Cross Country Skiing
Cross-Country Skiing, When You Absolutely, Positively Don't Need to Be There Anytime
If you like to ski, but have a hankering for something a little more "long-term," perhaps your sport of choice should be cross-country skiing. With cross-country skiing, you provide all of the locomotion instead of gravity pulling you down a snow-covered hill. And since the pace is slower, you get to enjoy more of the sights along the way, wherever you plan to travel.
Whether you have any downhill skiing experience or you are slipping on your cross-country skis on for the first time, this sport is for the most adventurous of the group. And not only is cross-country skiing fun in and of itself, cross-country skiing is often combined with other sports such as rifle shooting, to create yet other sports.
Besides a pair of skis, there isn't much to keep you from heading out the door and having the time of your life while you're out there. The skis used for cross-country skiing are slightly different from those used for downhill skiing. Cross-country skis are narrower and longer than downhill skis. Cross-country skis are made to provide maximum glide and minimal friction. The bottom surfaces of the skis are smooth, but accept wax. Their narrow widths also provide a better surface to follow the tracks made by skiers who are leading a group.
Since cross-country skiing is performed using a walking-like motion, the boots used for cross-country skiing are connected with the skis at the toe only, freeing the heel of each foot to leave the surface of the ski when a stride is finished. Po9les are used for propulsion and to maintain balance. For this reason, the end of each pole is outfitted with a "foot" or a "basket," which provides a better grip on the surface of the snow. These ends can also be changed to provide better grips on hard or soft snow.
Beyond classic cross-country skis, there are other forms that are used with different intents. For example, a groomed surface may call for the use of "skating" skis. This sport provides its traction by the skier pushing each ski against the outer surface of the tracks. There are also back country skis, which are made for more natural conditions. These types of skis feature tiny hairs on the bottoms of each ski which prevent backward motions of the skis.
And of course, whenever you have a sport, somebody will want to speed up the motion and make a competition out of it. Not to be outdone, cross-country skiing provides those adrenalin junkies with everything they need and more.