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Master Class: 5 Essential Skate Technique Tips with Julia Kern

Neversecond Athlete and top-10 World Cup nordic ski racer Julia Kern breaks down the basics of proper skate skiing technique

Already one of the best nordic ski racers in the world, Neversecond Athlete Julia Kern continues to be surprise everyone with her meteoric rise into the very top ranks of the sport. Ranked 40th on the World Cup just two years ago, Julia just cracked the top-10 alongside teammates Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan. We asked Julia to provide 5 tips to help any skier. She was happy to lend some pointers.


Skate technique swing your arms

Tip 1: Swing your arms on the downhills 

There is a lot of speed and momentum to be gained on gradual downhills. Drive your arms down the track with big arm swings as you skate without poles, similar to the speed skating motion. This helps shift your weight from ski-to-ski, and drives your momentum down the hill. 


Skate technique engage your arms equally in V1

Tip 2: Engage your arms equally in V1 

Think about poling equally with both arms in V1. Don’t forgot to push off the lower hand as well, you arms can help propel you up the hill, saving some of your leg energy. 


Skate technique high hands forward position

Tip 3: Start in a high and forward position

Try to start each V2 with your hands high and your body position in a straight line, slightly angled forward. It should feel as if you would face plant if your poles weren’t there to catch you. 


Skate technique soft ankles

Tip 4: Soft ankles

Try and focus on keeping your ankles soft, compressing them as you push through the ski. Your ankle ankle should be less than 90 degrees when you are pushing off. This will save your shins and quads some energy and create dynamic, relaxed motions. 


Skate technique cornering

Tip 5: High-hands cornering 

Cornering well is a great place to move through transitions faster. Think about bringing your hands high and “falling” around the corner as you pole down. The more dynamic you are, the smoother the transition will be. 

You can follow Julia on Instagram @juliakernski. If you have any questions, we are here to help! Just drop us an email at! 


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