For cross country skiing there is a pretty substantial speed difference between skate skiing and classic skiing. It would be nice to have a tag option to label which type of ski a activity is, then a way to filter the leader board by which type of skiing was used for the segment attempt.
If enough people are logging nordic ski on strava, this could make sense. In general, skating is definitely faster than classic.
Some things to think about...
Separate leaderboards are not kept for road bikes and MTB. Rather, any bike can ride any segment but the most appropriate bike type will probably be the fastest. In that sense, an argument could be made that separate leaderboards should not be kept for skate vs. classic. Most likely, skate skiers will hold the top times for ALL courses that accommodate skating. At the same time, a huge percentage of all XC ski trails are not groomed for skating, so there will naturally be a lot of segments that are held by classic skiers. (So this would be reason to NOT have separate categories)
To argue against that point, I do think there is a fundamental difference between skating and classic that makes it a different case than say, road bike vs. mountain bike. Road bike vs. MTB is a difference in equipment AND skills/technique. Skate vs. classic is a difference in equipment and technique, but ALSO a significant difference in biomechanics. Different muscles are used in different ways, whereas road and MTB generally use the same muscles in similar ways. (So this would be reason TO have separate categories)
To further muddy the waters, we could then compare to swim strokes. If we follow the above logic to breakout separate categories for skate vs. classic, we would then be setting a precedent for swim categories such as freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly, which also have significant biomechanical differences.
So that brings me back full circle to the top of my post: user demand. For me, it seems the clinching factor would be whether enough nordic skiers are using strava and whether they want this.
@eric The muddy water is why I'd think it should be a flag that can be applied, so that a user could filter by technique, but it would all still be part of a single leader board. Think something similar to filtering by age/ weight. This would allow seeing for instance, just the fast classic times, but by default people could see everything.
I've traveled a fair bit for XC skiing, and found classic only trails to be a rare treat rather than a common occurrence. So for the vast majority of groomed trails, allowing segments to filter, like they do for MTB, isn't really as valid. I will certainly take your point for swimming though.
As for separate leader boards, while biking has one set of unified segments, trail running on the other hand is all broken out (in a way that I don't personally love). In addition to using "Run" there are also activity types for "Hike" and "Walk" and if you are looking at sufficiently hilly trail running, different people will randomly decide which to use, and they all end up in separate leader boards.
I can't speak for exactly how many people use XC skiing on strava, but I think there's a fair few in Scandinavia and I imagine strava has all the data they need to determine if its worth their time.
@cburnham15 I like your idea of tag and filter, rather than a whole new category. Thumbs up from me.
FYI - All the legit trail runners I know, including myself, will always select run, not hike. I don't think most trail runners derive glory from the hike and walk leaderboards 😆
Garmin already has separate activities for XC skate and classic. Would be great to keep track of how much of which I've done through Strava.
I completely agree that there should be a way to differentiate between skate skiing and classic skiing in Strava. There's a huge community of cross country skiers who track their activities. As just one example, an annual community cross country ski race in Anchorage tends to draw over 1,000 participants per year. A lot of people around here both skate and classic ski, and there are miles and miles of trails where one could choose to do either type of skiing. The skate and classic ski motions (not to mention speeds) are completely different, and training plans for the two types of skiing are of course also completely different. Without being able to differentiate the two on the app, it becomes very difficult for anyone who does both to easily track their training progress (because segment times, leaderboards, etc. are not differentiated).
Before every Strava update, I always hope that this will be the update where skate and classic skiing are finally split out. It still hasn't happened, which is why I felt strongly enough to come post this comment. I feel like Strava would be an excellent training tool for cross country skiers, but the lack of differentiation may be causing the app to miss out on a big pool of what could be active Strava users.
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