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Nordic Ski Tech Tips

Nordic skiing is an incredible fitness workout. One of the best things about it is that you can hit the track on your lunch break, get a great workout and a beautiful outing, then get on with the rest of your day.

Andrea Putt | Park City, UT | Photo: Sam Rice

Just in case there’s any confusion, Nordic, cross-country, and XC skiing are all the same thing. No matter what you call it or whether you prefer classic or skate style, this sport is also very technical, so here are some technique tips to help you get the most fun and performance out of your time on the snow:

Nordic Tech Tip #1

If you’re new to Nordic skiing, start with a lesson or two. Your technique is just as important as your fitness level. Flailing around the track will only make you super frustrated.

Nordic Tech Tip #2

New Nordic skiers may not need pro quality skis, but making sure your skis are the right flex and length for your body weight and ability will make your technique more efficient.

Nordic Tech Tip #3

Boots are the single most important piece of Nordic gear. The interface between your foot, boot, and ski sets the tone for your technique. Good quality, professionally fitted boots are worth splurging on.

Nordic Tech Tip #4

Understand the basics of ski prep. As a casual skier, you don’t need to wax your skis every time, but knowing which wax benefits which snow condition will make your gliding more efficient and will prevent your skis from dragging.

Nordic Tech Tip #5

Don’t dress for Nordic skiing as you would for alpine skiing. Alpine clothes are too bulky and you will sweat like crazy.

Nordic Tech Tip #6

For more experienced skiers, try a lap with no poles, pushing off alternate legs to develop balance and build muscle control for training.

Nordic Tech Tip #7

Just like shifting gears on a bike, adjust your cadence on climbs, flats and downhills. On hills, a quick turnover is most efficient, whereas on long flats or gradual descents, long slow revolutions make the best tempo.

Nordic Tech Tip #8

Rotate between V1, V2, and V2 Alternate. Make sure that you switch up each of these techniques…on both legs. A lot of people only get comfortable leading with one leg. Ultimately, you want to feel balanced on both sides.