Kim and Kai: mother-son founders of CrossCountrySkiTechnique.com

The goal of this website to share information about how to cross-country ski with up-to-date race technique – the kind of nordic skiing you see at the Olympics. We could call it “race technique”, but we like “performance” nordic skiing, because you don’t have to compete to love skiing like this.

There are many types of cross-country skiing – backcountry, touring, telemarking etc. We’re not here to pass judgement on anyone’s preferences. This is just our favourite kind of cross-country skiing. We love the incredible feeling of flow, the thrill of skiing fast, and the never-ending challenge of trying to improve efficiency.

How CrossCountrySkiTechnique.com got started

Kim-Headshot

Kim McKenney

Performance nordic skiing is not well known in Canada. Many people enjoy cross-country skiing without understanding how technical it can be. They think it’s as simple as “walking on skis.” When/if they discover how technically interesting the sport really is, they usually want to learn how to improve their efficiency. When this happens, they’re hooked!

That was my story. I (Kim) skied for decades not understanding how unskilled I was. I mistook my years of experience for expertise. If my kids hadn’t joined a competitive cross-country ski club I never would have discovered the thrill of high performance skiing.

It’s not easy to become an expert in this sport. Once you discover performance skiing and want to improve your technique, your next challenge is to find reliable and useful information. I was lucky to belong to one of Canada’s top clubs, but I still felt confused for years. Even after I started coaching, I continued to struggle to find quality information.

Kai

Kai Lukowiak

So, in typical blogger fashion, I started this website to create the resource I wish had existed when I was learning to ski. It didn’t take long before I understood why there wasn’t better information online about cross-country skiing. For one thing, if you want to make a ski video, you need at least two people.

Fortunately my son Kai was still skiing competitively and he agreed to come onboard. (He’s no longer competing.) Kai’s the demo skier in most of the videos. Since then, we’ve run this website as partnership. I write most of the articles, but I rely heavily on Kai to keep me on track.

Evolving coaching philosophy

Since starting this website, I’ve had a lot more opportunity to develop my skiing and coaching skills. I’ve taken several more coaching courses and they’ve been valuable, but my biggest gains came from studying real, live human movement, working with other coaches, and from countless hours of coaching.

Chris-Headshot

Chris Jeffries

One person who has been hugely influential on my development as a skier and coach is Chris Jeffries. Chris is a former Canadian national ski team member; he competed at the Turin Olympics and many World Cups. He’s currently one of Canada’s national level coaches and trains elite athletes at the Alberta World Cup Academy.

Chris epitomizes everything I love in a coach. He’s passionate about his athletes, and even after a lifetime of involvement, he’s still passionate about cross-country skiing. I’ve relied heavily on his expertise over the years. (But, of course all errors on this website are my responsibility, not his or Kai’s.)

One thing I’ve learned from Chris is that elite level coaches are not dogmatic about ski technique and training. They view ski technique as organic and ever-evolving and take a highly nuanced approach to sport and movement. To be frank, this very different from what I observe in coaching circles where the focus is on recreational clients, rather than competitive athletes.

Our next thing

tour-video-screen-shots-002In October 2016, the 3 of us teamed up to create a new online resource for nordic skiers. It’s a membership site called XC Ski Nation and it combines learning resources with ongoing support and technique feedback for members.

We’ve had a lot of positive comments about the Cross Country Ski Technique website (thank you!) and people ask me why they would bother paying for anything when we give so much away for free. Are we just putting new blog posts behind a paywall? (No.)

The resources inside XC Ski Nation are much higher quality and more in-depth than what you can find on this blog. One top of that, XC Ski Nation is an interactive membership – we provide ongoing support and members can also interact with one another. We even offer feedback on skiing videos our members submit for technique analysis.

If you’d like more information, please visit the XC Ski Nation website.

Happy Skiing!

Kim