X Country Skiing – Tips

Cross-Country Skiing Tips & Tricks

Improving your XC Skiing Skills on the Maine Trails

Cross-country or Nordic skiing is easier when you follow a few basic techniques. Read the Cross-Country Ski Tips below and have a fantastic time cross-country skiing in Maine. Ask us about Downeast Maine X-Country Ski Vacations or share your Maine cross-country ski trail comments. To feature your Maine business contact us.

Maine Nordic & Cross-Country Ski Techniques

Following these tips will help to ensure your cross-country skiing experience is the best it can be:

  • Don’t try to reach way out in front of you when you are striding, and on the uphills don’t reach more then six inches past your hips.
  • Improve your glide by skiing without poles and thinking about weight shift.
  • Make sure your poles and skis are the proper size (Poles should fit just under the arm pit and skis should be of a soft enough camber or flex)


  • Don’t try to step too far forward when offsetting uphills.
  • Improve your glide by improving your balance on skis. Practice going down a small hill on one ski.
  • Make sure your poles are not too long. Poles should be about chin height, maximum.


  • Remember rest is just as important as training. Try to sleep well and take a rest day about every week.
  • Make sure you eat correctly. You need carbo’s for energy. Vitamins, minerals and proteins will also help you become stronger.
  • Improve your strength by skating without poles and by double poling for 5-20 minute intervals.
  • Improve your skiing endurance by training in your correct heart rate zone. In your distance workouts don’t hammer around the trails. Save your speed for races if your so inclined. Take your time and enjoy the scenery. Talk to the person you are skiing with and rest when you become tired.


  • Don’t be afraid of klister. The best classic cross-country skiing is done in klister conditions. Learn to use it correctly. Put on thin layers and let them freeze before you ski on them.
  • Start off with just a few waxes that cover all temperature ranges. 1 green, 1 blue, 1 purple and a universal klister should be more than enough. Slowly add to your collection as you improve your waxing skills.
  • Consider taking a class from a ski school, ski shop or from someone who knows cross-country skiing. Most beginner skiers do not wax skis correctly.
  • Buy the waxes from one line or company (ex. Toko, Swix, Start….) until you have lots of experience in wax selection. Owning lots of similar waxes just makes it harder to choose the right one. Keep it simple and stick with one brand.

Questions and Answers

Q. How do I decide which cross-country skis to buy?

A. Decide first what type of skiing you are going to do and how much money you are going to spend. Then check out several stores to see what they have in your price range. Rely on a reputable ski shop for advice but don’t be afraid to shop around for the best bargain and most knowledgeable assistance. It is usually not a great idea to order skis that you have not tested or seen. These skis may not match, have bad camber, be damaged or simply not fit right.

Read about Cross Country Skiing Etiquette

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Maine Cross-Country Skiing by Region


Discover Maine Cross Country Skiing by region. Aroostook, Downeast, Katahdin, Kennebec, Lakes, Mid-Coast, Portland and South-Coast.

Aroostook ME Cross Country Skiing
Fort Kent, Houlton, Presque Isle
Downeast & Acadia ME Cross Country Skiing
Bar Harbor, Blue Hill, Deer Isle, Eastport, Lubec, Cherryfield, Machias
Katahdin & Moosehead ME Cross Country Skiing
Bangor, Brewer, Greenville, Lincoln, Millinocket, Orono
Kennebec & Moose River ME Cross Country Skiing
Augusta, Skowhegan, Waterville, The Forks
Lakes & Mountains ME Cross Country Skiing
Auburn, Lewiston, Norway, Bethel, Farmington, Naples
Midcoast ME Cross Country Skiing
Bath, Boothbay Harbor, Camden, Rockland, Brunswick, Belfast, Searsport
Greater Portland ME Cross Country Skiing
Portland, Freeport, Yarmouth, Westbrook, Cape Elizabeth
South Coastal Maine Cross Country Skiing
Biddeford, Kennebunk, Kittery, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Wells, York

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