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What is Skate Skiing Anyway?

Many times when I tell people that we are heading to Lake Placid to skate skiing they are not really sure what that is. When people think of cross-country skiing, they think of what is known as classic style which consists of lifting the heel and sliding the ski forward usually maintaining constant contact with the snow surface. This usually leaves a parallel set of tracks in the snow, or it maintained by grooming is known as trackset.

Skate-skiing, also known as freestyle, cross-country utilizes a skinny ski that is a bit shorter than the classic ski. The heel is also not attached to the ski. The skier uses a skating style where one ski pushes off as the other ski slides forward with the upper body leaning forward. Skate-skiing is typically seen in the biathlon event where the competitors must stop and shoot rifles at targets while training to quickly lower their heartrate for accuracy. Skate-skiing requires much more aerobic capacity than the classic style and is a killer winter workout. It takes a little bit more learning to become proficient at.

Below is a pretty cool video that Garmin put out that demonstrates the skate-skiing style. Enjoy…

Garmin Wintertraining – Forerunner 910XT from Garmin EMEA on Vimeo.