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 Jan 20, 2011: Volume 11, Number 37

 Touching Tails

I am new to skate skiing, it seems my the tails of my skis are always touching especially on climbs.  I have become frustrated with skating, it seems I am working too hard.  Any advice as to how to help with technique? TT

Dear TT,

If the tails of your skis are touching on the climbs it might indicate that you are skiing with your feet too narrow and you are not shifting your weight from side to side enough. I would suggest heading out for a skate ski without poles and focusing on committing all of your weight to one ski at a time. Start by shifting from one ski to the other while skiing along on fairly flat terrain at an easy heart rate. Once you feel stable enough, extend the glide on each side as long as you can. Really allow yourself to push your limits of balance here. Now that you are gliding long you should start to move your body from side to side (shifting your weight) as you commit to each new gliding ski. Imagine your body as if it were a rectangle. Imagine your shoulders as the upper corners and your hips as the lower corners. Shift the entire rectangle sideways as if it were stuck on a grid. Your body will maintain the same level (parallel to the snow) throughout the stroke but have plenty of lateral movement. This will increase your glide dramatically.


When you feel comfortable with these drills on the flats move towards a steeper hill. As you begin to climb envision your feet as if you had a box between them. Pretend that you must keep the box there at all times. As you try to climb you will find yourself being forced to "shift your weight" from side to side in order to move forward and keep the box between your feet. This may take some practice before you "feel" yourself climbing and gliding more efficiently. Be patient! Don't forget the importance of good ankle flexion and a forward knee drive when shifting your weight. Make sure you can barely see your bindings beyond your knee caps when you are looking straight down at your gliding ski.


Good Luck,


Caitlin Compton

CXC Team

2010 Olympian


Icing in Ironwood


I skied the 42km classic race at Ironwood in the UP this past weekend.  I had a pretty rough time with kick wax icing up and was about an hour slower than even a "bad" 42k for my relatively modest speed. I was wondering if you could maybe give an opinion on what went wrong. 


Swix's rec: VG30 blue binder, V40 Blue Extra cushion, VR30 race wax with VR 40 as an option for more kick. 


What I did:  Toko green base binder (ironed and corked), V40 cushion (ironed and corked), VR 40 -- 5 layers.  I used a pair of relatively soft-flexed Fischer RCS skis. 


Weather during the race:  I think it was around 16F at the start, it had snowed 2-3" the night before and it came down hard, about another 4", during the race. Temps fell to around 12F and winds were gusting to 25MPH.   The tracks were blown over in several spots and were generally very soft. 


My wax seemed to run OK to slightly slow for the first 5k, then just got slower and slower with that awful "sticking" feeling.  The drag was so bad that double-poling was actually my slowest option.  I stopped a few times to brush built-up snow off with my hand, and the snow was definitely sticking more than it should have been.    Stupidly, I was not carrying any wax harder than VR40, so I did not bother to stop and fully scrape off my existing wax and reapply.  At the finish, I could see several dark icy patches under foot.  Other skiers I spoke with reported similar icing using VR30, although I did not ask what kind of base binder, if any, they were running.  Anyway, I am wondering if (a) the difference between Swix's relatively hard blue binder and Toko's green could have contributed to the icing (b), if VR30 iced, would Swix green or polar waxes have run better, or c) if you have any other ideas/tips for future skiing in these conditions. 


Any thoughts are appreciated. 


After reading through this, actually, it makes a lot of sense.

Basically, you  waxed a little too warm for the temperatures and the new snow conditions, which is understandable.  It is a long race, 42km, and you don't want to tire yourself out too early with not enough kick. Instead of VR40, you should have used VR30.  Also, he probably could have skipped the Toko Green binder, not saying that because it is a Toko product, rather because of all the new snow.  With roughly 6+" of new snow overnight and during the race, abrasion and wear would not be an issue.


You said that his skis seemed "OK to slightly slow" the first 5k.  Again, makes sense as VR40 is just outside the recommended range, 16F at race start and VR40 low end recommendation is 18F.  But, unfortunately it got colder during the race, down to around 12F.  The VR40 is too soft and the new snow crystals began to penetrate the wax.


As the crystals penetrate and stick to the wax, as the ski strides down the track, friction is created, between the base/wax and the snow crystals and also between the snow crystals themselves.  A small amount of heat is produced with this friction and the crystals that are imbedded in the VR40 begin to thaw/melt and refreeze.  When this happens, more snow crystals attach themselves to the crystals imbedded in the wax and pretty soon, you are trying to ski with 6" inches of snow on your ski base.  This process was also compounded by the length of the race, 42KM.


Looking at the wax recommendation, I don't see a problem with it.  It recommends VG30- Blue base binder for new/fine grained snow, one thin layer ironed in, V40- Extra Blue, one layer ironed in as a cushion, and VR30- Light Blue, 3-4 thin layers corked in, and if needed 1-2 thin layers of VR40- Blue for additional kick. If You had switched the 4-5 layers of VR40 that he used with 4-5 layers of VR30, I think he would have had a much easier race.


Chris Hall

Swix Nordic Racing Director


Foot-Body Alignment

During the push-off phase of skate technique, I have a tendency to roll my knee right knee down and toward the centerline, creating an angle that strains the inside of the knee. Would a custom footbed with a reinforced arch help with knee tracking? Any drills to help cure the habit? On a side note, I've noticed that some of the best World Cup skiers have the same tendency (Northug, to mention one), so wondering whether this is more a function of build, musculature, etc, rather than technique. Finally, curious if orthotics/custom footbeds are commonly worn by elite skiers?


One of the great things about cross country skiing is that is so gentle on your body parts, even if it can be a lot of hard work.  Technique and bio mechanics can make a big difference in speed and effort.  Similar to runners, many elite skiers use orthotics to improve their mechanics. Knees and ankles are very complicated and I would recommend seeing a specialist about what type of orthotic to use.   Personally I have found that an orthotic with full foot length posting has helped me improve my balance and keep my knee from falling in while running or skiing.  Another way to correct this issue is to strengthen potential muscle imbalances. Do you notice that your knee falls inward when you walk? Focus on walking, running and skiing with everything in alignment, making sure that your feet are pointed straight forward and your knee lines up directly over them.  Lunges or squats in front of a mirror can help keep you honest about staying aligned and strengthen the stabilizing muscles.  


Start with small changes and if does not feel right it is likely not right.


Brian Gregg - CXC Elite Team

Share with your Team and Friends

Swix Weekend Racing Wax Recs


New England Race Wax Recs

email Swix Tech Teamer Mike Innes

 01/22/2011 XCriterium Stowe, VT

01/22/2011 White Mountain Classic Jackson, NH

01/23/2011 Race to Slayton Pasture Cabin Stowe, VT

1/23/2011 Race to Slayton Pasture Cabin Stowe, VT

 01/23/2011 Nansen Milan Winter Festival Milan, NH

  Mid-Atlantic Race Wax Rec

email Swix Tech Teamer Bill Brooker

01/22/2011 Try It! Winona Forest Winona Forest State Park 

01/22/2011 Glens Falls JOQ 2011 Freestyle Crandal Park, Glens Falls 

01/22/2011 Saratogo Biathlon Half Marathon 2011 Day, New York  

   Great Lakes Race Wax Rec

email LP Swix Tech Teamer Pete Edwards  email UP SWIX tech teamer

01/21/2011 Cote Dame Marie Loppet Kids Race Grayling, MI

01/22 Cote Dame Marie Loppet, Grayling, MIĀ 


 Midwest Wax Recs

01/21/2011 Montebello Niteski Bemidji, MN 


01/22/2011 Lapham Loppet Delafield, WI 

01/22/2011 Mayors Challenge SuperTour Minneapolis, MN 

1/22/2011 Balsam Vinter Fest Amery, WI 

 01/23/2011 Mayors Challenge SuperTour Minneapolis, MN

Minnesota High School Races

email Swix Tech Teamer Ben Dubay

01/21/2011 SSC JV Champs - Skate Lakeville, MN - Kenwood G. 

01/22/2011 Marshall Sprints Duluth, MN - Marshall School Trails  

01/22/2011 Bemidji Pursuits Bemidji, MN

1/22/2011 Wirth JNQ Minneapolis, MN - Theodore Wirth


 Rocky Mountain Wax Recs

01/22/2011 24th GOVERNORS CUP Devils Thumb Ranch Tabernash Colorado 

01/22/2011 Methow Pursuit Day 1 classic McCabe HS Trails 
 01/23 Methow Pursuit Day 2 freestyle McCabe HS Trails



Swix's complete wax matrix takes the guesswork out of waxing by creating a specific wax for each snow condition.  If you know the air temp, relative humidity you can select Swix's perfect wax no mixing, magic recipes, stressing or slow skis required.  Get Your Winning Margin Wax Rec at and SwixNordic on Facebook. Swix, your Winning Margin



Toko Race Wax Tips

Friday, Jan. 21: Montebello Niteski, Montebello Trails, Bemidji, MN

Saturday, Jan. 22: Lapham Loppet, Lapham Peak State Park, Delafield, WI

Saturday, Jan. 22: Mayor's Challenge/SuperTour/JOQ, Theo Wirth Park, Minneapolis, MN

Saturday, Jan. 22: Pepsi Challenge, Giant's Ridge, Biwabik, MN

Saturday, Jan. 22: Balsam Vinter Fest, Balsam Branch Trails, Amery, WI

Saturday, Jan. 22: Marshall Sprints, Marshall School, Duluth, MN

Saturday, Jan. 22: Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet, Hanson Hills, Grayling, MI

Saturday, Jan. 22: TD Bank White Mountain Classic 30K, Jackson, NH

Saturday, Jan. 22: NH Series Race 2, White Mountain Regional HS, Whitefield, NH

Saturday, Jan. 22: Glens Falls Mid-A JOQ, Crandall Park, Glens Falls, NY

Saturday, Jan. 22: WFRA 12.5K Try It, Historic CCC Camp, Mannsville, NY

Saturday, Jan. 22: Nancy P's Classic, Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center, Bend, OR

Saturday, Jan. 22: Methow Valley Pursuit, McCabe HS Trails, Winthrop, WA

Saturday, Jan. 22: Governor's Cup, Devil's Thumb Ranch, Tabernash, CO

Saturday, Jan. 22: Ranch Race, Jug Mountain Ranch, McCall, ID

Saturday, Jan. 22: Sacagawea Classic/Montana Senior Olympics, Bohart Ranch, Bozeman, MT

Saturday, Jan. 22: Billy Goat Loppet, Billy's Bridge, near Ketchum, ID

Saturday, Jan. 22: Smartwool Wasatch Citizens Series #3, Mountain Dell Golf Course, Salt Lake City, UT

Sunday, Jan. 23: Mayor's Challenge/SuperTour/JOQ, Theo Wirth Park, Minneapolis, MN

Sunday, Jan. 23: TD Bank Kids Day at Craftsbury, Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Craftsbury, VT

Sunday, Jan. 23: Race to the Cabin, Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, VT

Sunday, Jan. 23: Tahoe Rim Tour, Tahoe XC to Northstar XC, Tahoe City, CA

Sunday, Jan. 23: Methow Valley Pursuit, Town Trailhead, Winthrop, WA

Sunday, Jan. 23: Steamboat Lake -- Sven Wiik Cup, Steamboat Lake Visitors Center, Steamboat, CO

Sunday, Jan. 23: Snow Mountain Ranch Biathlon, Snow Mountain Ranch, Granby, CO

Sunday, Jan. 23: Ranch Race, Jug Mountain Ranch, McCall, ID

Sunday, Jan. 23: Glacier Glide, Whitefish Golf Course, Whitefish, MT



 Eight of Fourteen US World Championship Athletes

Compete Using Fischer Skis


Fischer Skis announced today that eight of the fourteen athletes selected to the 2011 U.S. Cross Country World Championship team choose to compete on Fischer Skis. The eight Fischer skiers competing in Oslo, Norway, at the famed Holmenkollen venue will be led by Kikkan Randall, the 2009 World Championship Silver Medalist. Randall, who just scored her second World Cup victory last week in the freestyle sprint in Liberec, Czech Republic, is joined by U.S. Ski Team veterans and long-time Fischer Ski athletes Andy Newell and Kris Freeman. All three are medal contenders in their respective events at the championships which start on February 24, 2011, and end on March 6.

Kris Freeman


Joining Kikkan, Andy and Kris are fellow professional Fischer Ski athletes Morgan Arritola, Simi Hamilton, Lars Flora and Sadie Bjornsen. Morgan, Simi and Lars all have major international championship experience. Sadie will compete for the first time in a World Championship event at a senior level. This blend of veteran experience and leadership combined with younger, up-and-coming talent is an ideal mix for the 2011 U.S. World Championship team.


"We are very excited for the Fischer athletes chosen to race in Oslo," said Chris Hall, Nordic racing director, Fischer Skis U.S. "Fischer takes great pride in supporting these athletes who put in many hundreds of hours in training each year pursuing their dreams and goals of international success."


The seven Fischer athletes competing on the 2011 U.S. World Championship team include the following.



Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT, Stratton Mountain School Kris Freeman, Andover, NH, Andover Outing Club Lars Flora, Anchorage, AK, Alaska Pacific University Simi Hamilton, Aspen, CO, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation



Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, AK, Alaska Pacific University Morgan Arritola, Fairfield, ID, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Sadie Bjornsen, Methow, WA, Alaska Pacific University


White Pine Touring X-C Masters Ski Clinic

With Dr. Max Testa, Dr. Eric Heiden, Marlene Hatch, Miles Minson and Ian Harvey- January 29-30, 2011 Park City, UT

A comprehensive two-day x-c ski clinic offering methods and application of exercise physiology, sport injury prevention and rehabilitation, sport nutrition and x-c skate technique methods and analysis and professional wax tips and application. Cost: $350.00 and will include all waxing and presentations, workouts with lunch daily.  Registration & Questions: White Pine Touring - (435) 649-6249


Methow Valley Winter Festival Nordic Ski Camp


Presented by Olympians,

Leslie Hall and Laura McCabe

Monday, February 21 and Tuesday, February 22


click here for more info

Telemark Lodge
"Once and Again"
Telemark Lodge in Cable, WI
home of the American Birkebeiner
is taking reservations!

Sacagawea Classic Bohart Ranch Bozeman MT Jan 22

Tour de Meissner 15km Nordic Race and Tour

Bend Oregon - February 12, 2011

 The Tour de Meissner is a family-friendly Nordic ski event at Virginia Meissner Sno Park on Saturday, February 12th. Skiers may choose skate or classic technique and may either race or enjoy a non-competitive Tour on the groomed community ski trails. Youth under 12 race for free on a 3km course. Juniors may race the 3km or do the full 15km course. The adult course travels through the ponderosa and fir forest for 15km with 2 Aid Stations supplied with refreshments. visit 

Equinox Challange

24 minute to 24 hour relay

West Yellowstone MT March 19-20, 2011


 3-hour, 6-hour, 12-hour and 24-hour catagories. Racers may enter as soloists or as members of a relay team of up to 8 members. It is focused on camaraderie and commitment to the well-being of the local community.  Skiers of all abilities are welcome. Between March 1-March 15, the fee is $75/adult and $50/junior.Race-day registration is $90/adult and $60/junior.  Registration discounts are available for racers who also volunteer at the race or who bring someone along to volunteer for them.  Registration is free for kids under 12 participating in a 24-minute kids' race.


Todd Lodwick Camp

February 8th through 12th

Train and learn from with Nordic Combined Olympic Medalist


At the Home Ranch cross country ski resort in Clark, Colorado, just 18 miles north of Steamboat Spring.  Ski, train, dine and relax with an Olympian at one of the most luxurious cross country ski resorts in North America. This February 8th -12th, 2011, Nordic-combined Olympic medalist and world champion Todd Lodwick will host his first Luxury Nordic Ski Camp at The Home Ranch, the beloved Relais and Chateaux ski ranch in Clark, Colorado. Special Promotional Price For SkiPost Skiers: The Home Ranch is offering the Todd Lodwick Nordic Camp to Ski Post skiers for $295.00, per person, per day +tax and charges. 


SkiPost-SkiTrax Special Offer !!
SkiPost and SkiTrax Magazine, the largest cross-country ski magazine in North America, have teamed up to bring you great savings. SkiTrax keeps you up to date on all the latest Nordic news, Canadian, US and International race reports, ski gear, adventure and recreational skiing and much more - in the mag and on line - check out

Save 30% off regular subscription prices today and add more kick and more glide this season. Try a SkiTrax-Pedal Combo with 15% more savings and get Pedal Magazine, Canada's leading cycling magazine, as well - to order click here

Factory Team Skis for Sale

We have a few pair of classical skis

201 and 206 cm for skiers 150-210 lbs

left over from the Saab Salomon Factory Team 

Drop an email to


About SkiPost

Cross-Country skiing's community lodge. Where knowledge and stories are shared. The goal of SkiPost is to make the sport of Cross-Country skiing easier and more enjoyable for all who choose to participate. If you have questions on Cross-Country Skiing see or email us at

Enjoy Winter,
Andrew Gerlach
Director/Editor- SkiPost

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