rollerskiing IN THE FRENCH ALPS
The Vercors biathlon rollerski area is an ideal location in which to discover rollerskiing. With 14km of runs, from green to black, the area is adapted for beginners and experts. The area is completely secured. But what exactly is rollerskiing?
Rollerskiing is a young sport, which started in Northern Europe during the 20th century. It was invented as a way of training for Nordic skiing, but has since become its own sport. It is very similar to cross-country skiing, but is done on the road during the summer. The French Nordic ski team started rollerskiing for training in the 1970s and introduced it to Nordic sports enthusiasts.
As in cross-country skiing, there are two types of rollerskiing : classic and skating. Classic rollerskis have wheels with ratchets that stop them running backwards. The skating rollerskis have wheels that are narrower and higher, so the skis skate out from side to side. The goal is to be as close as possible to the cross-country skiing technique.
The rollerskis have similar wheels to roller skates. The same boots are used for cross-country skiing and rollerskiing – therefore, the bindings are also the same. Rollerski and cross-country ski poles are similar, but the pole tips for rollerskiing are made of tungsten. The speed depends mainly on the quality of the wheels. There are two types of wheels : wheels made from rubber or wheels made from polyurethane. Rubber is softer and has a better grip on a wet road, but the wheel can get squashed in skating. Polyurethane is more adapted to the lateral push of the skating technique, but has a weaker grip on wet road surfaces.