Are you a new or returning skate skier looking for tips and inspiration before hitting the trails? Mastering skate skiing means learning a collection of techniques – Free skate as the foundation, one skate for acceleration, two skate for cruising, offset for moderate hills, and diagonal skate to conserve energy on longer, tougher hills. If you are a visual learner (and many of us are) you can get a lot out of viewing online technique demonstrations while hearing about the principles of propulsion.
Trakkers Ski School Coordinator Steve Favell recommends the instructional videos provided by CANSI (The Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors) that feature Keith Nichol, a Level 4 CANSI instructor. Keith’s videos feature some of the drills used by Trakkers ski instructors during ski lessons. Here are some of Keith’s most popular skate videos:
For one video that covers a whole range of skate techniques in a little over 8 minutes, check out the video by Saul Goldman, founder of Velotique, a ski and bike store on Queen Street East.
Remember that good skate technique relies on power from the legs, so any dryland leg strengthening workout will help you prepare. When you arrive at a ski destination, you’ll be glad you put some effort into getting ready.
Let it snow!
Will you be ready to ski well when the snow arrives? Reviewing some basic how-tos can remind you of what it takes to get good propulsion on the trails.
We asked Trakkers Ski School Coordinator Steve Favell to suggest a video for us to watch to brush up on classic or diagonal stride ski technique. Steve’s pick is one provided by CANSI (The Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors) that features Keith Nichol, a Level 4 CANSI instructor. This video includes some of the technique improvement drills used by Trakkers ski instructors during ski lessons.
Also popular with Trakkers members are the tips given by well-known skier Saul Goldman, founder of Velotique, a ski and bike store on Queen Street East. Check out the first 4 minutes or so if this video, filmed at Hardwood Ski and Bike, one of the club’s destinations. Here, Saul carefully explains the dynamics of the diagonal stride technique.
And here’s a very thorough video with quotes from some of Canada’s best skiers. It includes good tips on climbing hills at the end.
Stay tuned for more skiing tips!
Trakkers Sunday bus trips offer a relaxing way to get to some of Southern Ontario’s best cross country ski and snowshoe destinations. Passengers take what they think they will need for the day onto the bus in a sports bag or backpack. We asked a few long-time members for their tips on what to bring for an enjoyable day trip.
Steve’s suggestion is to take different pairs of flexible wind-proof gloves (light ones for mild parts of the day and vigorous activity and a warmer pair for when the cold winds blow). Barb agrees and recommends the same with hats – a warm one for frigid temperatures and a lighter one for high energy skiing in moderate weather. Karen reminds us to bring sunglasses for those brilliant, cloudless days along with sun screen and lip balm.
Energy or granola bars can be brought along on the trails in case you need them. Bring your lunch or you can buy it at most of our destinations. A slim money pouch or thin wallet for essential valuables that you can keep with you on the trails is another good idea.
Keep in mind that skiing warms you up quickly so take thin layers that you can add or remove easily. Breathable synthetic or wool clothing is best. Paula brings a big warm coat to get from home to the bus and back. She leaves it on the bus during the day. Your ski or snowshoe workout may leave you damp and sweaty for the ride back to the city. Avoid this by bringing a pair of dry socks and a cozy top to change into for the journey home.
And for that ride home …. Karen suggests a newspaper, book or knitting. This is the time to indulge in a special treat. “I sometimes bring a thermos of hot chocolate with maybe a drop of Bailey’s Irish Cream for the bus ride back!” says Paula.