The Red Bull NordiX is an annual end of the year event where many of the top Nordic skiers compete in a crazy event that includes huge jumps, super fast downhills and crazy uphills!!
This event takes place in late March at Holmenkollen Arena in Oslo, Norway and is run on a ski-cross course. There were a lot of athletes there, many of them very successful skiers like Petter Northug, Andy Newell, Kikkan Randall and many more! There was a lot of variety in skill levels of the competitors, there were people that were in it to win and others that more signed up just to fly off of huge jumps, do tricks and have a good time!
Considering the coarse usually only takes about a minute and a half and is super fast-paced, so passing your opponents is not too easy. The goal in the start is to get in front and stay there and hope not to fall! Due to lack of snow, the course was so narrow that passing was very difficult in any place but the start. In order to move up in the pack, the person in front of you basically had to fall.
1 Ånund Lid Byggland NORWAY
1 Ludmila Horká Czech Republic
The top American finisher over the men and the women was Kikkan Randall. She placed fourth which did not earn her any prize money. But after it was over, she said to Fasterskier, “Now all I want to do is go fast and fly off jumps!!”
Check out this awesome video!!
The Bill Koch League (BKL) is a Nordic ski league in New England. It is named after Bill Koch who was a extremely successful nordic skier (see Bill Koch post!) In the Bill Koch ski League there are many clubs like for example our local club West River.
The BKL in New England
Each year all of the ski clubs host little races and anyone who wants to go is welcome, these races usually have about 25-150 racers. Then at the end of the year there is a huge race called the Bill Koch Festival, this race usually has around 500-600 compedters. This is a two day event, and the venu for the race changes yearly. This year the festival was in Pinkham Notch, NH at the Great Glen Trail Center (right at the base of Mt. Washington).
This is the 2012 BKL Festival logo
The organization that runs many of the races and the festival is the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA), they are a Olympic development organization for cross-country skiing in New England. They have a paid director, three full time paid staff, and two part time paid staff and many other volunteers.
To Learn more about NENSA and the BKL go to http://www.nensa.net/
SMS ( Stratton Mountain School) is a ski and snowboard academy located in Stratton VT. You can go to SMS for the whole school year or in 7th and 8th you can go for only winter term. They have downhill, nordic and snowboarding teams and all of them are quite good. The nordic program has taught some of the most successful people in the country including Andy Newell (US Ski Team and Olympian), Paddy Caldwell (Junior Olympian), Heather Mooney (Junior Olympian) and many more skiers.
If you are on the SMS Nordic team you go on a lot of ski trips throughout the year, including a spring visit to Quebec, and lost of trips to go to races. There are 23 kids on the team.
SMS team photo
Sverre Caldwell is the head nordic coach at SMS and has been for 32 years. There are 3 other coaches. One is Matt Boobar and he has been there for 5 years. The winter term coach is Poppet Boswell, and she has been there for 5 years. Also, last but not least, there is Liz Kantack. This is her first year coaching.
Sverre Liz Poppet Matt
SMS nordic fun facts!
The team has had 15 straight years with at least 1 gold medal at Jr Nationals.
Last year the team ranked #1 for both girls and boys high school teams in the USA.
You can’t become a professional skier if you don’t stay in shape over the summer, but obviously you can’t ski in the summer, so they came up with roller skiing. Roller skis are similar to roller skates but they have only 2 wheels and they are a lot longer.
Skate Roller Ski
Classic Roller Ski
There are two different types of roller skiing, just like skiing on snow there is classic and skate. Again like on snow classic roller skis are longer and do not slide backwards and the skate roller skis are shorter and slide in both directions. the only difference between skiing and roller skiing is on the classic roller ski the wheels do not go backwards at all and on snow the skis can slide backwards if you are not skiing right.
Roller skiing is fun but can also be dangerous if you are on a busy road or any blind hill or corner. To prevent getting hurt it is always better to try to find a less busy road, also whenever you roller ski anywhere you should wear a high visibility shirt. This can help with the car drivers to see you sooner and slow down to pass you. And of corse you should always be on your guard when you are roller skiing.
Waxing is the only art of skiing that the Olympians themselves do not have to master, they hire professionals to do it for them! There are two different types of waxing: glide waxing and kick waxing. Glide wax is for skating, and kick wax is for classic. Classic is the original type of skiing, and skate is a newer type of skiing that was invented about 20 years ago. Bill Koch had a huge part in coming up with this technique (see Bill Koch post).
For skate skiing you put glide wax on your whole ski. Skating is a type of skiing were you get most of your forward movement from the V motion that you do (skate skiing is a lot like ice skating). You put this wax on by heating up your waxing iron to the temp. that the wax package says. Then, take the chunk of wax and heat it up on the bottom of the iron. Once it is heated, up but not melting take the chunk and sort of crayon it on to the base of the ski, you may need to warm the wax up again as you go. Once you have a very thin line of wax on the ski you iron it in, be sure to iron from the tip to tail!! Also be super careful not to stop the iron on the ski, this will burn the base!
- Glide Waxing
Kick waxing on the other hand, is for Classic skiing, like waxing for skate you do use the iron and glide wax but only on the tips and the tails.
You put kick wax on the place that is right under the boot, putting this wax on is much easier. You use the same crayon method but with different wax.
Classic wax being applied
To correctly put this wax on you need to have a wax pocket set just right for you, if you don’t know haw to find yours you can go to any XC ski shop and they will help you. Any way you first take a approximate temperature of the air. Now you must choose the tube of wax thet has says the temp that the air is. Rub it on the base in the wax pocket, put a thin layer on and then take your cork and rub it in! As you ski you may find that the wax rubs off so you may need to put more on.
A Combination of freestyle and Cross Country? What could be better? Well here it is – the Fischer Jib Skates are the first and only twin tip XC skis!!
Here is a picture of Andy Newell on Jib Skates.
Andy is a Olympic Cross Country skier and is obviously pretty nimble on his skis. He can do a back flip, a 360 or just about any other trick. He collaborated with Fischer and made the first ever twin tip Cross Country skis.
A video of Andy on Jib Skates.
Jib Skates are designed to be able to ski backwards as well as frontwards. The tips are both the same size and there is no differernce from the front to the back. In fact a friend of mine mounted his bindings on the wrong way!!
Unfortunately Fischer has stopped making Jib Skates, however some websites and stores still have them in stock, so buy while you can!!
This is the back. This is the front.
There are 3 different lengths of Jib Skates. The longest is 161 cm, the middle is 151 cm, and the shortest is 141 cm.
We do a lot of ski jumping at home, here are some pictures of us on Jib Skates.
Perhaps the most important person in the history of American Cross Country Skiing is Bill Koch, he was the first American XC Skier to get a Olympic medal. He won the silver medal in the 30km event at the 1976 Winter Olympics, he also finished sixth in the 15km at those same Olympics. He was still the only Olympic XC medalist from the USA.
Bill is retired now, but we all still remember him. In New England their is a ski league named after him. It spreads all across New England and parts of New York, their are many little clubs in it like the local one West River. Bill now lives in Peru VT with his wife and two kids.
Bill had a verry original way of training!!!
The thought behind training at the beach was that it was super hard to ski on the beach so if you get used to this then skiing on snow should seem easy.