Nordic Skiing 101
If you are new to Nordic skiing or would like to expand your skills, our info, resources and programs will be of interest to you. Let’s begin with some of the confusion about the terminology.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between skate and classic skiing? What do people mean when they say “It’s a klister day?” How about NNN vs. Salomon vs. 3-pin bindings? Here is a brief introduction to cross-country skiing, which is the same thing as nordic skiing, as well as links to additional resources to help you better understand your next conversation out on the trails or at the Touring Center. Enjoy!
There are two different techniques of cross-country skiing, classic and skate. Classic skiing is done primarily with the skier’s skis oriented straight ahead, skis running parallel. A specific type of wax or some kind of mechanical gripping design exists on the bottom of the ski’s midsection, to keep the skis from sliding backward. Like at Great Glen Trails, where trails are groomed with “Tracks”, parallel grooves are set in the snow to make the experience easier. Skate skiing uses skis designed solely for gliding, without a midsection gripping design, making use of lateral movements to move forward. A flat and firm surface created by grooming helps to make skate skiing easier. Typically newcomers to the sport start with classic technique as it’s generally more stable and straightforward.
Nordic ABC’s …
Nordic Ski Lab provides a wealth of skiing knowledge and advice, including this complete list of commonly used ski terms:
REI provides this excellent glossary of commonly used ski terms.
Instructional ski and wax videos, books, and more …
New England Nordic Ski Association’s (NENSA) Bill Koch League is the largest, cross-country ski program for young people in the United States. Whether a child loves the adventure of cross-country skiing, of playing with friends on skis, or wants to grow up to be a ski racer, NENSA has a wealth of information and resources to share with families.
Here is a list of programs offered at some or all of these White Mountain Nordic centers. Click any of these links for more details.
Resources for Equipment & Gear (new and used) …
Families and individuals searching for cross country ski equipment have a variety of options in the White Mountain region, from local ski swaps and sales, rental equipment to full-service retail shops. Listed below are some of the options that are available.
- Jackson Ski Touring Foundation – Full service rental shop, small retail shop, annual ski swap and sale in November, limited opportunities for seasonal lease of children’s equipment.
- Great Glen Trails – Full service rental and retail shops
- Bear Notch Ski Touring – Full service rental shop
- Mt. Washington Valley Ski Touring – Consignment shop at Ragged Mountain Equipment
- Bretton Woods Nordic Center – Full service rental and retail shops
- Purity Spring Resort XC Center – Full service rental shop
- Eastern Slope Ski Club XC Program – Annual ski sale first week of November, limited opportunities for seasonal lease of children’s equipment