Cross-country skiing is an exhilarating winter sport—especially in the dense, beautiful forests of the North Shore. With spectacular scenery, a peaceful environment, and a low-impact movement, nearly any age can enjoy this wonderful practice. Perfect for solidary explorations or group expeditions, this pastime also doubles as a great fitness routine. One of the healthiest full-body cardiovascular activities, it is easy on the joints, utilizes every major muscle group, builds core strength, and increases heart rate.
There are two basic types of cross-country skiing styles—classic and skate. In both styles, the boot is attached to the ski at the toe, leaving the back heel free. This movement and lift is utilized to create speed and push off. The classic method depends on a series of motions: kick, stride, and glide. Similar to walking, the skier moves their feet parallel to one another in a shuffling motion while using the kick to create motion. Classic skis are generally long with a large camber, or flex.
Skate skiing differs slightly but retains a similar basic movement. More similar to skating/roller-blading than walking, this method utilizes a lateral push to propel the skier forward. Skate skiing is fast and requires more effort than classic cross-country skiing. Additionally, these skis are shorter, lighter, and designed to take on the full weight of the skier with each stride.
Regardless of your chosen cross-country ski style, practitioners of the sport should be prepared for cold temperatures. If you spend a day on the trails, be sure to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, tissues, and lip balm. Dress comfortably warm, but ensure your mobility isn’t hindered by bulky clothing. Hats and gloves are a must, and synthetics and wool blended clothing are a perfect choice for apparel.