October 2006

THREE GENERATIONS: IF DARWIN WAS A SKIER


THREE GENERATIONS: IF DARWIN WAS A SKIERSkiers claiming to be as old as the sport itself, families with baby sleds in tow and young fitness conscious adults. With its chameleon-like ability to adapt over time, Darwin himself would get goose bumps at the diverse ways in which skiing changes to meet different needs. Check out any Nordic center over a three-day ski weekend, and you'll catch a glimpse into the ... Read more >

CHANGING PLACES-CHANGING FACES IN THE SKI INDUSTRY


CHANGING PLACES-CHANGING FACES IN THE SKI INDUSTRYEvery year since 1973, come mid-February, a small, highly trained and motivated citizen army begins to stir. They come from the small communities of Cable and Hayward, Wisconsin; and across the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and the entire Midwest to take their positions.

This talented army includes more than 2,000 volunteers who provide the manpower, ingenuity, expertise and human resources that power the American Birkebeiner.

Called the largest cross country ski race in North America, the Birkebeiner registered more than ... Read more >

October 2006

Fresh Snow: Sharing the Passion


Fresh Snow: Sharing the PassionCross Country Skier magazine has just concluded its 25th year as the Journal of Nordic Skiing and what fun it's been great to celebrate and commemorate the past quarter-century of cross country skiing. Since we became the publisher of Cross Country Skier over five years ago we have strived to improve every aspect of the magazine. We are pleased and proud to say-and we have numerous reader and industry comments in agreement-that the magazine just keeps getting better.

Our new CCS Racer has infused a new level of diversity to our editorial base-the response to which has been very gratifying. This year we ramp it up to a new level with more ... Read more >

Froxen World: You Get What You Need


Froxen World: You Get What You Need Early season is a fickle thing; it comes with no guarantees. Early season skiers are opportunists; we take what we are given.

We ski the early season as we can, but we are wise not to expect too much. Last year comes to mind with just enough early season snow to spark hope. Then things turned sour. Temperatures hovered in the low thirties, the death zone for snow. Cloudy day followed cloudy day, all portending snow in false hope. No snow fell. After a week of marginal skiing, warm temperatures eroded the snow. Skiers turned surly, and optimism waned. The holiday season drew nigh, but with little joy in the ski community.

The words of the old Rolling Stones song echo: "You can't always get what you .... Read more >

October 2006

Balanced Life: Movement to Appreciate Our Bodies


Balanced Life: Movement to Appreciate Our BodiesGrowing up, I always hated my thighs. That self-loathing peaked during my junior high years during the 1980s, coincidentally, when unforgiving stretch pants and stirrups were all the rage, as they are again right now. Preteen lemur that I was, I owned several pairs of stretch pants in varying colors and shades; so did all my other trend-conscious classmates. But while my prepubescent peers sauntered through the halls, hugging books at chest-level, their relatively exposed legs swathed in thin Lycra coats looking down-right twiggy, I relied heavily upon low-slung book bags and long sweaters and sweatshirts, which I insisted hit mid-thigh or lower, to cover what I perceived to be my abnormal upper inner thigh plumpness. Looking back now, it's clear that I .... Read more >

Technique & Training: Something Old Something New


Technique & TrainingSkaters buzz around most Nordic centers (like a swarm of angry bees sometimes), making it easy to believe there are no striders left. However, the timeless allure of the diagonal stride continues to charm many. If you're one of them, and have no desire to skate, I'm not here to change your mind. If you'd like to discover the thrill of floating and flying that makes skating so addictive, here are some tips.

Gliding on skating skis is similar to gliding on your classic skis except that your tips are apart (and your legs are turned out). But when it comes time to move from one .... Read more >

October 2006

Kick & Glide: Regarding Leonid Kuzmin's Thesis: Are Unwaxed Skies Faster?


Regarding Leonid Kuzmin's Thesis: Are Unwaxed Skies Faster?National teams devote a great deal of money to ski structure and wax testing to ensure their skis are the fastest. Elite Nordic racers always wax their skis, with one exception-when the snow is exceptionally dirty and greasy. Only in the most polluted snow do skis glide faster if they have never been waxed. But contrary to elite racer results, Leonid Kuzmin argues that unwaxed skis are faster across the board.

Kuzmin says that the ski industry adheres to Mantra number 1: The ski base is porous, and we have to melt in glide waxes many times to impregnate the ski base.

He argues that ski bases do not become impregnated with .... Read more >

Competitive Edge: The Big Show Plus


Competitive Edge: The Big Show PlusLast winter, the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics was the big snow show-the entire international early season a big build-up to the Games and the entire post-Olympics...well, a post-Torino hangover. Were it not for the seemingly endless parade of notable references to North American athletes, the entire winter might have boiled down to just two weeks in February.

Things got started normally enough on the World Cup. On artificial and trucked-in glacier snow, the now-traditional German downtown Dusseldorf October sprint weekend led a month later into the .... Read more >

October 2006

NOW THAT YOU ASK ME: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?


NOW THAT YOU ASK ME: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?The following reflections began as a letter written to U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner last January, following the Olympic Team selection. The immediate prompt for the letter was the manner in which the points system had been applied which caused wholesale bafflement within the Nordic community. Simply put: How could someone like Dave Chamberlain have done so well at the Nationals and not be named to the team? The prompt to speak up again now has been both a lack of further response from USST personnel (not to me, but to the problems presented) and the level of agreement with my analysis which has been .... Read more >

BECKIE SCOTT RETIRES FROM CROSS COUNTRY SKI RACING


BECKIE SCOTT RETIRES FROM CROSS COUNTRY SKI RACINGBeckie Scott announced her retirement on April 12, 2006 at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Skiing into retirement as Canada's most decorated and successful cross country ski athlete, Scott captured the hearts of all Canadians over the last decade with her infectious smile, compassion selflessness, willingness to challenge obstacles, passion for sport and commitment to excellence.

"Today marks the end of an incredible journey and amazing chapter in my life. I feel I have accomplished a tremendous amount in my skiing career, both on and off the snow, but it has been so enjoyable and I can hardly believe the time has come to say good-bye," the Vermilion, Alta. native said in front of her .... Read more >

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