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Is roller skiing difficult?

Is roller skiing difficult? Let’s start with the most important thing first: Cross-country skiing and roller skiing are among the most effective forms of exercise you can do! Gentle training for the whole body, strength training on legs, arms, and core muscles, as well as good cardio training. You get the best effect if you walk in varied terrain, just to use different parts of the body with varied techniques and heart rates.

Then we are at the core; Is it difficult to go roller skiing?

  • No, if you choose a completely flat and clear trail, it is not particularly demanding. You can double pole, skate and go the usual classic technique. It takes some practice to transfer the technique you have learned on skis / snow to wheels / asphalt, but you get it quickly. You also avoid missing out on classic technique, which makes it even easier to get started.
  • Yes, if you want to roll in more varied terrain with uphill tracks for better training effect. For most people, uphill tracks also mean that they have to go down again. Training in terrain with downhills, turns and intersections means that you must be able to brake. Braking on roller skis requires a lot of practice, and is considered the biggest barrier to use roller skis as part of their training.

There are 3 different methods of braking;

1) Manually, e.g. by standing with your legs wide and plowing (similar to cross-country skiing). This is the most common method, but demanding at high speeds or on wet/uneven asphalt. Risk also if you hit gravel or leaves. With longer braking, the legs quickly get tired. Alternative methods are to transverse 1 ski behind and scrape it into the asphalt. The downside is that it wears a lot on the wheels. The last variant for the more experienced athletes is to stand with 1 ski-out in the gravel/grass outside the asphalt.

2) Mechanical, where the roller skis have a mechanical brake applied which is activated by the athlete. The 3 most common solutions are either a stay that is pressed against the rear wheel by leaning the foot/ankle backward, a block that is pressed against the wheel with the bar spike, or a block that is screwed against the wheel prior to planned descents. The challenges with all the solutions are that they require good balance and can provide the limited braking effect.

3) Electronic brake, with wireless control from the rod. In 2011, the development of the world’s first wireless brake for roller skis began, and RollerSafe was launched in 2016. The award-winning and patented SmartBrake technology is integrated into the skis, giving the athlete robust hydraulic disc brakes on each ski. Control from the pole makes it possible to keep the body in good balance in a natural position, regardless of speed and terrain. The braking force can be adjusted as needed, to give each athlete the best possible experience. Read more and watch the product video here: https://mysmartbrake.com/category/roller-skis/

RollerSafe is developed and tested in Norway, and sold to customers in more than 20 countries worldwide. The purpose of the innovation was twofold;

– To solve the weaknesses of manual and mechanical braking, ie make it easier and safer to brake at all skill levels, without needing extensive training or balance

– To further develop the roller ski sport, by making it possible to use roller skis in new types of trails that provide more variety, inspiration, and training effect

A paradox is an extensive investment that has taken place in the development of roller ski facilities, both in Norway and internationally. Many of these trails are laid in existing ski resorts, with demanding descents and sharp turns. The world’s most beautiful roller ski trail in Holmenkollen is a good example; used by the pros, to a very small extent the less experienced exercisers.

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