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.

4 thoughts on “Offset Explained”

  1. This is such a wonderful site! For people like me, who work full time, family-comes-first time, orchestrate my kids’ schedules, carry skis and clothing in the car in the event of being able to carve time out of the day/week to ski, are not part of a team, don’t have a coach… your simply explained tips and tricks are key to improving my technique. Without your input and passion there’s no way I would ever have the feeling of getting better. I want to keep learning and loving the sport for the many years to come :) You make this possible!

    Johanne Kemp
    (Busy Mom from Grande Prairie Wapiti Nordic Ski Club)

  2. one of your previous posts concerning the dynamic position on classic was a really aha moment and has allowed me to improve enormously. keep going with the posts and videos they are best in class

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