Introduction to Cross Country Skiing

Are you thinking you might like to try cross-country skiing, but you’re not sure what it’s all about?

This 2.5 minute video will show you what it is, where it’s done, and even give you an idea what it feels like to cross-country ski.

Where to Cross Country Ski

We’re talking about cross-country skiing on machine groomed and trackset trails.

This isn’t “backcountry” or “touring” cross-country skiing. The gear we use is lighter and goes faster. It’s like comparing road biking to mountain biking in terms of speed and terrain.

You’ll find groomed and trackset trails at Nordic Centres and cross-country ski areas.

What’s it Like to Cross Country Ski?

Cross-country skiing will take you amazing places.

Cross-country skiing on groomed trails, with even a moderate level of proficiency, is an experience that’s hard to put into words.

It’s definitely fast and fun, but it’s more than that. Your body movements become so graceful when cross-country skiing, it almost feels like you’re dancing.

You can literally fly along the trails, enjoying the beautiful scenery and fresh air, while at the same time having an incredible physical experience.

You move like you’re running, but there’s no jarring feeling – it’s very smooth. Plus there’s the glorious feeling of the glide.

The other wonderful thing about cross-country skiing is that even if you’re a beginner and not quite at the “effortlessly flying along the trails” stage, you’ll still have an awesome time.

It’s often said, if you can walk, you can cross-country ski. That’s because the basic movement of classic skiing is similar to walking. Becoming an expert takes years – techniques are surprisingly complex and difficult to master -but it’s true the sport has a very low entry point and is easy to enjoy at a beginner level.

Every stage in your development from beginner to expert is fun. It’s not that you won’t be frustrated sometimes, but overall you’ll have a great time at every step of your journey. You can find the magic “flow” of cross-country skiing at any skill level.

We believe it's more fun to ski with technical proficiency than to shuffle along the trails. You can probably learn to ski better than you think you can.
We think it’s more fun to ski with excellent technique than to shuffle along the trails.

Do You Have to be Fit?

People generally underestimate what they are capable of achieving. They look at people who are fitter and more athletic and imagine that comes from some sort of genetic gift, rather than just consistent long-term practice.

You might be surprised at the number of fit people who have a “Before” photo buried in their photo library.

One thing we can promise is that as you get deeper into cross-country skiing you’ll start to build positive feedback loops between your fitness and your technical skills. This is one of the great things about the sport that quickly converts new skiers into lifelong fans.

What Next?

The first question you need to answer is whether you want to try classic skiing, skate skiing, or learn both techniques at the same time. Check out Skate vs Classic to learn more.

After that, visit a local ski area and rent some gear. You’ll have more fun if you take an introductory lesson, but you can DIY your first day on skis, if you prefer.

If you enjoy that experience, you can be certain you’re going to love xc skiing. It only gets better the more you go out.

Next step is to learn about Gear and Wax. If you can’t find answers to your questions in those articles, ask for help.

Welcome to the world of cross-country skiing!


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