Classic VS Skate Skiing: What’s the Difference?

You may, or may not, know that there are a couple of different ways to tackle cross country skiing trails. The two main types of skis are the classic nordic style and the slightly newer skate skiing. The biggest difference between these two is based upon the stride and speed you like to go at. Knowing what pace you prefer and whether you’re a beginner or more experienced, will determine what types of skis you should look for, for your next skiing adventure.

Classic Cross Country Skiing

Also known as touring, classic cross country skiing is generally the easiest for beginners to learn. This type of skiing is done at a generally slower pace with a diagonal stride (keeping skis parallel to each other). Skiers have the option to ski on a groomed path or take the path least travelled! 

It can be as much of a workout as you make it, it can feel like a hike in the woods or a challenging run in the snow. Skis optimized for this type of skiing generally have a grip pattern stone ground onto them for maximum stability as you glide on the trails.

Skate Skiing

This type of skiing is a newer form of performance skiing done typically on groomed trails. When skate skiing, a similar movement to inline skating is mimicked. The skis are typically set in a V shape so that the skier can propel themselves forward with their poles and push off their skis in this skating motion. 

This style is best suited for those who enjoy a faster, more aerobically challenging experience. Those who have done downhill skiing tend to learn this style quickly and enjoy it for its focus on performance. 

Visit us to find the right ski for you!

It can be tricky deciding what style you want to pick up, but we hope this simple guide provides you with some insight into the style of cross country skiing that is right for you. Classic nordic skiing and skate skiing are both rewarding sports to take up and keep you feeling warm in the outdoors during the lovely winter months.


If you are taking up cross country skiing in the Vernon area, stop by our store or contact us! Our expert team can further explain the difference between skis and styles you’ll fall in love with.