When classic skiing, compared to skate skiing, there are significant differences in the factors that influence ski speed. I'll address some of the variables and how ski preparation can optimize performance.
With respect to glide, classic skiing differs from skate skiing in a few important ways:
- Stop-Start Action - Classic skis, during striding and kick-double-pole, come to a complete stop in the track with every stride. The classsic ski has a repeated stop-start action.
- Running in the Track - Classic skis typically run in a track that is prepared differently than the corduroy skating surface. The track slots are more easily skied in - every skiers uses the exact same ski path - and are usually more transformed than the skating lane.
- Torsional Aspects - Classic skis are not subject to very much torsional shear; the motion primarily is fore/aft, in line wiht the longitudinal axis of the ski.
These variables don't all move in the same direction, and trade-offs are necessary to get optimum ski performance.
Let's examime thes primary differences, one at a time.
The rest of the great article is in lead story in the November Nordic Ultratune Update (PDF 1.7Mb)