When you have a passion for a winter sport, you have to find a way to stay in shape during the off-season.
Sierra Gibson is a 17-year old Rosslander who is a memeber of the BC Cross Country Ski Team. Gibson averages 500 hours of training each year and part of that training is roller skiing in the warmer months.
Roller skiing is like cross country skiing, with the same motion, but on short skis with wheels attached. It allows the transition back to snow and the ski season to be much smoother.
“Cross country skiing is so much easier when you hit the snow after roller skiing in the off-season. You can just jump on your skis, with a few minor adjustments and you are good to go,” she says.
Roller skiiers can be seen at their usual spots near the Paterson border, Seven Mile Dam and Thunder Road.
“I have had a lot of people asking me about rollerskiing,” Gibson says. “They ask “is it hard, how can we do it, where do you buy them, can I try?”
Gibson is the daughter of Tammie and Dave Gibson, owners of Kootenay Nordic Sport. She decided to put her experience and technique to use and pass it along to other people who are interested.
Drop-in roller skiing is offered every Wednesday night for intermediate and advanced skiiers. Skiiers meet at Kootenay Nordic Sports at 5:30 p.m. for an hour of roller skiing. There is no charge to participate.
For those who are beginners, the shop has some sizing in boots and poles. Helmet, roller skis, gloves, poles, boots and a safety vest or bright shirt are required. For anyone’s first time out, Gibson can supply some of her own skis.
Gibson is willing to teach beginners, people who have never even stepped on skis before, and experienced skiers who just need a few technique tweaks.
She is also able to shoot video and review it to give people a better idea of how to improve their technique. She can help with speed work, long distance, absolute beginners, balance and all of it in between.
She is available for appointments up until August 15 when she attends a glacier ski camp with the Black Jack Ski team and then will be back in September.
“It is a great source of exercise as it uses so many muscles in the body and is great to work on and improve balance,” she explains.
For more information, contact Gibson at Kootenay Noridc Sport 250-362-7071.