Your guide to cross-country skiing and ski tracks in Skellefteå

A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING DEVELOPED TOGETHER WITH KLAS NILSSON

"Skellefteå offers one of Sweden's best cross-country skiing systems up on Vitberget for those who want to go cross-country skiing. There is a wide range of easy tracks for families and exercisers, but also really tough and hilly ones for us who train hard and compete. In addition, there are about 30 additional tracks around the municipality that are run by associations and enthusiasts, which gives more people the opportunity to go cross-country skiing regularly. "
– Klas Nilsson, Team Curira, Skellefteå

LARGE VARIETY AND PRESERVED SNOW ON VITBERGET

"Vitberget is a real gem for skiing. For those who mainly go cross-country skiing in the evening, there are 16 km of continuous lighted tracks on Vitberget, Moröhöjden and Sjungande dalen, and for those who ski during the day there are many more kilometres of varying ski tracks with nice slopes heading south with the city as backdrop. In addition, Skellefteå is one of the few places in Sweden that preserves snow from the previous season, which means that we can start the skiing season even before the first snow falls."

– Klas Nilsson

Skellefteå - The cradle of skiing

It may be a bit presumptuous to say that Skellefteå is the cradle of skiing. That everything started here thousands of years ago, but the fact is that the world's oldest preserved ski, the Kalvträsk ski, was found in Kalvträsk outside Skellefteå in the early 20th century. It is dated to 3,200 BC. and is thus over 5,200 years old. No one can take away from us the fact that cross-country skiing culture has been a strong popular movement here for centuries and it is probably also the basis for the commitment that exists around the municipality where associations and enthusiasts maintain nice lighted tracks winter after winter.

Lighted tracks around the municipality

Skellefteå Municipality's villages and communities count many enthusiasts, especially when it comes to cross-country skiing. Driven people in associations who ensure that we can keep a total of 185 km ski tracks in the municipality every winter.

Klas' advice for cross-country skiing with kids

We asked Klas to compile his three best tips, for you who want to start cross-country skiing with your child or children. At the time of writing, he has three children of his own at 5, 3 and 1.5 years old and the two older have been skiing since the age of two.

 

1. EQUIPMENT
My first tip is to make sure the children have good equipment, adapted to height and weight. Keep in mind that children are growing fast and may need to upgrade their equipment as often as every winter. However, skis can usually be used for two seasons. Make sure that the boots fit comfortably and keep the child's feet warm enough, do not buy too large boots that are loose.

 

Invest in skins skis right from the start and avoid wax-free skis with "fish scale" pattern underneath. Skins skis provide both better grip and glide and also glide quieter. With skins skis you can "ski" while wax-free skis with "fish scale" pattern are more for "walking with skis". "Fish scale" pattern skis work for very young children under three years.

 

2. SEE TRAINING AS PLAY
When cross-country skiing with children under the age of 10, it is not the number of kilometers that counts. Instead, make the training an unpretentious game and support the child in their development. Create playful tracks using ski poles, sticks, gloves, practice weight transfer by riding without poles and let them try skating. The more variety you can give them, the more fun and playful the session will be. Prefer going often and for short periods so that the child does not have time to get bored, over longer sessions.

 

Teach children to crouch and tackle downhills in a sitting position. The low center of gravity makes it a stable position. When they sit crouched and start to go downhill, encourage the children to dare to lean forward, otherwise they often fall backwards. Should they fall, the fall is often not so great due to the low center of gravity.

 

3. MAKE IT AN EXCURSION
Skiing is, for most people, so much more than just a form of exercise. It's about experiencing nature and socializing, and it's probably even important for the young ones. Bring hot chocolate in a backpack, experience and discover what is around you and see time together as an excursion rather than a workout.

Tips before cross-country skiing trainings for kids and young people