Name that Skate Skiing Technique

Help us complete this chart.

Let’s make the world’s largest International collection of skate skiing technique names!

In the comments section below, please leave:

  1. Your Country/Language
  2. The names of each skate technique listed in the same order as the table above.
  3. Any other interesting skate skiing-related words or expressions you have.

If your alphabet is different, can you also tell us how the names would be spelled in English – or at least how they’d sound? I’ll probably need help with special characters too, except for French.


Table of Skate Ski Technique names from around the world

Introduction to the Primary Skating Techniques

27 thoughts on “Name that Skate Skiing Technique”

    • Agree with Roger. These are the labels used by BASI who like many of the contibutors below also refer to gears as in a car analogy to help beginners understand the best use of each technique

  1. In Swedish the different skate skiing techniques are called “växlar” which means “gears”. I believe the term “gears” regarding skate skiing techniques is actually a translation of the Swedish word “växlar”. Gear 1 is in Swedish “växel 1” (“växel ett”), Gear 2 is “växel 2” (“växel två”) and so on. We often say “ettans växel” (= “the one’s gear”), tvåans växel (= “the two’s gear) and so on, instead of “växel 1” and “växel 2” because we like genitive constructions and definite forms. So here is the complete list of the main skate skiing gears in Swedish:
    Ettans växel
    Tvåans växel
    Treans växel
    Fyrans växel
    Femmans växel

  2. Canada ;)
    1. Patin diagonal (not 100% certain)
    2. Pas décalé
    3. Pas de un (patin)
    4. Pas de deux (patin)
    5. Patin libre
    Translation taken from xcountry ski canada jack rabbit program. Diagonal skate doesnt appear to be part of the official program..

    • Just to add to this, it’s useful to clarify that it’s “pas de un (patin)” because “pas de un” in classic technique means kick-double pole. (yes, there’s a “pas de deux (classique)” as well but it’s not particularly useful, unless you arms are tired, I guess)

  3. In Finnish, two of the gear names are actually Swedish surnames: Wassberg and Mogren, after World and Olympic champions Thomas Wassberg and Torgny Mogren from Sweden. Here are the Finnish names for Gear 1-5:
    Vuoroluistelu (English: Diagonal skate)
    Kuokka (English: Hoe)
    Wassberg or Wassu
    Sauvoitta luistelussa (English: No poles skate)

    In Norwegian the gears are called
    Glidende fiskebein (English: Gliding fishbone)
    Padling (English: Paddling)
    Dobbeldans (English: Double dance)
    Enkeldans (English: Single dance)
    Friskøyting (English: Free skating)

    • I’ve heard of Granny Skate and Teddy Bear skate as well as coach skate – not very official terms for “gear 1”

  4. For diagonal skate I always liked the term “skatebone”, which I saw years ago in Bert Kleerup’s Ski Research News. It sums up the unglamorous marriage of herringbone and skate techniques.

  5. I’ve heard British coaches use the term ‘Teddy Bear’ for Gear 1/diagonal skate quite often. So my partner and I named it ‘bamsedans’ (Teddy Bear dance) in Norwegian.

  6. Italy
    1 –
    2 Pattinaggio corto
    3 Pattinaggio con doppia spinta
    4 Pattinaggio lungo
    5 Pattinaggio

    Some explanations:
    1 There is not an official name, in teaching it is called “Pattinaggio alternato in salita”;
    2 “Pattinaggio corto” /pattiˈnaddʒo ˈko:rto/ = short skating, usually called “Corto” = short;
    3 “Pattinaggio con doppia spinta” /pattiˈnaddʒo kon ˈdoppja ˈspinta/ = skating with double push, usually called “Doppio” = double;
    4 “Pattinaggio lungo” /pattiˈnaddʒo ˈluːŋgo/ = long skating, usually called “Lungo” = long;
    5 “Pattinaggio” /pattiˈnaddʒo/ = skating, also called “Pattinaggio senza bastoncini” /pattiˈnaddʒo ˈsɛntsa bastonˈtʃini/ = skating without poles.

    In the official teaching there is also the “Pattinata con spinta” /pattiˈnata kon ˈspinta/ = skate with push (push on one side only, typically in cornering).

  7. Czech:
    1: Bruslení střídavé
    2: Oboustranné bruslení dvoudobé asymetrické
    3: Oboustranné bruslení jednodobé
    4: Oboustranné bruslení dvoudobé symetrické
    5: Bruslení prosté

    1: korčuľovanie striedavé
    2: obojstranné korčuľovanie dvojdobé (dvojkročné) asymetrické
    3: obojstranné korčuľovanie jednodobé (jednokročné)
    4: obojstranné korčuľovanie dvojdobé symetrické
    5: korčuľovanie prosté

    • Matus, would you please translate into English the Czech and Slovak names word by word? As a speaker of a Indo-European languages I recognize “dvou” and “dvoj” as something like “two”, and “jedno” as something like “one” or “every” (“jeder” in German).

      • Magnus, I can try.. As you probably know, Czech and Slovak languages are very similar, and every slovak understands czech and every czech understands slovak. (we were one republic till 1993 – Czechoslovakia).

        1: Bruslení střídavé = Skating changing (rotating??, I am not sure here, something like “changing the sides”).
        2: Oboustranné bruslení dvoudobé asymetrické = Both-sides skating two-stroke asymmetric = offset
        3: Oboustranné bruslení jednodobé = Both-sides skating one-stroke
        4: Oboustranné bruslení dvoudobé symetrické = Bost-sides skating two-stroke symmetric
        5: Bruslení prosté = Skating simple

        For Slovak, it is the same, but skating = korculovanie.
        This translation is really word-by-word, so maybe it doesnt make sense in English :)

      • Thanks, Matus; very interesting. Yes, I guess the relation of languages Czech and Slovak is something like that of Norwegian and Swedish.

        OK, so I assume “střídavé” refer to the alternating poling of gear 1, and “oboustranné” to the double poling of gears 2-4. Is that correctly understood? Or does the latter refer to using both legs when skating and not only one leg like in the Siitonen step that was used a lot in the Olympic Games in Sarajevo in 1984?:

  8. In German the nomenclature is quite diverse, and there may be differences between e.g Germany, Switzerland and Austria, but these are the terms I have encountered as most used:

    1-1 (Eins-eins)
    2-1 (Zwei-eins)

    I hope some native speakers of German would like to comment.

  9. The French terminology used in France (and, presumably, in Switzerland?) appears to be not quite the same as in Québec. The gears are:

    Pas alterné (canard glissé)
    Pas de patineur deux temps (pas décalé)
    Pas de patineur un temps
    Pas de patineur deux temps combiné (pas de plat, pas deux temps de vitesse)
    Pas de patineur sans bâtons


    I like that the Canadian terminology really clearly distinguishes between offset and two-skate. It seems the Norwegian, Finnish and German ones do the same. Though the Italian names are nice too because they make me think of espresso… mmm, espresso…

    • Interesting with “canard glissé” (gliding duck) and the other skiers of diagonal skate: Gear 1 looks either like a skate skiing granny or a shrew or a coach or a salamander or a duck or even a teddy bear.

      • I think “canard glissé” would be understood in Québec as well since “monter en canard” is the usual name for herringbone climbing in classic style here, even though “monter en ciseaux” is I think the more “official” name for it. It refers to the way the skis are splayed outwards like a duck’s feet (same as the expression “walking duck-footed” in English).

        By the way, the OQLF has an extremely comprehensive site full of ski terminology in French (complete with diagrams!):

        They also think that offset should be called “pas décalé”, so take that, France!

  10. 1 – a friendly name of this technique is “cric-croc” or “pas del cot”. That means, it’s a technique used when you are very very tired.

  11. Well, we do have names on the gears as well in Swedish
    1 Diagonalskate
    2 Paddling
    3 Raketen (the rocket)
    4 Flytskate (flowskate) or Molleskejt after Torgny “Molle” Mogren like the Fins.
    5 Benskate

    • Aren’t those terms obsolete or very little used, Calle? “Raketen” is to me a movement play. If the word “skate” is used in Swedish it should be spelled “skejt”.

  12. Polish:
    1. Jednokrok łyżwowy naprzemianstronny
    2. Dwukrok łyżwowy asynchroniczny (kulawy)
    3. Jednokrok łyżwowy
    4. Dwukrok łyżwowy synchroniczny
    5. Łyżwowanie

  13. Do we see the insanity of the differences in the 3 main approaches to naming?

    Canada: One-skate
    USA: V2
    Several other countries: Gear 3

    …It’s rich!

    We have 1, 2 and 3 being used to name the same major technique!

    This is unhelpful chaos for our sport. Oh well, I suppose most learners are unaware of the global differences.


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