• For more information on how to avoid pop-up ads and still support SkiTalk click HERE.

"Skate" on flat terrain?

capecodbeachfront

Too Cold to Golf!
Inactive
Joined
Sep 24, 2023
Posts
109
Location
Adirondacks NY
I have always been jealous of the skiers who so effortlessly skate across the flats to the lift line. I am the exhausted guy using my poles to move a couple of feet at a time. Any tips you can share will be appreciated. Youtube videos always show XC skiers, not downhillers. This year I am determined... so far my plan is to slide on just the left ski, while pushing off with inside of right ski. Even plan on practicing in my backyard... amusing my neighbors and wife. Shorter skis this year which I am hoping will help?
 

LiquidFeet

lurking
Instructor
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
6,637
Location
Instructor, New England
This ski instruction book by Carl Gamma is my favorite. It's dated because it was written back in the straight ski days. But skating hasn't changed much. This should get you going.

The Handbook of Skiing (Rev.): Gamma, Karl: 9780679743163: Amazon.com: Books


Check out the two how-to pages below.
The push-off is the tricky part.


1-skating-intro-jpg.212757

Skating creates a herringbone pattern in the snow.
2. Skating ski pattern .jpg


To get that push-off to work, try this.
--Set left ski down on snow a little bit behind you, at a diagonal to the direction you are heading. Let should be bent. You can squat low to get that leg bent.
--Roll it onto its big toe edge and .......
--Push that edged left ski backwards at a diagonal by extending your leg, and keep the ski on edge. Don't let it slip away.
--Do this diagonal-backwards push with force.
--At the same time extend/lengthen your upper body diagonally up and forward to the right.

--Push back diagonally to the left; propel body up and diagonally forward to the right.
--Start low to push ski back, get tall to propel body forward.

--Step down onto right ski, planting it flat. Work on gliding straight forward diagonally to the right on that ski. How far can you glide?
--Then roll that right ski onto its biig toe edge, get low, and extend right leg back.
Hope this helps.

Doing two skate-pushes in the same direction, then two in the other direction, is how I have taught it. You can start on a gentle rise at first, which makes it harder to glide. So you have to push back hard, and keep the ski on edge, or you'll slide backward.
Work hard to get the glide going. Then try it on flat terrain. You'll find gliding easy at that point.


4. Advanced skating movements .jpg
 
Last edited:

scott43

So much better than a pro
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
13,332
Location
Great White North
Nevermind, @LiquidFeet best me to it! :) I would just say alpine skis and boots are heavy so be prepared to do some work. The trickiest part is not catching up the tails. It's a great skill to have in your toolbox.
 

Bad Bob

I golf worse than I ski.
Skier
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
5,758
Location
West of CDA South of Canada
Once there is snow and you are on the hill try this the cat tracks or very flat areas. It is kind of a derivative of skating. Get your feet about hip width apart. Stand a little knock kneed so you are on the inside edges. Now push down on one ski and then the other. It is almost like miniture carving turn. What you want to experience a little acceleration.
As you get better at it this is almost an invisible move; it will make buddies a little nuts asyou pull away from them.
Now take this to the flats, exadurate and you will be skating.
 

dbostedo

Asst. Gathermeister
Moderator
Contributor
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Posts
17,754
Location
75% Virginia, 25% Colorado
One of my instructors said to think of it as pulling the non-gliding ski in order to make you move your weight over the gliding ski, and keep from washing out and struggling. That thought has worked for me to get better at it.

A lot of people try to lean, or put all their weight on the ski they're edging/pushing with, making it wash out, and not propel themselves because they don't get their weight moved and centered over the gliding ski. That's my thinking anyway.
 

Tony Storaro

Glorified Tobogganer
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Posts
7,374
Location
Europe
I have always been jealous of the skiers who so effortlessly skate across the flats to the lift line. I am the exhausted guy using my poles to move a couple of feet at a time. Any tips you can share will be appreciated. Youtube videos always show XC skiers, not downhillers. This year I am determined... so far my plan is to slide on just the left ski, while pushing off with inside of right ski. Even plan on practicing in my backyard... amusing my neighbors and wife. Shorter skis this year which I am hoping will help?

Inline skates? If you are new to them, practice on grass-slow and safe. Quad skates will also do the job. Skating on ski is really, really easy when you get the hang of it.
 

jt10000

步步高升
Skier
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Posts
1,063
Location
New York City
Focus on stepping forward onto a flat ski and getting your weight up and over that ski as you milk out a little glide. Thinking about pushing back can work for some people but is a bad focus for others - I think focusing on stepping forward is a better learning approach. You will naturally push back with one leg in order to step forward. Don't think about pushing to the side. Thinking stepping forward and onto a flat, gliding ski.

Ideally you'd learn on flat or even slightly downhill terrain - that makes it easier to think about getting up and over the forward ski.

Most alpine skis are plenty short enough.

This is for XC skiing but show it pretty well (ignore the hands/arm info if you like - that's not very important.)

 

Gina D

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Posts
249
For me the big breakthrough was waiting between strides. Once you are gliding on the new ski, pause for a second, let that ski slide forward before pushing off the new ski. Use the entire ski, you paid a lot for it!
 

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
Skier
Team Gathermeister
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
12,371
Location
Maine
Youtube videos always show XC skiers, not downhillers.
That's because XC skiers actually know how to do it, while precious few alpine skiers do. It's kind of comical, actually, for a skate skier to watch most alpiners try to skate. @jt10000 understands this, which explains his post above. Pay attention to that one. (@dbostedo touches on this too.) The whole thing about committing 100% of your weight to the gliding ski with each stride is pretty much the beginning, the middle, and the end of it. A really good skater will be able to glide to a complete stop on that one ski and never put the other foot down.

In order to really get this, you must practice without poles. Put the poles down. Just leave them there. That's right. Skate away from the poles. No, don't go back after six strides and fetch them. Skate around a BUNCH without them. Like, until you're ready to call it quits for the day. Do it again the next day. Eventually you will get it. Then and only then should you pick up the poles.

One thing that is under-emphasized in the posts above is that you can't "push off" or "extend" or what ever you want to call the propulsion phase of the stride without first bending the leg that you're going to try to push with. Not bending that leg for real - not just a half-baked effort for show - is the second-most common mistake I see. And if you can't put a good bend in that leg on the flat without ending up way back over the tail of your ski, that reveals a problem for all of your skiing, not just on the flats.

Anyway, watch the xc videos.
 

Tom K.

Skier Ordinaire
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Posts
8,259
Skating on alpine gear?!

Bah! :ogbiggrin:

My legs get enough workout from actual skiing (and xc skating) so I like to use the short, quick double pole technique to get a bit of upper bod and tummy/core work when I need to get somewhere that's flat.
 

scott43

So much better than a pro
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
13,332
Location
Great White North
Skating on alpine gear?!

Bah! :ogbiggrin:

My legs get enough workout from actual skiing (and xc skating) so I like to use the short, quick double pole technique to get a bit of upper bod and tummy/core work when I need to get somewhere that's flat.
I mean, I'm working up a good sweat if I have to skate any distance in Alpine gear!! Man..
 

Tony Storaro

Glorified Tobogganer
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Posts
7,374
Location
Europe
Skating on alpine gear?!

Bah! :ogbiggrin:

My legs get enough workout from actual skiing (and xc skating) so I like to use the short, quick double pole technique to get a bit of upper bod and tummy/core work when I need to get somewhere that's flat.

Heh, but skating on short skis can be real fun, especially if it is just a bit downhill. It is also beneficial for improving the carving technique-the balancing on one ski.
Plus it makes you look PROFESSIONAL among all the pole pushers around. :roflmao:
 

cantunamunch

Meh
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
21,602
Location
Behavioral sink
Inline skates? If you are new to them, practice on grass-slow and safe. Quad skates will also do the job. Skating on ski is really, really easy when you get the hang of it.

Doesn't need it. Any staircase will do just fine. It's exactly the same motion as climbing stairs. The arm motion is the same. No fussy details to worry about.

The only thing to focus on is pausing on any given step and standing tall *without putting the other foot down yet*.
 

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
Skier
Team Gathermeister
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
12,371
Location
Maine
Doesn't need it. Any staircase will do just fine. It's exactly the same motion as climbing stairs. The arm motion is the same. No fussy details to worry about.

The only thing to focus on is pausing on any given step and standing tall *without putting the other foot down yet*.
Brilliant. Never thought about this. It even incorporates the leg bend and extend.
 

Tony Storaro

Glorified Tobogganer
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Posts
7,374
Location
Europe
Doesn't need it. Any staircase will do just fine. It's exactly the same motion as climbing stairs. The arm motion is the same. No fussy details to worry about.

The only thing to focus on is pausing on any given step and standing tall *without putting the other foot down yet*.

Now you mentioned it I think I never used skating motions when climbing stairs, perhaps should give it a try.. :roflmao:

EDIT…nah, I lied. When I was (much) younger after some specially intense parties, at 5 a.m. I definitely used that side-to-side motions on the staircase. :roflmao:
 

Sponsor

Staff online

Top