It’s a good bet you will notice some experienced skiers at Great Glen moving over the snow in a different fashion. Rather than skiing with their skis moving parallel to each other, skate skiers have their ski tips angled outward with their skis’ positioning resembling the letter “V”. Their knees and toes are turned outward, their hips in a more open position, and they gracefully move their mass from one ski to the other in a lateral motion. Done well, the skate technique is graceful, fluid and . . . fast.
A learn-to-skate lesson with one of Great Glen’s professional ski instructors will move you up the learning curve and have you enjoying this discipline of cross country more quickly than trying to teach yourself. There are some technique principles that initially don’t feel natural, but with your instructor’s guidance, you will learn their value and execution to generate forward movement and surmount uphills.
The format of our skate lessons are nearly identical to our learn-to-ski lessons. Your instructor will familiarize you with the equipment, and you’ll begin the lesson becoming comfortable with the more “slippery” feeling skate skis on the snow.
Your instructor will teach you the basic stance for skate skiing, and you’ll begin learning the necessary weight shift from ski to ski. You will practice shifting your weight as you glide forward on your skis, forgoing the use of poles initially. Learning the push-off and ski leg recovery has you moving forward over the snow. You’ll learn one or more of the several pole timing variations to get you started ski-skating our beginner trails.
Skating is no more complicated than classic cross country skiing, and it isn’t out of reach of the beginner. However, if you’re new to cross country skiing, we recommend taking a classic learn-to-ski lesson before attempting to learn to skate, since the balance and gliding learned while classic skiing will set a great base for learning to skate.
Don’t forget to come back for another lesson after a few practice sessions to learn more skate techniques and for some fine-tuning.