Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 08:54


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By Leandro Lutz

The 2019 Engadin Skimarathon took place this Sunday in Switzerland and entered into the history of Visma Ski Classics for being the first skating race of the tour. In addition to the professional athletes of Visma Ski Classics, several World Cup skiers also participated and the big winners were Dario Cologna and Nathalie von Siebenthal, both Swiss Team members.

The Ski Classics pro athletes, accustomed to double pole technique in the other races of the circuit, had to face the distance of 42km in skating style and some of the big names of the World Cup.

The classic and free styles are different techniques and to better know the skating style adopted in this year's Engadin Skimarathon, we will check how it all started and analyze its main techniques and characteristics.

According to the International Skiing History Association, for more than a century athletes used the classic technique to race. In the 1930s, skiers skated on flat areas in the style of ice skater and in the 1960s orienteering ski participants also skated. The radical change occurred in the 1980s, American Bill Koch observed the skate step in a marathon in Sweden and applied the technique at the 1982 Cross Country Skiing World Cup, winning the race.

From then on the evolution in the freestyle technique did not stop, and in 1986 the sport was officially divided into classic and freestyle disciplines. Nowadays, the trend in Visma Ski Classics is double pole technique and now with the first race of the history of Ski Classics in freestyle, the techniques are different and the concepts too.

Freestyle skiers, as well as speed skaters, use the side push with the legs to propel themselves forward. With the arms and core working together with the legs to assist in propulsion. Just as the classic style has more important techniques like diagonal stride, kick double pole and double pole, the main techniques used in races by freestyle skiers are V1, V2, V2 Alternate and No Poles Skate. These nomenclatures are mainly used in the USA and at the end of the article we have brought some names used in other countries.

Now that we know the names of the main techniques used in freestyle, we will analyze its main characteristics.

  • V1 is the first gear, used primarily on steep climbs and is the only freestyle technique that is asymmetrical, that is, the V1 technique uses an offset position of the hands to generate power.
  • V2 is the second gear, has excellent versatility, can be used in flat, gradual climbs, and slight downhills. This is the technique of power and speed and the most used in competitions, is the queen of freestyle technique, just as double pole is the queen technique of long distance races in classic style.
  • V2 Alternate is the fastest technique and used in flats and slight downhills. What differs from the V2 technique is that this technique uses the double pole motion on only one side, while in the V2 technique the double pole motion is used on both sides.
  • No Poles Skate, as its name says, the skier skies with no poles, just skating with the legs. It is a technique used at high speeds and downhills.

Now that you know the basics about the main freestyle techniques, here is an interesting list with the names of the techniques in different countries and languages:











One Skate



V2 Alternate


Two Skate



No Poles Skate


Free Skate



    Pas de patineur       deux temps

Pas de patineur un temps

Pas de patineur deux temps combine

Pas de patineur batons





Sauvoitta luistelu



1-1 (Eins-eins)

2-1 (Zwei-eins)

Schlitt-  shuhschritt


    Pattinaggio corto

Pattinaggio com doppia spinta

Pattinaggio lungo








    Tvåans växel

 Treans växel

Fyrans växel

Femmans växel


    Skate 1

Skate 2

Skate 3

Free Skate




V2 Alternate

No Poles Skate



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