Video Technique Analysis: V1-Offset

[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””]UPDATED: Originally I posted a short excerpt of this video because I try to keep our Youtube videos under 5 minutes. However, without more context, people found it confusing. So I’m including the full 15 minute analysis in this post.

It’s still missing some context, because it references the XC Ski Nation “Offset Explainer Course”, which is an hour long, in depth explanation of Offset. But I believe you can still learn a lot from watching this video.

I haven’t figured out how to balance producing content for this website and our new site at the same time. Hopefully you’ll find these little snippets of XC Ski Nation content helpful until I find more time for blogging again.[/thrive_text_block]

V1-Offset has a characteristic 3:1 timing. You have 4 points of contact with the ground: two poles and two skis. In Offset, both poles plant at the same time as one ski, and then the second ski pushes unaided by any poling.

The side you pole on is “stronger” because the poles really help with the leg push. The offside leg should be able to push with equal force, but it often doesn’t because skiers naturally tend to favour the side that feels like it works better. “Over-committing” to the poling side often leads to the non-poling side leg having a weaker and less effective push.

Watch the video above to see what this looks like in real life. The best remedies I know are to build up your skill on both sides as much as possible and to skate ski up hills without poles.​

More technique analysis videos like the one above are available inside XC Ski Nation. You can learn about the many features and benefits of membership here.

8 thoughts on “Video Technique Analysis: V1-Offset”

  1. unless you know the foundation in all skating forms of a given person (student)
    and therefore how natural the motion has become, … to give what amounts to as piecemeal instruction and compare to a world class skier can be counter productive.
    I would always see what a person can self correct by asking them to skate the same
    course first slow w/o poles, free skate… and then also free skate with small
    high cadence skating and ask them what they were aware of…. at this point
    they might very well become aware of what they need to address … if not maybe
    a point of two…. not inundating them with small corrections that are things
    Petter Northug works on.
    The foundation of superior teaching is choosing one simple developmentally appropriate thing to work on at a time not to impress people with how many little things you can notice and tell them that they are doing wrong.
    I loved your piece of double poling but this one well…..

    • Hi Larry – I appreciate your concern and have no doubt you are a thoughtful and excellent teacher.

      Our objective here is to give people the chance to experience a sample of video analysis done by a very high level coach – that’s not an opportunity that is easy to come by. No one was pretending this is a complete step by step lesson or what a live lesson looks like. I specifically mentioned this is an excerpt. Personally, I gained a lot from hearing Chris’s insights and having the chance to “see with his eyes”, and I believe others will as well.

      To put it in context, the full video analysis was 15 minutes long. I kept it under 5 minutes, because that’s a good rule of thumb for YouTube videos. Before that, Felix watched our Offset Explainer course which is almost an hour of video explanation of the technique. In fact he shared this feedback with us afterwards:

      “I have watched the offset course. Next day tried the “push to side” and “land beneath your body” tips in my weekly uphill interval workout (many short intervals with 15secR: that way its flexible and by counting the number of rest intervals,I know my climbing time). Wow! Climbing time slightly faster, but with 1/3 of rest time, but more important rather than being way above my ventilatory threshold, I was below and it felt easy.”

      I’ll put it this way: this video offers the chance to gain some insights from a high level coach and see some video analysis in action. I trust the majority of our readers will receive it in the spirit in which it is offered.

      • Thanks for your pov Kim and I am glad to hear what Felix experienced
        although it would be interesting to see what would happen if he did some
        free skating in various manners on the same course w/o being focused on
        time. See Kikkan training (11:10-1:40:

        If in the “Felix video” or in all cases the information is intended for
        competitors perhaps when posting a lead in sentence saying who we are seeing
        and there goals would clarity. In other words it might help to get some operational definitions clear… it seems you are assuming as most skaters do everyone is focused on racing or at least in optimum speed as opposed to other goals some of us may have like grace, enjoying the scenery, efficiency, etc…..
        I still take issue with this kind of analysis… vs. educating “the client” to say one major if not the major issue – momentum. this is never discussed in big picture terms. Once this is grasped we have a focus for most issues as opposed to being dependent on ongoing piecemeal corrections of every manner which becomes a lot of mental baggage to carry skating.

        Isn’t it more helpful to have a larger framework a more basic question to ask?

        Well for me that’s monitoring momentum to exertion ratio…. efficiency… hey I am an old fart learning to skate late in life.
        My thought is that we must use a certain amount of exertion to get to a desired speed and to maintain that or increase that. naturally the longer the distance the less compression and exertion the better.

        I am not disputing many good valid points were made but one could easily take away one should never compress as much as felix did which is simply not the case. once a desired momentum/speed is attained the more upright and less compression to maintain that the better but one needs compression
        to varying degrees at varying times and one cannot always maintain that elegant upright posture. also there are issues of how fast one can repeat their stroke without it breaking down and is someone so organized in their body they can do a small almost imperceptible preload even climbing a steep hill … most can’t and thus would need to compensate by being “inefficient” and compressing more… that’s reality for everyone even wc skiers.

        I still stand by my thinking that in the long run this kind of coaching
        is for the majority of skaters not the best avenue.
        This is in part because the issue, and why I think self correct and dryland “tai chi”ing the movements are critical is unless one has skated since being a kid and or is rollerskiing all summer these motions are, as the likes of Ken Roberts has described (he’s a must read check him out especially on NKT and no to Borowski’s Pendulum analogy), very deceptively sophisticated body motions that those who were born on skates don’t always really get for those of us who learned later in life and did not necessarily have an early foundation in skating.

        there’s much more to say, but I will leave it at that….


    • Hi Fred – we can only accept online payments. By automating administrative work we have more time to make great content, support our members and go skiing :)

  2. Kim, the analysis was excellent. Had a hard time following the language Larry was using to describe his problem with the video. A couple of things that might have contributed to the short segment (which might have been covered in the longer version, which I haven’t seen) would have been a telephoto lens covering Felix from start to finish. Also, using same on several profile shots would have allowed the analysis to show more of Felix’s body position from another instructive angle. Also, as mentioned, the fresh snow was complicating the comparison between the two more skillful & less skillful skiers. If both had been skiing on the packed groomed slope that would have been ideal for comparative purposes. Otherwise, well done. Thanks.

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