Usually, our mind creates an image of downhill skiing when we think about snow skiing. However, there are different types of skiing, including Alpine Skiing, Super G Skiing, Nordic Skiing and Cross-country Skiing. Cross country skiing is the oldest form of skiing. The technique involved in cross country skiing is that the heels of the boots aren't attached to the skies, allowing the skier to raise his or her heel with each step. Due to this, the skier can not only enjoy skiing on downhills, but he/she can also move up hills.
Initially, cross country skiing was only used as a means of transportation, but later it is evolved as a recreational activity. Now, it is not only a fantastic way to explore the snowy destinations, but it has also emerged as a Winter Olympic sport. Now that you have got an idea as to what is cross-country skiing, next you must be wondering if it is suitable for everyone. Yes, cross-country skiing is a sport for everyone. It is a sport which can be enjoyed by the entire family. The fact is that this sport is highly flexible, which allows everyone to determine their abilities and skills. Whether it is a leisure tour on the snowy landscape or a part of your winter cardio training, this snow sport has scope for almost everything. Before we move towards the tips for beginners, it is good to know about the different styles of cross-country skiing. In the next part of the article, we are going to tell the same.
Different styles of cross-country skiing
This is one of the easiest techniques to learn. This style is based on the diagonal step. Here, you need to switch your position from left to right, with your arms and legs placed diagonally opposite. As a beginner, it is always advised to start with the classic version. Its solid trail makes it easier for a beginner to handle the skis.
If you have a good level of fitness and are familiar with sports like inline skating, then you can try the more challenging and dynamic skating style. Here, the technique is similar to ice skating.
This is a special form of cross-country skiing that emerged in the Nordic countries and is therefore also referred to as Nordic Skiing. The prime focus of this type of skiing is not physical activity but to explore nature.
This style works as a form of perfect stamina training for everyone who tries this sport. It is probably one of the best outdoor physical training activities that stimulate the breathing, metabolism and boost your stamina.
Only having an idea of what is cross-country skiing is not enough. You need to know the best destinations for cross-country skiing. There are more than 500 cross country ski areas in the United States. Some of the best spots to cover are:
Norway: Since the Norwegians invented this activity, they are the best in this discipline.
Greenland: This would be a unique way of exploring the Arctic landscapes.
Canada: The beautiful national parks and protected wilderness areas prove to be some of the best spots for an extensive cross-country skiing journey.
United States: Yellowstone National Park is one of the top-class cross-country skiing venues in the entire world.
Before you start with the sport, knowing what is cross-country skiing is indeed important. However, before that, it is also important to know the basics ski gear you will require during skiing. Though cross-country skiing is for everyone, if you are a beginner, you need to know how to get started. Here are the tips you should follow:
Tips to get start cross-country skiing
Get fit before you start
Cross-country skiing is known to be excellent for our cardiovascular system. Unlike running, it trains all the major parts of the body and minimizes the impact on the joints. Some of the activities that you can try as preparation for cross-country skiing are cycling, jogging, Nordic walking and other endurance sports.
Choose the right area
It is true cross-country skiing is for everyone, but as a beginner, you should first try the low-altitude trails that are usually flat and not too extended; blue trails work perfectly for beginners. There are a huge number of resorts that offer cross-country skiing lessons; you can indulge yourself in the skiing course that meets your requirements and fits in your budget too.
Choose the right equipment
Like any other sport, using the right equipment during skiing is also important. You would need skis, poles, boots, bindings, gloves, helmet, etc. It is recommended that beginners should go for 'no-wax skis' as it is regarded as the best equipment to get started. The bases of these skis are specially designed in such a way that the skiers can climb the hills without slipping backward. They can use it with or without wax, thus making it a quick and easy solution for the inexperienced skiers.
You should go for lightweight, warm and flexible ski boots, long poles and good quality bindings. The equipment required to get started with cross country skiing is comparatively cheaper than that of regular alpine skiing. You can also easily purchase ski gear from Amazon within an affordable price range.
Choose the right clothing to stay protected
The basic rule is the clothing for cross-country skiing should neither be too warm, nor too cold. What you need to focus on is the type of clothes you put on. Breathable and waterproof jackets, fleece jumpers combined with long skiing underwear are ideal for this sport. Always avoid cotton clothing. An accessory like gloves must be tight, yet comfortable. Don't forget to get a good quality of helmet and goggles for added protection.
Apart from the clothing and equipment, there are some other essential items that you must carry to the trip. Some of these items are a small rucksack, a tea flask of tea, few muesli bars to top up your energy, first-aid kit, etc. All of these items are easily available in Amazon.
Take training from an expert instructor
Another important thing you should check as a beginner, the quality of the ski instructor in the ski resort. Aim for any of the top cross-country skiing resorts that have the facility of private lessons with a good instructor.
The cruciate ligament is one of the common injuries associated with cross-country skiers. Training from a proper instructor helps in reducing the risk of injuries. Experienced instructors will also guide you regarding the different techniques of the sport. Taking training from a good instructor in your initial days will help you in the long run.
From this article, you must have got a clear idea of what is cross-country skiing. It is a fantastic way to stay fit and also one of the best sports to discover beautiful landscapes. Since it is easy to learn, everyone can participate in this activity. As a beginner, you won't take much time to explore the trails in a region. There are lesser chances of serious injury in this sport. The reason behind is, it uses your natural movement and doesn't need much effort to start. But make sure you put on proper skiing clothes and use the right equipment to be safe up in the hills. You can check out in Amazon for some of the exclusive deals on clothing accessories and equipment.