When we get that first snow, you want to grab your gear and go. Follow these tips before you do, or else your trip will be like stepping in dog……hair. Keep reading to learn some tips to help you get ready for cross country skiing.
First thing we are going to talk about is your Gear. We sell waxless and waxable skis. And while the term waxless conjures up “No maintenance required”, if you want to get the most performance you can, you need to do a couple things before making your first tracks. Waxless skis means there is no need to apply wax to the kick zone, but you still need to add glide.
The first thing to do is to wipe the skis down with a ski base cleaner using a lint free cloth like Fiberline. This will get all the dust and old dirt off the base you picked up during that last ski of the season or while they were sitting in your garage or basement. Dust and dirt are enemies of glide. Once your base is clean of debris, apply Swix Nordic Easy Glide or for really fast skis Swix F4 Easy Glide, from the tip to the start of your kick zone, and from the end of your kick zone to the tail. Make sure to apply the wax in the same direction the ski travels, ie, from tip to tail. All of this can be purchased at Rocktown Adventures and we would be happy to show you how to apply to your skis.
Waxable skis for both classic and skate techniques require a bit more work to make them kick and glide with ease. New skis and recently stone ground skis should be saturated with a soft wax to turn the sponge of a base into a bar of wax. The easiest way to achieve this is to have the skis Hot Boxed. This is a slow heating of the wax for 4 hours to penetrate slowly into the ski. After this process you should heat protect the base with several layers of a blue wax. All this wax will need to be scraped and brushed out to accept your glide or kick wax of the day. If you have dirty skis that have not been stone ground than you will need to hot scrape the bases and brush out the plastic. Now you can go thru the hot box and heat protect process.
We offer these services for skis and snowboards at our Rockford location. This is a drop off service for Aurora customers. Downhill skis and Snowboards need to have clean edges for us to do this work. We also offer a shop and hot box rental for those Gear Heads that want to do their own work. Stop in any time and let’s talk about waxing or care of your winter investment.
Now that the Gear has been taken care of, we need to make sure the most important piece of equipment is ready to Gear Up Head Out. Here are some skiing specific exercises you can do to get ready for ski season. Some of these you can even do from home. Surprising what 20 minutes a day a couple of times a week can do.
Hill Running with Poles: Find a small hill that gives you 20 yards or so of running room. Running with your poles, time your pole plants to coincide when you push off with your feet. Build up to 15 sprints. While developing leg strength and increasing cardiovascular capacity, this drill will help you with the proper timing of your pole plants to maximize your efficiency on the trail.
Superman: Get down on the floor on all fours. Extend your left arm and right leg, holding for 3-5 seconds. Switch arms/legs and repeat. Build up to 20 repetitions per set. This exercise strengthens your lower back while helping stabilize your core. Critical muscle groups that you do not use in the same manner as with other activities.
Stair Hops: You spend a lot of time with your weight on only one ski. So it makes sense to do some training isolating your legs from each other. Improve your balance and increase your leg strength using this exercise. Simply start at the bottom of the stairs and hop up using one leg. Make sure you bend your leg and really push off when you hop from stair to stair, mimicking the motion you use when you prepare to “kick’ on the trail.
Stair Jumps: Like the hops but using both legs. Designed to increase the power of your kick and improve balance. Add a degree of difficulty by hopping two steps at a time. Great exercise for a quick cardio boost while building leg strength.
Get the cobwebs out of your ski muscles and away from your ski bases with these tips. Nothing worse than going out for the first time of the season and having a failure of any sort, equipment or body!
If you have any questions on how to get ready for cross country ski season, or want some ideas on where you can ski some tracks, give us a call or stop by the store. Keep track of us on Facebook or circle back to our Events Page to find out how we are Heading Out this winter!