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The 2019 2020 Cross Country, Nordic Ski thread & some tips for beginners

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
primoz wrote:
davidof wrote:

Anyone who can actually classic ski will be quicker (and more graceful) than someone who has poor or even intermediate skate technique. The difference in speed between the two techniques is not great, going uphill and a classic skier might outpace a skate skier.

That's not really true, or better yet, it depends who we are talking about.


So you saying it is a lie? Maybe you can poney up some facts to back up that fairly bold claim.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fairly bold claim that skating is faster then classic? Let's say 20 years of racing brings experience or two. Otherwise if you don't believe my experience, let's check results....
Last year's World Champs in Seefeld, women 7.5+7.5k skiathlon.
Johaug went out of start on her own, and finished classic 7.5k loop in 18:45.6, changed equipment, went out on 7.5k skating loop which she finished in 17:30.9 (celebrating last few 100m so not going full speed on). This means 45sec difference in 7.5km or about 7% slower classic then skating. Will that be enough of the fact that classic is way slower then skating?
Men is harder to compare as it was group going through the race together and there was whole bunch of tactics going on, but if you want just times, 36:29.1 for 15k classic and 33:11.3 for 15k skating.
So yeah, I'm saying that classic is not faster then skating, and there's no way anyone of racers would be faster uphill classic then skating. If that would be true, you would see people skiing classic on skating races, as there's no limit for skating, and you can easily ski classic on skating race, but opposite is not allowed.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
davidof wrote:


Even in the Northern Alps the climate is pretty benign most of the time, youl could ski in your shorts and t-shirt.



Don't try that first week in Feb in the Finnish arctic. The problem there is that you generally speaking still only wear a few thin layers due to your work rate and will still sweat; but when you stop...

At -15 it doesn't take long to get very cold very quickly. So the moral of the story is only stop indoors in a hut. A spare dry inner layer also helps I find

I've been out in below -25 a few times and worn a thin goretex shell on top and when you take it off you find that in fact you have a thin veneer of ice over the entire inside where the sweat has frozen on contact with the material !
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primoz wrote:
Fairly bold claim that skating is faster then classic? Let's say 20 years of racing brings experience or two. Otherwise if you don't believe my experience, let's check results....
Last year's World Champs in Seefeld, women 7.5+7.5k skiathlon.
Johaug went out of start on her own, and finished classic 7.5k loop in 18:45.6, changed equipment, went out on 7.5k skating loop which she finished in 17:30.9 (celebrating last few 100m so not going full speed on). This means 45sec difference in 7.5km or about 7% slower classic then skating. Will that be enough of the fact that classic is way slower then skating?
Men is harder to compare as it was group going through the race together and there was whole bunch of tactics going on, but if you want just times, 36:29.1 for 15k classic and 33:11.3 for 15k skating.
So yeah, I'm saying that classic is not faster then skating, and there's no way anyone of racers would be faster uphill classic then skating. If that would be true, you would see people skiing classic on skating races, as there's no limit for skating, and you can easily ski classic on skating race, but opposite is not allowed.


Ok lets take your quote:

1. Anyone who can actually classic ski will be quicker (and more graceful) than someone who has poor or even intermediate skate technique.

That's true - someone who is actually capable of skiing classic, that is, not just shuffling around, is going to be quicker than someone who has poor/intermediate skating technique. How do I know that - because I watch the skiers going around the local loipe and I see the club classic skiers overtaking the fit but with poor technique skaters uphill, downhill and on the flats.

2. The difference in speed between the two techniques is not great,

Yes, going back to the original post we are talking about the speed advantage of skating over classic technique. IE putting my claim into context. Skating is about 10% faster than Classic at top level on the same snow, same course. For amateur skiers at the same level it is more like 15%. So not a great deal of difference. I've never said classic is faster than skating like for like - you have poor reading skills or are on the spectrum or something.

3. going uphill and a classic skier might outpace a skate skier.

Yes, it might be. Soft / fresh snow conditions for example - you might be better skiing classic in the tracks than skating.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

or are on the spectrum or something

Ok boomer.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Where's Harry Hill when you need him ? He'd sort it out !
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Sure my English is far from perfect, but considering English is not my native language I can live with that. If you have problems with that, we can always switch to Slovene, where I'm more fluent. I never claimed comparing racer going classic with someone who just started xc skiing going skating would show skating is faster, but that's useless comparison anyway. Even I can nowadays be faster then pretty much everyone who I meet on track (based on short search, I would easily dare to bet it would include you too Wink), when going classic and others are on skating, but not really sure that would be fair comparison Wink
Difference between classic and skating is not great? Well maybe 10% is not great, but for me that's certainly A LOT. If we take that 3min difference from men race, and put it to let's say Davos 15k F race last year, being 3min off the pace of winner would put you in place 78. That's pretty huge difference, don't you think? If we stay on same race, from where I took time differences to compare, 3min behind CL part would put you in position around 55 out of 72 racers (including some 10 which are more of skiing tourists from Turkey, Argentina, Greece etc. and are not on start of WC races).
3... Believe me, I have done more then enough kilometers on any sort of track, and there's no slightest chance that classic would be faster uphill. There's no conditions where that would work, at least when both classic and skating would go on track with same conditions. Unless you compare icy classic course and 20cm fresh snow on skating course. But we are not comparing like that, or do we just to find some way for you to be right?
As I wrote, I have been racing xc on relatively high level for half of my life, and not skiing 20k race in a bit under 2h, so I know a thing or two about xc skiing.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
This thread seems to have turned a bit 'mine is faster than yours'. So I'll add that I can actually walk faster than I can Langlauf. In fact I often take my skis off and walk, either to catch up with friends who are leaving me behind, or to deal with scary downhill sections. Very Happy
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

"Anyone who can actually classic ski will be quicker (and more graceful) than someone who has poor or even intermediate skate technique."

That's true - someone who is actually capable of skiing classic, that is, not just shuffling around, is going to be quicker than someone who has poor/intermediate skating technique.


queenie pretty please wrote:
This thread seems to have turned a bit 'mine is faster than yours'. So I'll add that I can actually walk faster than I can Langlauf. In fact I often take my skis off and walk, either to catch up with friends who are leaving me behind, or to deal with scary downhill sections. Very Happy

LOL snowHead
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Skating generally has a steeper learning curve than classic. If your are fit and have good balance you can progress up this learning curve quickly enough to start with skating. If you are less fit and/or have poor balance you will probably appreciate that you can make progress 'walking' on classic skis compared to the technical requirements of skating - particularly uphill, even on gentle gradients. There is then the challenge of progressing from walking to gliding on classic skis.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
The question is not whether a well practiced classic skier can beat a poorly prepared skater.

The question is whether a fit and motivated alpine skier will learn skating faster, just as fast, or slower than learning classic.

Everyone claims classic is “easy”. My own experience and observation is it’s not. The only “easy” part pf classic is the walk/shuffle part!

To actually “ski” in classic style takes quite a bit of work. Does it take less or more work than skating? That’s the question I’m not qualified to answer.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Mon 2-12-19 21:51; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Having "skied" classic for some years, I decided I would take up skating... So last week, I took a 3 day clinic to get myself started properly. Toofy Grin

I now can say skating is just as easy to learn for a competent alpine skier!

Day 1's 2 hr clinic started with us putting our poles on the side of the trail and just skate baby steps. A few drills to "force" a full weight transfer and precarious balancing on the one gliding ski. Lots of falling down and getting back up. My arms were sore despite not using the poles at all. Sad At the end of the lesson, I was able to actually balanced for a couple seconds on the gliding skis without having to hurry putting down the other skis (as a cheat). Was looking forward to learning how to use the poles the next day.

Day 2 started with us dropping our poles on the side of the trail first thing! Shocked Shocked Shocked

(we had different instructors on each session, that was BY DESIGN, so we got exposed to many different ways to achieve the end result, we were told)

I thought I was good to go on the gliding on one ski thing and expected we move on to new focuses. But the new instructor thought differently.Shocked More new drills for balancing on a single ski. I was a bit resistant at the start (because I thought I did pretty good at the tasks). But then I thought I'll just use the opportunity to practice what I "know". Well, I apparently didn't know much. Because by the end of that 2nd session, I was able to extend my glide for double the time and probably triple the distance! Who would have thought that by putting one's weight fully on the gliding ski, it would transform into a solid platform for pushing off to the new glide ski too? rolling eyes

At the end of the session, we had a little competition to cover a stretch of snow with the least number of steps. I tried to match the instructor's number (obviously she wasn't putting all her power into her demo run). Came close but not quite matching it.

Day 3 turned into a private session because everyone else who's a true beginner had dropped out. snowHead (there's one who had skated before the clinic. As not a "never-ever" or true beginner, she got kicked UP to the "novice" group Toofy Grin )

I couldn't resist asking the new instructor if I can do something with my poles other than carrying them from the room to the side of the trail head and back to my room! Skullie

He laugh out loud. Very Happy His reply was "When we teach juniors, we don't let them use pole till they're 12-13". To which I answered "Do I look like I'm over 13?" wink He was properly amused, and agreed we would "do something with them poles".

But apparently, I had lost my balance overnight.Embarassed Even I could tell I wasn't balancing properly on the one ski. After a few less than satisfactory tries, I decide to blame the new addition of poles. So they were promptly taken away. Sad More single ski exercise again.

At some point, I got them gliding on single ski thing again. Then arm swinging was added while skating along. Until finally, poles back in hand, I was doing something resembling a V2 skate.

As soon as the pole push was added, it became apparent again that I was still rather shaky on my glides. To best "enjoy" the combined pole push and leg kick, I theoretically COULD stay on the gliding ski for ages and got a really long and nice forward glide! But I wasn't.Sad It took some more drills to stop my flailing arms and leg from upsetting my balance on the glide ski. Adding more power to the push/kick also requires more fine tuning of balance each time. Happily, each tweak on balance with kick or push extend the glide phase a little further and a little further... Smile

Being the only student in a 2 hr "group" session, I got no rest while the non-existing "other students" do their practice. I was getting tired after only 90 minutes, at which point the instructor declare I've got enough to to practice for the rest of the season on my own (not really for the "rest of the season", but enough to work on my own for a bit).

Strangely enough, I find climbing long shallow grades easier skating then classic. It's just really hard to get a good grip on classic skis going uphill. Hence my conclusion that it might be just as easy to learn skating without bothering with classic.

I have every intention to skate without poles A LOT on my own. I now totally see the point of the last instructor on why not using the pole will be beneficial. And will need to find a good local instructor to continue help me to work on technique as the season goes on. (the clinic was at Montana, we haven't quite got snow deep enough to ski yet)

It's fun to learn new things! snowHead snowHead snowHead


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Sat 4-01-20 3:55; edited 1 time in total
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
abc wrote:
..........I now can say skating is just as easy to learn for a competent alpine skier!...............


Do think that's what a few of us have been saying, though would also add the caveat "fit alpine skier".

Anyway great you're getting into it.

A couple of additional points, as I know the subject of clothing etc has come up, Decathlon (what a surprise) do a great economical range of XC attire, and some would be good for ski rando as well.

And on that subject was ski touring today, and caught up with these two dudes, one of whom, taught me for my first couple of hours skating, when my HR was going through the roof, this morning I was the one nice and calm and not out of breath whilst my "instructor" was getting a little messy.

I did take a bit of relish in putting him to the sword on a steep climb, so just goes to show, how technique can overcome fitness etc , and I have no doubt he will take great delight in reciprocating should he come across me on the XC trail Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Weathercam wrote:
abc wrote:
..........I now can say skating is just as easy to learn for a competent alpine skier!...............


Do think that's what a few of us have been saying, though would also add the caveat "fit alpine skier".

Indeed. That's what I've been saying too... Toofy Grin

But that was based on my experience doing classic for ages (and still working to get just a little bit better at it). Until I tried skating myself, my "saying" was without 100% conviction. Now I can say that from first hand experience. Very Happy

I'm not even sure being "fit" is all that important. I was huffing and puffing a lot. But I think that's more due to being at 6000' instead of sea level. Toofy Grin

Once I got into some kind of rhythm, it went a lot smoother. And I was able to go on and on for a while without stopping.

Granted, that was on relatively flat'ish stretches. I will have to find out how it goes once the trail got steeper. Shocked

Going again Saturday. Very Happy
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Went out on Saturday as planned, at a touring center near home. First thing noticed was the skating lanes are only half as wide as the one I took my clinic on! That proved challenging. Sad
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Time to get my own skis so I can put in the practice miles! Smile

Sizing of skate skis, how critical is it? And how does one tell if it's the "right" length?

I was given a pair at the clinic based on my weight. That seemed to work reasonably well. Back at home, I have a pair from my ex-boyfriend, which is a good 15cm longer than the one I was given at the clinic. I went out with it just to see how well it works. I noticed I stepped on my tails a few times, though not too frequently. But am I going to develop bad technique if I use a ski that's obviously too long?

Also looking at online sizing chart, depending on the brand, I'm sometimes fit in two lengths. My intuition is to go for a shorter one for learning. But will I be "short"-changing myself once I develop some proficiency?

Last but not least, different manufacturers have their skis with different WIDTH too. Should I go for a wider width? (as it's obvious it'll be a tad more stable)


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sat 4-01-20 4:01; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
First outing today as after the recent heavy snowfall in the valley they quickly pisted the trail and announced it was free for the time being, and after today I can see why Smile

When I saw it at the weekend it had been pisted but a load of pedestrians had trashed it, this is one aspect of ignorant tourists that really really frustrates me, as near to the XC piste is a perfectly adequate piste for walkers.

Weather was always going to be grim at not conducive to ski touring so as the dogs have not had much in the way of long haul exercise thought I'd give them a run.

We'd had around 5cm of snow so the piste was a tad challenging and as twas my first outing I was all over the place, and after a couple of km (slightly uphill) I joined a fresher bashed piste and that was way better, but now had a strong headwind, so was glad for the return leg with the wind behind me.



I'm now aching in my shoulders and my floating ribs that I bust last year, and my HR hit 165 and my av was 153, so just goes to show after 15 ski touring sorties that just when you think you're fit, you come in for a shock Laughing

https://www.strava.com/activities/2921802835

@abc, I'll check the length / sizing out on my skate skis for you tomorrow as they're in the van at the moment.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Weathercam, make you realise why Nordic athletes have some of the highest levels of VO2 Max in sport. You should treat us to some drone footage on your next outing.
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I does annoy me, walkers damaging the tracks. Many years ago we were walking in the woods at Argentière, we found ourselves on the nordic track and not really sure what it was. A skier came passed at speed and shouted at us. We retreated but not before we were shouted at again. It was the world championship we were disrupting!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
For skating the ski length should be your height plus 5cm to 15cm depending on the manufacture and their sizing. I’m 183cm and my skate skis are 190cm (Rossignol, 190cm is the longest they do in that model) whereas my classics are 200cm (Madshus) and 210cm (Atomic).

I don’t think you need to worry about the width. Most manufacturers will split their skis into different categories (race, intermediate and beginner) with different side cuts for the categories.

The side cuts will also very between manufacturers. Fischer and Madshus race skis have a side cut of 41-44-44mm whereas their intermediate skis are 44-40-44mm and my beginner Rossignol Zymax are 40-44-43mm.

One thing I do recommend is to buy the stiffest carbon poles you can afford. My mid range £100 Swix poles flex too much.
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Quote:

My mid range £100 Swix poles flex too much.

I'm about 3 size smaller than you! Less of a problem? Smile (though yes, I think I noticed some flex, but I'm just learning so not sure I pay much attention about the speed just yet)

Quote:

Fischer and Madshus race skis have a side cut of 41-44-44mm whereas their intermediate skis are 44-40-44mm and my beginner Rossignol Zymax are 40-44-43mm.

I noticed that too when browsing online, Rossi skis have a fat middle whilst Fisher have a hourglass waist.

There must be some rational behind this? Do you notice the difference?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
abc wrote:
Quote:

My mid range £100 Swix poles flex too much.

I'm about 3 size smaller than you! Less of a problem? Smile (though yes, I think I noticed some flex, but I'm just learning so not sure I pay much attention about the speed just yet)


It wasn’t a problem in the beginning for me. I have the same make and model poles for classic and skating but as the skating poles are 15cm longer (170cm to 155cm) and are used more to generate speed, I do find the flexing annoying.

I am still improving my technique and will most likely upgrade my poles before my skis.

abc wrote:
Quote:

Fischer and Madshus race skis have a side cut of 41-44-44mm whereas their intermediate skis are 44-40-44mm and my beginner Rossignol Zymax are 40-44-43mm.

I noticed that too when browsing online, Rossi skis have a fat middle whilst Fisher have a hourglass waist.

There must be some rational behind this? Do you notice the difference?


To be honest, I didn’t know they had a side cut and apart from the rounding of the tips, they are straight. I cannot tell the difference of 2mm on each side over 1.90m.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Yesterday was day 6 of my skating escapade. I've been falling over a lot the last 2 times out. Snow was challenging, hard packed, narrow, not very smooth. So instead of "going places", I went "hunting" for smooth, flat stretches to practice... going back and forth on the "good" stretch for a while before I was bored to tears. (not really, but after a while, one itches to see something new).

Then I found it, a 5km of relatively smooth, wide path that's mostly flat, with only occasional segments going slightly up or down. The best part being, at this early days of the season, it actually was deep enough that my pole tip didn't bottom out. I only realized after a bit, going on and on for a good long while is better than having to turn around when the "good" snow ran out. Embarassed

By hour 2, on the return leg, I fell into a rhythmic pattern. Was able to glide smoothly and gone on a while. Even when the trail started to go up a bit more steeply, I just suppressed the inner worry and kept on doing the same movement pattern. And I was on top of the climb without too much problem. So I was quite pleased, and all ready to do it again the next day...

Today is more tricky. Yesterday afternoon, the temperature went above freezing by quite a bit. So the top layer of snow melted and refreeze into ripple of ice! Sad The groomer was able to break up some of those ice, but left many stretches unmodified. Evil or Very Mad Climbing up such solid ice was beyond my ability. So I resorted to herringbone. (no glide) Though I was surprised I could actually got a good bit of progress on the easier climbs when the snow was not entirely frozen over.

When snow condition tricky, I definitely prefer going up slight inclines skating over classic.

My new skating skis came with a binding that can be moved back and forth. On the long stretch of refrozen ice, I stepped out of the binding, moved it forward a notch... much better grip instantly! Once back of normal snow, I step out and moved the binding back to its normal position. There's also another binding on the market, which you don't even have to step out of the binding to move it forward or back! I can see the appeal of it now... Embarassed

Rain is coming in 2 days. I'll do my best to fit in another couple sessions between now and then.
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Day 8 of my skate skiing escapade.

Today’s condition is pretty tricky. Melt-freeze the last few days, couple with holiday skier traffic. The surface looked glazed over in the morning, and slush by noon.

As a brand spanking new skier, I thought that was too much for me to tackle... but then I decided I would play with the binding position and see if I can make a go for an hour or two. They worked amazingly! Though in the afternoon slush, I had to move the binding all the way back! (“-2”) I managed to enjoy the outing!! Smile

Though to be fair, with all the abrasive ice of the last few days, I suspect the skis probably could use another layer of wax now.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Hi there,
I'm a thinking of doing a bit more XC in the next couple of seasons and feel like I should probably get some kit.
Starting off with some classic.
Perhaps people who know could advise:
1. Do wax skis offer any sort of advantage over non-waxed for a twice a year classic skiier?
2. I'm 6ft (183cm) and 75kg, reasonably fit and healthy. What sort of length would be appropriate? If I went a little short or long, what would the implications be in each case?

The reason for the latter is that I'm probably going to try and pick up some gear second hand, so might have to go 5cm long or short depending on what's available.
Thanks,
d
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Wax skis refer to klister wax which gives some grip going forwards. In my experience not really popular with the occasional user and you would be far better with the fishscales design but remember these need to be conventionally waxed. You will see the keen locals waxing at the roadside before every trip with temperature specific wax. I ski regularly through the season and usually have them waxed by the local shop once and use liquid wax to top up occasionaly. One tip is to carry some form of scraper as in sticky snow conditions you can quickly get a build up over the fishscales.

A couple of years ago my wife and I have moved to small skin inserts instead of fishscales. We both prefer these but if you are looking second hand then more likely to pick up old fishscale ones.

I am about the same height / weight and ski on about 2m classics but you will probably get away with +/- 10 cm. The longer you go the faster you will go but slightly more chance of slipping when going uphill and sl more difficult to control / turn if snowploughing down. Shorter the opposite effect and if go too short will be pressing down on fishscales when descending in the tracks.

Be aware that there are at least three types of binding which require specific types of boot fitting. The older boots feel like carpet slippers and will be ok for occasional use. When we upgraded our skis we also updated our boots to a more modern carbon boot and these really do make a huge difference if you get into the sport.

Dont rule out buying new as the cost is much lower than downhill equipment. In France try somewhere like Decathlon.

Really worth having a few lessons. Relatively easy to plod in a walking way but very difficult to master the glide. As my ESF instructor used to shout it is " un sport de glisse " a sliding sport.

If you are anywhere near the pds probably have a pair in the garage you can borrow
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
pendodave wrote:
Hi there,

1. Do wax skis offer any sort of advantage over non-waxed for a twice a year classic skiier?
2. I'm 6ft (183cm) and 75kg, reasonably fit and healthy. What sort of length would be appropriate? If I went a little short or long, what would the implications be in each case?


d


1, Probably not for that much use.

2, Forget height go on your weight. XC skis are a bow with your weight on one side and the snow on the other, you need to balance the resistance to your weight against having contact with the snow when you want it. When you stand on both skis with your weight evenly balanced the ski base under your feet shouldn't quite touch the snow. If you then stand on one foot the base under that foot should just contact the snow. If the ski isn't stiff enough for your weight the base under your foot will always be in contact with the snow, this will wear away the fishscales or wax and cause drag, which you don't want. If it is to stiff as you put your weight on that ski and kick (push down and back) the scales or wax won't contact the snow and you won't get anything to push against. Your skis will just slid backwards and you won't go anywhere.

Length isn't always an indication of how stiff a ski is, different makes of skis and even different models from the same manufacturers can have very different flex patterns. Your best guide is the manufactures weight recommendations.

Even wax-less skis need glide wax on tips and tails.

If buying secondhand you can always do the paper test.

Put the skis on a hard floor (not on a carpet).
Put a sheet of A4 paper under the binding area.
Stand on both skis evenly balanced.
Have a friend pull the paper out, it should come out easily.
Repeat the test but this time just stand on one leg.
The paper should be trapped by the skis.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Twice a year?

Probably cheaper to hire than buy.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Thu 2-01-20 3:47; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've fallen so many times I decided I'd get one of these: Embarassed
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks for the info.

Certainly some food for thought.

One of the advantages of buying over hiring (And when it comes to downhill, I've always hired), is the flexibility it gives.
A few years ago I borrowed some kit and did a few days along the GTJ in the Jura. There's a number of A-B cross country trips which I fancy, and hiring is not really an option in this scenario.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

As my ESF instructor used to shout it is " un sport de glisse " a sliding sport.

Exactly the same here ! Sounds like you @pateman99.

Sounds as if you're making v good progress, @abc. The bum protection looks good, too. It always amuses me when somebody saus "my wife is a timid skier and afraid of falling, but she might try cross-country".
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
pam w wrote:

Sounds as if you're making v good progress, @abc.

pam w, I'm quite properly "entertained" by my own learning process. It's just amazing to learn new things. In this case, a physical activity that requires a fair bit of coordination and lots of lung capacity. Oh yea, my quads got worked too. Whilst my arms also got worked from repeatedly pushing myself back up after fallen. Embarassed

The sensation of GLIDE is incredible!

With skating, one gets to gliiiideeeee for a long long while with each step! It's a bit like classic striding on a slight downgrade. It felt effortless and you sail a long way each step. Only in skate skiing, that's EVERY STEP that's not a steep uphill.

I can honestly say I even ENJOY going up shallow grades! I can easily eat up the distance skating along casually! Well, until I got winded and had to stop, or when the grade got too steep for me to casually cruise up. Embarassed Still haven't quite figured out how to climb steep hills yet. Sad

Today is my 9th day out (if I counted properly). I went over the 10k mark for the 1st time. And only fallen perhaps 1/2 dozen times? I'm starting to get good at the "balancing act" even when the snow surface were not exactly ideally flat. (today's route, there's a very small "snow ridge" in the middle of the skating lane, left by the machine packing half the lane width and back the other half. I didn't noticed it first, and had several near falls (and perhaps 1 or 2 actual falls) when I put my skis down on exactly that small "ridge". Once I realized the ridge was there the whole way, I adapted my path and avoided crossing it each and every step. That went a lot smoother.

5k out and 5k back in, made a nice round number of 10k. I was feeling well enough I decided to do a couple extra loops in the "practice field" at the end. snowHead

Quote:
The bum protection looks good, too.

I fell once or twice backward ON TO the tail of my skis (which is much harder than snow). That really, really hurts. So much so I worried about damage to the nerves if I keep falling often at that spot. That was the motivation for getting the bum protection.

Majority of the falls were to the side and landed on my thigh or hip. (Enough of it that after a few days of skiing, the side of my thigh was tender and even showing a slightly blue'ish tint, though thankfully it disappeared after a few days' rest). As I'm not young any more and my bones are not as robust as say, 10-15 years ago due to passing that magical age for women, I welcome the extra protection the protective short provides. Incidentally, that is just a snowboarding short. We have the boarders to thank for popularizing helmet on the slopes. Now the impact shorts too snowHead

Quote:
It always amuses me when somebody saus "my wife is a timid skier and afraid of falling, but she might try cross-country".

Very Happy LaughingLaughingLaughing Very Happy


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sat 4-01-20 4:06; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I started with classic, before skating was even a glint in Bill Koch's eye. It's not 100 percent intuitive to glide well, so one or two lessons is well worth the investment. I found skating rather hard to learn, and at first even 30 minutes just wiped me out, whereas you can go for an hour or even more just starting out, with classic. Guess what I'd do is rent classic skis for a week, take a lesson then work on glide and descents (step turns etc). Then move on to skating...
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I found with classic, one can "cheat" by walking for 10-15 second just to recover. There's no such cheating opportunity for skating. You're either skating, or you're stopping.
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

I fell once or twice backward ON TO the tail of my skis (which is much harder than snow).

I did that on one of my early classic lessons - and as I'd been also learning to snowboard and already had sore coccyx, it was extremely painful - I fell onto the edge of the ski (impossible to do on alpine skis if you stay in your bindings). I found snowboarding easier to learn, by some distance, than classic cross-country. Socking great metal edge to slow you down!! But it is much easier to stand up again after a fall on XC skis (or on a snowboard) than on alpine skis!
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Dogs are forbidden on the (fabulous) XC area in Saisies. No walkers, no raquettes either.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
My second go on my skate skis today. i probably did everything wrong, no lessons, went straight to skate etc but really enjoying it. I figured with a background in ice hockey and able to ski a bit (more of a snowboarder) i could skate just fine, well not quite. I hadnt figured the balance in a fore/aft way would be so different to downhill so did go off the back of the skis a few times on the first attempt.

The other slight problem is that my local route near Vaujany is a quite challenging red route with lots of steep terrain. The raquettes guide that i stacked it in front of clearly thought i was an idiot trying to learn here but its really beautiful, and for me easily accessible so ill just get on with it.

Im learning a lot just watching those that know what they are doing and reading things on here. i think it was abc above that talked about it being a sliding sport and that has been in my mind so much while going up hill, and really trying to glide, glide, glide.

Second lap of the lakes today and i didnt crash, a little bit "giraffe on rollerskates" at times but starting to feel it. A few extended moments in V2 ( i thing thats the right term) mode felt great.

thanks for all the tips, really usefull!

oh, and there was a section where i was trying to get down to a supposedly easier blue loop (near the dmc in alp d huez) and there was a terrifying set of steep hairpin bends to get down to it. I wasnt sure if this was even doable on cx skis when a fella launched down it with a mix of skating, stepping and skidding at an astonishing speed, one of the most amazing things ive ever seen and certainly faster than i could have done on downhill skis. After seeing that i did get down it, didnt crash but was a lifetime behind that fella.

Anyway, it suits to do an early morning lap of the tricky lakes before the rest of the family want to head out skiing or boarding so ill continue jumping in at the deep end!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Duck, well done!

With a hockey background, that's a big help. For most skier who don't actually ice skate, the lateral balance is the biggest learning curve. Ice skaters have a huge advantage there. (just today in a shop, I took a curious look at some ice skates, and realized the skate is only a few mm wide! Shocked How do we skiers moan about the difficulty of having to balance on a "narrow" xc ski of 40mm wide! snowHead )

Funny thing about downhill. It's a bit counterintuitive. You do want to "launch yourself" down the hill, aka weight forward to get the best control. (although today I had my first "header", flying head first when my right ski got buried in a groove of soft snow! Embarassed Fortunately, it's just soft snow that I landed on, slide a good while forward before coming to a stop. Well, it's a glide sport alright rolling eyes )

P.S.
On that "Giraffe on roller skate" feeling, I suggest you try skating without poles for a bit. You're then just a two-legged giraffe instead of all 4s. Toofy Grin


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Sat 4-01-20 0:21; edited 4 times in total
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
pam w wrote:

I found snowboarding easier to learn, by some distance, than classic cross-country. Socking great metal edge to slow you down!!

I don't have too much difficulty going downhill on them edgeless cross country skis (except today perhaps, see above).

I think the trick is not to let the speed get out of control. Keep the speed in check at the top of the hill and all the way, come down on a constant speed that one feel is able to control. Once the speed got beyond the skier's control capability, it's a lost battle. It's much harder to slow down once it's gone too fast.

Another unexpected benefit of skating is my step turn got a big boost now that I'm more comfortable stepping side to side in rapid rate. I did a few of those skating stepping turns today, albeit on much milder grade. It just felt "right" to come to the edge of the lane, ready to skate to the middle of the lane in the direction of the turn, and a quick couple of skate steps, I would be travelling in the new direction. Rinse and repeat on the next curve. All the while keeping speed in check using snowplow when necessary.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Yesterday wasn’t my best day.

I was tired from the previous day’s effort. And it was rather warm (36F), so the snow was rather soft — doesn’t glide as easily. Further, I kept getting my poles stuck in the soft snow. Sad

(And I had a “header” crash on a descend)

But each day, one or two little thing “clicked”. The previous day, I felt I finally got the hang of complete weight transfer from side to side (instead of just a partial transfer — a waddle). I was able to do it with reasonable consistency. Improved from “occasionally” to “often”, albeit not quite “always” yet.

Yesterday I managed to land on the outside edge of my gliding ski, some of the time. Then roll it gradually to the inside edge and... push off! It was such an elation! It felt so natural when it worked. Need to make that happen more consistently.

I have the good fortune that I have access to some good learning terrain: flat, wide lanes, with ok snow cover which the grooming crew made magic out of.
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