So you like nordic skiing, you like it soooo much that you can't imagine spending the summer without it?? Well you should check out rollerskiing! An amazing training tool to keep you ski fit throughout the summer! Karl from Teacup Nordic gives us some tips for what to expect your first time on roller skis. Take it away Karl!

Benefits from rollerskiing are not limited to aerobic fitness. Balance and response timing, plus movement efficiency (aka technique) is often more improved than time on snow. The catch is with the word “snow”. Hardpack snow is not pavement and doesn’t feel the same when gliding on top of it, or…well, connecting with it (as in, falling). Moving well on rollerskis is so like being on snow that it is easy to get lulled into thinking one can hockey stop if a hazard arises. But, nope, you cannot! Here are the top tips and awareness points for those getting started with roller skiing!

Falling happens. Falling on snow happens, falling off a bike happens, and rollerskiing is no different. BUT falling should be rare!

Learn and practice the different methods of slowing and stopping, as they’re not the same as snow. The rollerski snowplow looks similar to snow but is done differently. Just like braking on a car in snow is different and takes more distance to accomplish, braking on rollerskis requires more distance. 

Preview any new venue and re-assess regular venues after rain. Keep in mind your personal ability to slow down and brake. Wet weather will add distance to your stopping, and rain can flush new gravel and debris onto an otherwise familiar course.

Beware gravel! Far worse than the spring snow phenomenon of hitting a sudden slow section, a piece of gravel (or twigs or small pine cones) hit dead on will stop a rollerski. Not a problem for the rollerski, but the rollerskier doesn’t stop until they hit the pavement! 

Keep your tips sharp. Only poles with carbide steel tips will grip on asphalt, and they should be kept sharp. Regular files won’t do the job, get a small diamond file and apply regularly. While most all high-performance poles have carbide tips, for frequent rollerskiing it is often much better to replace the light duty winter baskets with a rollerski specific tip.

Check the tightness of axle bolts and binding screws occasionally. For frequent users a cool trick is to mark one ski after each use as R or L, and next time be sure to use on the other foot; this will even the wear and delay the eventual wheel replacement.

For classic rollerski it is recommended that feedback is wise, in that the grip from the rollerski ratchet is different from the grip from classic skis and can lead to bad habits. Skate rollerskis are different in that the feedback is more often positive and can be more beneficial than snow skis. This intrinsic feedback from skate rollerskis becomes your personal coach! If movement feels free and easy you’re likely skiing well. If something doesn’t feel right, it is because it isn’t! 

Helmets? Check. Glove? Check. Now get out there!

Interested in trying out roller skis? You can rent them at Mountain Shop! Check out the rentals page and come see us to stay ski fit this summer!