Posted by: Sarah | January 3, 2010

My First Try At Cross-Country Skiing


Lillhammer inspired us so yesterday we bought our cross-country skis.  We’ve had lots of advice about this purchase – make sure the boots are warm and comfortable…shop around for a good deal…get the right wax…the list goes on.  So we popped in to the nearest sports shop (XXL) and told the guy we were complete beginners and we needed a lot of help – dream customers!  

Cross country skis are different to downhill skis – they are bowed like a bad length of timber.  The idea being that you wax the bowed part of the ski so when you put all your weight on one ski it grips to the snow making it easier to walk on skis.  As soon as you lift your foot to glide forward the tips are polished to make gliding easier and smooth.  

It’s quite interesting to watch the guy in the shop – we told him our weight (pre-Xmas weight of course) and then he worked out how much of the ski needs to be waxed so that when it sticks, it can support us (right).   We left the shop with two sets of everything – skis, poles, ski wax kit, boots and socks – as well as a lighter bank balance! 

The light was fading but I just could not wait to have a go at this.  How difficult can this be?  It’s basically walking on skis!  I had a strong feeling that this was going to be my sport and unlike everything else we try (where Eliot often picks it up naturally) I thought this was my chance to excel and show that I do have natural talent.  Eliot waxed my skis (this might have been the first error), I donned all the gear and out I went into the garden. 

Well, clearly I was the entertainment for the evening!  Mum, Dad and Eliot were in stitches of laughter.  I did spend more time on the floor than on my feet but I do seem to stay upright for longer and ski much faster when
going backwards – perhaps this is a new technique I can introduce.  

In case you were wondering – Eliot also had a go and didn’t fall over –  not once!

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