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Copyright © 1998-2012 by Prof. Timo Salmi  
Last modified Mon 19-Nov-2012 14:08:56


0017857 Counting since 15.10.2005
 
(Timo going skiing)
Timo going skiing for a 64km
day in 1999 at Ylläs 
.


Skiing, skating style

In cross country skiing there are two major styles, the classic diagonal style and the more recent skating style.
 
In the classic style the skis are run parallel to each other. One "steps" and "kicks" with one ski and pushes with the opposite ski pole, and then does the same with the other foot and pole. The center part of the ski must have enough friction to hold against the snow. This requires a special grip wax which also must glide adequately. We Finns consider good grip waxing a cross between closely guarded know-how and art.
 
The advantage of the diagonal style is that only two narrow parallel tracks are needed. The disadvantage is that it is not always easy to get the skis to grip and glide at the same time. This is especially problematic if the temperature is around the freezing point. Furthermore, with thawing, if there is new snow it tends to stick to the skis' underside.
 
In the skating style, as the name indicates, the kick is made at an angle with the side of the ski. No holding wax is needed! More power can be applied to the kick, since unlike diagonal skiing there is no slipping in the kick. In fact, stating skis are waxed with a gliding wax only. The waxing is to minimize the friction with the snow. The push with the poles is made simultaneously with both hands, usually at the same time as the right leg kicks. More accomplished skiers can push with both the kicks. In the "circles" the former version is called "Mogren", the latter "Wassberg" in reference to two great Swedish Olympic skiers. The skating style is much more efficient and thus faster than the diagonal style and there seldom are any problems with the temperatures when skating.
 
There are some disadvantages with the skating style. It requires a bit more skill and stamina than diagonal skiing. It also needs fairly well packed snow underneath. One cannot skate if the snow is overly soft, or yielding, if you will. Furthermore, the track has to be fairly wide. Passing another skater is not always easy. If the track happens to be icy and uneven, keeping one's balance in the skating style can be a matter of considerable experience and skill.
 
The equipment in skiing with skating style is somewhat different from the classic equipment. The skis are about 10-20 cm shorter, the poles are about 7.5-10cm longer (this is particularly important), and the proper skating boots are stiffer than the diagonal skiing boots. The most common mistake that even many Finns make is to try to skate with the diagonal equipment.
 
 
Skating skiing
(Skating skiing)
 
The winter equipment
(Skating skiing equipment)
 
Yours truly in the sea-ice mode

(Yours truly)

 
Timo's collections of
electronic photographs

Go to:  Go to: 
 


A few words about rollerskis

The pause between the snow skiing seasons is seven to eight months long. During that time even a mediocre non-competition skier like yours truly loses the rhythm of the skating skiing. This poses a problem because at least I tend to get a sore back when starting again after such a long pause. Therefore, in the autumn of 1999 I bought myself rollerskis. I have since learned a few things about them. Here are my observations to share with you.
  1. The simulation is very good. Combination rollerskis are better for the simulation than the specialized skating rollerskis. The former have a suitable level of friction. Specialized skating rollerskis with their much bigger wheels are meant for summertime competition. They roll too lightly for a good simulation (unless a speed reducer is installed). This goes even more for rollerblades (i.e. inline skates). They are fun, but they are not a good substitute for skiing. It just is too different.
     
    Well, I have later observed that what I said in the above about the specialized skating rollerskis is not quite true if one uses soft enough wheels. I have completely changed over to the latter in 2001.
     
  2. Separate poles are needed. If your sports vendor suggests longer poles than for the winter skiing, don't believe him/her. IMHO, similar length is the best, even if you stand a bit higher on the rollerskis than on the winter skis. The difference in height is compensated by the simple fact that in winter skiing the show yields somewhat to the poles but in rollerskiing the macadam does not yield at all. Don't use your winter poles, not at least as such, because the ordinary tips will wear on the macadam very quickly. The tips of the poles have to be hardened steel. Furthermore, rubber shock absorbers at the tip of the poles are very useful. Not only for the absorption of the shock when the poles hit the tarmac, but they are practically the only device useful for breaking. Neither the hardened tips nor the shock absorbers will cost much.
     
  3. The same specialized skating boots are used as in the winter. No combination equipment there. The boots have to be tied tighter than in the winter skiing.
     
  4. One has to oil the bearings of the wheels regularly, in particular if they have got wet. I was surprised to learn how much the gliding conditions can vary even during the summer. In warm and dry the friction is considerably less than in the wet and cold. On the other hand, I do not find rollerskiing pleasant when it is warm, since so much heat is generated by the heavy work required. My preferred rollerskiing temperature is around +5C.
     
  5. Rollerskiing definitely is dangerous, because sooner or later one falls. There is no avoiding of this fact. The falling will be really hard. Nothing like on the snow. Usually the reason for the falling is tripping on the small stones on the road or even onto one's own poles. Good padding is a must from the very first time on. At the very least one needs kneepads and wristpads. I have tripped and fallen hard several times. I was (and am) considering it a big put-off. After I finally got fed up and bought a new pair of rollerskis with bigger and softer wheels than the combis I first had, the problem with the falling frequency has not been quite as bad as originally. Besides, it is very nice that they roll so much smoother. Now in retrospect, first buying the combis was a mistake.
     
  6. The nuts and bolts of the wheels can gradually loosen. This can lead to accidents. Therefore, it is judicious to check the tightness of the bolt with a wrench each time before you go. It is also useful to hone the metal tips of the poles every now and then to maintain their grip.
     
  7. Last, but not least, with the rollerskis one retains the skating skiing rhythm. Even only a couple of times a month is sufficient. Problem solved - if only I could guarantee not ever falling.
     
 
Rollerskis for the summer
(Roller skis) 
 
Shock absorbers
(Absorbers)
 


[Ylläs 1999 ] [2000-2002 ] [2003-2005, 2010 ] [Saariselkä 2006 ]
[Long-distance skating ] [Bike riding ] [Some general skiing links ]
 
A few of my FAQish, somewhat edited postings in the Usenet newsgroup rec.skiing.nordic
[Revalidate]

 
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: skating uphill
Date: 7-Jan-2001
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Papingo wrote:
 
... technique. When i try to skate gracefully and fluidly up hills like the good skiers do, I inevitably lose all my momentum and fall into a scrambling, frustrating herringbone which zaps all my energy. Does anyone ...
 
You don't necessarily need the video you asked for for learning to skate uphill. Increase the angle of the skis a bit and most importantly decrease the length of your stride as much as it takes to keep skating with an otherwise normal technique retaining the usual double poling of skating. If you shorten radically enough the distance between each stride, you will succeed. Once you are able to retain your rhythm, improvements came natural. Don't get discouraged. Skating uphill is the second last thing we eager hobbyists will learn for fluid skating. (The efficient Wassberg style is the last. See the top part of this page.)
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Skate VS Classic
Date: 31-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Jeff Potter wrote:
 
I like this topic. XC is a great sport for making you think about things like...
 
Classic lets you ski with more abandon. And it makes it appear that you're doing more with less. Thus it's more fun. So there!

 
On non-competition level for any ordinary skier the advantage of classic over skating is that classic can be done with even very little effort while skating always takes a certain minimum. One can do a whole day of classic without much other base than the skill, but skating will require a higher minimum level of physical condition for those longer rides. Skaters almost always are at least keen hobbyist (like yours truly).
 
Then in classic, the trails are narrower, twistier. That's pretty much nicer, too.
 
Sometimes one really has no choice. In particular in the woods one often only has (can have) the classic trail.
 
Waxing can be a pain, but oh well. When you hit it, you get that great psychic thrill of great kick plus great glide.
 
The great advantage with skating is indeed the lack of serious waxing problems. The zero °C temperatures are the worst in classic. There are conditions which are practically impossible for a (non-WC) skier. The worst is when the skis and the wax freeze whatever one does. I recall one particular day some years ago in the Finnish Lapland (I was skating) when many of the classics actually took their skis off and just walked back in desperation. I've never seen it quite that bad before or since.
 
Many times I've enjoyed classicking with the skaters. I can usually keep right up. I work a bit harder aerobically, but it's worth it. A good mental trick...
 
When one watches the absolute top world-class skiers, one will notice how classic has changed on the highest level. It is so much double poling (DP) without a kick (incidentally called "pumping", at least in a direct translation from Finnish). Perhaps the best known of the double pole classic pushers is Mika Myllylä, who also is a very good skater. That kind of "classic" is not the classic we are now mostly considering.
 
But back to the hobbyist level. If and when the trail is icy and flat, double pushing can be as fast or even faster than skating. Crossing a lake with a strong backwind in those conditions is really a "wild" experience.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Skate VS Classic
Date: 7-Jan-2001
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Jeff Kalember wrote:
 
Many many people are saying that skating is more difficult? physically taxing? Doesn't the research show otherwise? Might your "idea" that it is more taxing come from the fact that you are simply not as efficient at it?
 
That's an unconventional thought. My own experience diverges. As a Finn I learned my classic in my childhood, even if have never become good at it. I have learned my skating as an adult and while I am only mediocre at skating, it is by far my stronger suit and I get by fairly conveniently. Nevertheless, there is no comparison between leisurely classic and skating. Classic, even in my situation, is the far less taxing at a leisurely speed. Easy to go all day, if one wants to, without overly exerting oneself if one does not want to. Yet, I almost always skate, and like it immensely more. On the other hand, if I tried to ski as fast as I can manage, then maybe it would not be quite as clear-cut.
 
A further test. Skate the same long uphill and then do it another day in classic style. Skating uphill will be exhausting while the classic will proceed at its own, non-fatal :-) pace.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Skate VS Classic
Date: 30-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
 
From the little I've seen to just fake it in skiing, classic is easier -- people just sort of walk on skis. But is that skiing?
 
To be outdoors and enjoy it is naturally the main thing, whatever one calls what the motion factually is.
 
But let's consider the question, nevertheless. What is it that separates "walking with skis attached to one's feet" from actual skiing? There are two simple hallmarks. The first is that one actually is able to kick, at least to an extent, with the ski, the second is that the ski has to glide. The rest is honing these two basics of skiing. Being able to synchronize pushing with the poles improves things, and makes it look even more like proper skiing.
 
Apropos, occasionally one has the opportunity to observe adults (usually the welcome foreign tourists e.g. in the Finnish Lapland) who are learning to ski, i.e. have not learned the skill in their childhood. Usually one can still detect, practically without fail, a late learner even after s/he has had a few years of experience. The most common, telltale sign is a somewhat stiff, slightly too upright a stance and a gait, even when the skiing can otherwise be admirably fast. The easy, relaxed appearance in gliding seems to be the most difficult part to learn for an adult newcomer.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: newbie kick zone question
Date: 29-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Doug Taylor wrote:
 
What's the best/easiest way to determine the proper [classic skis] kick zone? Are there rules of thumb for measurements?
 
Try this. Carefully remove all old wax. Go inside fully equipped wearing all your skiing clothing. Stand on your skis on an even, hard floor with your weight evenly distributed on both the skis. Have someone slide a paper under the skis. Observe where the paper gets stuck. That will be the forward limit of the wax. At the back don't go further down than the back of your heel. If the paper won't move under the ski at all the skis are too soft. (Have a serious word with your vendor about your skis.) Finally, stand with all your weight on one ski only with the paper underneath. If it slides freely, then your skis are too stiff. But that is perhaps not quite as bad. You'll get by with applying a longer kick zone. In general, the better the skier, the stiffer the classic skis. Personally, on the rare occasions that I ski classic, I use quite soft classic skis. They grip better.
 
Next step. Go to a good track with the skis waxed with the above measurements. Ski at least 2km before making any judgments or experiments! Then, if the skis stick scrape a few centimeters of wax from the front with the ordinary scraper. On the other hand, if the skis won't bite when you kick, add a few centimeters forward until you are satisfied. Finally fine tune with a suitable number of wax layers. As a rule the extra layers of the same wax will improve the grip. One must be prepared to waste a lot of time experimenting with every new pair of classic skis. Naturally, make sure that you have the wax for the right temperature. Never try to do your first experimenting at thawing. The optimum temperature would be around -5 °C.
 
Next time when you go skiing and already have found the proper length for the waxing, before you go melt the first layer of wax with a warm iron. The wax will then stick well to the ski, but you'll need another layer to get a better grip with the snow. The manufacturers recommend that once you have found the suitable kick zone you should roughen the kick zone with sandpaper at a 45° angle for even a better durability of the waxing. To remove the old wax the manufactures suggest rather using the base wax rather than a wax remover.
 
A few more words about grip waxing. For a beginner three grip waxes are sufficient green for cold, blue for normal and light blue for near zero °C. The color codes refer to Rex kick waxes (the standard disclaimer applies). Temperatures at 0°C are best avoided by a beginner, since it takes a lot of experience to get the wax grip in those conditions. The kick zone of the skis will tend to freeze and pack snow rendering classic skiing very difficult and unenjoyable in those conditions.
 
In very icy or wet conditions klister is needed in classic skiing. This is more common towards the end of the season. The klisters that come in tubes are effective. But they also are very messy. On the other hand they are easy to apply provided you do it inside in the warm. It is the afterwards cleaning of the skis that is cumbersome. Personally, I've never much liked klister because of the messiness, but sometimes (in classic only) there really is no other operative choice. Furthermore, klisters tend to have an odor to them.
 
A few words about using glide paraffin. For a classic skiing beginner a successful grip waxing is the essential part, the glide properties come second. But the glide paraffin is needed at least for new skis, even classic. The manufacturers recommend starting with a few layers of a base paraffin which is absorbed better than the hard paraffins (but that's an extra refinement). The glide paraffin is melted and smoothed with an iron to the bottom. In classic skis at least I leave the kick zone without the paraffin. (See a few paragraphs above about roughening the kick zone.) The bottom of the (good) ski absorbs much of the paraffin. The remaining paraffin is sickled with suitable, usually a plastic strip. The bottom is finally brushed with a nylon brush for a best possible glide right from the start. A classics beginner does not need to worry about the brushing. It foremost is fine-tuning for one's skating skis.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Using Classic Ski for Skating Rock Ski
Date: 28-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
bjcgarbe wrote:
 
What are the major disadvantages for using a Classic (waxless) ski for skating?
 
They won't glide properly and they (usually) are too long for skating. You'll probably be developing skiing techniques that are not the right ones, will put much undue stress on your muscles and joints, and lose the crucial part of the enjoyment of skating skiing.
 
If you want skating skis to use on a rough terrain, yes, buy cheap classic skis. They usually are cheaper. That will not cause you problems provided you don't buy waxless (the gliding problem) and you don't buy long (the being able to skate problem). If you are about 180cm, the skis should absolutely not be more than 195cm, and 185-190 would be much better. On the other hand remember to use long enough poles. Your standard, classic poles will be 7-10cm too short for skating. In free-time skating the poles should be approximately 0.90 times your height (0.83-0.85 in classic).
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: boot sizing
Date: 23-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Diane wrote:
 
Can anyone help me out. I just bought a new pair of salomon pilot ski boots and am afraid I may have bought them to small. The left one fits fine but the right one the big toe is just touching the end. Do I need a thumb in...
 
Dear Diane,
 
Don't use them. Too tight boots will cause you problems whatever tricks one tries. You'll just lose a toenail or at least get a black one. At least half a centimeter toeroom is best anyway, not a perfect fit.
 
An unrelated P.S. Up here we do not quite have a snowcover yet even if it is almost Christmas. In 2000 the freezing took place three weeks later than usual: http://www.uwasa.fi/ktt/lasktoim/photo/2000/60122002.jpg from my collection at http://www.uwasa.fi/ktt/lasktoim/photo/
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Enthusiastic newbie with questions...
Date: 17-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
G.Reif wrote:
 
3) I still don't understand why skinny skis are good, I sink in the snow a bunch when it seems like I could be floating on top of it. (this is new un squished snow). Glides ok on tracks I already made though.
 
Different skis for different purposes. The modern (42-44mm) narrow and fast skis are for hard-packed snow or hard, well-prepared tracks. They are practically useless in soft snow. There one uses quite a different equipment up to 75mm.
 
4) Books say the wooden skis want things like tar and then wax, so they sound like a lot of work.
 
The genuine old-time wooden skis are best for real backcountry. Often one only tars them once a winter, and does not use any wax at all. Heavy rubbery or leather boots with a high leg bound with a wire around the back are part of the truly traditional set.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Enthusiastic newbie with questions...
Date: 16-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Sam wrote:
 
... old 3-pin bindings, so I went ahead and just bought a pair of Alpina boots to save on start-up costs. If I stay with this I'll upgrade to the fancy new bindings and boots.
 
The problem with the old 3-pin bindings and the boots is that the modern tracks are made so narrow that the boots may drag. Furthermore, the old wooden skis may simply be too broad, depending on where you ski. Incidentally, the bindings for the old 3-pin boots are fondly sometimes called rattraps :-).
 
But never mind. I hope you'll enjoy the skiing and stay with it.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Grooming after snowfall
Date: 17-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Tony Curran wrote:
 
I was just wondering what the affects of not grooming after a large snowfall. My understanding is that this may affect the quality of the trails in the spring.
 
Yes. The tracks will melt sooner in the spring, if not packed. A really well-packed trail can stay long into the summer, even if it will long since be unskiiable. It sometimes can be quite a strange sight among all the greenery.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: beginner cross country questions
Date: 6-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Dogwoods wrote:
 
> Does the snowplow work with cross country skis?
 
...beginners like this, but try it before you need it! And learn to fall safely particularly avoiding falling into outstretched poles.

 
Right. If you do not yet go very fast, just sit down backwards. There you may even use your hands to an extent (poles backwards!). If you already go fast, usually the trick is to learn to fall on your side. If you can manage a reasonably controlled fall, it is better if you are able to make yourself turn slightly before your fall so that your feet are together and more towards the downhill than the rest of your body. Force yourself to learn to fall deliberately at will into the snow. Do it before you panic. It is better to get a hit on the side of your buttocks and even your shoulder than on your hands. The former heal better, and won't usually prevent you from skiing even if a bit sore. And try not to tumble. Fortunately, most of the time show is fairly sort and you'll mostly just hurt your pride, unless you hit something. The worst scenario is hitting a tree or landing on a sticking branch or treestub in the ground.
 
     o            o          o  eeek!
     /\+         < >       +/:\+        *    *
     \+  ,     +/// \+     \/ \/       +\ * /+
  .__/_\/        \\.        \ /         /^o^\  *
                                         *   *

                                        ~&!@?+"
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Horsehair Brush
Date: 20-Nov-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Dave Kiely wrote:
 
Seen some conflicting reports about when to use a horsehair brush. I tend to sue it quite often but a friend recently said to never use on paraffin waxes. If this is true, why?
 
Not true in my experience if I understand the question correctly. As you know, the underside of the ski absorbs much of the paraffin, and that makes for the good glide. The brush is used to make the bottom more smooth from any residue after melting the paraffin there. If you do not brush the snow will do the same for the superfluous paraffin after enough kilometers (or miles if you ski in the U.S. :-). The brush just does it that much quicker and more smoothly. So brush away! Now should you use grip waxes, or a glide paste, then that's a quite different story.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: replacing ski pole grips
Date: 19-Nov-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Bruce Ludewig wrote:
 
How does one go about replacing the hand grips on ski poles? Do you heat/cool the grip/pole to remove, vice versa to get the new ones on?
 
You heat the old ones. E.g. insert the handles in a bucket of hot water. But with your new ones you don't have to do any of the temperature tricks.
 
A few of the newer handles cannot be removed just by heating. You'll have to break them. Fortunately, if it is done skillfully, the actual pole is ok, and a new handle can be inserted. I had this done with one pair since I prefer ergo handles. Let a professional to do it, though, rather than tried myself. If you wish to take a look, click on the picture "The winter equipment".
 
Are most brands of a standard size so that the apparently brandless new...
 
Mostly, but not quite necessarily. And not always even the same shape. Some of the better ones are oval while the normal ones are round. Safest to take your poles with you to the store when buying the new handles. Incidentally, the same goes for the tips of the poles.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Fischer RCS skating skis for sale
Date: 10-Oct-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
phillip wrote:
 
...absolute mint condition. 200 cm, with SNS Profil Skate bindings, marked "COLD". I used them twice and found that I prefer classical.
 
Incidentally, the COLD does not necessarily mean cold as such. AFAIK, at least in Fisher's skating skis it denotes the rigidity of the ski, not the bottom material. Thus the marking would make a difference on the competition level only. Thus an ordinary skating skier, like yours truly, COLD/PLUS is not crucial.
 
Skating skis at 200 cm. That's for quite a tall skier.
 
Apropos, even for a modest skier it is useful to have a few pairs. I have three similar Fisher skating pairs, just waxed differently. One with red fluorine gliding wax, for -5C to +7C, blue for -7C to -2C, and green for cold. Makes the hobby so much easier! An the right waxing really makes a difference, even if not perhaps quite as much as the grip waxing in the classic style where a totally wrong waxing can render the skiing even impossible.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Advice re new skating gear
Date: 9-Oct-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Mark wrote:
 
...the best option? RCS's are pretty expensive. Should we bother with the pilot boot/binding? And where are we likely to get the best prices?
 
Partly second hand information on that. The old skating binding does quite well even if the new one is even steadier, according to a hobbyist friend who has pilot bindings. I have Salomon Pilot boots, but I am still using the old binding (the Pilot boot fits both bindings). I also have the older Salomon RS 9.1 boot. I like the new one a bit better. It is slightly, but decisively broader, so my foot fits better. The toenails do get black so easily. Furthermore, when tied tight, the inlining of the old boot presses the ankle a bit worse and in the Pilot boot. This is of importance to me since I also outright skate (long distance skating) with the same boots, which requires that the strap be tied very tight.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Advice re new skating gear
Date: 9-Oct-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Jay Wenner wrote:
Mark wrote:
 
> We are a couple,50 years old, who've been skating for 8 or 9 years.
 
As for boots, choose one that fits, and then buy the binding. I don't think the extra $50 for the Pilot is needed.

 
But don't buy combination boots! Require fully-fledged skating boots. There is a decisive difference in the sideways rigidity. The price difference between the various alternatives there is not much. Indeed, buy what fits, as Jay said. That might quite well be the Pilot boot, though. At least Solomon's design has improved with the introduction of the Pilot, as I wrote earlier. It fits better, since it is a bit broader in the toe department than in the earlier makes.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Winter forecasts?
Date: 5-Oct-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Garrett Albright wrote:
 
Has anyone heard of any long range winter weather forecasts for this season? Anywhere....
 
The first serious season-long prediction was attempted by the weather services for the last season (1999-2000). It failed very badly bearing out the contention that with the present knowledge and computer capacity one can't yet expect working predictions beyond ten days. Especially if one happens to be even remotely familiar with chaos theory, it is easy to understand why long-range weather prediction is so difficult.
 
On the other hand, each season some self-appointed weather-shaman comes out with the right prediction. The dilemma is that in advance it is impossible knows which one this time, and it changes from year to year. But the subject (because of our ten thousand year long agricultural history) has been just too interesting to be handled objectively. Some quack always tries and some people believe :-(.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: snowmobiles
Date: 2-May-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
[There were some rather heated postings on the subject]
 
Let's go easy! Things are not that contrasting (skiing - skidoos, and a ridiculous U.S. - Norway bashing).
 
I mostly have no problems cohabiting with snowmobiles even if I do not ride one myself. Although some of the sheer pleasure racing makes me frown. Let's remember that not everyone is capable of prolonged physical toil, and that snowmobiles are useful for hauling things.
 
And, from a entirely selfish point, are you aware how useful snowmobiles can be for making tracks as a side effect? I ski a lot on the sea ice. Part of the time the snow would be far too thick and soft but for the ample packing made by the snowmobile riders in the archipelago. I would lose many fine skiing occasions but for their presence!
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Grinding before or after the summer storage?
Date: 26-Apr-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Tomas Bystrom wrote:
 
I plan to subject all of my skis (well, only 3 pairs) for stone grinding to have them fresh for the next season. I wonder if one should do it now, and store them with protective wax (I doubt that I will find the...
 
Unless you are a competition lever skier I don't see why there would be any difference. However, we do not know what kind of skis you are talking about. Anything out of the ordinary about them?
 
If you are a hobbyist, like yours truly, you do not need to grind every season. It tells on the skis. Good glide waxing is enough until the bottoms really need the handling. Grip waxing, if you ski diagonal, is best left until just before going. Personally I glide wax my skis last thing the previous spring so that they are ready for the next season whenever it then starts.
 
Still about the stone grinding. I used to have it done on all my older skis the first thing. The skis for the colder weather would be ground smooth, the skis for the plus Celsius temperatures would be ground with small grooves. But in these days the new skis are mostly so well manufactured that it is no longer needed at the outset.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: poles for cold-weather rollerskiing
Date: 8-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Ken Roberts wrote:
Timo Salmi wrote:
 
> 2) Wrist pads (yes, they can be used)
 
What's the trick? I own two pairs of wrist protectors, one for...

 
Wrist pads come in different versions. The ones I use have a stiff underside only, but not a stiff overside. Furthermore, I have ergo handles in the poles, so I do not need to use the strap round my hand. That's crucial.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: poles for cold-weather rollerskiing
Date: 6-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
Ken Roberts wrote:
 
Is there some reason for wearing knee pads that I'm missing?
 
If you fall on your knee(s) on macadam, it is possible and very likely that your skiing days are over for a long spell. In falling on macadam, the first things usually to hit the ground are simultaneously your knees and your hands. And it is not just a mild abrasion. You will really HIT the ground. The most common way of falling in rollerskiing is tripping on a loose pebble (or your poles). Your forward momentum is most likely to throw you all along the direction of the movement. Sideways falling can happen as well, but it happens much less frequently.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: poles for cold-weather rollerskiing
Date: 6-Dec-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
sknyski wrote:
 
I hope that you are wearing a helmet, too. I do. Elbow and knee pads wouldn't be a bad idea while you're learning.
 
Every precaution in rollerskiing is sensible. Avoiding falling is impossible in the long run. I would emphasize the following subjective order of importance.
  1. Knee pads (always wear them!)
  2. Wrist pads (yes, they can be used)
  3. Gloves
  4. Elbow pads
  5. Tough clothes
  6. Fluorescent yellow vest
  7. Helmet
About wearing a helmet. It is very unlikely to fall in such a manner that the helmet becomes crucial. On the other hand should that happen, then it really is the most crucial. I have 1-6, but have mostly taken my chances with item seven. I used 7 for the first three months of my rollerskiing before taking leave of my senses.
 
Use shock absorbers in your poles. They are the best option for breaking.
All the best, Timo
Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
Subject: Re: Roller skiing at night
Date: 6-Nov-2000
Author: Timo Salmi
 
john_e_hart wrote:
 
Does anyone else roller ski at night?
 
Called it a day (pardon the pun) after falling heavily in the dim light because of the loose pebbles I did not detect. So now I only rollerski in the daylight. For me the night skiing was not worth the added risk, and I did not wish limit myself to a such a short stretch that would be secure enough.
 
(The idea of a bright headlamp sounded very good, if one absolutely must.)
All the best, Timo
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