Cross-country skiing is a fantastic way to stay fit and experience the natural beauty of our province. It’s easy to learn, anyone can do it, and many trails can be used free of charge. Creating your own tracks through untouched snow is magical – whether you’re skiing at snow-covered parks, or even in your own backyard. Interested in meeting fellow skiers? Consider joining a club to become part of the ski community, access expertly groomed trails, or take part in lessons. Many enjoy the cross-country skiing movement year-round, by participating in roller skiing. Make it your year to learn this lifelong sport – many ski experiences await!
How do I Start? Equipment + Learning to Ski
The easiest way to get started is to find a Club in your area that offers lessons for all ages and can assist you with equipment. No club where you live? Recreation departments offer ski loans or rentals, while sports stores can help you to buy skis. View our listing of Nova Scotia ski-related resources, “Directory: Trails, Equipment & Weather“. Learn more about how to choose cross-country skis, view Mountain Equipment Co-op or REI Co-op. The Nordic Ski Binding Compatibility Guide will help you understand how to align bindings, boots and skis.
Are you interested in learning to teach your kids skiing through fun and games? Consider taking the free online Introduction to Community Coaching course. Check out Nordic Ski Lab, an online ski school, making it easy to access technical drills. Loppets are friendly cross-country ski events where we gain motivation to ski, with a festive atmosphere and distances for all experience levels – if your youngster gets hooked on skiing fast, consider club lessons which are a common pathway to our provincial ski team.
Classic or Skate Skiing?
There are two styles of skiing. Each style uses a different kind of ski and length of pole.
Classic skiing is the stride-and-glide motion that many people think of when they picture cross-country skiing. You shift your skis forward one at a time. Classic skiing can be performed in a set ski track, or you can blaze your own trail in an ungroomed area – such as a park, forested area, or even your own backyard. This technique requires less balance, so you can slide along as you learn the technique and build your fitness level.
Skate skiing is highly aerobic and involves a motion similar to ice-skating. Many people skate ski on groomed paths, often next to the track set for classic skiers.
Which style of skiing is right for you? We recommend trying classic and skate skiing. Learning both disciplines will expand your ski season – you’ll be able to ski more types of terrain under a wider range of snow conditions. As you gain experience, you may want to add to your fleet of skis!
In both classic and skate skiing, the base, or bottom, of the ski is very important. The base gives you the grip and glide to move forward. All skate skis require glide wax. There are two types of bases for classic skis: waxable and waxless. Most new skiers use waxless skis. These are skis designed to move forward without having to apply wax to the grip zone area on the base of the ski (the tips and tails of the skis will require glide wax). People who have been skiing for a long time often use waxable skis. Depending on the conditions, they will apply a different kind of wax to the base of their skis. Nordiq Canada offers an online waxing tutorial to provide the basics of waxing for skiers of all abilities, including those just getting started.
Where can I ski?
Discover skiing options in Nova Scotia, by visiting our Trails and Conditions page. Learn more about the different types of trails available, view Trail Classifications and Definitions. For examples of where skis can take the whole family, click this article, How to Ski Without a Track.