Practicing Skate Race Starts (Grid Format)

Key Points

In this video Annika discusses skate race start technique for races that start in a grid. Individual (aka interval start) races, where the skiers have their own start times, have a different technique, which you can see HERE (female) and HERE (male).

In a mass start race, which is always a longer distance race or loppet, skiers line up in a chevron pattern in a large start grid. (A start grid is a number of classic tracks set in the snow before the startline.) In this case, the skiers begin with double pole technique and transition to V2-One Skate at the end of the tracks.

In a Sprint Heat, six skiers line up in a straight line behind the start line and double pole through a short track. The double pole technique is modified to maximize acceleration.

After the tracks end, the athletes transition to skate skiing. Most commonly, athletes switch to V2-One Skate. Annika discusses how she experiments with transitioning to V1-Offset or V2-One Skate to determine which strategy is best for each particular race.

Skate race starts, in all their variations, make for fun practice and are excellent for developing acceleration and agility.

Athlete Credit

Annika Hicks, born 1991, racing with the Alberta World Cup Academy. Notable results and career highlights at the time of filming:

  • 26th 15km Skiathlon Peyongchang World Cup 2017
  • 47th in the Ski Tour Canada, 2016
  • Becoming Junior National Champion in front of a home crowd in Canmore 2011
  • Represented Canada at World Junior Championships and U23’s in 2011, 2012, and 2013

Lessons in this Course: