A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Skate skiing class part 2

January 25, 2014
Emilie Phillips

Thursday evening was cold and windy. I suspect that discouraged some of the folks from the first day. The class ended up being only the four strongest skiers out of 8 or so the first day.

I showed up a little early and practiced a few of the exercises from last time. Most of them went ok, so I retreated to warm my hands up and meet class.

We picked up from where we left off, which was introducing poles and the V2 cadence. Once again I got all mixed up timing the compression relative to the ski transition. However, this time adding the poles made it better, and imagining a tunnel that I duck through finally made me feel the cadence. That’s not to say I had it down. I would fall in and out of rhythm, but at least I could identify when it was and wasn’t working.

Then we switched cadences to V1 which got me all twisted up again. In V1 you pole half as often as V2. Or at least that was how it was explained. After watching the instructor demo it several times, I figured out that the cadence is actually skiing twice as fast. The pole swing period is fixed by the length of the pole. So to get two strides inbetween pole plants, you have to transition feet twice as fast.

We spent the last hour skiing around the race course practicing the two cadences and getting critiques. The V1 works better for uphill because you have more power moves pushing off from one ski to the next. The V2 is sort of the rest cadence because you spend longer just gliding on one ski.

I did two laps around the course and felt like I was really starting to get the hang of it. Since I did not have the cadences in muscle memory, I was constantly counting eighth notes and quarter notes. On the third lap, I ran out of go. It turns out skating is a highly aerobic activity. I stopped and huffed and puffed for a while before shuffling back to the main building.

The instructor said the next steps to improve my skate performance would be racing techniques to go faster. As for teaching it, I feel like there are enough basic skills in common with classic that, combined with borrowing his progression, I could teach intro skating.

So, my only question at this point is do I want to do more skating. How much practice do I do between now and my PSIA class to cement the cadences in muscle memory. And do I acquire a used set of skis/poles/boots so I can skate more later. I am not sure. On the one hand, I really like getting good at a skill. On the other hand, skate skiing requires a groomed track which tends to be boring.