Classic alternatives: now for *racing* as well as touring!
It turns out that what I've been calling the Striding Doublepole, or the SDP, might also be handy for racers!
Check out http://catskier.blogspot.com. Dale Niggemann has invented what he calls the Cat 1 and Cat 1A. They're like V1 and V1A skating -- only with the skis pointing forwward. Presto-magico, they're doublepole moves with multiple steps, just like what I've been promoting!
Don Kane, an oldschool Michigan skier, says on NordicSkiRacer.com that something a lot like this move was called the "Change-up" back in the day. Racer pal Dell Todd says another oldschool skier told him it was called Passganging, which was a surprise to me as I thought Passganging was a type of Diagonal striding mistake, where you kick and pole off the same side, but who knows, anything can happen!
Dale and another guy both started doing these DP moves independently on Cat "all terrain" classic roller training skis. And all the while I've been doing it, too, for touring purposes!
I note that nothing new has been developed in Classic skiing in decades. This could be big!
I've long been posting about alternatives to the basic 4 classic
moves (which I abbreviate DS, DP, KDP, HB). I've said they aren't suitable for a lot of what dayskiers need, being too oriented to racing. I suggest adding a Delayed Diagonal (Late Kick), a 2-Step DP and various Pendulum Pole moves -- all these let you ski with an upright posture and/or with a daypack -- handy for sightseeing dayskiers on homestyle trails.
The Cat 1 and Cat 1A moves likewise don't use a lot of upper body motion, but they do use the racer's forward lean. They use less compression than KDP and MUCH less than DP. So it's interesting that both racers and tourists can have a common interest: stability.
Now, Dale says a benefit for racing is that you can use skating poles effectively in your classic events with these moves. So far he's measured some performance gain, but in other ways he hasn't proven them yet to be superior to the basic 4. He won a race using them already, but he admits that he might've still won even if he hadn't. It's also a unique classic move in that it seems to train your skating muscles well -- and, sure enough, even though he hadn't been ski skating he won a skating race that started soon after he won the classic event. Again, the jury is out.
Different beats in skiing can be a bit hard to describe -- especially the skip-phase moves in Diagonal -- but it's EASY to see on video -- you instantly "get it." And Dale's vids are the first two to show these "New/Old School" classic techniques! I've been planning my own vids for as soon as we get more snow! He beat me to it! Well, I can cover the touring side and add the pendulum moves into the mix. It's a bit hard to describe "pendulum poling" -- it's a pole action where you pump the pole basket forward of your hand to "use up" a phase of the timing. Anyone know what I mean?
Maybe it's time for the Classic Alternatives to come out of the box...and add a LOT to the scene! : )
Now that I'm doing them, I can't believe that I always haven't done them! They're basically variations on a "striding doublepole" concept. Actually, I've come close, on my own, while carrying a pack on a soft trail, just by necessity -- meaning, I wanted to change things up a bit while keeping moving. I just haven't ever actually studied such moves or thought about where all they could be applied. Well, now's the time!