Skate Skiing Park City

Nordic shops are like pro bike shops. About fitness, speed, all carbon everything. Walked into one and the employees look like cyclists. While I’m here to cover the US Snowboarding Grand Prix, snowboarders are to skiers, like BMX is to road. Nothing against it, just not feeling their flow. Besides, we wanted a good workout and got one. 

A climber on the bike

I’d never skate skied before and fell down 8 times on the first lap. 0 the second. It was as aerobic as a Cross race or a good tempo ride when I backed the effort off and fell less. In the sun and nearly 50 degrees, I sweated profusely. 

When he’s not skiing, hammers the bike

Skate skiing is like rollerblading on snow with long sticks on your feet. The technique is plant with both poles, crunch your core, glide left and right. The skis are 1/2 the size of a cross country ski. Core and calves is where I’m predictably feeling it today. We skated for 3 hours. I enjoyed it so much, I want to get good at it; especially, when a grandma skated by me and said, “best to take a lesson.” What! 

Hugga skis!

It’s the worst season in 50 years here in Park City, a Farmers Almanac winter, and the snow was sticky. I struggled with bringing my feet back together when the skis drug on the wet snow. Once I figured out I could flick my toes, left or right, and get the skis back in place for the next glide, I stopped falling. 

It’s been a tough week for cycling with day after day of doping news. A break from the bike with the cross training was well timed and needed. Thanks to our friends at Delta, US Snowboarding, and The Canyons for the trip. Also to Ibex for equipping us with snow pants, liners, and casual wear for the parties. 

I’m wearing their new hoody and wool shirt with an Eider soft shell. Burton also hooked me up with a puffy coat in a schwag bag. 

On the earbuds, while skate skiing, it was new music from Crazy P, the Chronic, and Brubeck channel on Pandora. 

Props to the Nordic pros at White Pine Touring. The 90 second lesson helped. Digging the Swix kit they carry too. 


Cyclist and biathlete here. I agree with that grandma. Skating is way more about the technique than cycling, so you want to learn the proper form before muscle memory sets in.

You got that flick thing pretty much right on. At the end of each stride you want to give your foot a little shake. “Like you’re shaking dog shit off your boot” as my coach said. Might propel you an extra inch or two per stride, but over 10 - 20k, that’ll make a difference…

PS: We’re right in the middle of biathlon season if you want to try something amazingly fun and intense. Races are up at Stevens Pass: We also do shooting + running or MTB in the summer.


@joseph thanks for the comment! As I said, first lap fell down 8 times and the second none. Next up is to get a good flow going. I did get a 90 second lesson from the ski-holding pro above and loved it. I got to skating pretty good on the flats and downhill, up was another matter, and I just did it like normal Cross Country. I’m sure Pam and I are going to do this again.

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