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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





Kick Turn

The advantage of the kick turn is that the skier can turn around very quickly, even on narrow trails, in only two moves. The key is using the poles for balance and knowing which ski to step around first.

cross country ski kick turn
Use the Kick Turn in all types of terrain

Stability for the entire move comes from the pole plant. Begin by planting your left pole near the tail of your left ski (32a). Plant the right pole toward the tip of your right ski. Don’t lock the elbows but keep them relaxed while planting the poles vertically, underneath the hands. With the arms spread out, our body is now open to the direction weare going to make our first step.

Our leg on this open side is the the left leg. That is the leg we’ll move first.

To begin this first “kick around” with the left ski, lift with the knee to pick up the ski tip. Then kick the foot forward and up to help set the ski tail in the snow, out in front (32b). Now pivot the tip away from you and let the ski swing the 180 degrees into the new direction (32c).

As the ski swings over and touches the snow, our body weight should follow so that we can quickly swing the other ski around to match. Once both skis face the new direction, bring the right pole around.



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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