Learn to rollerski from experts. Improve your fitness and prep for next year’s season. Rollerskiing can be dangerous; let us set you up for success!
Rollerskiing 101: V2 & Fischer Rollerskis
New Moon sells V2 and Fischer rollerskis because they are the best skis available. They are lightweight, precise tools that come the closest to the feeling you get when skiing on snow. You can control the speed of the skis, either by the wheels you choose or by adding speed reducers and brakes, making them safe and highly specific for training at varying resistance. V2 is made in the USA, parts and wheels are always available, and we can outfit your ski to match your ski style.
We offer the whole line of V2 and Fischer skis and stock the most popular models. V2 has more models than any rollerski manufacturer, so you can buy a ski for any specific need. Both brands have unique, innovative, designs with brakes to ensure they are the safest skis ever made. V2 Aero skis with inflatable tires roll over debris that would suddenly stop hard wheel rollerskis. V2 and Fischer carbon composite skis provide excellent all-around performance on smooth asphalt.
Cross country skiers use rollerskiing to stay in shape and for recreation in the snowless months. Rollerski once or twice a week through the summer months, then step it up to 3 or 4 times a week when fall comes, and you’ll be ready to ski as if the snow had never left. We recommend rollerskiing for skiers of intermediate and advanced skills. Rollerskiing can be dangerous. Falling on asphalt is unpleasant at best, so we like to see skiers have experience and good balance on snow skis before they take up rollerskiing. Having said that, less-experienced skiers and even beginners can rollerski, but some precautions are in order. Some skis are easier than others for beginners to use. Read more about that below in Which Skis to Buy, Equipment Needed, and Getting Started.
Which Skis to Buy…
Do you want to skate, diagonal stride, or both? This is the first question to answer. Skis for diagonal stride (“Classic” skiing) have a ratcheted wheel on each ski that won’t roll in reverse, so you can push down and back to stride forward. Skate skis free wheel in either direction, so they can’t be used for diagonal stride. Available by special order, combination skis have ratcheted wheels for a diagonal stride that edge well for skating. They are a bit longer than skate skis to make them track straight and stride forward more easily. The ratcheting wheels are more expensive, so if you will only skate, there’s no reason to buy a combination ski. The Fischer Speedmax Classic series are the most stable two-wheel skis due to the flat, wide wheel shape. Keep in mind combis do sacrifice performance compared to specific discipline skis.
What Surface Will You Ski On?
Concrete is not an option, because your pole tips won’t sink into it. Asphalt, hard-packed dirt, and limestone chip trails are the surfaces you need. Grass and sand are too soft. If you have smooth asphalt, the small-wheeled 98 series skis or the Fischer skis will roll easily, and they are lighter than the Aero skis. However, you will be unable to use them on very rough surfaces. If you anticipate some smooth asphalt and some rough surface use, the 98s are fine. If you only have rough surfaces, Aeros are definitely the choice. We recommend the Aero XL150S (150mm or 6-inch wheels) for very rough surfaces and the Fischer Speedmax Skate for smooth asphalt and moderately rough surfaces.
Is your terrain very hilly, flat, or somewhere in between? If it is very hilly you will certainly want to add speed reducers to whichever skis you pick so you can slow down for descending slowly and safely. If you are skilled and hardly ever fall, medium hilly terrain can be skied without the speed reducers. In our opinion, brakes enable you to do more difficult/challenging downhills. On flat terrain, speed reducers are not necessary for most skiers, but they can be useful for adding skiing resistance for a more strenuous workout. All V2 and Fischer skis roll at a speed approximating medium to medium-fast snow conditions. For skating, you will be able to use V1 technique on the flats. For classic skiing, many other brands roll too fast to diagonal stride on the flats. With the 900 series and the Fischer Speedmax/RC7 this is not a problem. The 910 Classic skis are the slowest of the series. The 930 Classic skis are faster, and the 920s are a nice balance (910 and 930 available by special order).
Steep downhills, open cracks and holes in the pavement, gravel strewn over asphalt, small sticks and isolated pebbles, and tarred cracks in pavement all are obstacles rollerskiers must watch for. Watch the road surface and step or steer around obstacles. Skiing into an obstacle can suddenly stop your wheels resulting in a face plant. This is more the case on the small wheel skis. The Aero skis’ larger, more pliable tires will roll over most small obstacles, and even roll on the unpaved edge of a roadway if you have to ski off the road to avoid traffic.
Bindings: We suggest using the Rottefella Rollerski binding or the Fischer IFP Rollerski binding. They are both compatible with NNN/Prolink/IFP systems. These bindings are designed specifically for rollerskiing and have harder plastics to handle the bump and grind of being on the road.
Boots: Supportive boots are essential for control. Rollerskis are more “tippy” than snow skis. It’s tempting to use your old worn out boots, but if they don’t offer good lateral support for snow skiing, they will be very inadequate for the increased stability demands of roller skiing. Many skiers prefer to even classic ski in their skate boots for the added ankle support. New Moon offers Alpina’s Summer rollerski boots. These are made with the same performance materials and construction as their elite cross country ski racing boots, but in a ventilated summer weight. Available in skate and classic (arriving early June).
Poles: Use the same poles you use for snow skiing but replace the baskets with rollerski ferrules which have a spike, hardened for asphalt use. Use a stiff pole and don’t slam it into the asphalt. A really limber pole does not protect your elbows from shock and may cause tendonitis issues.
Helmet: A bike helmet will do.
Gloves: Use a lightweight glove for summer use. One that is reinforced in critical areas, especially between the thumb and forefinger.
Knee, Elbow & Wrist Pads: Knee and elbow are strongly recommended, especially for less than expert skiers. Wrist guards, like those used by inline skaters aren’t an option because you can’t wear them with poles.
Getting your balance is the first priority. Roller skis are “tippier” than skis. Get used to balancing on them standing still before you roll away. On a level surface, step into your bindings and support yourself with the poles. Then step from ski to ski, balancing on one foot at a time. Step in a circle while stationary. Circle in the opposite direction. Become comfortable stepping from ski to ski and balancing before you have to use these skills while rolling down the road.
Ready to roll? Stay on two feet for a while and just double pole. Step your skis back parallel to one another if they tend to wander apart. Now double pole and lift one ski while rolling. Step from ski to ski while rolling. Step in a circle while moving. Reverse direction.
Now add the skiing motions. Skate without poles. Use a short diagonal stride before you work up to a fully extended position. At the risk of stating the obvious, be careful never to plant a pole between your skis.
Brakes are now available for all V2 models and Fischer roller skis. They have excellent modulation so you have lots of control over how quickly you want to stop. Experienced skiers with a brake can stop in seconds. If your skis have speed reducers, you can activate them at the top of a downhill and descend slowly. Think ahead and avoid terrain or situations beyond your ability to ski. Practice the brake at slow speed before you need to do it for real.
Eventually you will have to replace tires. How you use your skis determines how long the tires last. Rough asphalt and hot asphalt will wear your tires out more quickly than smoother, cooler surfaces. Larger skiers tend to wear tires more quickly, too. The 6″ Aero tires tend to wear about 3 times as long as other wheels. Rotate your skis as you use them to wear the tires evenly. One way to do this is switch skis midway through a session. Replace solid wheels when they become unevenly worn and unstable. Replace inflatable tires when the tread is gone.
Please call us with any questions on rollerskiing or rollerski equipment. Stay safe out there and have fun!