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Tips/Videos for learning how to "skate"

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

So I'm a solid intermediate skier now after a LOT of skiing this winter. I'm still trying to perfect my carving technique, but I can tackle any blue and most groomed blacks. However, I just CANNOT figure out how to skate on downhill skis (not that I was ever any good on ice skates). I see other people and it just looks so natural and much more efficient than just poling around everywhere. I'm wondering if anyone here can offer advice on how to pull this off and maybe link to a video or two on youtube? I've tried doing my own searching but haven't been able to find anything super helpful.

post #2 of 19

You have ankles, use them. Keep them soft and let them roll to the inside. This will engage the edge. Try it with your boots totally unbuckled. Or do it in sneakers. Or go to an ice rink. It's all the same movement. If you are struggling, you are holding tension in the joint that is preventing them from rolling in, effectively making you push against a flat ski, which doesn't work. The bigger the angle of the ski to the snow surface, the more you can push against it, and the more efficient the movement. Efficient, in this case, means greatest distance covered for the amount of energy expended.

post #3 of 19

If you're a visual learner, watch this.  Note how you bring the ski back in to the gliding ski.  Also note that it's not, push off left, push off right, etc.  It's push off left, glide, push off right, glide.  The glide phase is critical.

 

 

post #4 of 19

Also note how you must move your body weight over the gliding ski.  This is one of the best drills for skiing as it trains you to move your COM from foot to foot.  In parallel skiing that would of course be the outside ski.

post #5 of 19

Great video.  Note how the skis are brought close together.  Many people who have trouble keep the skis too far apart.  Then, as the vid shows, you start on the outside edge and roll to the inside edge as you push the ski away, then glide.  The shots from behind the guy with the red & white skis shows it very well.  Don't rush.  Make it like smooth dancing.

 

Start on a gentle down slope so you're just trying to get the motion, not propel yourself.

post #6 of 19
How about going up an slight incline? I do well in flat but fall apart when going up.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post

How about going up an slight incline? I do well in flat but fall apart when going up.

 

Aside from what's already been posted... we can take a cue from cross-country skiing friends. 

 

 

The point around 3:30 is very interesting and relevant. If your mass is too far forward going uphill, your tips will be over-pressured. Plus when you're too far forward, you can't recruit those powerful leg muscles. 

post #8 of 19

Skating progression:

 

1) Start with skis in a diverging position "V shape". 

2) Feel the inside edges, trying to find a position where the edges will grip.  This is where your friction and "push" will come from.

3) With the skis in the V position, begin by trying to "waddle" back and forth, PUSHING from ski to ski attempting to get  a little forward motion. You should start to feel the skis slide forward in the directions they are pointed. 

4) Once you get a little forward motion you will feel a little gliding. Use that momentum to continue to glide as far as possible on each "stroke".

5) Try to establish a rhythm (very important). Push a little more on each "stroke"  and get a little more glide on each stroke. 

6) Reintroduce pushing with your poles on each stroke, adding power and distance to each. Your rhythm is important to the coordination. 

 

Basically what you're doing is making small, rhythmic DIAGONAL steps/strides/pushes using the edges to push off and create glide. Again while you're attempting to go GENERALLY forward, you're literally going forward while going side to side- if that makes any sense. Your ability to propel yourself it dependent on edge grip, push, glide and timing  (rhythm) to continue momentum and forward motion. 

 

Good luck. 

post #9 of 19

Skating can be bad for your skis. I've ruined my last pair of skis skating on flats. I kept scuffing the area behind the bindings with the other ski. Now there are deep gouges on both skis. I make a conscious effort not to skate. I "row" or take my skis off and walk.

post #10 of 19
Wishbone manuver blows on twin tips.
post #11 of 19

There's a lot of advice here, but one thing that helped me more than any others was to LOOSE THE POLES !    Then, skate around on a flat area.  Then try it on an easy trail. 

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5ki8um View Post
 

Skating can be bad for your skis. I've ruined my last pair of skis skating on flats. I kept scuffing the area behind the bindings with the other ski. Now there are deep gouges on both skis. I make a conscious effort not to skate. I "row" or take my skis off and walk.

I'm pretty confused by this. How were you skating? Your skis shouldn't be touching at all...

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeracer4487 View Post
 

I'm pretty confused by this. How were you skating? Your skis shouldn't be touching at all...

 

If I paid constant attention to it I wouldn't have the problem. But when I'm rushing to beat people to the lift lines, I tend to do things that are most efficient. And sometimes the "V" in the back ends up looking like a wide topped "X".


Edited by 5ki8um - 2/3/16 at 10:32am
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeracer4487 View Post
 

I'm pretty confused by this. How were you skating? Your skis shouldn't be touching at all...


Shouldn't be..but..it happens..

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5ki8um View Post
 

Skating can be bad for your skis. I've ruined my last pair of skis skating on flats. I kept scuffing the area behind the bindings with the other ski. Now there are deep gouges on both skis. I make a conscious effort not to skate. I "row" or take my skis off and walk.

 

Skating isn't bad for your skis; it's you :P In proper skating you don't scrape your skis against each other. 

 

Slow down your movements and learn to skate effectively. Gradually speed up once you have effective movements. It's all about building effective muscle memory. 

post #16 of 19

I teach skiing, I teach a lot of beginners to skate just to get across the flats to the bunny hill.  5ki8um I don't think I've ever seen anyone have this problem. 

 

Can't really advise you, but I do want others reading this not to be misled by your post.

post #17 of 19

I finally learned to skate on skis after poling for years. I have good upper body strength and it got me to the lift line at least. But the skating is not only more effective it really helps your skiing technique too.

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

I teach skiing, I teach a lot of beginners to skate just to get across the flats to the bunny hill.  5ki8um I don't think I've ever seen anyone have this problem. 

 

Can't really advise you, but I do want others reading this not to be misled by your post.


I've seen lots of people have this problem.  I've seen people trip and faceplant while doing it.  It does happen.

post #19 of 19

Watch some cross-country videos.  (Also, watch video posted by SMJ ... many times ... lots there.)

 

Watch how the whole body is involved, and more specifically how all leg joints (hip, knee and ankle) contribute to the skating movement.

 

Watch how movement directs mass forward, not side to side.

 

I encourage using your poles very actively -- helps with rhythm and propulsion, and gets you reaching forward which reinforces good fore/aft balance.

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