Power Point Presentation on Cat Ski Technique
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Going down hills:
The CatSki has a build in braking system. You must stride down hills, thus when you stop skiing you stop. It is that simple. We find that leaning back a little feels more stable. It is ok to hit the front on the CatSki while going downhill. This is your braking system. If you get going too fast downhill, lean back a little, bend your knees and slow down by hitting the front of the ski over a few strides. Don't try to stop at over on stride this can cause you to fall forward. So be sure to slow down over a couple of strides.
(For Rubber wheel CatSkis not Steel Cats)
Waxing CatSkis if you are slipping a lot:
This is a trick we learned while trying to make the CatSkis work on snow. The top surface of the bottom ski can become very slippery when skiing on snow or wet grass. By applying kick wax to the top of the bottom ski, you can enhance your kick or reduce slipping. The wax simply increases the friction of the roller ski on bottom ski to give the wheels a better grip.
Hitting the front of the ski when striding on flats or uphills:
If you are hitting the front end of the ski when you are striding on the flats, you can solve this problem by increasing your tempo. By increasing your tempo you reduce your glide which results in a higher tempo and not hitting the front of the ski. In fact, the fast you go the less you glide even on snow. You may also try increasing the tension of the bungee but we don't recommend this because increasing tempo works much better. By increasing your tempo, you will decrease your glide distance, thus not hitting the front of the ski. Along with increased tempo you will ski more efficiently and eliminate many bad habits such as losing your kick, over striding, losing your balance, and etc.
On the bottom of the ski are several replaceable rubber grippers. These grippers keep the ski from slipping on the ground. Be sure to replace them before they wear out or else you will wear out the ski plastic ski base.
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As an avid skier, it was always a sad day when that last patch of snow melted. I knew that this meant untold months of training on hard roads with traffic on roller skis. The outlook was bleak. I couldn't even count on the snow's return; the effects of global warming were making its arrival less and less reliable. It was just a matter of time before I would long for my cross country workouts, ski trails, the wildlife and solitude of nature. Unfortunately for me, running was no longer an option. Years of racking up the miles had led to painful back and knee injuries. What I needed was a way to continue my non-impact skiing on the trails that I loved, no matter what the conditions.
The problem was, no such ski existed. Calling on my engineering skills and a lot of dogged determination, I went to work. Today, some 20 prototypes later, I have perfected the design of Classic All Terrain skis - the CatSki. These skis have not only put me back on the trails, they have enabled me to get off-road as well - crossing grass and even sand. Now, I can realize the first half of every cross country skier’s dream; I can actually ski right out my back door.
The CatSkis can be adjusted for your desired level of effort and you can improve your classic ski technique at the same time. The skis are designed so that you learn how to self-correct; if your technique is off, the skis will not perform correctly. This can be frustrating at first, but patience and a trip to www.catskier.com, to watch the instructional videos, will soon have you moving smoothly. Once you understand how the two work together, you can continually make any needed adjustments.
So, what exactly are these skis that require no snow, no hills and not even a real trail? These Classic All Terrain skis are a hybrid of snow skis and roller skis. Imagine a snow ski with grippers attached to the bottom. This is the part of the ski that makes contact with the ground. Mounted on top of this is a modified mini roller ski that runs back and forth on a track. Although there are modified rollers used in this portion of the ski, they do not come into contact with the ground. Using a cross country ski boot, you clip into a binding that is part of this roller system, and then you just start walking.
It all begins by putting one foot in front of the other. You make a complete weight transfer and push the mini roller forward on the track. This creates the short glide portion of the cycle. A high-grade bungee cord creates resistance as you glide forward. When you lift your foot off the ground and fully shift your weight from one foot to the other, you naturally release the stored energy in the bungee. The ski then moves forward under your foot, readying it for the next weight shift and glide.
In the following three drills will we will focus on one of the things that the CatSkis do the best - they teach. They provide immediate feedback about your ski technique. The technique work transfers directly to snow and the drills can also be done on snow.
Drill 1 # Walk on CatSki
Start walking. You must become comfortable walking on the CatSkis before you can ski. It is imperative that you master the complete weight transfer, otherwise the skis will not work effectively.
A common difficulty occurs when you shuffle, or drag your feet on the ground. A shuffle is caused when you step forward and drag your foot on the ground instead of picking it up completely off the ground.
If you shuffle, the bungee cord will not release and shoot your ski forward for your next step. This forces you to miss the real glide portion of the cycle and you repeatedly hit the front stop of the ski, which is frustrating and inefficient. By learning to make the complete weight transfer, thus eliminating the shuffle, you will have much better kick up the hill, with fewer tendencies to stall.
Slipping is another difficulty that can show up on both snow and CatSkis. Slipping occurs when you don't push down hard enough to "set your wax." Again, making that complete weight transfer and pushing down while thrusting forward will develop an efficient stride.
Learning to CatSki is as easy as 1 2 3
Don't start leaping ahead; there are still two more important steps.
Now you are ready to advance to a small step and a small glide, about five to six inches. This keeps the bungee tension low, which means that the ski will not shoot aggressively forward, delivering a loud "smack" to the back of your ski.
Take slow, small steps and glides, being aware of the weight shift that occurs as you naturally move your hips over first one ski and then the other. Try to align your clavicle and knee with the toe of the foot that is bearing the weight, leaving the other foot un-weighted and free to be swung back and forth. If you are getting that "smack," make your strides and glides smaller. Also, try not to pause after pushing off your ski. Instead, bring your now un-weighted foot forward as the ski shoots forward.
As you get comfortable with the small steps, gradually thrust your knee forward with greater force. Easy does it! A little extra knee thrust over the ski will get the glide going, which can challenge the dynamic balance you've been working on. Increase the length of your step and glide to only five to 6 inches. Let your hips rotate a little. As your confidence grows, the greater knee thrust and hip rotation will naturally lead to a longer stride. You will know you are doing it right when it feels like being on snow.
Now that you are moving along at a good clip, it's time to learn how to get safely down those hills. Slow down, lean back a little and let the ski gradually slide forward until you hit the front. Come to a complete stop with each step. This will give you maximum control. On hills with only a slight grade, you will eventually be able to continue skiing downhill. In this case you may choose to slow your descent by dragging the back ski. The more you drag that rear ski, the more control you maintain.
Control, in a broad sense, is really what the CatSkis provide. You can train or just work up a good sweat, no matter what the conditions, the topography or your fitness or skill level. Here is the way to realize one dream of every skier - the never-ending ski season.
A video demonstration of CatSki technique is posted on www.crosscountryskier.com and additional information is available at www.catskier.com.
Drill #1 Learn to walk first
Click here to see video of Drill #2
Drill #2 Little Step Little Glide
Drill #3 Long Step Little Glide
How to Stop and Go Down Hills
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Good CatSki Technique Offers
More Control Than Roller Skis