Cross-country skiing (or XC skiing) is a form of ski touring in which participants propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using skis and poles. Recreational cross-country skiing is most frequently known as touring. Some skiers stay out for extended periods using tents and equipment similar to bushwalkers/hikers, whereas others take relatively short trips from ski resorts on maintained trails. In some countries, organizations maintain a network of huts for use by cross-country skiers in wintertime. For example, the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association maintains over 400 huts stretching across hundreds of kilometres of trails which are used by hikers in the summer and by skiers in the winter.
Learn to Cross Country Ski
- Get in decent shape before you attempt to learn how to cross country ski. This particular sport is not recommended for people in the obese weight category. However, it is considered one of the best exercises for weight loss.
- Purchase the correct ski height and pole length for your size. Many places have skies, poles and boots that you can rent if you do not own any or if you just want to try the sport. To find your ideal ski length, you should multiply your height in inches by 2.6, then add 25 inches. Your poles should be 10 to 40 centimeters less than your ski length.
- Start out on a flat surface that is groomed for cross country skiers. These places can be found in most state or county recreational parks during the winter months (in a geographical area that receives annual snowfall). Small hills and downgrades should be avoided at the beginner level because it is considerably harder to master the techniques.
- Glide your feet one at a time in a forward walking motion. You will be lifting your heels (which are not attached to the skis) when your foot is in the back and dragging your toe to slide your ski forward.
- Use your poles when skiing to move faster. In an opposite foot to pole rotation, dig the poles into the snow and pull your body forward. Release the pole from the snow and reach further ahead to dig and pull again.
- Get a rhythm going. Once you are able to achieve a consistent flowing motion, the act of cross country skiing gets much easier. Your body begins to flow with the rhythm on the snow.
- Learn how to fall properly and get up. You should always try to fall to your side with both feet parallel to each other. When getting up, you will have to place both poles on one side of your body and dig them into the snow to prop up your body.