XC Skiing

After many years raising a family and being out of the country I am back and enjoying skiing. XC skiing is one of the best whole body workouts and is very enjoyable: seeing the scenery and striding along enjoying the glide and the fun on the downhills.

There are two kinds of techniques used in races. Classic and skating. Skating is more efficient but I am sticking with the traditional diagonal stride.

I’m trying to figure out the best technique and there isn’t a lot of information much online. A lot of it is to just spend time enjoying skiing.

For a good site with some technique look at Cross Country Ski Technique.

Diagonal Stride

The diagonal stride is a fairly natural movement. But if you want to be fast and efficient there is a lot to the technique.

Some general Skate & Classic Technique Tips – NordicSkiRacer

Here is a good explanation by U.S. Ski Team coach Bryan Fish reviewing the fundamental body positions and movements for classic skiing technique.
Fundamental body position and movement patterns of Classic Skiing – NordicSkiRacer

Everyone says Lead With Your Hips in Diagonal Stride – NordicSkiRacer

Double Poling Has Evolved

  1. Rarely does one picture say so much: Doublepole – NordicSkiRacer
  2. Better double-poling with supple ankles – NordicSkiRacer


Waxing is more critical for XC Skiing generally than for downhill skiing. In classic technique, there is a glide waxing and also specific waxing for grip.

Many areas like the Canmore Nordic Centre us artificial snow which also influences the choice of wax and wax technique as the wax, particularly the grip wax, wears off faster on the artificial snow.

It is best to use a grip wax binder below the kick wax such as a Swix VR35.


Training Using Specific Foot Sessions – NordicSkiRacer


Biomechanics in classical cross-country skiing-past, present and future.

Biomechanical analysis of double poling in elite cross-country skiers.