Hot on heals of my Cross Country Ski trip to Bavaria I had the opportunity to give its tarmac based version a try.
Roller skiing pretty much came about as a result of Cross country ski athletes looking to find ways to train in the months when’s snow it far from plentiful. It has since developed into its own sport all be it a little niche. My motivations for giving it a try were pretty similar as there is no real point in my mind of getting into Cross country skiing if their is no way to develop the skills in other ways when off the snow.
We started the day on “skate” skis which are pretty “free flowing” with no rachett system to stop the wheels going backwards, however they do allow a lot more lateral freedom. Getting on them and standing up was the first challenge thankfully the poles helped, then what followed was 3 hours of Bambi on Ice. Slowly but surely after various skills and drills it started to come together although just when you think you’d got it, inevitably the wheels would via off in random directions again.
The afternoon was a little more straight forward on the Classic skis, fatter slower wheels that only go in one direction made life slightly less traumatic.
So what’s the difference
Perhaps the biggest difference between XC skiing and Roller skiing is that tarmac hurts and can break you, snow on the other hand is a little more forgiving. The Rollerskis are harder to master and until you really get to grips with them you are limited to flats and up hills, downhills are pretty much off limits as braking is non existent.
I’ll be doing further research on getting kitted out, Also need to think carefully on where I can actually practise, as smooth tarmac and quiet roads or trails are not easily available at home.
Have a look at how the pros do it in the vid. You need to be pretty confident in your abilities to be banging out those sorts of speed.