Multi-sport nordic club based in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
Cross Country Skiing Parent Handbook
Welcome to the Sea to Sky Nordics Cross Country Ski Program! We run a skills development program (SDP) that is supported by Cross Country BC and developed by Nordiq Canada. This page is to provide you with information about the season and details about attending our programs.
The Sea to Sky Nordics runs a cross country skiing program for children and teens. It is a club-run program that follows the skill development program set out by Nordiq Canada. Our philosophy is to encourage participation, interaction and the development of technical skiing skills in a fun and motivating atmosphere.
It is based on the Long-Term Athlete Development model, where improvement within the sport is through exposure to activities that develop overall motor and sport skills. The focus is on having fun and developing a lifelong love of cross-country skiing.
The Program Stages
Bunnyrabbit Program (ages 4-5): an introduction to cross country skiing through organized activity and active play. Jackrabbits Program (ages 6-9): a program to develop basic cross-country ski skills in both classic and skate skiing and to instill a lifelong interest in the sport. Track Attack Program (ages 10-15): for skiers to become technically competent and to utilize those skills.
Bunnyrabbits and Jackrabbits 1/2 ski on classic skis exclusively. Jackrabbits 3/4 and Track Attack practice both classic and skate techniques.
Our coaches have completed the appropriate training through the National Coaching Certification Program run by Nordiq Canada.
Skill Development Program Coordinator
The skill development program (SDP) coordinators will be able to answer any questions you may have – please email us (after you read this guide to see if it answers your question, of course!).
The schedule will be on Teamsnap and will follow the schedule here.
Please use Teamsnap to confirm attendance or let the coach know you will not be coming. Please be on time, but if it looks like you might be late, let your coach and group know by Teamsnap and they may be able to hang out in the stadium for a few minutes.
Drop Off/Pick Up
Practices will meet in the cross country stadium at Whistler Olympic Park. This area is located on the the opposite side of the upper parking lot (P3) from the Day Lodge.
Each group will have a number to meet at.
Skiers should arrive 15 minutes early for their practice time to get organized and be on snow at start time (earlier if you are renting equipment, especially on the first day). If you do not have your WOP pass sorted before the first day, leave extra time for that.
Please let your child’s coach know ahead of time if your child will be absent. Please be on time – you may not be able to find or catch up to your group.
Ensure your child is properly fed, hydrated, and has been to the washroom prior to practice. There is a washroom at the accessed from behind the XC technical building.
Caregivers of children in Jackrabbits and Bunnyrabbits must sign their children in and out with their coach. Please be at their number on time.
Please stay relatively close by so that you can pick up your child in the case of a mishap.
Bunnyrabbits and Jackrabbits level 1 and 2 will need classic skis only. Bunnyrabbits will generally not use poles. Your coach will let you know when/if poles will be required.
Jackrabbits levels 3 and 4, and Track Attack kids will need both classic and skate gear.
Equipment can be purchased at:
Valhalla Pure (Squamish)
Source for Sports (Squamish)
Coast Outdoors (North Vancouver)
Secondhand: various buy and sell and Nordic Facebook pages, Sports Junkies in Vancouver, the Sea to Sky Nordics webpage, and sometimes at WOP at the end of the season
All skis need to be waxed! Please see the waxing tab for more details.
If you need to rent equipment, that service is available at the WOP Day lodge, see here for details. If you are getting a season equipment rental please sort out the paperwork/get sizing prior to the first ski practice; it could take 45 minutes to an hour on the first day to sort out your rentals.
Please label your child’s skis and poles with their names or they may get mixed up during games or drills.
Clothing and Other Equipment
What your child wears for ski practice should depending on the weather for the day. Dressing in layers is a good idea as kids will get warm while skiing. They will need a jacket and under layer (not cotton). For Bunnyrabbits and younger Jackrabbits, waterproof pants are good idea as falling is frequent.
Kids will also need waterproof mitts (younger kids) and gloves (older kids) as well as a toque or buff. Sunglasses for sunny days are also a great idea.
A good guide to dressing for nordic skiing can be found here.
Children often get thirsty during ski practice. We recommend providing them with a water bottle (a small one in their pocket, small camelback, or waist belt with bottle). Bunnyrabbit sessions are usually short enough that water is not needed.
Please ensure skis and poles are the correct height for your child and are properly waxed. This is vital and can make the difference between a fun ski day and a miserable one. Waxless skis still need glide wax (they just use skins or scales for grip instead of wax)!
Options for waxing your skis
1) You can drop your skis off at the WOP rental centre to be waxed.
2) To do your ski waxing yourself, you can buy wax and use the Whistler Olympic Park wax cabin (by the daylodge).
3) To hot wax at home, you will need to get your own gear:
* Waxing iron
* Pencil groove scraper
* Plexiglass scraper
* Block of glide wax
* And ideally, a vise, profile, or wax table
You can get away with liquid wax between hot wax sessions, but you need to uses the liquid wax fairly often.
These videos were recommended by our coaches.
As a primer, I recommend starting with this terrific step by step guide here then moving on to the appropriate video.
Feel free to reach us with comments or questions about our programs, events, or getting involved. Email us or send a general message via the contact page.
Club mailing address: Sea to Sky Nordics, PO Box 2245, Squamish, BC V8B 0B5