Nordic Skiing

Ka’Mya Bowie, Staff Writer

With COVID-19 putting a stop to our sports and activities, it’s been hard to stay physically active and spend time with one another. COVID restrictions are starting to ease up, however, and now more than ever, it’s a good idea to try new sports and hobbies. An especially great hobby to get into during winter is nordic skiing. It is perfect for getting exercise or going outside with friends or family. Not only that, but one can also see the beautiful scenery at places such as Gunflint Trail Cross Country Ski Trails, Mount Itasca Winter Sports Center and Theodore Wirth Regional Park. 

When Sean Kern, head coach of nordic skiing at Minnetonka, was asked why he would recommend nordic, he said, “The biggest reason why I would recommend skiing to all others is because it allows you to get outside in some of the most challenging weather in the winter. It’s super important for your mental health to get fresh air, and being able to ski allows you to enjoy Minnesota winters and get excited about snowfall.” 

When Hallie Greer, ‘24, was asked the same question, she said, “I would recommend it to people who are too afraid to do alpine skiing and [it allows you to be] around your friends while still wearing a mask.”

It can be tricky getting into something you’ve never tried before, maybe even intimidating.

Kern said that, for beginners, “the best way to start is to rent skis and try it out. Many of the ski trails in the Twin Cities have rentals available, so you can enjoy an afternoon on the trails. As with anything, it can be challenging at first. But if you spend enough time practicing, you’ll be able to get around efficiently in no time.” 

His best tips for beginners are “to just get out there and spend time on skis. You have to get comfortable on skis before you can improve your technique, so just getting a feel for the movement is essential.” 

“It’s a good skill to have so you can do fun things even in winter without over exhausting yourself. It’s not a sport everyone does,” Greer added.

With every sport comes some type of danger, and nordic skiing is no exception. 

When asked about the risks of nordic and its difficulty, Kern said, “There are some risks, and new skiers can expect to fall. The snow can be slick and it can be tough to learn the dimensions of your skis. However, when you fall, you fall onto snow, so injuries are usually very minimal. Make sure to stay off of the more challenging trails until you’re ready. Nordic skiing is as hard as you want to make it. If you’re not interested in going fast, it can be very leisurely and enjoyable. If you’re trying to go fast, it can be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. As a ski racing team, our work is to find our mental and physical limits and learn to push past them. This is incredibly hard work.”

These difficulties and dangers shouldn’t discourage new skiers, however. Whether it’s a hobby students choose to pursue or if they decide to join the school team, don’t let it get in the way of getting to experience everything nordic skiing has to offer.