Frequently Asked Questions

I’m new to nordic skiing – How does one do it?

New skiers are welcome here! 

There are two techniques – Classic and Skate. In classic technique, the skier kicks with alternate legs using a sticky wax (“kick wax”), fishscales, or skins to provide grip in the middle of the ski. The tips of the skis are waxed with a smooth wax to allow the skis to glide. In skate technique, the entire ski is waxed with a smooth wax and the skier moves forward using a motion similar to ice skating with the skis pointing outward in the front like a “V.” 

What gear do I need and how do I get it?

Beginners will need the following:

  • Pair of skate skis (appropriately sized*)
  • Pair of classic skis (appropriately sized)
  • Pair of combi boots (for either technique) or a pair of classic boots and a pair of skate boots. We use NNN bindings.
  • Poles for skate skiing (appropriately sized)
  • Poles for classic skiing (appropriately sized)
  • Clothing for skiing. We recommend long underwear, thin breathable ski pants and jacket, hat and gloves. It is helpful to have warmer layers for colder days as well (insulated vests work well), and chemical toe and hand warmers can be helpful. Skiers should come to practice dressed and ready to ski.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses for sunny days
  • A good quality headlamp and spare batteries
  • A range of glide waxes and kick waxes, waxing iron, scraper, and cork
  • A water bottle and holster
  • Snacks for before and after practice

BNJRT has a reasonably large fleet of skis and ski poles available for rent on a per-season basis. You can also purchase used or new equipment at our ski swap in November – This is a major club fundraiser and one of the best places in the country to pick up new or lightly used gear for rapidly growing athletes (or their parents!). Boulder Nordic Sport, the best local nordic ski shop a town could hope to have, can also help you out and offers discounts to BNJRT members.

*If you need help figuring out sizes, we can help. Reach out to info@bnjrt.ski. 

How do I get new BNJRT jackets/branded wear?

We will have a one time a year special ordering through a parent volunteer where you can order new gear like Craft Jackets, Race Suits, and Ski Pants with the BNJRT logo on them.

Where do we practice?

Ski practice is held at Eldora Nordic Center, at the base of Eldora Ski Area. In the Fall, dryland running/roller skiing practice is held at various locations in Boulder.

When is the season?

It depends on the snow! Ski practices begin when there is enough snow to ski at Eldora Nordic Center and typically continue into March. Occasionally, we are able to practice at North Boulder Park in town. BNJRT also offers optional dryland running (and fun running/strength games!) and roller skiing practice in the fall, or athletes may stay in shape by doing other sports.

When do we practice?

The Tier 1 Development team (U10-U14) practices Tuesday and Thursday after school and on Saturdays.

The Tier 2 Junior Comp Team (U14-U20) practices Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school and on Saturdays.

The Tier 3 Comp Team (U16-U20) practices Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Note that dryland running and roller skiing practice in the fall follows a different schedule, which will be communicated by the coaches.  

What is practice like for new skiers?

We ski at Eldora Nordic Center (and once in a while at North Boulder Park). With younger athletes, we focus on technique and body positioning, learning the basics of movement on skis. We do longer skis, relays, speed work, and we play a lot of fun games on skis to learn balance and maneuverability. Practices alternate between skate and classic techniques and the technique for each day is provided ahead of time on the team calendar. 

Isn’t it dark after school? How do we ski?

Yup. It gets dark during practice until spring. We ski by headlamp – It’s fun! We recommend getting a good quality one with a battery level indicator so you know you will have enough light for the evening! 

Do I have to race?

Nope. Skiers can join BNJRT and learn to ski with the development team and there is no pressure to race. However, many decide they want to try racing because the race weekends are great fun and time to hang out with friends and cheer each other on! Our coaches help each skier set appropriate goals for themselves. Skiers can race in none, one, or more races of their choosing. 

What races does the team typically participate in?

BNJRT participates in several optional race weekends in Colorado (e.g. Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, Aspen, Snow Mountain Ranch), Soldier Hollow (Utah), and a U14 festival. We also have a Thanksgiving camp in West Yellowstone. The expenses for races and trips are separate from the membership fee. The racing season is posted here

Does the registration fee cover races?

No. BNJRT keeps their fees lower than other clubs by separating out the cost of the races. We typically set up a block of rooms at a hotel nearby at a discounted rate that you can reserve yourself. Racers will need to pay race fees to register and contribute to joint costs for race waxing, coach fees, van fees, and team food, as well as their own lodging and food costs. You will receive an invoice with the final amount owed for your portion of these costs after each race, which you can pay by check or quickbooks (for an additional transaction fee). You are only invoiced for your share of actual expenses – we do not mark up these costs. 

What does U10, U12, U14, etc. mean?  

These categories refer to the athlete’s age. Age is based upon the year an athlete was born regardless of the date of birth. For the 2023-2024 season: 

U6 – age 5 and younger; born in 2018 and later

U8 – ages 6 and 7; born in 2016 or 2017

U10 –  ages 8 and 9; born in 2014 or 2015

U12 –  ages 10 and 11; born in 2012 or 2013

U14 – ages 12 and 13; born in 2010 or 2011

U16 – ages 14 and 15; born in 2008 or 2009

U18 – ages 16 and 17; born in 2006 or 2007

U20 – ages 18 and 19; born in 2004 or 2005.

Wait, I have to wax my skis? How do I do that?

It’s not that hard! Skiers will need to have their skis glide-waxed for practice and be able to apply kick wax as conditions warrant. There are many video tutorials online, Boulder Nordic Sport can be of assistance, and so can your teammates with experience! 

I’m a parent. What are my responsibilities?

Thanks for asking! 

  1. Mandatory Volunteering: We are an all volunteer team and an all volunteer board. Parent participation is an essential part of our team’s cohesiveness and success, and each family should expect to contribute noticeable time and energy to sustain the growth of their skiers and vitality of the club. Please see our detailed information about volunteering to fulfill your requirement.
  2. Mandatory Donation: A $300/skier donation is collected at the time of registration. This donation is tax-deductible. Please don’t hesitate to email our Treasurer, Bob Petty, at accounting@bnjrt.ski with any questions about this change or for BNJRT’s tax-ID number. If the mandatory donation poses a challenge to your family, please notify Victor Gurarie or Lenora Reynolds at president@bnjrt.ski so that we can work with you.
  3. Fundraising: We appreciate any additional fundraising you can do to help the team. Some corporations will match your donations, and you can raise funds during our annual ski-a-thon, a fun event where athletes raise funds based on donations per laps skied.  
  4. Athlete Preparedness: If a U8 – U14 athlete arrives at a practice or race without adequate food, drink, warm clothing or the necessary gear, parents must either find a warm place to wait with their child or transport them home. Remember your trail pass and headlamp!
  5. Transportation: Parents are responsible for transporting all U8 – U14 athletes to and from practice and races. Older athletes may ride in the van for an additional fee. 

I’m a parent who will be driving my child up to Eldora to ski. What can I do with that time?

You too can ski or snowshoe at Eldora after hours, if you: 

1) Get a USSA membership (Club Volunteer level is currently $65). This requires you to complete a background check, Safe-Sport training online, and an introductory Avalanche training online. This is mandatory and required by our team’s insurance.

2) Purchase a season pass to Eldora Nordic Center. If you have an Ikon Pass, this can be added on at a lower rate than a full independent pass. You must pick up your pass and sign a waiver while Eldora is open prior to visiting after hours. 

I’m a parent and it seems like a lot of driving! Any way to reduce this?

Sure! Parents often informally coordinate rides. We also use the TeamSnap app, which allows you to reach out to other parents for ride sharing coordination. Additionally, older skiers (U16+ and Tier 2 U14) can use the van to get to practice for an additional fee. Reach out to info@bnjrt.ski with questions.