• Free Shipping on orders over $100

Skate Skiing: Why Skate and How to Get Started?

January 5, 2024

There are a lot of reasons to try skate skiing, and a lot of reasons that make skate skiing one of the fastest growing segments of cross-country skiing. Here are some tips to get you started.

Why Skate Ski?
There are a lot of great reasons to skate ski, and these are some of our favorites: 

It’s fast and fun: Skate skiing delivers a unique sense of speed and is a great way to really cover some distance.

It’s convenient: Skate skiing means no need to mess with grip wax, just grab your gear and go. 

It’s the perfect workout: It’s an activity that engages all of the major muscle groups as well as the cardiovascular system. Skate skiing is a great way to get an efficient workout, and a great way to get some fresh air after a busy workday. 

… or make it a long tour on a weekend: enjoy the scenery and marvel in nature’s beauty wherever your tracks take you. 

In short: Skate skiing is a gem of an activity and your ticket to adventure. 

But there is another bonus: Many find skate skiing easier to pick up than diagonal striding. Are you ready to feel the speed? 

How to get started?
Former Norwegian National team coach Geir Endre Rogn shares his best advice on technique and some drills to practice. 

Rogn explains that there are two main keys to mastering skate skiing: One is balance. The other is keeping the skis moving. 

Start with balance, which is the most basic technique component. 

“Balance is the premise for all cross-country skiing techniques, both skate and classic. In skate skiing, the key is to find your balance on one ski at a time in order to generate a powerful push-off. If you nail the balance, a lot of technique elements will fall into place,” Rogn explains. 

To work on your balance, Rogn suggests skiing without poles. 

“Practice riding each ski as long as you can. It’s you who decides when to switch from one ski to the other ski. Even the World Cup racers do a lot of no-pole skiing,” he says.

Skate skiing consists of three sub-techniques: V1, V2 and V2 alternate. 

V1 (or “offset skating”) is the slowest “gear.” It’s where one ski and both poles hit the ground at the same time and allows you to keep the skis moving, even on steep uphill climbs. 

V2 is your medium/universal gear. In V2, the poles hit the ground just a split second before your ski. One pole plant for each push-off. V2 is used in a wide variety of terrain, from flat and rolling to easier uphill climbs. Strong elite skiers even use V2 on quite steep uphill climbs. 

“When V2 skating at high speed in easy terrain, you put more of your weight on the forefoot, and ski bigger and more powerful. But if you increase your turnover and stand up a little taller, V2 skating can be used even on uphill climbs. This is a great way to adjust your technique, and a key to mastering skate skiing,” Rogn says.

Finally, V2-alternate is your “overdrive” gear. It looks a bit like V1, since you pole to one side only, but the timing is more like V2: Your poles hit the ground just before the ski. This technique is most often used to power across flat and slightly downhill terrain. 

As your balance improves, so will all the sub-techniques of skate skiing. 

Remember that everything gets easier with practice and the right equipment: Check out the all-new Madshus Endurace Skate ski, one of four skis rated as “The best Cross-Country skis 2024” in the expansive annual winter gear guide by Outside Magazine. 

Here is what the testers concluded: 
“The beauty of the Endurace Skate, which is two steps below Madshus’ top of the line World Cup Redline skate ski but still “race-inspired,” is that a few design tweaks allow it to occupy that liminal space between an elite-level race ski and a more stable, forgiving endurance ski (as the name suggests). The Endurace is all about balance. Its moderate sidecut makes it feel solid under foot while still being maneuverable at all speeds. And its proprietary foam core has an excellent strength to weight ratio, making it responsive but not so jittery that you feel a crash is imminent around every corner. Madshus also dialed back the camber to reduce the Endurace’s aggressiveness while still keeping it lively.”

The overall verdict was as follows: “It’s faster than most endurance-level skis, yet still fun and stable.”

Check out the all-new Madshus Endurace Skate Ski