Start skate skiing?

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St. Steven
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Start skate skiing?

Postby St. Steven » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:10 pm

Hi, this season I got more serious about xc skiing for fitness and to stay away from the ski resorts. I did a few short races (5k, 7.5k), and enjoyed it. I only ski classic, and my last race was apparently mixed technique, but i was the only classic skier.

My question is... I'm planning on getting more serious about next race season, should I add Skating to my training and racing, or focus all of my training efforts and budget on classic for next year? Including rollerski for the summer.

Thanks for your input.

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Magnus Johansson
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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Magnus Johansson » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:29 am

Hello, Steven. Especially since you have a fitness aspect of cross-country skiing I think you should practice also skate skiing if you don't have anything physically that hinders you. It is very nice to alternate between classic and skating. If you want to save some money you can use combi boots in both styles, but skis (and roller skis) and poles should be adapted to each style, and roller ski poles should have hardened steel tips.

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Neuro
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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Neuro » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:00 am

I don't compete so wouldn't know what's best for that, but IMO skating is more fun so why not, it's anyway good balance training. But I would recommend against combi boots. In fact here is one area not to save as it should be as stiff as possible to avoid 'Bambi on ice' splayed feet which can take its toll on the ankles and give wrong technique, and then it must be carbon fiber and that's expensive.

Completely unsolicited advice here, but highly recommend full protective gear for rollerskiing whichever style you go for even if you might look like a wuss. A fall will lose you days or weeks of training and even put you off rollerskiing altogether as that can be much more than a scrape.

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Magnus Johansson » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:13 am

Neuro wrote:But I would recommend against combi boots. In fact here is one area not to save as it should be as stiff as possible to avoid 'Bambi on ice' splayed feet which can take its toll on the ankles and give wrong technique, and then it must be carbon fiber and that's expensive.

What combi boots have you tried since you recommend against them?

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby St. Steven » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:16 am

Thanks. I was leaning that way, and skating does look like more fun.
I'm not opposed to buying what I need, but willing to save some cash. I've started shopping the end of season sales, and have access to deals on Salomon.

I'm leaning towards skate rollerskis. Any opinions here? I understand there will be a learning curve and asphalt is less forgiving than snow. But again, it looks like more fun. And I plan on protective gear, my job is very physical, and don't want to take unplanned vacation time! Now how about rollerski boots? Do I need different boots? Is the insulation the only difference?
Thanks
Steven

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Magnus Johansson » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:03 am

St. Steven wrote:I'm leaning towards skate rollerskis. Any opinions here?

Yes, at least 70 cm long and not too vibration conducting unless you have only very smooth asphalt to roller ski on.

St. Steven wrote:Now how about rollerski boots? Do I need different boots? Is the insulation the only difference?

I recommend so-called summer boots. The better ventilation is very pleasant on a hot summer day. Below 10 C normal winter ski boots are nicer.

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Neuro » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:32 am

Magnus Johansson wrote:What combi boots have you tried since you recommend against them?

I don't need to try them when it's common sense that combis won't be as good as dedicated ones, but my wife has them anyway and they are even worse than what you'd expect with little support to speak of, just a flimsy plastic frame up on the calf which is hardly any help at all. They even said so in the shop. She has them just to help her going down hills on classic skis, but the way they are I believe it's more psychological than any real help. It's a completely different world to the carbon skate boots where the frame going up the leg is completely rigid and a great support as carbon is stronger than steel, isn't it.

It's the same with combi rollerskis. They will not work as well in either style.

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Neuro » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:40 am

@St. Steven:

Not sure if Salomon have a dedicated rollerski boot, but Fischer and Alpine do. I have the Fischer and they are very comfortable and stable (even the boot itself is quite rigid). Before I got that, I used my normal padded winter boots and that can be extremely sweaty in summer so fair warning if you go for a Salomon winter boot.

For skis, I would say Swenor as they always come out good in tests, are durable and not all that expensive, but Marwe are also top notch. Again it pays to go for quality. I got the similarly priced Jenex V2 which soon lost tracking, making it unreliable and difficult to do the V2 technique which requires good directional stability.

Then for brakes, there are Fischer or Skike which attaches to the boot so will work with most skis, see this post: viewtopic.php?p=23155#p23155

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Magnus Johansson » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:11 pm

Neuro wrote:
Magnus Johansson wrote:What combi boots have you tried since you recommend against them?

I don't need to try them when it's common sense that combis won't be as good as dedicated ones, (...)

Nobody here has claimed that combi boots are as good for skating as skating boots, and that is not the point in my recommendation, but I and many others think they are good enough for both classic and skating which skating boots are not.

Neuro wrote:(...) but my wife has them anyway and they are even worse than what you'd expect with little support to speak of, just a flimsy plastic frame up on the calf which is hardly any help at all.

What brand and model are they?

Neuro wrote:They even said so in the shop.

Shop owners and their employees say a lot of things.

Neuro wrote:carbon is stronger than steel, isn't it.

No, I don't think so.

Neuro wrote:It's the same with combi rollerskis. They will not work as well in either style.

Combi roller skis are not recommendable since the demands on the wheels in each style do not allow for a satisfactory compromise.

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Neuro » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:21 pm

Magnus Johansson wrote:Nobody here has claimed that combi boots are as good for skating as skating boots, and that is not the point in my recommendation, but I and many others think they are good enough for both classic and skating which skating boots are not.

And my recommendation is obviously that they are not. I don't know why you make an issue of this semantic point.

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Magnus Johansson » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:24 pm

Neuro wrote:
Magnus Johansson wrote:Nobody here has claimed that combi boots are as good for skating as skating boots, and that is not the point in my recommendation, but I and many others think they are good enough for both classic and skating which skating boots are not.

And my recommendation is obviously that they are not. I don't know why you make an issue of this semantic point.

You made the wrong comparison, that is why. Furthermore, you made a recommendation not based on your own use of combi boots.

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Neuro » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:50 pm

No the comparison is of course entirely valid. A combi whatever will never be as good as the dedicated one. Period. I don't need to justify it further. My entire recommendations here are based on going for the better package as this is training for competition. Whether I've tried a thing or not is completely irrelevant, just like the ski and brake I recommend. I don't know why you'd even argue this point, it has no relevance at all and seems made just for argument's sake.

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby zzzz » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:33 am

If you're on a budget, I'd check out used skis and boots at Play it Again Sports or other used outdoor gear/mountaineering store. Or craigslist. I saw some decent looking old races skis and boots at my local used gear store, not that I was looking (was selling instead).

The most important quality of boots is that they are comfortable and fit your bindings. I've had plastic boots and carbon boots, and there is no difference in feel due to the material really. It's just eye candy. I might have liked my old plastic Adidas Nagano Classics better than my Salomon carbon classic boots (one silver pair, when carbon was new in xc ski boots, and the once that people nicknamed "Black Beauty"). And my old Salomon plastic "bumblebee" skate boots feel basically the same as the "Black Beauty" skate boots to me. I'm assuming you already have classic boots, so you might as well get a pair of skate boots instead of combi boots. No one has ever lost a race due to not having nice boots. It just doesn't matter that much as long as the boots are comfortable.

I have nothing against combi boots though. The cuff is overrated on skate boots, especially on groomed trails. I leave mine fairly loose. In the past, I had a pair of Fischer Centrix skate boots that didn't have a cuff at all, looking like classic boots, and they were fine. I even bought a second pair, though I eventually didn't use them (sold them as new-old-stock at the used gear store) because I grew to not like the pronounced arch of the footbed. During my ski today, I went off track and skied a mix of deep snow and plowed, skate skiable military roads. I had no problem skate skiing with my classic race boots on my touring fishscale skis on the skateable portion of my loop... probably wouldn't have been measurably faster in skate boots.

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Magnus Johansson » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:06 am

Neuro wrote:A combi whatever will never be as good as the dedicated one. Period. I don't need to justify it further.

Again, nobody here has said that a skate ski boot is not better for skating than a combi boot. My recommendation was for saving money without giving up too much on quality, and it is based on personal experience.


Neuro wrote:Whether I've tried a thing or not is completely irrelevant, (...)

No, for my recommendation, that compares a combi boot with a skate boot, it is not. The question here is the price and quality difference between a combi boot and a skate boot plus actually a classic boot, and not having personal experiences of all three is of course relevant.

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Re: Start skate skiing?

Postby Magnus Johansson » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:26 am

zzzz wrote:I'm assuming you already have classic boots, so you might as well get a pair of skate boots instead of combi boots.

Yes, certainly, but if Steven wants also roller ski boots and wants to save some money I still recommend combi summer boots so he can train both classic and skating with different roller skis and poles in a nice way. The ankle support combi boots give is often appreciated by beginners on classic roller skis.

zzzz wrote:I had no problem skate skiing with my classic race boots on my touring fishscale skis on the skateable portion of my loop... probably wouldn't have been measurably faster in skate boots.

Yes, when one acquires enough strength and technique there is no problem skating in classic boots on most courses.


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