Cross Country Skiing

. What I found out was – Nordic and Cross Country technically ARE NOT the same thing. Cross-Country is one element of Nordic Skiing. Nordic is technically defined as any skiing discipline that involves the use of a ski binding where only the toe is attached. That would include: Cross Country (and all of it's sub-categories); Telemark Skiing; and Ski Jumping. Alpine is any discipline where both the ankle and the toe are bound to the ski. This would include traditional downhill, pipe & park skiing, ski ballet, slalom, giant slalom, etc. Etc. Alpine Touring (or Randonee) also falls under the Alpine category. However, most people use the terms "Nordic" and "Cross Country" interchangeably, and they refer to everything else (downhill) as Alpine. It can be confusing. . Telemark skiers usually ski downhill, and while some venture into the off-trail areas, most stick to the slopes, so they tend to get lumped into the Alpine category. However they use a totally different turn, which is actually a Nordic turn. So there is some overlap in the cetegories as well. As well. . Width of the ski is only part of it too. Some XC skis are as wide as the narrowest alpine skis. While most of the XC skis are thin, those used for backcountry XC skiing in deep snow tend to be wide and have edges. The TRUE difference between alpine and cross country skis is the camber. Alpine skis have "single camber" and when the bases are placed against each other, there is little or no space between the skis. XC skis have "double camber" and when the bases of those skis are placed against each other, a wide gap will exist between the center parts of the ski bases. This is what gives XC skis that nice "spring" that allows for travel on flat surfaces. Also, XC skis sometimes have a rough base (like fish scales) that allow for uphill movement. I have friends who use these wider XC skis with edges even at lift-serviced ski areas and can ski downhill on them.

Jason Parkin shows us how easy it is to begin the fun sport of cross country skiing.


2 Replies to “Cross Country Skiing”

  1. Nordic and Cross country are the same. You use special skies that are longer and thinner to traverse small hills and through trails. Alpine is down Hill skiing and you mostly take a lift to the top of a mountain and ski down you use thicker shorter skis with metal edges to help you turn and boots and bindings. Both types are fun but require different skis and equipment and skills.

  2. Nordic or crosscountry skiing is done on level ground and gentle slopes. Traditionally The skis are very narrow and longTHe heels are free on the boots. YOu use poles to push and glide across the snow. Nordic skate skiing uses shorter skis and the skiers move as they would on ice skates or roller blades. Alpine skiing is done steep hills or mountains. Alpine skiers mostly use a lift of any kind that takes them to the top so they can ski down. Alpine skis are wider and heavier than nordic skis they have metal edges to aid turnning. The boots are stiff and attatched to the ski at both the toe and heel.