Hitting the High Spots

Ski tracks are not always pristine and perfect. They might have some damage, debris or rough areas. A good skill to develop is the ability to adjust your stride length to account for these irregularities.

For example, if there’s a high point or small mound in the track – perhaps a blob of snow that fell off a tree – that can be a good place to kick off. Conversely, there might be a dip or low point and if you tried to kick there, your ski might slip because the grip zone doesn’t get enough contact with the snow.

With just a little foresight, you can ski these micro features with a little more intelligence, which can make quite a lot of difference to your speed.

Set Up

Equipment: pylons (or other markers, like drink belts or water bottles)

String the markers along the trail at irregular intervals, then have the skiers try to match their kick to each marker. You can make the drill more challenging by using both sides of the track, so the skier has to kick at a certain spot with a certain ski.

This is a good trail drill that you can use as a break on a longer group ski.

If you’re a solo skier and you don’t want to bother setting up this drill, just keep in mind that it’s smart to scan the trail, looking for high or low points or other places where you’ll want to adjust your stride to better ski the track.

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