Choose between classic and skate skiing
Classic skiing is the traditional cross-country skiing technique that most people think of when they envision Nordic skiing. Each ski is pushed forward from the other stationary ski in a striding and gliding motion, alternating foot to foot.
The “kick and glide” or “diagonal stride” in parallel grooves of groomed tracks can be relatively easy to pick up and offers beginners a gentle learning curve into the sport of Cross Country Skiing.
This style of skiing requires less physical excursion than skate and is often a wiser choice when skiing in poor weather conditions or skiing over longer distances. It is also the most usual technique where no tracks have been prepared.
Skate skiing or “Free Technique” is a relative newcomer to the discipline of Nordic skiing. Skate skiing involves a pronounced pole plant and an angled skating motion resembling that used in ice skating. This style of skiing is faster and a bit more technical than classic skiing and is often used by cyclists, runners and other aerobic athletes as a winter training alternative.
In Skate skiing, participants ski on a firm, corduroy-like groomed surface without the grooves used for classic skiing. Skate skiing is most easily enjoyed in bluebird conditions with little snowfall to cover recent grooming. It is not recommended in heavy snowfall conditions or over longer distances unless the skier is well versed in these experiences.