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How-to-type articles, technique videos and more
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If you follow Julia Kern on social media or her blog, you have probably gotten the sense that outdoor recreation is more than just part of her job as a professional cross country skier. A quick scroll highlights a multitude of activities that extend far beyond rollerskiing and World Cup travel. Kern seems to do it all: open water swimming, backcountry skiing, paddle boarding, camping, trail running, rock climbing, and mountain biking. And always with...

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(Photo: NordicFocus) What: Fluoros, aka perfluorinated waxes, aka ski waxes containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), aka the really expensive waxes that you put on for big races, in some or all of block, liquid, or powder form. What they do: Make your skis go really, really fast, particularly in the wet or dirty snow conditions that sadly characterize more and more high-end races in an era of artificial snow and climate change. What else...

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The video presents several dynamic stretches as you begin to develop your own routine using slower, coordinated movements to move the joint through the desired motion. Striving for flexibility is ingrained from a young age. The sit-and-reach test was a key component of the presidential fitness test which was administered to elementary-aged school children until recently. Middle and high school athletes often go through a routine of static stretches before starting practice. Acro-yoga masters now fill...

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With Para Nordic athletes scattered around the country, making the best of sub-optimal proximity to athletes has been a challenge. Coaches of the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Ski Team turned an eye towards utilizing virtual meetings for check-ins and a substitute for in-person coaching.  According to Eileen Carey, Director of the Paralympic Nordic Ski Team, the team’s development athletes made use of the virtual sessions several times each week. Virtual meetings included “training sessions, camps, education...

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There are many kinds of virtual events, and many ways to run them. Look here for context and alternatives. This is a simple and free solution to running a temporally distanced event on a fixed course. Summary: Create an invitation-only club on Strava. Create a segment. When the event concludes, select the club from the segment leaderboard options to view results. Advantages: Free. Low effort for OC. Strava provides tools to detect groups skiing together...

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This is part of the Virtual Event Hosting series. With all the ideas and potential solutions out there, here are some things that might help you narrow down your choice. Safety Issues And Compliance There are many things to consider when hosting an event and health restriction rules related to COVID differ for every community. These rules also tend to change weekly, which may be awkward for a series of events.  Some of the safety topics...

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What a year. In the spirit of optimism, we want to highlight a few non-profits worthy of your consideration when thinking of buying gifts this holiday season. We know the wonder cross-country skiing provides. Gliding through the woods, no noise, totally connected. Silent sports fuel us. Why not support organizations lifting kids up and sharing the wealth that is skiing.    Spirit North: Canada based and supporting Indigenous youth. Founded by Beckie Scott, a former...

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We’ve reached mid-December. With any luck, your local trail system is beginning to fill in, you’ve scraped off your storage wax, and you’ve put in at least a handful of easy days getting reacquainted with your boards. Whether or not you rollerski during the summer, skiing on snow has its own jive and it’s normal to feel a little like Bambi your first few sessions.  In my experience as a coach and masters athlete, I...

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  If you’ve found your way here, you are likely familiar with the three tenets of cross country skiing: push off, weight transfer, and glide. Whether it’s diagonal stride in the track or V2 on the corduroy, your ability to experience a complete weight transfer, ride a flat ski, and carry momentum is heavily dependent on the stability of your standing leg.  Why is developing that balance and stability a challenge? For those who choose...

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Depending on where you live, rollerskis may seem like a distant memory, retired to a storage closet not to be looked at again until next May. For others, sliding on snow might not be the agenda for another month. Perhaps you are foregoing Thanksgiving travel to snow this year due to the pandemic, or you are an urban-dwelling weekend warrior whose usual routine of traveling regularly to snow has come to a halt. Regardless of...

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  Another mask to add to your wardrobe? These masks will not provide protection from Covid-19, however, they may be key to preventing breathing problems into the future for cross-country skiers. Whilst it may not be news to any of the readers here, but cross-country skiing as a winter sport exposes us to some quite extreme conditions both in training and competition. The FIS cut-off of -4°F (-20°C) was primarily established to prevent cold-based injuries...

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  Within my pay-grade back in November 1993 was the cost of a weekend pass to the renowned Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival. Living in Northwest, Montana at the time, the drive north and across the border and up to Banff was a streamlined affair. Beyond my means, however, a warm place to stay near Banff. Even back then, the somewhat tony Canadian town had a posh flare. So a friend and I...

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When we began this series, The Escape, we imagined it would be a slippery slope. It turns out the slope is blue-ice slick. Cabin-lust is real.   This past spring, just as Covid-19 began making headlines in the U.S., one of the best treat makers on the planet, Zoë Roy, was chef at Talus Lodge. Roy, along with a friend who is rumored to ride bicycles in all forms, settled at the lodge for approximately two-months...

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The koan that skiers are made in the summer has been around for longer than this website. The related truism, that summer snow time is necessary to effectively compete as a high-level skier come winter, also has a venerable history.  For example, here’s Luke Bodensteiner, writing in Endless Winter about why he had journeyed to a place where “the weather sucks all year long” to ski on the Sognefjellet snowfields in August 1993: “We all...

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FOMO: Fear of missing out. FOMO through the lens of envy is probably not the way to thrive. FOMO through the lens of seizing the day, on the other hand, has a lovely ring to it. Chad Salmela: biathlete, skier, running coach, forever linked with “HERE COMES DIGGINS”, husband, and parent. He is also the lone member of his family of four without a Finnish passport, although he has Finnish ancestry. His wife, Mimmu, hails...

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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The WSCA Announces Webinar: Waxing Skis and Waning the Gender Gap Today, the Women Ski Coaches Association (WSCA) announced it will host a Webinar to connect and educate women coaches, and redefine ski waxing culture and opportunities. The webinar, Waxing Skis and Waning the Gender Gap will take place on October 21st. “The ski coaching world is going through a big shift with the ban on fluoro waxes and we see...

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These are times for daydreaming. Times to stay grounded. Times to remain socially distant when appropriate — but, still, daydream. We’re prone to daydreaming here at FasterSkier. There’s the eventual skiing, solitude, and winter light to distract from daily tasks. Fun stuff to imagine. Along those lines, we are starting a new series: The Escape. Think of the series as an opportunity to daydream along with the rest of us, or be inspired to book...

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I’ve struggled with body satisfaction my entire life. I don’t just want to be skinnier, I want to be leaner, more defined, more like an… “athlete”. But last fall, I was hit by a car and I find myself wondering, is the body I have, not the body the insecure part of me craves, responsible for my return to sport?   Since I was little, the word “athlete” activated images of beautiful toned-muscled people in my...