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What is Cross Counrty skiing?
Modern cross-country skiing, still referred to as 'Nordic' skiing, is similar to the original form of skiing which evolved to use your own locomotion, rather than lifts or other mechanical assistance to move across snowy terrain.
Classic,Skate or hok skiing?
The different forms of cross country skiing utilize different gear and motion based on the experience you want to have moving across snow. Using Classic technique and gear, the skier propels themselves forward with a striding motion. The skis have 'skins' or scales that grip the snow to prevent the skier from sliding backward. While forms of classic gear may be used to ski 'off piste', most commonly both classic and skate skiers travel on groomed ski trails. Skate technique uses a side-to-side motion. Skate skis are more narrow than classic skis and do not have any scales or skins. HOK skis are a wide ski that has a permanent climbing skin covering about half of its length. These skis are designed as an easy to use ski for the backcountry that allow the skier to both climb and slide on top of the snow. These skis are used 'off-piste' and require ample snow coverage.
I'm a beginner. where do I start?
While most anyone will be able to move across the snow on either classic, skate or HOK skis, we recommend starting with classic gear. The groomed trail system provides a 2-track groove for classic skis that will provide stability. We always recommend starting with classic technique, but different gear provides a different experience and may be better suited to the current snow and weather conditions. Once you've rented a ski package, if you want to try something else you can swap gear for a $5 change fee.
Do I need a lesson before I ski?
No, you do not need a lesson to try to cross country ski. As noted, classic skiing is a good place to start if you have never cross country skied before. We will make sure you have the right gear for your ability and the experience you want to have and make sure you know how to get started. Once you are on the trail, you can ambulate in a regular striding motion and you are on your way! Skate skiing is a little trickier to balance (because you don't have a grooved track stabilizing your ski), but you can move using a side to side motion similar to ice skating. Here's the trick though! and why lessons are super helpful - instead of using the skis to push off the snow, cross country technique involves using the transfer of your own weight to create propulsion. A ski instructor can breakdown the technique and teach you how to use your gear more efficiently.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BOOKING A LESSON
All lessons are private, meaning, you chose whether you want to have a one-on-one lesson with an instructor or you decide who the people are in your group. Multiple people (children and adults) may share a lesson, but all students need to be learning the same technique. It is helpful if students in the same group have a similar skill level (beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate or advanced). We recommend that beginners start with either a half hour or 1 hour lesson. A 1 hour lesson gives you time to work on drills with your instructor and practice. The 2 hour 'Tour & Learn' is better suited to skiers that already have a solid skill foundation. Many people take a lesson, spend time practicing on their own, then come back for another lesson as a tune-up, advance their technique or work on something specific like skiing hills. A 4 lesson punchcard is a great gift for someone that wants to improve their skiing!
Wax will keep dirt out of the base, prevent the base from drying out and will keep your skis gliding fast. The wax should be matched for current temperature and snow conditions.
Short Answer: "It depends". The more you ski, the more abrasive the snow, the sooner you need a wax. The ski will start to look dry and feel "sticky" when you try to glide.
MYTH: "no wax" skis don't need wax
FALSE: The tip and tail glide zone of a fish scale or no wax ski must be waxed just like a downhill or skate ski.
Skis should "summer waxed", waxed at the end of the season to provide a protective barrier against dings, dirt and drying during storage.
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