towards the basket at the end of the pole push(3a).

If you have a pair of poles with straps that come right out the top, take some durable tape and wrap down the top inch of the strap. This will provide a proper pole grip that allows for a relaxed and full arm extension.



CLASSIC TECHNIQUE: Diagonal Stride; Adjusting Pole Straps; Arm Swing; Double Pole; Kick-Double Pole. CLASSIC UPHILL TECHNIQUE: Classic Uphill Diagonal; Edging; Side Step; Herringbone. DOWNHILLS AND TURNING: Getting up from a fall; Kick Turn; Track Snowplow; Five Tips for the Diagonal Stride; Kick Double Pole. SKATE SKIING: Ten Tips for the V-1; V-2 skate technique; Marathon Skate. ALL AROUND: Stationary Turns; Step Turns. RESOURCES: Nordic Glossary; 20 Q and A; History of Cross Country Skiing

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