How to Skate Ski Uphill

If you’re looking to improve your uphill skiing skills, look no further. In this post, we’ll show you how to skate ski uphill and provide you with tips and techniques that will have you skating up the slopes in no time. Read on for pointers on how to adjust your technique and skiing gear to make the most of your ascent.

To skate ski uphill, you’ll need to create a V-shape with your skis. Next, point the tips of your skis downhill and make sure that they are parallel to each other. Then, lean forward slightly and use your poles to push yourself uphill. It may take some practice, but eventually, you’ll be able to skate ski up even the steepest hills! Read on to know more information!

How to Skate Ski Uphill

10 Ways on How to Skate Ski Uphill

1. Running

The primary goal is to get momentum. Crouch low and drive your foot into the ground using your leg muscles just like running. If possible, lean forward slightly so that your center of gravity moves over the balls of both feet rather than over one leg or the other (which puts strain on some muscles).

2. Hockey Skating

When you’re ready to try to outskate skiing, it’s easiest to start with hockey skates. Hockey skates usually have a longer and more flexible blade than ski racing or fitness skis, making them slower but more maneuverable. They also provide extra-strong ankle support, which is critical for outskating.

3. Speed Skating

Speed skates are higher performance than hockey skates, but the speed of outskating is not their specialty. They have a stiffer boot with limited forward flex, making them harder to balance on while moving in many different directions. If you have only speed skates available, you can certainly try out skating, but expect a challenge.

4. Skate Skiing

Ski fitness skis are easy to use for outskating. They usually have a relatively flexible ski-binding interface, which means you can push the heel of one leg down to lift the opposite edge of the ski up. This generates powerful forward propulsion that you can’t generate with other types of equipment. Of course, you’ll need a ski pole to pull sideways on the snow and keep your balance, but that’s about it.

5. Kneeboarding

Kneeboards have powerful propulsion when you slide them back and forth with one leg or both legs, making kneeboarding an excellent way to outskate skiing. In addition, it may loosen up your hips and allow you to use more powerful leg muscles than you could use a conventional ski. But it also takes some practice to learn how to balance on the kneeboard, which usually has no support for your lower leg or foot.

6. Hand-held

Use hand-held outriggers that reach out in front of you to the ground. They have very little propulsion, but they give you a low center of gravity, and they keep you from falling while moving in many different directions. Maintain your balance by keeping one hand on the ski pole at all times.

7. No Propulsion

Just roll with whatever technique works for you. This may mean rolling with your legs spread wide, or it may mean rolling on one leg at a time. Try to learn good balance skills first; then, the propulsion techniques will come naturally.

Good Balance Skills

8. Basic Balance

To outskate skiing requires excellent balance because you’re moving in many different directions at once. If you can’t stand on one leg while looking in another direction, try doing it with your eyes closed. If you can’t balance at all, start by standing still on one foot and then lifting the other foot off the ground. Work up to balancing with your eyes closed for more than a few seconds at a time.

9. Foot Dragging

Stand on one ski, bend at the knees and hips, lift your foot off the ski until it is just touching the tip of your boot sole to the snow, then drag it back. This puts all your weight over the ball of one foot, so it’s easy to push with that leg muscle. Then, when you feel ready, try touching the other foot on the snow and dragging it back. Eventually, you can get both feet off of the ground at once, but it’s better to learn one technique at a time.

You Can Check It Out to Clean Ski Boot Liners

10. Ski Poles

Keep one pole planted in the snow between your feet. Then lift either leg up until its toe touches your ski pole, then push with that leg. When you feel ready to try pushing off both legs at once, plant your ski pole between your feet and do the same thing. Eventually, you’ll want to be able to push off with either foot or both feet at once.

Keep Pole Planted

Some Tips and Suggestions

  1. This exercise is very intense and should not be attempted by anyone who has not been skating for a while. If you feel any pain in your knee, stop and rest for a day or two before trying again.
  2. The slope should start gentle and get steeper as it goes up (no more than 15 degrees). You will need to experiment to find the best angle for your knees.
  3. The skis should be waxed (preferably with grip wax)
  4. You may want to take some poles to help you up the hill or lean on while doing this exercise.
  5. As you turn around, make sure your weight is over your back ski, and you are gliding on your front foot (and not vice versa)
  6. Rollerskiing uphill is also excellent training for roller skiing, but it should only be done if your knee doesn’t hurt.
  7. After skating uphill for a while, you will start to feel this exercise in other muscles like the hip flexors and core. Use those feelings as cues that you should stop.

What Are You Doing When You Cycle Uphill? 

If you’re pushing down on the pedal, then that action is one of weight transfer. You’re transferring your weight from one foot to another. Your upper body goes up and down while your foot pushes down on the pedal. On Skis, you’re using that concept of weight transfer, so one ski is “on edge” to help it move forward while the other ski is applying force against the snow to keep it from sliding back.

Unlike on a bicycle, you don’t have crank arms attached to your feet, so you’re not transferring your weight from one pedal to the other. If you try to do that on skis, they’ll slip out from under you. At first, you’re going to have a hard time applying the same concept of weight transfer from your feet to your skis. But, once you’ve gotten good at switching between one ski and two, it’s time to move on to something more advanced.

The 4 Elements of Uphill Skate Skiing You Must Master

If you want to know how to skate ski uphill, then you must know these four elements to master.

Principle 1: Extension Glide

A-Ski/Skate ski is inherently unstable because it has a concise contact surface area. The best way to overcome this instability is with an extended glide. Make sure you are extending both legs at all times and that your body weight or mass is distributed evenly on top of your skis, not on either edge.

Your outside hand should be on the snow first, which will help lift your body up and over top of the ski. The inside hand is pushing forward (not into the snow). The inner hand or pole plants last to reduce drift back or into the slope.

Principle 2: Weight Transfer Glide

Transfer your weight from the uphill ski to the downhill ski. Weight transfer is a pivotal movement in all water or snow sports, which is no different. Make sure you transfer your weight from the uphill ski to the downhill ski in one smooth motion. If done too slowly, the skis will pivot around each other and may break apart.

Transfer Weight From Uphill to Downhill

Principle 3: Knee/Hip Tuck With Glide

At any time during your up-track (uphill) stroke, if there is no immediate danger, quickly tuck your knees and hips together. This protects the skis from getting un-stuck while allowing momentum to carry you forward without falling over. It also keeps the skis together while crossing steep slopes or chopping while preventing them from crabbing outwards while transitioning across the fall line.

You Can Check It Out to Stop on Roller Skis

Principle 4: Poling

Don’t over the pole. Pole plants are not for propulsion but help maintain momentum while transitioning during up-track strokes. It is important to note that an extended glide will always be faster than a poling action. Poling is only used to maintain momentum while crossing, traversing, or transitioning across the fall line.

You Can Check It Out to Skate Off a Curb


Skating skiing uphill is not very common but can be done. The key to success is having a good balance of speed and technique. In addition, to skate ski uphill, you need to have the right equipment for that specific task, such as wide skis with an aluminum frame or carving bindings which will help your weight distribution on the edges of the skis so they don’t slip out from under you while skating uphill.

With these tools in tow, try this simple tactic. Start by positioning yourself at 45 degrees towards the slope, toes facing downhill and heels pointing uphill (with both feet still flat on their base). You should then lean into each turn using your upper body’s rotation instead of leaning back against gravity like when going downhill. This should force you to bend your knees and rotate your skis slightly. We hope this blog post on how to skate ski uphill. If you have any questions feel free to comment below!

You may also read: How to Roller Skate Downhill