Wrong direction in skating technique?

FasterSkierAugust 26, 2003

Vidar Jakobsen, one of the leading kinesiologists at the Norwegian Institute for Sports, thinks Norway has been going down the wrong path when analyzing skating technique.

“ Daehlie and Alsgaard skated technically very well in the early 90s, but instead of copying them, as most other countries did, Norway wanted to develop the technique even further. This led us down the wrong path. Now, we’re more back to what was done earlier. You may say the circle is closed”.

Mr. Jakobsen has worked with and analyzed skating technique for many years, including a long-term project following four high level skiers over several years as they gradually changed their techniques. Several sensors placed throughout the skier's body and picked up on special video cameras were used to get a detailed analyzes of the exact motions of skating technique. Jakobsen is also involved in many of the National Team’s rollerski tests being done on the Institute’s large treadmill.

There are especially two points that Jakobsen thinks have been taught wrong.

“It has been pointed out that the skiers should focus mostly in the forward direction (up the trail). This is not entirely correct. One should rather focus in the direction the ski is pointing. Another point is that in V1 we’ve said to move the leg as far up the hill as possible. This however will not result in the most efficient push, since we do not have any grip (as with kick-wax) with the skate ski. If the leg is moved too far forward, it needs to move back before an efficient push can start”, explains Jakobsen.

Jakobsen now thinks the Norwegian skiers' technique are moving in the right direction, and look forward to a confirmation of this in the upcoming season’s World Cup competitions.

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