U.S. Nordic Ski Team men's Head Coach, Jason Cork, shows how to perform a herringbone in the video below. The herringbone is used when the terrain is too steep to diagonal stride. There are five basic elements to the herringbone:
- The V: Angle skis out into a V, Keep the V as narrow as possible, although the V will get wider as the hill gets steeper. The narrower V lets you travel faster.
- Pressure on the ski: Put pressure on inside edge of the ski, through the ball of the foot. This allows the ski to bite into the snow and provides a platform that lets you push off of one ski and on to the other.
- Keep body mass over skis: If you step too far up the hill, you may slip.
- Push on the poles: Timing of the poles should be similar to diagonal stride.
- Plant poles behind the skis: Putting poles too far in front risk stepping on them. (Ignore the warning only if you a trying to justify a new set of poles.)