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Old 06.12.2010, 16:12
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Classic or Skate

I had 1 days tuition at Skate last year - and was rubbish at it. Fitness wise - no problem - but technique - I looked like an incompetent fool.

Anyway, we won't have a skate track in the village - but we do have a classic. Would it be wise to give classic a go? Or stick with Skate and drive to the closest one?
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Old 06.12.2010, 16:23
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Re: Classic or Skate

You do realise that you don't use the same equipment for both, don't you?
I know quite a few people who do skating and classic. Skating is more fun because it is faster, classical is easier on the knees. For both you need a decent technique to be any good.

If you've never skiied, never ice skated, no in-line skates, then classical might be easier as the loipe track helps to keep the skis straight. When skating they tend to wander all over the place until you get the hang of it.

Have fun. It's a great way to use a load of calories!

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Old 06.12.2010, 16:35
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Re: Classic or Skate

I know the kit difference - and rented (for 1 day) last year. But the thing is - there is a track 2km up the hill from me. And could easily go up there for an or so for a run/lauf/whatever the hell you call it - before breakfast on the weekend.

The question is how easy is Classic to learn? I have the co-ordination of drunk trying to put a key in lock. I know exactly what I am meant to be doing, I can read about it, I can watch demonstrations, but there is no hope of me repeating the technique within a meaningful length of time.
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Old 06.12.2010, 16:44
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Re: Classic or Skate

it's way easier to learn than freestyle, don't worry. as easy as walking.
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Old 06.12.2010, 16:49
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Re: Classic or Skate

With the sort of coordination you describe, you'll probably never catch the experts, but if you look at a video and then walk on the skis, then look at the video again, and try again, I still think you'll be able to do it well enough to have a lot of fun. I was never 'good' at it but about twenty kilometres were OK. On a quiet loipe it's just a super feeling.

Quite apart from this - you should never worry if the first day is a catastrophe when trying something new. By the time the 'nerves' have sorted out what they are supposed to be doing, the muscles themselves are too tired to do it.

Good luck.
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Old 06.12.2010, 17:33
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Re: Classic or Skate

And because I am nice sometimes, here is a little bit of video to help you see what it should look like and here is a little bit more.

The pictures will help you to check out where the poles are put into the snow in relation to the boot on the ski . (What you think you are doing is rarely what you are really doing, but every little bit of feedback helps so look down at your feet from time to time, and check the angle of your hips, elbows etc.)

So, off you go now.
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Old 06.12.2010, 18:37
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Re: Classic or Skate

Classic can be done at any pace - whereas with skating you need to be going at full pelt all the time and can't even stop! If you have balance/coordination issues- definitely classical. But make sure you go to an area which is on the flat - going up-hill is not easy, and downhill is not for the faint-hearted with xcountry skis. Enjoy. Gave up on the second vid as it took too long to load up- from first video, the only section relevant to a beginner is the first one. (Thanks Longbyt) - don't worry too much, the legs and arms will more or less automatically alternate without thinking about it.
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Old 06.12.2010, 20:25
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Re: Classic or Skate

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The question is how easy is Classic to learn? I have the co-ordination of drunk trying to put a key in lock.
Classic should be easier, because of the tracks.

Easier still is to do what I did: "Just say NO" to skis and get snowshoes
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Old 06.12.2010, 20:36
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Re: Classic or Skate

A pity - it's all great fun (including snowshoes, although the lifting motion gives me backache).
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Old 06.12.2010, 21:27
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Re: Classic or Skate

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I had 1 days tuition at Skate last year - and was rubbish at it. Fitness wise - no problem - but technique - I looked like an incompetent fool.

Anyway, we won't have a skate track in the village - but we do have a classic. Would it be wise to give classic a go? Or stick with Skate and drive to the closest one?
We had this question last year and Heather M had some great advice so I will just quote it below. And Heather is a great skiier.

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I know that skating looks like more fun, but it is definitely more difficult both to learn initially and to master. I'd recommend learning classic first, and then progressing to skating once you're feeling comfortable on snow. Classic skiing teaches you balance and also allows you to become more comfortable with manouvereing on skis. Once you've got classic down, you can then progress to skating, where you add in the additional components of side-to-side movement and more full-body muscle activity (ouch!). Skating is a great workout and a lot of fun (because you do go faster!) but it's also difficult and exhausting: if you haven't learned the proper technique, you'll be ready to pack it in after 10 minutes (and that's no fun at all).

I think the best thing to do would be to initially try classic on your own (it's really not that hard, and is a good social activity with friends) and once you feel you're ready for it, take a lesson or two to get some advice on technique from a pro. They will also then be able to advise you on whether you're 'ready' for skating, if that's what you want to try.

I think it's great that you want to have a go at cross-country skiing. I've done both alpine and cross country skiing since I was but a wee lass, and I must say that as much as I love the speed and adrenaline of downhill skiing, nothing beats the feeling of gliding through the forest on a brilliant winter's day using nothing but your own muscle power. My husband and I did 18km on Sunday, and the best part was that after a 1.5km climb to reach the top of a col, we were the only people as far as the eye could see, and it was just us, the snow, the sky and the mountains. Awesome.

Happy trails!

HeatherM
Classic technique is the base or building blocks of skiing. It teaches you good balance and weight transfer - fairly essential if you want to progress onto skating at a good level. I would definitely start with classic and then have another go at the skating when you feel some good technique behind you.
Also, with any new sport, it will take time to learn and progress. We have all gone through the 'rubbish' stage and generally with skating it will be a few weeks of feeling like an 'ugly duckling'. But once you get the hang of it there is nothing better than feeling the freedom and the glide. Keep trying and have fun.

Happy skiing.
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Old 06.12.2010, 21:33
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Re: Classic or Skate

Also don't be afraid of taking a lesson or two. There are a few things that an instructor can point out that will allow you to learn a lot faster and ski more efficiently, without picking up bad habits - its a good investment.
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Old 06.12.2010, 22:14
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Re: Classic or Skate

Would anybody be interested in meeting up for a day's crosscountry skiing + meal in the Jura in January? I'd suggest Les Cluds/Les Rasses (StCroix/Vaud) as it as a large car-park, several hire shops, fabulous views of the Alps and all on the flat, so great for beginners and all levels?
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Old 07.12.2010, 15:32
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Re: Classic or Skate

Classic c-c skiing is pretty straightforward, and most people can become competent enough to enjoy it pretty quickly after minimal instruction.

I've done classic skiing for almost 10 years now, I've briefly tried skate skiing once or twice, but my balance and technique is nowhere near good enough to do it properly. I'm still not good at the classic style either, but style is not so important there and I can happily keep plodding along doing it for hours because my stamina transfers over from all the cycling I do. I know skate skiing would be faster, but I really don't want to spend the time learning to do it, so I'm very happy sticking to the classic style.

People sometimes try to give me pointers as to how to do the classic style better, but I'd really rather just stick to my crappy way and not worry about optimizing anything - I'm happy to just enjoy my time skiing instead of always trying to improve.

So, give the classic style a try, and if you get on OK, then just stick with it and leave the skate style to those who like learning rather than enjoying.
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Old 07.12.2010, 15:37
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Re: Classic or Skate

Hi Chris - what are your favourite areas?
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Old 08.12.2010, 06:27
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Re: Classic or Skate

I live in Lausanne and don't have a car, so my options are limited. La Givrine is simplest and Les Mosses is not too hard to get to. If there is a lot of snow then there is a 13km track in Froideville, which is only a 20 minute bus ride north of the city from our place. Occasionally we take trips further afield - Goms (oberwallis) is very nice.
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Old 08.12.2010, 08:55
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Re: Classic or Skate

Quote:
Would anybody be interested in meeting up for a day's crosscountry skiing + meal in the Jura in January? I'd suggest Les Cluds/Les Rasses (StCroix/Vaud) as it as a large car-park, several hire shops, fabulous views of the Alps and all on the flat, so great for beginners and all levels?
Ooh, me! Although 'a day' sounds a bit daunting, as I'm a total beginner who's never even tried it before (done some alpine skiing; love the whole mountains/snow/nature bit but don't reeeeallly much like the actual skiing as I have to concentrate on not crashing and killing myself so can't really enjoy the scenery - cross-country skiing should suit me, I think).

I'm hoping that like Chris W I can compensate for total lack of technique with good general fitness (although I'm nowhere near his cycling level I too have a generally active 'no car' lifestyle).

kodokan
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Old 09.12.2010, 08:31
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Re: Classic or Skate

Thanks for the feedback. I may well try Classic - should I get a lesson first?? Or just head out based on the video.

It surely can't be that difficult
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Old 09.12.2010, 09:21
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Re: Classic or Skate

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Thanks for the feedback. I may well try Classic - should I get a lesson first?? Or just head out based on the video.
It surely can't be that difficult
I am a pretty good downhill skier with 30+years of experience under my belt. Based on that I tried classic, since 'surely it can't be that difficult'. Quite a frustrating experience. The following winter we booked ourselves an instructor for just two hours and - surprise, surprise - it really wasn't that difficult after all.
If I were you I'd spend one or two hours on cross-country gear on my own just to get a feel for the equipment. Then I'd book an instructor for two hours - time and money well-invested.
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