Nordic Speed vs. Glide At The Track And Why The Difference Matters

Nordic Speed vs. Glide At The Track And Why The Difference Matters

By January 18, 2019January 19th, 2019Featured, Nordic & Cross-Country

xc speed vs glide


The feeling of a Nordic skate or classic ski under foot while gliding is a wonderful sensation. The rhythmic and fluid flow of climbing up hills efficiently under your own power and descending on a smooth gliding ski back downhill  – no matter how fast you are skiing – is exhilarating.

This topic of glide vs. speed comes from hearing many Nordic skiers disqualify themselves from considering purchasing higher-end lightweight skis under the guise of “I don’t race.” This same adage prevents many skiers from upgrading their old equipment thinking skis are skis – there’s no difference between old and new.

I couldn’t disagree more. Gliding on an incredibly lightweight cross country ski is the goal of every kick we set. Cross country skiing is gliding. Gliding on xc skis is our joy. What is holding you back from enhancing this skiing/gliding experience?

New Skate and Classic Skis

Today’s cross country skate and classic skis really are the best we’ve ever had the chance to ski. They are worth every additional penny (or dollar) you can spend. The biggest advantage of these high-end higher priced skis is reduced overall weight and reduced swing weight.

Skiing with light equipment enhances our experience by letting us ski longer distances with less energy. The same with swing weight. Reducing swing weight to the point that the ski hardly even feels like it is attached to your boot produces smile after smile mile after mile. Swing weight, or the lack of it, is dramatic in a skate ski. As you swing the ski forward from kick to glide you won’t even feel the ski until you step on it to glide forward. Reduced swing weight with a classic ski is equally as stunning. “Oh! There’s my ski. I thought I didn’t even have them on!”

In either discipline, skate or classic, gliding over a snowy frozen surface, cold bracing your face, distance succumbing to will power is addictive. The result is a desire to ski more and more often!

Glide Does Not Have To Mean Speed

Glide doesn’t mean speed. And a high end performance ski doesn’t mean you have to ski fast. You control your speed even while you are maximizing glide. Upper end skis will only add to your overall enjoyment and that is a good thing!

Imagine a Ride The Rockies cyclist touring with a heavy three speed bike. Or a tennis player at the U.S. Open playing with a wood racket. Or an Alpine skier negotiating deep powder on a pair of 1983 205’s. Or a marathon runner wearing some Chuck Taylor high tops… Could it be done? Probably. Would it be maximizing the pure enjoyment of each of these sports? Doubtful.

I guess with all this said the point that I’m trying to make is maximizing the pleasure of your Nordic experience with lightweight, high-end equipment, will spike the fun meter. It is worth putting as many dollars into your new or upgraded skis as you can even if you “don’t race.”

Glide. Glide. Glide. Glide.

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