Your best explanation of XC skiing?

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JeffOYB
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Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:06 pm

What's your best (quickest, shortest) explanation of XC skiing? ...That does the sport justice.

Like on "Wait wait don't tell me" this weekend, the host said "I look at downhill skiing and ice skating and they make sense, they look fun. I look at xc skiing and it just looks so hard." And Jessie replied "Well anyone can do it. Not everyone runs a marathon but everyone can run."

To me that left standing the idea that it's hard. Or maybe that it's about fitness. It didn't touch on WHY anyone might run ... or XC ski.

I was thinking there might be a better short explanation.

Whattaya think:

All skiing is about 3 things: rhythm, glide, and a sense of payoff ... that you're getting out more fun than the work you're putting in. And in XC skiing you get those feelings the same as in other skiing only in addition you get them going up hills and just anywhere there's snow.
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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby dcpattie » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:33 am

Drive and glide!

I think XC skiing is foreign to most Americans because what percentage of Americans live in an area when you have 60-days (just 2-months) of consistent snow cover. Probably less than 2%. How many are within 1-hour drive? Maybe 5%.

This is why introducing rollerskiing as a gateway to on snow XC skiing is so important to grow the sport/activity in the US.
Dave in Nordic Virginia

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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:01 am

I agree that only part of the US lives where there's snow. I don't know how many -- millions. Enough.

Reliable or consistent is another question. I'd say if there's a dozen times where there's 1-3" on the ground is "snow country" and "ski country." It may well be unpredictable though. For more the country it tends to come and go. But at least it's around some times. To me that's good enough -- and enough to build a ski culture on. Esp a low overhead local type of ski scene.

I'm only concerned about how to describe XC to ppl who live in such territory. Namely, where I live.

I just saw "Skiing is like flying." "It's the next best thing to having wings." I like that. Are both phrases good? Is the second redundant?

I think we typically have enough time for one phrase. Maybe like 5 seconds to deliver a hook to catch someone. ...But I'd need to qualify it with what makes XC different. I think most ppl can appreciate that downhill skiing is like flying. Downhill has totally won the marketing war. But XC could win it back.

How about this:

"Skiing is like flying. It's rhythm, gliding and payoff. And with XC you get all this up the hills, too, and everywhere there's snow. Glide fun without any overhead."
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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:50 am

"Skiing is like flying without wings. It's rhythm, gliding and payoff -- you're getting out more than you're putting in. And with XC you get all this up the hills, too, and everywhere there's snow. It's like dancing over the snow. Like ice-skating over the landscape."
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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby dcpattie » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:49 pm

JeffOYB wrote:"Skiing is like flying without wings. It's rhythm, gliding and payoff -- you're getting out more than you're putting in. And with XC you get all this up the hills, too, and everywhere there's snow. It's like dancing over the snow. Like ice-skating over the landscape."


Jeff - you just described sculling on the water.
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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:03 am

yeah sculling. ...glide rhythm payoff seems likely behind the "flow feel" of quite a few sports. speed skating ... figure skating too ...rollerskating.

we shd be using this universal appeal to sell outdoor sports to everybody.

the distinctions b/w the sports shd be specific and w/o bias or prejudice but instead w goal of getting everybody out having the fun that is most local to them and suits them.

for us to ever say that xc skiing is 'hard' or 'hardest' is self-defeating both narrowly and broadly.

i wd say it's a national crisis in the USA to get the public away from the idea that using their body to do anything is 'hard.' bodies are meant to work and act and push. we need to get the whole public on board w tying in action to reward and fun and health. we need to defeat obesity and illness of all kinds. if we cd get the whole US doing fun stuff outside for an hour a day we cd cut healthcare of every kind in half.
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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby Magnus Johansson » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:43 pm

dcpattie wrote:I think XC skiing is foreign to most Americans because what percentage of Americans live in an area when you have 60-days (just 2-months) of consistent snow cover. Probably less than 2%. How many are within 1-hour drive? Maybe 5%.

This is why introducing rollerskiing as a gateway to on snow XC skiing is so important to grow the sport/activity in the US.

I believe you are right, Dave. Roller skiing should be introduced in schools.

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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:42 pm

Magnus Johansson wrote:
dcpattie wrote:I think XC skiing is foreign to most Americans because what percentage of Americans live in an area when you have 60-days (just 2-months) of consistent snow cover. Probably less than 2%. How many are within 1-hour drive? Maybe 5%.

This is why introducing rollerskiing as a gateway to on snow XC skiing is so important to grow the sport/activity in the US.

I believe you are right, Dave. Roller skiing should be introduced in schools.


My opinion would lean more toward Outing Clubs. ...Seasonal outdoor fun with peers. Maybe for teens have low oversight by adults. This naturally would include XC ski during winter.

I'd like to see better numbers on who lives in snow country. Reliable snow is a big problem. So I'd say 3 months snowcover but I wouldn't put 'consistent' on it as a requirement. Nowadays it comes and goes too much.

We've had a pretty bad winter here but we still had maybe 4 "snow days" for school. So a lot of snowfall -- maybe 6 big dumps. But followed up by 50deg in less than a week. And 2 or 3 sizable rain events during winter. RATS!!! ...Still, even though we are now "inconsistent" I easily got in about 50 local XC ski outings on ungroomed snow. That's LOTS of free ski fun that any school kid could've had. And about ZERO did of the million teens in this region. Sad.
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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby dcpattie » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:20 am

JeffOYB wrote:
Magnus Johansson wrote:
dcpattie wrote:I think XC skiing is foreign to most Americans because what percentage of Americans live in an area when you have 60-days (just 2-months) of consistent snow cover. Probably less than 2%. How many are within 1-hour drive? Maybe 5%.

This is why introducing rollerskiing as a gateway to on snow XC skiing is so important to grow the sport/activity in the US.

I believe you are right, Dave. Roller skiing should be introduced in schools.


My opinion would lean more toward Outing Clubs. ...Seasonal outdoor fun with peers. Maybe for teens have low oversight by adults. This naturally would include XC ski during winter.

I'd like to see better numbers on who lives in snow country. Reliable snow is a big problem. So I'd say 3 months snowcover but I wouldn't put 'consistent' on it as a requirement. Nowadays it comes and goes too much.

We've had a pretty bad winter here but we still had maybe 4 "snow days" for school. So a lot of snowfall -- maybe 6 big dumps. But followed up by 50deg in less than a week. And 2 or 3 sizable rain events during winter. RATS!!! ...Still, even though we are now "inconsistent" I easily got in about 50 local XC ski outings on ungroomed snow. That's LOTS of free ski fun that any school kid could've had. And about ZERO did of the million teens in this region. Sad.


So here in Loudoun Co. Virginia we avg. 22 inches per season. Some seasons we'll get 50-70 inches. But since the snow cover is so inconsistent, when we do get snow, none (zero) of the parks have grooming equipment so we're left plowing our own paths with B/C skis. In nearby places across the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains where snow is consistent there is no XC skiing culture so again the trails are never packed and groomed.

If someone had the vision and a bit of money - they could transform high elevation locations in WV/VA into a southern nordic mecca like Slovenia in the Julian Alps (Planica).
Dave in Nordic Virginia

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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:23 am

dcpattie wrote:
So here in Loudoun Co. Virginia we avg. 22 inches per season. Some seasons we'll get 50-70 inches. But since the snow cover is so inconsistent, when we do get snow, none (zero) of the parks have grooming equipment so we're left plowing our own paths with B/C skis. In nearby places across the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains where snow is consistent there is no XC skiing culture so again the trails are never packed and groomed.

If someone had the vision and a bit of money - they could transform high elevation locations in WV/VA into a southern nordic mecca like Slovenia in the Julian Alps (Planica).


Where is Sweetgrass? That looks like a fun place.

I think both culture and techniques need to adapt to Low Snow -- and that it is possible.

We don't get much grooming either but we find that with midlength skis and cuffed boots that we can enjoy all the local singletrack -- esp if ppl have walked/run/shoed it. We don't need tracks. If ppl haven't walked it then it only takes a single breaking loop to set up for the fun to begin. And we even like breaking trail. We get a group out and take turns at the front just like biking. We'll hit it fairly hard so that we need the rest at the back. At the back of a line of several skiers the trail will be packed fast already for easy skiing. So it really is just like biking and resting in a pack. We explore some awesome wild places this way and then get to ski it more later.

Another downside of Low Snow is harder crashing: it might be that padding becomes a thing. Mtbike shorts w hip pads are smart. Some also like football forearm pads, knee pads. Helmets.

Pre-season trail care is more impt -- get rid of pebbles and sticks.

Care of the snowtrail is more impt -- "do no harm" -- we're thinking of signs to close trails even to walkers when it's slush time. Slush is a new management aspect. If ppl don't "splash" it too much then we get a few more days of all uses out of it.

Knowing the places that hold snow is more impt.

Timing the ski outing is more impt -- when it's 25 before work and 40 after work ppl really need to know to ski in the a.m. and not even try the p.m. -- until it turns to corn.

Publicizing CORN is more impt. "Hey it looks like the snow is gone, but it's not. It's great over on x trail!"

On trail picnicking is easier when it's warmer. So our skiing gets shortened but we do more hanging out and laps around bonfires.

...Low snow fun is possible, and possible to promote.
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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby Edgold73 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:03 am

Dave,

I see that you are in the DC area. I also live in the DC area and have recently developed an interest in xc skiing having given it a try this winter in Vermont. Any idea if there are any local instructors? I plan to start the learning process by learning to roller ski, yes backwards I realize, however we don’t get much snow locally and this seems like my only real option. Thanks

Ed

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Re: Your best explanation of XC skiing?

Postby davidb » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:17 pm

BAD HABIT!


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