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Skate or Classic Cross-Country Skiing: Which is right for me?

Are you looking for a way to enjoy winter, increase your health and IGNITE passion for life? Cross-country skiing is a great place to start! I know that sounds bold, but really it is an incredible sport that offers so many benefits! We'll have a whole blog about the endless benefits soon! For now the age old question: classic or skate?

First off lets define the two and then help you discover which is best for you! Both are types of cross-country skiing which can also be referred to as Nordic or XC skiing.

Classic: Skiers will keep their skis parallel and move forward by kicking and gliding back and forward. Classic skis have a kick pocket under each foot that can have fish scales, skins or kick wax on it to propel the skier forward.

Skate: Skiers will use shorter skis and propel themselves by kicking out to the side in a manner that looks similar to an ice skater’s movement. Skate skis are smooth along the entire bottom and made to glide.

Skate boots go higher on the ankle while classic boots are cut lower allowing for more flexion in the ankle. Both skate and classic boots are designed to attach to the ski just at the toe and leave the heal free for movement.

When deciding which one to start, first ask yourself where you plan to be skiing. Do you live near a cross-country skiing area with groomed trails or a snowy road that is groomed? Are you planning to go in the wilderness where there is no grooming? If you will be in the wilderness then classic will be your best option. It can be very hard to skate on ungroomed terrain. If you will be on groomed trails you can choose classic or skate.

Classic skiing is closer to the motion of walking and is easier for a beginner. Classic skis are wider than skate skis making it easier to balance on them. The kick pocket on the bottom of classic skis makes them not as slippery as skate skis which helps to prevent falls.

Skate skiing is more challenging for beginners because it requires more balance and the motion is not as natural for people. If you have experience with downhill skiing or with ice skating and you have pretty good balance and coordination, you might love skate skiing. Once you figure out the technique of skating and how to keep your skis waxed, you can get on a nice groomed trail and start to feel like you are flying! It can be an amazing feeling if you like a little speed.

Both options are great for different reasons and I love mixing it up and doing them both. Really anytime you are outside and moving your body it's a win! If you can invest some time in learning good technique then that "win" becomes magical. At Ignite Movement we can help you every step of the way! We do private ski coaching, group clinics, ski into YURT trips and more. Check our the adventures on our website and sign up today!

Once you have your ski adventure planned, you will need some good gear and the right wax for your skis! We got you covered! Use this coupon code: SKILIKEAGIRL30 at for 30% all your cross-country ski needs all winter! Let's go play!

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