Great rollerski course from Oslo Sportslager

15 Jun

Yesterday local sport shop Oslo Sportslager arranged a free rollerski course just down the street from my house. I, incidentally, live in rollerski heaven.

The about 30 eager participants that turned up were split up among three teachers. Not a bad ratio. There was a good turnout of women rollerskiers too, with at least 8 participating.

The theme for the course was “staking” which is sometimes also called “pigging” in Norwegian and referred to as “double-poling” in English. This was a lucky break for me since I only have skate style rollerskis whose rear wheels don’t lock when they go backwards. I therefore would not have been able to practice any other classic techniques if that were the lesson subject.

To practice “staking”, the group headed up the valley toward Hammeren. It was fun to be a near critical mass of rollerskiers. We then took off to the left on the road to Maridalen skole. For some reason I hadn’t ever tried that road before. It was a great discovery right in my back yard since the car traffic was light and the pavement relatively good.

There I got some personal tutoring on “staking”. That helped me understand some new things, since I rarely practice the technique. I have been focused almost entirely on skate technique. But I learned yesterday how when leaning forward and throwing your hips forward you can use your body weight to help you up the hill with pole power. Quite amazingly you use gravity to help you climb.

Afterward, when skating around, I realized how the same principle works when climbing with skate technique. The more you commit your weight forward, the more effortlessly you float up the hill.

All in all it was great fun to be with so many enthusiastic rollerskiers. And the advice I got was seriously helpful to my technique. Many thanks to those who took the time to organize the course!

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