Cross-country skiing for beginners

November 3, 2015

If you've wanted to feel the crisp cold air over your face on a sunny day as you glide along over the snow, what are you waiting for? Besides winter?

Cross-country skiing for beginners

1. Choose the right gear

  • Everything begins with the right gear! It's important to make sure your gear fits snugly and that it all meets regulations.
  • As a general rule for beginners, stay away from waxed skis. As you get used to skiing you can graduate to waxed ones, but in the beginning, choose a waxless touring ski that's about 55 millimetres in width. Waxless skis provide better grip. As you learn to balance and navigate different types of terrain, you'll be able to wear waxed skis, which provide better glide.
  • Next, purchase a plastic pair of boots with a steel toe and what's described as an 'open back'.These are easiest to navigate in for beginners. Your ski poles can be fibreglass or metal; it's really about your comfort zone with these.

2. Practise your moves

  • If you haven't practised with a seasoned ski-trainer, now is the time. Watching an online video or playing a ski game on active video game console is a good start, but there's no substitute for a real ski instructor.
  • The instructor will teach you important moves such as the kick-and-glide and important techniques like one leg stands and a proper stance.

3. Limber up

  • You will need to be limber if you want to be a great skier. Having pliable muscles minimizes the risk of muscle injuries and helps you to have fluid movement on the slopes. Yoga and daily stretches can definitely help.
  • In addition, skiing requires a strong core, legs and arms. Ski machines, weight lifting and running are all great ways to build these muscles.

4. Practise on a real slope

  • Sure a video game can 'feel' like the real thing, but reality is, it isn't. There's no substitute for skiing on an actual cross-country terrain in your full gear.
  • All of this time you might have been practising without your actual equipment on, which will give you a totally different experience than practising with extra weight on you while remaining balanced on snow and ice.
  • Depending on your location, you may be near a practice slope or at least driving distance from one.
  • What's even more fun is a simulated slope. These are virtual slopes or slopes made of artificial snow and ice. You will have a chance to wear your gear and practise your moves. As mentioned, there really isn't a substitute for a real track, but this is as close to real as you'll get.
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