New to Cross Country Skiing? Here are a few tips.
1) Safety first - choose well-known trails, plan ahead and check trail conditions (Parks Canada, Skier Bob, Calgary Ski Club suggestions, etc.) We suggest flat terrain to start and small hills to practice slowing and stopping. You should keep it short the first time out. Try 1 to 5 km your first day. There are local trails in the City that are easy to get to and are easy to ski.
2) Dress for the sport - layers! Cross country is a great way to stay warm, but the weather can change quickly. Core layers will keep body temp up and help keep extremities warm.
3) Equipment - an excellent way to know is to try before you buy. Sports Rent, Norseman and Canmore Nordic Centre are currently renting. Please call ahead to reserve. We recommend ‘waxless’ skis for beginners. Let an expert help you select your skis based on weight and height (yes, it’s ok to have longer skis after the holidays!), and pole length should be between the armpit and the top of the shoulder. These stores have gear designed for the region and know how to assist beginners and ensure the proper fit. Plus: they maintain it for you!
4) Assume the position: toes push and glide, poles start at the ankles and push back. The straps on your poles? Not just for show! Use them around your wrists for a better pull, and hold them lightly between the fingers. The bottom of the ski is designed to grip and push (the center part with fish scales) - use that to push back and glide forward. If you enjoy it, sign up for a lesson. Improving your technique leads to even more enjoyment. If you find yourself falling, try to sit down and land on your butt. You can always remove the skis to stand back up.
5) Have fun!! We have so many beautiful trails and views to see from skis. We hope you can join us soon for a ski!
Here is a link to an article about beginner trails near Calgary.