How to use the Wrong Equipment
Sometimes you find that you have the wrong equipment; you forgot your skis and have to borrow a pair, while alpine skiing you find a bit of uncut powder that you can to skate to get to, you have to go down a steep hill on classic skis. I would not recommend learning a new technique on the wrong equipment but it's useful and fun to try out the wrong equipment once you have the technique down.

Parallel turns on skate skis-- I good way to deal with it is to imitate the alpine ski style popular in the 1950's and 60's when alpine skis were more like skate skis. They had little side cut, chattered alot, and people used longer poles. You can even use circa 1960's counter rotation.

  1. You have very little side cut. Your turns will be more skided than carved.
  2. The boots are softer. Think of controlling the ski with the bottom of your foot rather than your shin.
  3. The ski tips are softer while the tails and mid section are stiffer than alpine skis. You have to work them more, getting your weight forward to initiate the turn and pushing them through the turn.
  4. No metal edge. This is less important than you would think.
  5. The poles are too long. You can either carry the poles or move your poles from your shoulder as skiers did in the 1950's. Don't make a habit of using poles that are to long or you will get bursitis in your shoulders just like skiiers in the 1950s did.

Telemark turns with classic skis--This is a tough one. Try the advice for parrallel turns on skate skis.

Skating with alpine skis-- Really useful for getting to new powder first.

  1. Your heels are locked down and there is not much you can do about it.
  2. The poles are too short. Grab them over the top which effectively makes them two inchs longer.
  3. They are really heavy. The only way to compensate is by being in good shape (i.e. skate and classic ski alot)
  4. You will probable put scratches on the top sheet so don't skate if you want your skis to stay pretty.

Classic skis that are too stiff--Sometimes I've borrowed my Dad's skis-He weighs about 30lbs. or 40lbs more than I. The trick is to over emphasize the kick compressing the ski straight down. It's like jumping on a trampoline.

Skating with classic equipment-- As long as the skis are not "waxless" there are no major problems.

  1. The poles are a little too short. Oh well.
  2. You may find that the ski tips catch on the snow. Flicking your toe up might help compensate.
  3. You will probable put some scratches on the top sheet so don't do it if you want your skis to look pretty.

Classic skiing with skate skis-- wax them up and go for it.

  1. The skis are too stiff . Over emphasize the kick
  2. The poles are too long. Plant them farther back so that you aren't reaching up too much. Don't make a habit of classic skiing with skate poles or you will have shoulder trouble.
  3. It you are fussy about your bases don't do this as you will have to remove the kick wax with solvent which may dry the ski bases slightly.

Boots that don't fit--this is NOT FUN. If you could have only one piece of equipment that is right I would pick the boots. Here are things you can do to modify boots.

  • Replace the insoles (any boots)
  • Add a heal pad (any boots)--reduces heel slop and raises calf muscle out of tall boots.
  • Try different sock combinations(any boots)--wide feet do best with thin socks, narrow feet with thick socks.
  • Adjust the buckles(alpine and telemark boots)--Some buckles can be unscrewed and reattached in another position.
  • Remove spoilers (alpine boots)--gives more room for calf muscles.
  • Try different lace patterns (some cross country boots)--Skip hole where you need more room go twice through holes where you need less room.
  • Add stick on pads (any boots)--pad around not on the areas that hurt.
  • Wear a neoprene sock with holes cut in them--put the boots on over the socks. Wear the boots until they start hurting. Take the boots off and mark with chalk or pen on the socks where your feet hurt. Remove the socks and cut holes where the marks are. This is getting rather extreme so consider the next step.

How to Avoid Waxing How to use the Wrong Equipment
Waxing Types of Equipment
Ski Technique
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