Offset Explained – Cross Country Ski Technique

Offset Explained

Offset (or V1, as they say in the USA), is a unique skate technique. It’s the lowest gear most skate skiers will use. The primary uses of Offset are hill climbing and accelerating from a stand still.

In my opinion, Offset stands apart from other skate techniques and is pretty weird. You plant your poles at a different time than you do in the other techniques, your poles are angled or “offset” and your legs are doing weird stuff.

Offset has changed a lot over the last few years. A lot of the conventional wisdom about how to ski efficiently up a hill has been improved upon, either by trial and error, or by scientific studies. That means that a lot of skiers, myself included, need to work extra hard to keep up to date with current technique.

To help with this, we put together an offset tutorial to make sure you’re not wasting energy when climbing hills. The video is taken from a longer course, called Offset Explained, which is just under an hour and covers everything you’d want to know about offset technique. It’s available inside XC Ski Nation, our new membership site.

The tips we cover in the above excerpt are:

  • Positioning.
    • Be in the ready position,
    • Have a neutral spine,
    • Look  about 10 feet up the trail,
    • Lean into the hill, especially as it gets steeper
  • Glide.
    • Try to maximize glide with each step,
    • Land on flexed ankles,
    • Keep your foot under your body in the frontal plane – don’t “step” up the hill. (But you can widen your stance as the hill gets steeper.)

Let’s us know how you enjoy this style of video. We’ll be producing a lot more content like this for our new site.

We answer questions you may have about the future of Cross Country Ski Technique in this post.

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