Specificity – Roller skiing is the closest exercise to snow skiing that there is. If you want to improve your skiing, doing at least some roller skiing must be included in your summer and fall training. I have heard that many coaches believe that an intermediate skier can get a whole season of improvement in a summer of roller skiing.
Low impact – Roller skiing is a very low impact activity. An athlete is able to log large amounts of time training with very little muscle damage. Running is by comparison much harder on the muscles and the body needs more time to recover. Roller skiing can be used to aid recovery from long or hard running workouts.
Fun and social – Roller skiing like snow skiing, is always better if you are with like minded individuals. It is great to pass the kilometers by talking, testing and critiquing your friends skiing technique.
Consistency – I have never “missed the wax” when roller skiing. The 10K trail at baker is almost always “groomed” to perfection. If I were to time myself once a month for the lap at Baker I would have a very direct gauge on how my training is going.
Equipment (relative low costs) – I use my older ski boots, the lowest end pole I own, a basic roller ski with basic binding and a pair of roller ski gloves. We sell this package for less than $300 at Gear West.
Care and up-keep – The maintenance of roller skies is fairly easy, dry them if they get wet, replace the wheels every couple of years. The most important maintenance, is keeping your roller ferrules sharp, and that’s easy to do with the Edge Crafter diamond file.
Note: Title Photo of Speedy and his daughter Mara skiing at Baker Park