Q: Where I live we are roller skiers first and snow skiers second. In my estimation, most of the country is either facing this reality now or moving in that direction. Therefore from a skate perspective what do you see as being the main differences between snow and roller skiing that people should look out for and how can they adjust for them to make the transition easier?
A: Any rollerskiing is better than no rollerskiing. Do not avoid rollerskiing because it is slightly different than on snow skiing. Any rollerski time will only improve your on snow experience.
Q: Here is what I have come up with so far in my experience:
a. Seems much easier to plow snow skis by displacing too much weight forward and not so much because on rollers because the wheels are more forgiving with this.
A: Yes snow plowing is easier on snow but you get used to it on pavement.
b. With roller skiing you always get the “perfect ski” every time. With snow skiing there is much more variation to surface conditions (icy snow, deep snow, etc.). How can one train for this in the summer if at all to transition better?
A: Yes with rollerskiiing skate or classic you get perfect kick and glide every time, that is why it is nice to do. Just go do it. But when you are doing it imagine you are skiing on snow. In all sports you never what to just muscle your way through, but rather find finesse.
c. Stronger fuller leg pushes seem more critical on snow whereas on rollers you can get away more with a lighter touch due to the consistently good conditions.
A: Light is right both on snow and on pavement. Do not think about the power of the push think about complete weight transfer.
Anyways, just curious what other differences you see and how people can adjust for them while training in the non-snow months.
A: Think less, ski more.
Q: I really seem to struggle in deeper or soft snow, especially when skating up hills, I feel very inefficient with my energy output. Wondering what tips you would have for this? It seems to me that one would need to adjust their V1 technique in a certain way to ski more efficiently and economically in these types of conditions. I would also be curious to understand the adjustments one would make on an extremely hard packed surface that lacks any edging.
A: First of all, a ski for soft conditions vs hard pack will help you glide through powder much better. And as we said before light is right. Think of yourself as a feather floating across the snow. Be it v1, v2, or v2 alternate all can be done on/in powder. But floating vs pushing should be the thought. Skiing is a finesse sport. Figuring how to get your ski to glide over the snow rather than to plow through it is key.
One of the easiest way to improve is to ski behind another skier and adjust your technique. If you can get behind a better skier try to match them and you will improve quickly. If you are skiing behind an equal skier try different things and see how you can improve relative to them in each stride.
I hope this helps.
– Andy @ SkiPost
Cross-Country skiing’s community lodge. Where knowledge and stories are shared. The goal of SkiPost is to make the sport of Cross-Country skiing easier and more enjoyable for all who choose to participate. If you have questions on Cross-Country Skiing email us weanswer@SkiPost.com and visit SkiPost.com