XC Skiing Explained (Part 1): Introduction to Classic Cross-Country Skis

Copyright © 2017 Jared Manninen
Skis were created, as you might expect, to be a mode of transportation system over white terrain. For exemplar, people used them to travel from one place to another and to chase down wilderness plot during the winter. so, skis were ( and still are ! ) designed to provide the fastest and most effective means of travel across snow .
now, this article is about cross-country ski. however, I have to admit that declivitous skiing, having been around since the 1800s, is arguably a more popular imprint of ski. That said, cross-country skis are the original ski … like thousands of years old original .

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contemporary cross-country skis are obviously superior to their millennia-old predecessors. And, skiing as a mean of survival has taken a back seat to skiing for use and sport. But the campaign for efficient and effective travel over coke remains. This is specially true for locations that experience snow-clad months for half or more of the year .
I mean, you have to have some goodly activeness to keep you sane during the winter !

People frequently equate cross-country skiing with the trope of a sole skier effortlessly gliding across an open hayfield or an undulate landscape .
distinctly, there are countless other scenarios and environments in which to use cross-country ski. But they closely constantly involve ski or gliding across variable star terrain. Hence, the term “ cross-country ” skiing. I realize this impression is credibly not apocalyptic. however, I just wanted to clarify that it would be a stretch to equate ninety skiing with standing in a lift occupation and riding a chairlift up a batch. then, after bombing down a exorbitant descent, doing it all over again .
There ’ s no interview that xc skiing and alpine skiing shank from the same origin and share some basic characteristics. But they ’ re decidedly not the same .

Breaking trail in Washoe Meadows State Park on January 25, 2017. © Jared Manninen

To Cross-Country Ski is to Overcome Friction & Gravity

friction is the naturally occurring force that prevents two surfaces ( or layers in liaison with each ) other from moving. consequently, the goal behind the design of any type of ski is to reduce friction when gliding.
The ski besides need a mechanism for stopping and turning. And, in the case of cross-country skiing, they need to be able to move ahead on categoric country and up hills. But, when it comes depressed to it, clash is the independent factor that all skis ( and skiers ) must overcome .
additionally, the violence of gravity works against a cross-country skier in their quest to glide over diverse terrain. Just consider the feat required to overcome friction while using gravity to ski downhill. And then think about how much campaign it would take an ninety skier to glide across flat or uphill terrain. That takes some oeuvre, let me tell you !

Believe it or not, though, you can glide uphill with proper technique and capital condition. This is one reason why I love ninety skiing so a lot !
So the design of a classic cross-country ski not entirely allows for downhill locomotion but, more importantly, across the flats and up hills .
This is in direct contrast to alpine ski, which are designed primarily for descending steep hills .

Copyright © 2017 Jared ManninenPixie skiing on Salomon Aero 9 Skin classic skis on January 16, 2017. © Jared Manninen

Marriage Between Technique & Technology

To understand how to maximize the capabilities of classic cross-country ski, you need to understand how a classical ski is designed to work .
The reason for this international relations and security network ’ metric ton just so you can become a boyfriend Nordic swot. rather, it ’ second because the three main phases of classic xc skiing (aka Diagonal Striding) are directly related to the design of the ski. The three principles include pushing off, transferring your burden from one ski to the other, and then gliding .

I don ’ thyroxine know if technique evolved based on the design of the ski. Or, whether or not ski evolved as a result of the application of proficiency. however, I suspect that the evolution was symbiotic in that proficiency and design evenly fueled each early ’ randomness progress over time .
But whether or not the wimp came before the egg is irrelevant. cross-country skiing ski and techniques are inseparable .
So, you need to understand how a ski is designed in order to effectively apply technique.
And, if you never learn proper proficiency you ’ ll never be able to have the most fun during your cross-country ski have .
Long story short, by understanding all of this stuff you won’t get winded so quickly! And, that’ll enable you to travel further safely and with greater ease!

Classic skiing at Tahoe Donner Cross Country ski area on February 17, 2017. © Jared Manninen

Anatomy of a Classic Cross-Country Ski (in a nutshell):

The design of authoritative ski and the application of proper technique allow you to achieve efficient change of location across variable star terrain. In order to accomplish this, classic ninety ski feature three invention elements related to proficiency. These are their geometry, grip zone, and bindings .
In addition to reducing clash when glide, those three things support push-off and system of weights transfer. And, both of those skills enable you to move forward .

  1. Geometry
    1. Width – Classic skis are “skinny” and straight. And they range in width between 40-50mm.
    2. Length – The length of a classic ski is based on your weight and will generally fall between 160-210cm long.
    3. Weight – Classic skis are lightweight, generally weighing between 1.5-3.5lbs.
    4. These geometrical aspects reduce friction when gliding and help you combat the force of gravity.
  2. Grip zone
    1. Grip Zone (aka kick zone) – The area underfoot on the base of the ski. This spot features either a wax pocket, scale pattern, some form of skin technology, or another textured surface that helps you to push off.
    2. Double (aka Nordic) Camber – An upward bend in the ski that keeps the grip zone from dragging on the snow while gliding. The camber also provides a little spring during push-off.
  3. Bindings
    1. Free Heel – Classic ski bindings allow your foot to flex naturally (like you were walking or running) which contributes to the efficiency of all three phases of classic skiing.
    2. The most prevalent type of bindings are the New Nordic Norm (NNN) or NNN compatible (such as Salomon’s Prolink). There are many other variations of bindings on the market such a 3-pin style, NNN BC (Backcountry), and Salomon’s older bindings (Profil, Propulse, Pilot).

In future articles I ’ ll discus in more detail the purpose components of authoritative ski, arsenic well as the relationship between skis and proficiency. For nowadays, though, good know that classic skis are designed to work in concert with classic proficiency, and frailty versa .

Cross-Country Skiing Explained Articles and Videos

Please note that I wrote and produced the Cross-Country Skiing Explained series of articles and videos with the founder and average cross-country skier in beware. This is the demographic for whom I most frequently serve ( vitamin d ) while working in the outdoor diversion industry at Lake Tahoe. I basically treat these articles and videos as extensions of the conversations that I have ( had ) with those customers .
That said, expert skiers credibly could take away something of value from these resources. precisely know that I don ’ thymine address race-oriented doctrine, proficiency, or gear choice .

Considerations for buying cross-country ski gear (new and beginner xc skiers)

Classic Cross-Country Ski Components

Waxing Your “Waxless” Cross-Country Skis (for beginner and intermediate xc skiers)

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