Our Autumn rollerski programme is just about to begin and now is a very good time to get onto rollerskis and ready for the winter.

Along with our usual beginners' and Level 2 courses in Hyde Park and Dorney Lake, we are launching an ambitious programme to attract competitive athletes into the sport.

Below is information on all of this, plus news of the new Concept 2 Ski Ergometer, cross-country skiing in Hemel Hempstead and our on-snow trip to Obertilliach in the New Year. We hope you can join us,


Our main Hyde Park beginners' course starts on Saturday 5th September, see This is a good chance to get to grips with technique.

We have a Level 2 course on Wednesday evenings, from 9th September, also in Hyde Park, see

At Dorney Lake, our first 1-day course of the season is Saturday 19th September. After this, we have courses on Sundays, once or twice a month until the spring. You can book here:


Our most significant development for 2009/10 is a new cross-country ski racer programme. Though this, we aim to bring competitively minded athletes into the sport and get them ready for racing on snow in January. Over the years we've had a handful of racers come through our courses, and now have a small but committed group of racers regularly training in our club.

We have some very good athletes - mainly from the world of rowing - interested so far and hope to create a very strong novice team over the months ahead. This is mainly because we have such good connections with rowing, but would be equally keen to welcome athletes from other sports such as canoeing and fell running. For more information, see


This year our trip is to Obertilliach in Austria's Osttirol. We will have a week of skiing - classic and skating technique - followed by the Pustertaler ski marathon in nearby Dobiacco. Obertilliach is one of Austria's main centres for biathlon, with great tracks which attract both cross-country ski and biathlon national teams.

Alan Eason will be leading the instruction on snow, and knows the area very well. The village is known for its good ski record, and friendly atmosphere, and is a real favourite of ours. We have 4 bookings already, both new and returning skiers, and a lot of interest. For more information, see


Everyone has been telling me how I 'must get onto Facebook' for ages. As with mobile phones, the internet, etc I'm usually the last to get involved, but have been getting to grips with it over the last few weeks and am slowly becoming a convert.

If you're on Facebook, you can join the group. This is useful both as a source of information, and as a discsussion forum for asking questions and making contact with other skiers. If you have any thoughts or info to share, you can post it on the fan 'Wall'.

The group is in the name of our club, but there's no need to be a member, just sign up:


Concept 2, makers of the ubiquitous rowing ergometer, have just launched their lastest machine - and first departure from rowing - a cross-country 'Ski Erg'. For more info, see


We've just introduced new boots for skating, the Salomon Pro Combi Pilot, see

This is a very clever boot - it's more or less the same as the Salomon Active 8 Skate boot, but with a detachable cuff to make it usable for the occasional classic session. We are going to offer this as the standard boot on all our skating packages, and an optional upgrade on combi packages. It is now the main skating boot in our hire stock. You can buy this boot online here:


We're over half way through the summer rollerski racing season, with some interesting results and good achievements for London skiers. Rob Dorward, who's been rollerskiing for under 2 years, has won two of the GB Series races, the London 1-hour and Lancaster 1-hour races, beating Olympic legend Mike Dixon, among others, in the process.

Karolina Bicova has been winning races in the UK and performing well abroad. She took first place in both the London 1-hour race and London pursuit race, and finished 4th in two of the FIS Rollerski World Cup races in Germany.

There are still several rollerski races coming up, so it's still not too late to have a go. A particular highlight is the Wessex Sprints at the end of October, with races starting from just 3km and, if that is not long enough, there is the 4-hour race in London the week before. For more information, see


Because of the growing numbers of racers in our club, we've added a weekly session in Richmond Park. Yevgeniy Gorbenko is taking charge of the racing team and will be running these sessions. The club's full programme for the next few months can be seen here:


The Hemel Hempstead snowdome is now operational and welcoming cross-country skiers. We can use it at the following times for a £15 charge:

  - Every Wednesday morning 08:00-09:00, from 12 August
  - Every Sunday morning 07:00-08:30, from 11 October

Also, 07:00-08:30 on Sunday 13 September

FROM HEATHLEY CLARKE: Using your own equipment (skis, boots and poles, as hiring is not available), the emphasis will be on the Skating technique (uphill, and then downhill) as there is no space for flat practice or Classic technique. Use of Classic skis with fishscales (no gripwax please) is also possible. The training slope is claimed to be `the largest indoor lesson slope in the country', at 100m long and over 30m wide, so there's plenty of space to ski up and practice your downhill on thin skis. The slope has a graduated angle from 12 degrees at the top, running down to 10 degrees for the majority of the 100m, so uphill Skating technique will not necessarily be suited to the ability of every skier, but this is where the opportunity starts!

The Snow20Centre has an excellent après-ski facility (open from 08:00) with coffee, cakes and sandwiches, and a superb relaxation and lounge area overlooking the slope, so you'll be well catered for at the end of your skiing session. Check out The Snow Centre website for more information and its location -



It's interesting to take a look at different techniques among elite skiers.

In particular, on uphills the Norwegians seem to 'stomp' onto their leading ski in Skate 1:

If you go to 1:20 in this video there is a close up of Lars Berger's feet during uphill skate 1, you can see how his left foot stomps straight down into the snow at the same time as the poles and then the right foot is pushed forward as in skate 2&3. Bjorndalen is at 5:06 doing the same thing but not in slow mo.

Birnbacher is at 7:13, in contrast he does the same thing with both legs, has less torso rotation and makes it look very hard work and goes much slower.

Best regards,

Iain Ballentine
Roller ski instruction & rollerski shop

M: 07968 286129
T: 020 8348 2540

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The Rollerski Co & Rollerski Instruction 2009

RollerSki News - June 3rd, 2009
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