Infos About Cross Skating
Already in the 90's some equipment provided the conditions for cross-skating elsewhere than on hard paths. But cross-skating did not win recognition until 2005. Cross-skating is a mixture of cross-country skiing and skating, but it can be practiced almost throughout the year and on almost every surface. So it is much more flexible than cross-country skiing.
Cross-skating is carried out with cross-skates (also off-road skates) and poles, mostly off road or on paths through the woods, but can also be done on streets.
Until today cross-skates have been only manufactured in limited-run productions, and were hardly available for hobby sportsmen. Inline skates are manufactured by Powerslide, skikes by the Austrian Otto Eder. They have been fully developed and made particularly affordable to cross-skate pathfinders of the cross-skating movement. The distinctive marks for cross-skates are the enlarged pneumatic tires. For years, cross-skating has been emerging as an independent sport with special demands on the skates. The ideal compromise between stability, safety and manageability is indispensable. Therefore unstable and heavy construction cannot be considered. For reasons of safety retractable bindings are rarely used. Integrated brakes are now compulsory for serious cross-skating, as free braking techniques e.g. the t-brake are all but impossible to use on loose ground and are too difficult for less experienced cross-skaters.
Cross-skating as Sport
The training techniques of cross-skating correspond to a large extent to those of cross-country skiing. But cross-skating develops more and more a special movement technique that can neither be found in Nordic blading and inline skating nor in roller skiing or cross-country skiing. Replacing cross-country skiing by cross-skating at the biathlon could be interesting. Due to the weather in the last years, it will become harder to execute almost all winter sports as we are currently used to. And with the innocuous airsoft guns the biathlon could become a really popular sport. The summer biathlon (running and airgun shooting) could be replaced by this new alternative in the long term. Anyway, cross-skating is particularly suitable for leisure sports because of the extended driving stability and safety of cross-skates with brakes. Safety and ease in learning are superior to (for example) inline skating. There are considerably fewer accidents than in inline skating and the injuries are often less damaging than in bicycle accidents. Slowly cross-skating is developing into a mass sport. Compared with competitions and performance-orientated training, organised popular sports arrangements are for the tourist trade: experience-driven, like snowshoeing.
There are still no standard distances established for cross-skating competitions. In the meantime, the preferred distances for competitions are the classical marathon distance of 42.2 kilometers and the half marathon distance, especially on easy off-road areas or on the streets. The half-wasa-cross WHAT IS THIS? is reckoned to be the ne plus ultra, considering the demands on the cross-skater. It is carried out over a medium difficulty off-road distance of 45 km. However, the shorter distances are particularly suitable for beginners — they take about an hour.
The following competition categories are possible:
- Single competition with mass start or single start
- Multiple types of relays
- Skill competitions
- Biathlon competitions with various target devices or with simplified rules (e. g. modern biathlon)