Cross-country Skiing is the most accessible Skiing Discipline. It is commonly seen as less extreme and taxing as Alpine Skiing or other Skiing Disciplines. Cross-country Skiing is less of an extreme sport than it is a relaxing activity in the weekends. However, you can likewise push the boundaries. The learning curve is much shorter than in other Skiing Disciplines with most people becoming pretty comfortable with the technique within hours. All these things make Cross-country Skiing a very friendly winter sport for the whole family.

It is believed that Cross-country Skiing has been around for more than 5000 years. It originated from Norway and then it finally reached other countries such as Russia and Scandinavia. In fact, the Scandinavian infantry was trained on Skis in preparation for the winter operations.

In 1879, the first Huseby races were organized and in 1892, Holmenkollen was held. By the year 1900, Holmenkollen introduced a separate 30 km Cross-country race.

Different materials were used in making Cross-country equipment during the early times. For instance, Skis were usually made of hickory and twisted wood-based thread was used as Ski Bindings. As for the Ski Poles, they attached leather hand straps on bamboo sticks. Lastly, strong leather boots with thick soles were used.

In this section, we will look at the essentials in Cross-country Skiing:

Cross-country Skiing – Techniques Techniques
Know and learn how to execute the primary Techniques such as the Classical Technique, the Skating Technique and the Telemark Technique in Cross-country Skiing. Each Technique is executed in a different manner. Find out more about them in this section.

Cross-country Skiing – Disciplines Disciplines
There are numerous competitive events in Cross-country Skiing. The general Disciplines include Mass Start, Interval Start, Relay, Sprint Event and Sprint Event for Teams, and Pursuit Event. Know the features of each competition.

Cross-country Skiing – Equipment Equipment
Cross-country Skiing entails Equipment with features suitable to the nature of the sport. You can find out about equipments such as skis, ski boots, ski bindings, ski poles, and of course, the suit in this section. Read more about the guidelines for each equipment.

Cross-country Skiing is what you can do if you want more peaceful and cost-effective mode of exploring backcountry wilderness. You will be able to learn different Skiing Techniques. Just take note that this Skiing Discipline entails Skiing equipment designed with features and characteristics suitable to the nature of the sport.

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Cross-country Skiing – Techniques
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Cross- country Skiing – Techniques In Cross-country Skiing, there are at least three primary techniques or moves- Classical, Skating, and Telemark Technique. Each Technique is executed in a different manner. Learn how to execute these moves by following these guidelines:

Classical Technique
This is the conventional technique in Ski racing. This is based on the diagonal stride which was later termed as the workhorse of this Skiing Discipline. Participants carry out a diagonal stride wherein their Skis remain parallel to each other. To execute the Classical Technique, glide one of your Skis forward. Plant the Ski Pole in the Snow Ski Surface using your arm on the same side. After this, pull on the Ski Pole to pick up pace. Then pull out the Ski Pole and do these steps again on the other side of the body.

Each Cross-country Skiing Technique calls for a specific kind of equipment. In the Classical Technique, Skis that are long, thin, lightweight, with a fish-scale underside or ski wax, are used. However, you need wider Skis when you are moving away from prepared pistes.

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Skating Technique
This Cross-country Technique is similar to the technique in ice skating. In general, this move is about 10% faster than the Classical Technique if the skier maintains his momentum in kicking and gliding. To perform the Skating Technique, just push outward with the Ski in such a way that you drive the inner edge of the Ski against the Snow. Just bear in mind that you can do the Skating Technique only on surfaces with firm and smooth Snow. This is likewise appropriate on prepared pistes.

You can surely enjoy the Skating Technique if you will use shorter Skis, longer Ski Poles, and Ski Boots which give you better support on the ankles.

Telemark Technique
This is actually one of the various Skiing Disciplines. But in this case, this technique is used to go downhill and executed in off-piste Cross-country Skiing. Cross-country Skiing is a sport which focuses on groomed slopes, trackset, and trails in different challenging levels. In essence, it is important to learn the different Cross-country Techniques or moves so you can definitely enjoy what Cross-country Skiing can offer.

Cross-country Skiing – Disciplines in Cross- country Skiing
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Cross- country Skiing – Disciplines There are numerous competitive events in Cross-country Skiing alone. The general Disciplines include Mass Start, Interval Start, Relay, Sprint Event and Sprint Event for Teams, and Pursuit Event. In this section, we will look at the different Cross-country Skiing Disciplines:

Mass Start
As the name suggests, all participants are lined up in rows and begin at the same time. Sensibly enough, the first participant who reaches the finish mark wins the event.

Interval Start
Unlike in the Mass Start event wherein the competitors start the race simultaneously, the participants start in 15-second or 30-second intervals in the Interval Start.

Relay
This event involves a Mass Start, and each team or group is composed of four participants. Each member of a team skis one portion of the race until he/she reaches and tags off to his/her teammate.

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Sprint
The individual time trials with a 15-second Interval Start on the sprint course mark the start of the event. It involves elimination, quarter-final, semi-final, and final rounds. Sixteen participants who finish the race the fastest proceed to the elimination round. Then the two fastest racers in the quarter-finals move on to the semi-final round. In the final round, the four winners in the semi-final round compete in a single heat.

Team Sprint
Each team or group in the Team Sprint Event is composed of only two members. These two participants must pass the relay three times to each other as fast as they can. In 10 or more teams in the semi-final round, the top five advance to the finals.

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Pursuit
This event also makes use of the Mass Start, and the competitors execute two techniques – the Classical Technique and the Free Technique. As mentioned before, the Classical Technique requires Skis with kick wax in order to allow the skier to make a diagonal style along parallel trails and to provide friction upon contact with the Snow. On the other hand, the Skating or Free Technique entails Skis with glide wax which allows the participant to make forward maneuvers using the edges of the Skis. When the competitors finish the first half of the race through the Classical Technique, they will change their Skiing equipment and use the Free Technique to complete the whole race.

Cross-country Skiing offers a wide range of competitions and events. Each of them has its own set of rules to follow and tactics that the contestants should be able to execute. In the event that you want to compete in these events, make sure that you can perform the tricks and techniques needed for an event.

Cross-country Skiing – Equipment
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Cross-country Skiing – Equipment What you need in Cross-country Skiing is actually the smaller version of the equipment you would use in Alpine Skiing. The basic equipment and clothing needed in Cross-country Skiing has its own features and characteristics suitable to the nature of the sport. Here are some guidelines in the fundamental Cross-country Skiing equipment:

Skis
Cross-country Skis should have the features that will offer a smooth surface as the skier glides on the Snow Ski Surface and at the same time, prevent the skier to deeply sink into the Snow.

Specifically, Skis are relatively longer, slimmer, and more lightweight than those used in Alpine Skiing. In Cross-country Skiing, glide zones refer to the tips and tails of the Skis and are designed to give very little resistance when the skier is making forward moves. On the other hand, kick zones refer to the central portion of the Skis. They have some kind of pattern on the base which allows them to take hold of the Snow when weight is pressed on the kick zones, particularly during the stepping motions.

Ski Boots
Since it is very essential for your ankles to bend and stretch while skiing, you need Ski Boots which allow the ankles to move easily and freely. Ski Boots must be both flexible and soft so that it allows the skier to bend forward and up on the toes regardless of the fact that the Ski Bindings securely fastens the toes of the Ski Boots.

Ski Boots used in Cross-country Skiing must be made of a good material. For instance, vinyl is a good choice for the soles of the Ski Boots. Similarly, leather is an excellent material in making Ski boots, particularly the upper Boot.

The kind of Ski Boots required in the Free Technique must be more firm and possess more ankle support than those Ski Boots used in the Classical Technique.

Ski Bindings
It is important that your Ski Bindings are compatible to your Ski Boots. This combination features a free-heel system wherein the heel can lift from the Ski surface when situations call for it.

It would be better if your Ski Bindings have heel plates. This feature prevents sidelong movements by providing a gripping surface when the skier goes down the slope and around corners.

As mentioned in previous sections, Ski Bindings are the most important Skiing equipment as far as safety is concerned. Thus, you should know how they work and make sure that they are correctly and properly fastened and fitted to your Skis and Ski Boots.

Ski Poles
Generally, if the Ski Pole comes under your armpit, that Ski Pole has the appropriate size for you. But in Cross-country Skiing, you may need Ski Poles with a different length. In the Classical Technique, your Ski Poles should reach your armpit if you are in a standing position. As for the Free Technique, you need longer and stiffer Ski Poles.

Suit
In Cross-country Skiing, wear a suit with stretch fabric. Moreover, since Ski Outfit are becoming more and more fashionable these days, do not bother to wear thick socks and/or woollies. These are the basic gear needed when you want to Cross-country ski. Make sure that you have all the necessary equipment designed for the sport so that you will be able to fully enjoy Cross-country Skiing.

Related Skiing Shop Items & Product Categories

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