Cross-country skiing (also known XC Skiing or Nordic skiing) may be enjoyed in two primary ways: classic ski or skate ski. You use your muscles and equipment to move yourself forward with each one, since your heel is constantly "free" (not connected to the ski as in downhill skiing). However, there are a few key distinctions:
XC Classic skiing
It's a forward and backward striding motion that mimics how you walk or run. Because the motion is so familiar, it's a logical place to start if you're a beginner or part of a family that hasn't ever had skis.
XC Skate skiing
On ice, the technique resembles that of a speed skater. You use the outside edges of your skis to propel yourself forward as you push your skis out to the side. It's a fun and simple activity that anybody can learn to appreciate, but it's not often where novices begin.