How To Find Your Kick Zone

Kick zone? What’s that?

Well, if you’re new to the sport of cross-country skiing today’s blog post is all about the kick zone. The kick zone is the part of your ski under the binding and forward of the binding where you apply wax so that the ski grips the snow allowing you to move forward without sliding backwards. Sounds simple, right?

For beginning skiers we recommend a good waxless touring ski, so you don’t have to mess with kick wax. But, let’s be honest some of us prefer to apply kick wax. Here’s a short 25-second video tutorial on how to find the kick zone, so you know where to apply that kick wax.

A few tips not mentioned in the video:

1) Find your kick zone on a smooth, hard surface. Kitchen floors work great. Ensure that the base of your ski is free of any old ski wax or klister.

2) Weight is important when finding your kick zone. We’d recommend wearing your ski clothes and if you carry a heavy backpack (or toddler) into the backcountry be sure to add that weight when stepping onto your skis. Also, be aware that weight changes over time, and so can your kick zone. The pair of ski’s used in this video are over 10 years old…and I’m pregnant with kid #2, so my kick zone has shortened significantly this ski season with the few extra pounds I’m packing.

3) If you can’t move the dollar bill forward at all when your weight is evenly distribute the ski’s are way too soft. Time to pass them along to someone else. If your kick zone is too small or too large you won’t get enough grip, and you’ll work much harder than you should have to.

4) Don’t extend your kick zone behind the heel plate of your binding. It’ll just slow you down.

Once you’ve determined your kick zone the next step is waxing skis. Stay tuned, on Monday we’ll discuss kick wax, and on Wednesday we’ll discuss glide wax.

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