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Skate & Classic Technique Tips

Sat, Jun  16, 2001 - By Mike Muha

Skate and classic technique tips from the 2001 XC Oregon Spring Race Camp.


  • A flat ski is a fast ski (start with a flat ski)
  • Good, solid weight shift (transfer)
  • Keep good alignment with the shoulder and hips.
  • Start the poling action with your head looking up - this allows for good breathing and free momentum when you drop it.
  • Stay on your "hang-arm" or "poling side" long enough - don't twist off too early. [Down and over while applying poling power, then up as the ski free glides]
  • Try not to let your knees "buckle" in.
  • Start the poling motion with rounded shoulders and squeeze your stomach - use your upper torso.
  • In V1, keep the "hang-pole" pushing in the direction of travel.
  • Arm angle should start at around 90o.
  • Head should make an oblong motion in the completion of the movement in V1.
  • In steeper hills, push your knee forward for extra free glide.
  • When finishing your poling, don't over-exaggerate the release.



  • Good weight shift will make the ski easier to kick.
  • Reach from the shoulder (let your shoulders rotate).
  • Start your pole plant at around 90o.
  • Use your stomach and upper torso with the initial pole plant.
  • Good hip rotation to help with the weight shift.
  • Foot should be "in front" when starting kick.
  • Let knee flex when kicking - don't kick with a straight leg.
  • Let recovery arm swing through like a pendulum.
  • Keep your head up.
  • Keep your shoulders rounded.
  • Don't stand too upright or sit too far back.
  • Ski fluid, relaxed and rhythmic.

Double Poling

  • Throw weight forward from your waist.
  • Keep head yup to start.
  • Reach with your elbows and let your shoulders roll forward.
  • Keep knees slightly flexed and relaxed.