Your Coach

Speed up the learning curve with these tips from Dan Clausen, 15-year veteran of the Professional Ski Instructors of America National Nordic Team and ski pro at Wisconsin's Minocqua Winter Park.

Dec 26, 2006
Outside Magazine

IMPROVE BALANCE: Skate downhill on easy terrain. Maintain an inverted V with your skis, weighting one then the other, while keeping your upper body stable. Skate without poles, with your arms behind your back, or one arm back and one swinging, speed–skater style.

SKATE EFFICIENTLY: You should snap or pop from ski to ski between glides. After pushing off, relax your leg and let it swing away before returning to center. Actively bring the leg back under you to prepare for the next stroke.

CONQUER THE CLIMBS: Use this trick to learn V1 timing for uphills. With skis in a slight V, count out a 3–1–3–1 rhythm, landing two poles and one ski on the snow (three points of contact) for every 3, and one ski on the snow by itself (one point of contact) for every 1.