Off-Road Rollerskis can be found at Gear West. It is a classic
rollerski designed to handle a non-paved surface. The shaft
of the rollerski is similar to the rest of the Elpex, V2
or Pro-Ski shafts; it might be slightly wider but not noticeably
so. The big difference is in the wheels. A larger diameter
wheel that is wider than a road-ski skating wheel but not
as wide as the typical road-ski classic wheel makes this
rollerski more suited to classic skiing off-road. The "kick"
is in the rear wheel so there is that argument of "too
reliable kick" -- but consider the purpose.
terrain, a roller ski must have the stability to take a
few more terrain risks/challenges without going into a "wheel
lock." The width and heaviness of the wheels handles
imperfect surfaces with the toughness to go over rocks/sticks/sandy
patches without locking up. These rollerskis are ideal on
the crushed rock of the Luce Line for a double pole workout.
On pavement, they feel like rockets -- too fast and too
easy to be a good workout.
you want to get away from the constraints of asphalt, try
snowmobile/logging trails and back-roads that have ruts,
sandy wash-outs, and the mostly buried rocks. A downhill
is not a problem if you have the alertness to keep you feet
moving where it looks tricky. If you are a beginner, a nice
hard-pack like the Luce Line is a great place to start off-roading
with these skis and get that double-pole training for the
next Mora Vassaloppet. On a back road or dirt trail with
rough terrain, you need to focus on the "line"
you are going to take -- it becomes a mental and physical
exercise. The ride is not always smooth, but it's adventurous.
let me compare the Elpex Off-Road to the V2 Aero Off-Road
Ski. The Aero was more suited to rough pavement than gravel
roads. If I were rollerskiing on paved and pitted back roads
(which we may be seeing more of), I would choose the Aero
over a road ski-but not for a non-paved surface. As far
as Off-Road Skating goes, I think it is difficult and risky
to commit to good skating technique- but somehow 10 miles
of classic rollerskiing on gravel roads and logging trails
felt like it was closer to the real thing than 10 miles
of classic on pavement. You just may start to like classic
rollerskiing on these rollerskis.
Troutner is a member of the SkinnySki.com Race Team
and coaches with Minnesota Biathlon, as well as working
part-time at Acceleration Minnesota.
to Gear West
for supplying the Elpex Off-Roads. More details on this
and other Elpex products on the Gear
West web site.