Volume 15 Issue 49: April 3, 2014
We answer your skiing questions email us 
Subscribe Here                    Old Issues Archived Here
Ask us, We Answer

Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question? Just email us at 

Gustavus Adolphus 


As you may have heard the Gustavus Adolphus College Ski team was recently cut as a NCAA sport.  The team and their alumni are looking to raise awareness of their current situation and wish to gather signatures in the hopes of ultimately reinstating the team.

Thanks in advance for forwarding our petition to your subscribers.

-Eli Anoszko




Ski Fit


I'm considering purchasing a new pair of skate skis.  I'm curious about skate ski length recommendations.  I'm 5'8", but under 130#.  Yeah, that's with ski attire and breakfast in me!  Been racing 25+ years.  Take for example, when I check Fischer's website (I'm using Fischer as an example just because most of my and my wife's skis are Fischers), ski length recommendation for my weight is 177cm stiff or 182cm medium/soft for their racing skis.  When I've purchased skis and/or questioned ski shops, I'm usually steered toward 187cm length with Fischer skate skis.  The ski experts at the shops, whether in person or via phone, have made good argument that one should always go with the longest ski available for your specific weight as it will be faster and more stable, like a longer wheelbase bicycle.  I've also been told that at 5'8", a 177cm and even the 182cm length is too short.  I ride a large frame on a bicycle due to long legs and short torso, but I don't understand how a skier's height should dictate ski length, as the ski can only "feel" my weight.  


I own and race on 182 and 187 Fischers and feel that the 187 length at times feels more stable on a course with variable surface conditions and on hardpacked conditions, but I can maneuver the 182 more easily and climb with a quicker, more efficient, cadence.  So, maybe the course determines ski length?  (I remember those 147cm "Revolution" skis, real fun on narrow snowmobile trails, but quite twitchy at faster speeds.)  177cm Fischers I've tried have just seemed too soft.  But I'm not sure if it's just the specific skis' characteristics I've sampled?  Do the manufacturers, since they're designing and building the skis, know something that the shop personnel aren't aware of?  Does real world experience with a ski line (the ski shops and veteran racers) trump manufacturer recommendations?   Does racer technique and speed, or lack thereof, play a role in determining ski length?  Do light world cup racers, men or women, use longer skis than the manufacturer recommends?  And what about a significantly heavy racer, as some muscular racers I know are near 200#.  Fischers' longest skate ski is (I believe) 192cm, only one size up from 187cm.  Is there a point where ski length becomes a non-issue?  I would appreciate any insight.  Thank you.

Dazed and confused.      




Ski length is determined primarily by your weight because as you say, the snow cannot tell how tall you are.  But your legs and body and technique can feel how long your skis are. Long legs make the ski feel shorter.  As far as control goes shorter skis are slightly easier to V1, climb and often descend with, especially on steep, narrow trails. Longer skis feel slightly easier to run straight thus feel more stable under long V2 and V2 alternate type skiing sessions.


Ski manufacturers do know what they are talking about regarding their ski's fit. Manufacturers ski fit recommends and all around race ski for junior, senior and master racers with good technique and good fitness. 


A skate ski is fast over varied terrain because it has a front and rear glide zones connected by a middle bridge that suspends the skier above the snow and springs up and down over the slight variations in terrain or weight transfer changes without bottoming out scrubbing speed.  A properly fit ski will ensure that the bridge is always suspending the skier and distributing loads front and rear and not bottoming out and transferring the load straight down at one location directly under the skier. If this happens the ski will slow down dramatically and often pivot under the foot like hands on a clock. If the ski is too stiff all your weight will just be transferred to a small front and rear glide zones and you will be riding a very long bridge that will be unstable from edge to edge and plow in softer snow. 


As you said with Fischer for a 59kg skier you could find skate skis in 177 (super) stiff or a 182 medium, a 182 stiff or 187 medium (super soft).  But soft, medium and stiff are like small, medium or large in a shirt's fit and you should be fitting with Mid Flex (MF) sizing like a dress sits chest size. For Fischer you want a ski with a Mid Flex around 120% of your body weight. You weigh 59kg thus your MF # should be around 71kg. +- 3 kg.  So for Fischer this flex is common in 182 mediums and 182 stiffs. It is a super rare flex in 187 mediums and it is common but at the extreme edge for 177 stiffs.  So this would push you toward 182. If you found a 182 medium and a 182 stiff both with 70-73 flex the difference would be in their residual camber which is like your arm length after you get the chest size correct. The 182 stiff would have a higher residual camber under the same MF so this ski would be slightly more energetic and lively and snappier when you are fresh but perhaps take a bit more energy to ski when you are tired. The 182 medium would have a slightly longer contact area be more forgiving in all conditions. As far as 187's go, 187s do not generally come do to the low 70's in MF. So to get a 187 you would likely find only skis that are slightly stiffer than Fischer recommends. This would make the ski less suited for all condition skiing for a fit lopper racer with good technique.    I would say 182 medium with a MF in low 70's is best all condition ski for you a 59kg fit loppet racer with good technique in a Fischer.

  Good technique allows one to get 100% weight transfer as our reference point. And good fitness allows one to ski with good technique (and thus good weight transfer) throughout your entire race. Good fitness without good technique (ie weight transfer) does not suggest a stiffer ski.  So ski fit does come down to weight transfer. The higher or lower your final weight transfer the higher or lower the Mid Flex % fit could be but only say +- 10%. 


 World Cup racers have a quiver of skis for every condition and only ski one length. On the World Cup most all women ski 182, most all men ski 192.  This is where most R & D is done so these are often the best lengths from every manufacturer and the most common length made and also sold.  And they ski flexes similar to what is outlined here but as they have great fitness and technique they may at times ski slightly stiffer perhaps 10% stiffer skate skis or skis with slightly higher cambers as discussed. We used to have to select skis for super soft conditions and super hard conditions by changing the MF flex % up or down. But now most every brand makes specific skis for Soft Ground, Cold, Warm, constructions so now most often stay with similar flexes across condition and let the ski construction do the snow specific work rather than just the ski flex. This results in much better performance in every condition.


The farther a skier is outside the norm the harder it is find the ski with the perfect fit. Skiers over 90kg require a special ski to distribute their weight and ski brands make such skis, not by lengthening the ski gut by creating special layups and flexes to accommodate.  


The biggest improvement in skis over the past decade is in quality control so that pair after pair is arriving at the stores as designed and the MF #'s tell you who it will fit.  So you can be confident that if you stay within the brands recommendations you will have a great ski on the snow.


Hope this helps


Andy at SkiPost



Dill pickles, raisins, and a warm sweet salty drink.  


Hi,  Five years ago I was able to tick off an important ski milestone on my bucket list.  The Soumi Rajalta Rajalle Hiihto...Finland's Border to Border Ski tour.  The course starts a few hundred meters from the Russian border and covers 444 km in seven days ending up in Tornio, Finland on the Swedish border. 


I was a bit perplexed when I first encountered the basic trail snack which was available about every 15 to 25 km, usually as we skied past a farm house....dill pickles, raisins, and a warm sweet salty drink.  At first I thought..."What the....., then after downing the odd mix, I actually began to look forward to it.  I should mention that we had our "three squares" of hearty meals with lots of good bread, potatoes, meat and fish.  No doubt, it was a rather unscientific, but effective way of maintaining our hydration and sodium levels....whatever works.


Regards,  Patrick Lanin,  Boondocks Minnesota



Confidence on Fast Icy Trails


In post-Birkie Hayward we have had some warm days and frigid nights leading to concrete-hard trails. I've done a few races over the years in those conditions and it seems paradoxical that nice fast conditions can cause difficult balance issues for skating in flat terrain. Climbing is improved due to the better glide and slower speed but at higher speeds I feel uncomfortable. I'm sure this is because I don't have perfect weight transfer - I see that the best young guys seemingly don't struggle. So my question is: are there drills and/or equipment that could improve my performance in this situation?


SS, Hayward, Wisconsin


Noah Hoffman answers,


When I ski in really icy and fast conditions where it's hard to stand up, I focus on putting my ski on edge (the inside edge.) This gives me more stability and something to push on, and riding a flat ski is less important in these conditions because they are fast regardless of the position of the ski. It is still possible to have a slow extended push when the ski is on edge early. To slow the push down, narrow the V so the skis are pointing further down the track. I'm sure balance drills and developing increased ankle, knee and hip strength are important to helping feel more comfortable in these conditions, but to me it is more important to find a stable position while I'm skiing.


Please let me know if you're looking for something different or if you have any additional questions.



Noah Hoffman,  U.S. Ski Team member




Regarding Ski Gear:


You want a skate ski that is fit to your weight and selected for hard tracks as well as the top end skate boots. A ski that is too soft will spin or rotate under you like the hands on a clock and a ski that is too stiff for you will have you slipping from edge to end and slip out from under you. A ski for soft tracks will also be less stable than the Hard Track ski.


Andy at SkiPost


 8 Ways to Keep Muscle Cramps Away

8 Ways to Keep Muscle Cramps Away 


   4 ways to Ditch your Side cramps

  4 Ways to Ditch Side Cramps on Your Next Run 



Events and Destinations 


CXC team application



Motivated athletes wanting to inspire to athletic excellence and realize their DREAM.

- Must be willing to be a part of the TEAM that is building and expanding the sport of Cross Country Skiing in the Central Region.
- Must have a purpose that is fired by a passion.
- Must have a commitment to goals, team, and community.
- Must be willing to give, learn, and grow as an individual and athlete.

- Must commit to finding your ultimate potential within.

With one Olympic cycle ending and a new one beginning, now is the time to create your new vision and goals, make your plans, and start to realize your DREAM!!  With every Olympic cycle that passes, a new generation of athletes step into the process of achieving their full potential. Don't miss the opportunity to pursue your heart and DREAMS! Get ready to discover your maximum potential.

Learn more and apply today,- find out if dreams do come true!


AXCS National Masters Returning To Craftsbury In 2015

Next season Craftsbury, Vermont will once again play host to the AXCS National Masters -- January 30 to February 1, 2015. or complete updated information this spring/summer please visit


A Special Spring 2014 Offer On AXCS Membership

The American XC Skiers (AXCS) non-profit masters association currently has a very special offer for all master skiers. Join AXCS by April 5 and you will not only be included in the mailing list of the exclusive AXCS Spring Digest print issue, but AXCS will also extend your membership "year" all the way until October 31, 2015! Visit today for both on-line and print-and-mail membership options.



Nordic Job Openings

Nordic Job Opening? email to post



Backwoods Mountain Sports


Backwoods a nordic, backcountry, bike, water sport and camping specialty shop in Ketchum Idaho is looking for a lead buyer and manager for its hard goods department. Experience necessary. Please send resumes and questions to 

or call Andy Munter at 208-726-8818.





Job Opening






               American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

Now Accepting Applications for Position Of:


Race Operations Event Operations / Race Director

Applications Due by May 1


Our long-time Race Operations Director, Shellie Milford, has announced that the 2015 American Birkebeiner will conclude her career with the Birkie. While she is looking forward to a well-deserved retirement, we are now looking to fill a position that she has run with consummate skill and wisdom for more than 20 years.


This is a key, full-time, year-round position at the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. We are interested in hearing from individuals from a variety of event planning and operations backgrounds who can bring those skills and that experience to the Birkie.


We hope you will assist us in this search by helping us get the word out about this position opening and also sharing it directly with anyone you know who may be interested.


See details here about the positions and where to send a resume and cover letter:



Warmest Regards,

The Staff and Board of Directors of

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

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 email us and visit


Enjoy Winter,

Andrew Gerlach
Director/Editor- SkiPost

Image at top is courtesy Salomon/NordicFocus
Like us on Facebook
In This Issue
Ask Us
Gustavus Adolphus
Ski Fit
Dill Pickles,
Icy Confidence
Events & Destinations
CXC Athlete application
Nordic Job Openings

25 Medals for Bliz Athletes 


Start Kick Waxes

Start Wax  and Poles Explained

Salomon Nordic
nnf word
Support Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today
New World Wax table foot clamp

Noname Banner Final

Get your team custom unis from NONAME
 and separate yourself team from the pack.

CXC Academy


Get Lungplus to preheat your breath and save your lungs. Get a Lungplus and ski like the Norwegians!
For more information go to 

ski erg

Salomon Nordic
Bliz Active Logo


Keep Focused




Bliz America Blog

BLIZ America Dealers



For more BLIZ USA info 


proflip marit
find the time
The one gift you receive at birth is time.  You'll never have more  than you have today.  Find the Time.
Salomon Nordic
Like us on Facebook