How to Skate on Cross-Country Skis

How to Skate on Cross-Country Skis
The ability to skate on cross-country skis adds the dimensions of speed and aerobic workout to an already enchanting winter activity. For someone who is comfortable standing and moving on cross-country skis, skating also improves general proficiency and balance. Clothing and water consumption might have to be adjusted with the increased rate of motion.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cross-country skis Cross-country ski poles Ski clothing appropriate for vigorous activity
  • Cross-country skis
  • Cross-country ski poles
  • Ski clothing appropriate for vigorous activity
Step 1
On a groomed track, practice balancing on one ski at a time, shifting back and forth, and skating in place to get the feel of the motion.
Step 2
Spread your skis in a "V" shape, with tips pointed outward, try walking without crossing the backs of the skis.
Step 3
Putting all of your weight on one ski and leaning over it, push hard outward at an angle on the skis' inside edge, then transfer weight to the other ski. Repeat the movement on this ski.
Step 4
Applying an ice-skating motion--back and forth--work into a rhythm of weight transfer from ski to ski, always keeping the skis angled outward and pushing on the weighted ski to propel your body.
Step 5
Begin taking longer strides and allow the skis to glide on each step, developing a cadence of long glides.
Step 6
Just before leaning into each stride, plant and push off with the poles. When you pick up speed, plant the poles on every second or third stride.

Article Written By Barry Truman

Barry Truman has published many outdoor activity articles in the past five years with International Real Travel Adventures, the Everett Herald and Seattle Post Intelligencer newspapers, Backpacking Light Magazine and He has a forestry degree from the University of Washington.

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