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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 2: Skills For Uphill Terrain

Learning How To Edge Our Skis

Eventually, we’ll encounter a hill that’s too steep to stride up. To our rescue comes the sidestep and herringbone techniques. Both rely on using the edges of our skis for grip.

The best way to understand edging is to experience the full range of edging degrees. My favorite is to assign number values to the each edge angle so there is always a point of reference to come back to.

Start by positioning our feet wide apart, keeping the ski tails together in the herringbone position. Now turn both knees and ankles in towards each other, as much as you can, for extreme inside edging. Be careful not to edge too much or your heels might start to slide off the ski. Call this extreme edge a number 5, then go back to a flat ski and call that a zero. Now find all the numbers between zero and five and notice how little difference there is between the various degrees of edging. Continue through the numbers a few more times then practice it with the skis in different positions; tips together (the wedge position), and even edging on the same side with the skis parallel.

The number 2 and 3 edge angles will suffice for most situations. Now let’s take some common techniques that use edging and see how the numbers apply. »next


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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