Roller Ski News 28th February 2008

Time for another rollerski newsletter - especially with races coming up and some good skiers at Dorney, Richmond and Hyde Park to welcome. This seems to be the time of the year when cross-country ski withdrawal symptoms set in - getting back from the snow and having to wait a year to get that XC ski 'endorphin rush' again. But with long evenings and good weather there's also the chance for rollerski workouts to fill the gap.

We definitely recommend the benefits of being independent and being able to train whenever you want - rollerskis are a good investment. Don't just take our word for it - below you will see how British junior XC skiers are taking on the best in the world, with training based largely on rollerskis. Looking ahead, the rollerski racing series this year is fuller than ever, there are plenty of rollerski tours to do and some great training opportunities.

On this email you will find details of courses coming up, plus news from the UK rollerski and cross-country ski scenes. I hope you find it interesting,


Our next big Dorney day is 30th March - we will have groups for beginners and Level 2 (intermediate / advanced) skiers. Ekaterina, aka 'the slave driver', will be back for the April course. To book up, go to -

We have a number of 4-week courses coming up on Saturdays. Now the days are getting longer, we also have our first evening courses, just 6 weeks away. Sessions include -
Sat 15th March, 11.30, Skating rollerskiing in Hyde Park
Sat 29th March, 11.30, Classic rollerskiing in Hyde Park
Wed 9th April, 18.00, Skating rollerskiing in Hyde Park
Tues 15th April, 18.00, Classic rollerskiing in Hyde Park
To book, go to and select the relevant session.

We won't be running 4-week courses from mid-May until the end of August this year, so recommend you book onto these courses if you would like to get to grips with a particular technique before the summer.

Our class sessions continue on Saturdays and Sundays in Hyde Park, Richmond Park and Dorney Lake. See


It's coming up to the peak Ski Marathon season now, and time to wish good luck to all who have been training hard for these races.
Hopefully I've not missed anyone, but good luck to -
Engadin Racers: Michele Marshall, Kwasi Debrah, Richard Wallman, Sue Bambridge, Ian Macleod, Alan Shepard, Gemma Gaskell, Guerman Mikhailov, Bruce Nightingale, Stuart Smith, Alan Hutchinson, Agnieszka Krukowska, Pat Burtis, Pat Berhold, Alex Marfin, Steve Crutchley, Marne Salter, Charlie Chuter and Jonathan Calascione.
Vasaloppet Racers: Ulf Rehnstrom, Jessica Klaassen, William Bruce and Matt Walker

Michele Marshall is doing the Engadin Skimarathon for charity - to help her raise funds, go to


Each year we do a rollerski tour between the two cities of Bristol and Bath - connected by an excellent cycle track along a disused railway line. This year's tour will take place on Saturday 17th May - with suitable visits to pubs along the way - and all rollerskiers capable of skiing the 10 miles are welcome. More information will follow, but this is definitely one to aim for, for fitness and a good day out with other rollerskiers.

For the full rollerski tour calendar, go to -


Our online rollerski shop will help you get going - we have a full range of rollerskis, boots and poles in stock and have just introduced knee and elbow pad protectors - see

Our least expensive Combi package (for both skating and classic) is just 269 including rollerskis, boots and poles, bindings fitting and delivery - see for more info.


Great news for the Wessex Biathlon & Nordic Ski Club - following their well-run inaugural race at Castle Combe in November, they have succeeded in meeting the strict criteria for inclusion in the GB Rollerski Race Calendar. It is a credit to the club to have achieved this honour in such a short time in operation. A special mention must go to club secretary Rupert Butcher and race secretary Bob Anderson.

Peter Thorn, GB Rollerski Race Series Director, and Chris Richards, director of the London Rollerski Race Series, have great plans for 2008, and we will no doubt see some exciting innovations. The growth of UK rollerski racing continues apace.

You can see the full racing calendar at -


Great things have been happening in the world of civilian cross-country ski racing - for more go to


Excellent results for GB Juniors last weekend in Malles, Val Venosta, Italy, especially for:

Andrew Musgrave who was 42nd out of 89 in the 20k free technique race and 72nd out of 97 in the 10k classic race -

Alastair Duncan who was 70th out of 99 in the 1k sprint free technique race -

For British skiers to attain such decent results is a remarkable achievement. Racing against the best in the world, the skiers have been developed from a tiny pool, with very limited resources and - for the most of the time - with only rollerskis to train on. A lot of credit must go to the youngsters themselves, but also to the parents and the team of coaches who've developed them over the years.


This may be not be of much interest to anyone else as it is to me, but I thought I'd share it anyway. In February last year I got around to monitoring 'hits' to the website thanks to Google Analytics, which provides a remarkable range of data. In the 12 months to 12/2/8 had 106,224 individual 'Page Impressions' and 23,323 'visits'.

The most popular page was the home page with 15,678 hits, while our 'Ski Marathon' page, was popular with 3,219 hits. We had 168 referrals from the London Region Nordic Ski Club and, unsurprisingly, the most Googled search term was 'Rollerski'. We had visitors from 94 different countries, including 6 from Ethiopia, 5 from Iran and 13 from Qatar!


I keep meaning to mention Mike van Erp, one of the friendliest and best rollerblading instructors in Hyde Park, who has been enthusiastic about rollerskiing. Mike definitely seems to be more at the athlete end of the skating athlete-poser scale, which I'd say is a good thing, and has been recommended by some of the rollerskiers. If you are interested in mastering rollerskating, check out his website at

Best of luck for your own skiing / rollerskiing coming up, and hope to see you soon,

Best regards,

PS - I'm aware that at sessions I don't have as much time as I'd like to chat and answer questions re training / courses / skiing on snow, etc. Please do get in touch during the week if you've any rollerski questions I might be able to help with. Generally things are less hectic than at weekends and I'll try to help!

Iain Ballentine
Roller ski instruction & rollerski shop

M: 07968 286129
T: 020 8348 2540

Rollerskiing in thelondonpaper -

Rollerski courses coming up -

Save on rollerski packages -

The Rollerski Co & Rollerski Instruction 2008