Kevin Hinds: Hi! I am Kevin Hinds. I am a snowshoe and cross-country skiing instructor here at LL Bean in Freeport, Maine. Today, I am going to talk a little bit about some tips for cross-country skiing. First thing that we want to do is like we have been doing out so far, is bend your knees a little bit, and have your nose over your toes. We are just going to start pushing off, and gliding a little bit, almost like just you are shuffling your feet, weight is a little bit forward, knees are bent. As we continue our progression, we are going to continue to keep the knees bent, nose over the toes, little bit of our weight forward, and this time we are kind of trying to just not just push and glide but kick and glide a little further with each stroke. So as we continue to progress, we are going to talk about what are our arms are doing. As you were doing that kick and glide, your arms probably were naturally moving a little bit, but we are going to get them moving in the right direction. So what will happen is if I am kicking off my left leg here, with the knees nice and bend and gliding on to the right leg in front of me, my right arm goes back, left arm goes forward, just like this.
Next, we are going to put on our cross-country ski poles. To put them on, you open up the loop, put your hand through and grab on to the grip. So I think of it as though rabbit comes out of the hole, grabs on to the carrot, just like so, nice leg grip. When you are using the poles, you are going to be planting them right around your hip. Now far in front of it, but right at your hip, and then pushing back. So now with the poles, we are going to add that kick push and glide, all about at the same time. It's going to look like this, kick, push, glide, kick, push, glide, knees bend, leaning forward. Now we have gotten to a point where we have a nice down hill. You can continue your nice rhythm all the way down as you get it, it gets a little bit steeper though, you can use both poles, and do a double push, as many times as you want to get some momentum and then get down into a nice tuck, where your knees are bent, your nose is over your toes, and you enjoy the ride on the way down. It's always good to know how to stop so you can ski in control. So you remember earlier, we are bending our knees, put our tips together, tails apart, that's a snowplow. So it's going to look like this on the down hill. Knees bend, weight forward, and ease yourself to stop.
The snowplow is a great thing that you can use not just on a down hill but even on some rolling hills or in a flat just as you have gotten some momentum to come to a controlled stop. Sooner or later, when you are cross-country skiing, you are going encounter some up hills and you need to know how to get up those smoothly and efficiently. For a really gradual hill, if you are getting little tired, you can almost walk up, still in the sort of the stride or the pattern that you have been going at. As the hill gets even steeper, you have a little bit of momentum, you could really get into a little bit of that stride, but almost a little bit of run to jog up the hill. As the hill gets even steeper, you could do a herringbone which is putting the tips of the skis out to the side, put your poles behind you, and then walking up the hill or a light jog. If the hill is really extremely steep or may be have some turns on it and you are uncomfortable, you could also side step from the bottom, easy, a little bit at a time all the way to the top of the hill. So, there are some basic tips to help you begin to enjoy the sport of cross-country skiing.