Transitioning from snow to pavement
As a professional ski racer, I am lucky enough to have a little bit of a unique problem; I have to switch between training on snow and training on rollerskis multiple times during the summer. Now, I realize that this sounds ridiculous. However, when you consider that all of those European dudes, whom you watch mostly destroying everyone on the World Cup, spend a ton of time skiing on snow during the summer… it only makes sense. There’s no way I will be able to catch them if I am training any less, or any worse, than they are.
So I count myself extremely lucky to be a part of the APU Elite Team, and to have access to their summer on-snow training facility on Eagle Glacier. We go up there for a couple week-long camps over the summer, and it is a great place to put in huge hours.
This means that as many as 6 times a summer, I could be rollerskiing one week and then snow skiing the next, or vice versa.
The technique differences in skating are subtle, but important. We probably all know one of those people, who are much better at rollerskiing than they are at skiing on snow. This is often due to the differences in the surface; the much harder pavement rewards more power in both the poles and the ski push, whereas that same power might be lost in the soft snow if not applied quite right.
When I switch between the two, I try to remember the basic differences. High end race skis are lighter than rollerskis, but skis are way longer and more unwieldy. The edging is also different while skating; on rollerskis the rotation point when you tip the ski laterally is beneath the centerline of the foot; on skis, it is 2 cm off center.
Here are some basic rollerskiing tips that I try to keep in mind, when trying to replicate good snow skating technique:
-Remember that you don’t want to be swinging your ski tips around wildly. Pretend that your rollerskis extend way out in front of you like skis, and keep these imaginary tips in a narrow V in front of you.
-Don’t kick your skate rollerskis like a you would a rollerblade, with a stiff foot. Instead, let the foot and the sole of the boot flex and push off of the ball of your foot as your leg extends. It is this final snap with the calves that give world class skaters their speed.
Reese skis on Woodski roller skis