Friday, December 5, 2008


November 2008 started out as the best ever for Nordic Walking. Our favorite wooded trails in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore were covered with dry leaves and it looked like Indian Summer was here to stay.

On November 15th it started to snow and we ended up Nordic Skiing (cross country skiing) everyday for the rest of the month. Even on the days when I was hosting Nordic Walking Clinics we were able to hit the golf course for some great cross country skiing in the evening. We even squeezed in a couple days of skate skiing. The golf course provided great snow, plus the only safe place to cross country ski during deer season.

December is off to a record FUN season for Nordic Skiers too! No rain in the forecast for the next 10 days! Nordic Walkers need not despair because their poles work great during the winter too. We often go for a Nordic Walk when my wife gets home late from work and misses out on our family ski. We do our winter Nordic Walking with our running shoes on - even with snow and ice on the roads. The poles add huge improvements in balance and stability with the rubber Nordic Walking Tips removed and the carbide metal tips exposed.

Our hands stay pretty warm too. We wear lightweight SWIX Cross Country Ski Gloves. Our Nordic Walking poles come with real Nordic Walking Straps - kind of like fingerless gloves. These comfortable patented straps (patented by the Salomon Ski Company) eliminate the need to grip the poles - radically improving circulation. The straps are identical to the ones I use for cross country skiing and cross country racing.

Our poles are also similar to our cross country ski poles - durable one-piece design. Skiers use one-piece poles sized correctly for their height. Skiers know that one-piece poles are safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap twist-locking adjustable length/telescoping/collapsible poles. Snowshoers have found out the hard way that the FREE twist-lock poles that came with their snowshoes are pure garbage and rarely hold their settings and the twist-locks often fail altogether.

Nordic Walking and Cross Country Skiing are my two favorite activities. When we don't have snow our Nordic Walking Poles save the day!

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