Cross Country and Nordic Skiing

 By: Barney Garcia
Cross-country, or Nordic skiing, originated in ancient Scandinavia, where the Norse people adapted to their wintry homeland by using skis to travel, hunt, and defend themselves from invaders. The earliest record of a skier dates back to 2000 B.C. Skiing was an efficient mode of transportation in Arctic or mountainous region of Europe and North America. Today, cross-country skiing has evolved into a form of recreation enjoyed by all ages.

The are three styles of cross-country skiing which includes classical, ski-skating and Nordic downhill. Traditional classical skiing involves the diagonal stride, double poling, kicks with double pole, the uphill diagonal stride and the herringbone. Classical skis must be waxed before each use, the type of wax depending on the temperature and the snow conditions.

Free-style or ski-skating is a relatively new sport. Some of the maneuvers used in ski-skating include marathon skate, no-pole skating, diagonal V skate, the V 1, the V2, and the V2 Alternate. Ski-skating is designed to be done on a groomed track where skiers will glide across the hard packed snow. Loose, deep snow will cause even the most advanced skier to fatigue sooner rather than later. Ski-skating, in my opinion, is the most fun kind of skiing there is. It's fast and it's one of the best cardiovascular workouts around. These skis do not need to be waxed very often, which is an added bonus if you find waxing a tedious job. Most people will find ski-skating to be relatively easy, though, in the beginning their technique will not be very pretty to watch. Most people have poor poling technique in the beginning and tire easily. Sometimes, a lesson or two will go a long way to help your skating but it gets easier with each time out, even without a lesson.

A new hybrid sport known as Nordic downhill has emerged in the last few years. This sport combines Nordic and Alpine ski moves and mixed the best of both worlds. Metal-edged skis that are lighter than Alpine skis but offer more control than Nordic are used. A heavier boot and a tougher Nordic binding leaves the heels of the skier free to execute telemark turns on the same terrain as Alpine skiers. Steep and thrilling descents and back-country exploration is the province of these skiers. This sport blends moves such as the wedge, the wedge turn,, the wedge Christie, the parallel turn, the telemark turn and the skate turn.

So, as you can see, there is lots of choice is choosing which type of skiing to do or if you want, why not try all three?
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