Cross-country skiing, is an ideal outdoor sport for hiking and endurance enthusiasts. Originating in Scandinavian countries, this discipline was first used for its practicality. It was the preferred method of travel for hunting and getting around. In the 1800s, cross-country skiing became a full-fledged sport that naturally became very popular in Scandinavia. As for France, it is only towards the end of the 19th century that we record having cross-country skiing in our Alps.
Classic or skating?
Do you want to start cross-country skiing?
If the historical technic of this practice is the "classic step alternating", there is also since the 1980s a second technic that is called "skating" or "skater step". But what is the difference between these two methods, and which one is the best for my abilities?
Let's get back to the basics to better understand. The "classic" technic is indeed the historical one of cross-country skiing. The skis have a grip zone under the sole which makes the initiation to this sport easier since it is similar to walking, but with more glide. The arms play an important role of traction, while the legs create the propulsion. It is thus a question of carrying out pushes arms/legs opposite as when one walks.
The technic of "skating" remains today the most attractive style and most exhilarating of cross-country skiing. The underside of the skis is smooth, without grip, which offers an exciting gliding sensation and more speed than the "classic". However, it is a more demanding technique and requires a better athletic ability. Like the "skater's step", the gests used while rollerblading or ice skating, the arms must be coordinated with the legs, unlike the historical method.
In spite of this, skating remains a fun style that is very popular with skiers and neo-skiers today. In order to discover this fantastic sport, it is advised to turn to a certified instructor who will teach the basics and then have a laugh!
At Experience Mont Blanc, we can organize your cross-country skiing experience!