Nordic Skiing


Bend Endurance Academy’s Nordic programs are designed for all abilities of youth, junior, and adult cross-country skiers. All practice sessions are led by professional, enthusiastic coaches who promote winter fun in a safe environment where skiers improve their skills. Some of our participants are just learning to ski and others are motivated to improve their efficiency and fitness; some may never compete while others are striving to be their best in state, regional or even national competitions. We teach the joys of nordic skiing and foster a life long passion for being outside all year round.

Mini Nordies - Grades 1-4

Mini Nordies

This eight week program is designed for our younger Nordic skiers, grades 1-4. Within our Mini Nordies program skiers will be grouped by age for better focus. Our coach to skier ratio will be 1:5 and allows for plenty of quality and safe instruction.

Mini Nordies will only be on classic skis. You will need to have your own equipment. You should have boots and bindings that work together and waxless classic skis.

If your little one is interested in learning to skate ski, please reach out to see our availability for private lessons.

This program is focused on PLAY/SOCIAL SKILLS and SKIING SKILLS.


Plenty of time for free play is offered while we move through the trails. Children can play in powder fields, follow animal tracks in the snow, and make snow sculptures. We encourage pretend play and everything the younger public needs to build their social skills and joy of being outdoors.


Our sessions bring emphasis on the following skills:

  • Balance
  • Gliding and pole use
  • Agility and coordination on skis

All programs start and end at the Virginia Meissner Sno Park 


Tuesdays: 3:15-4:45pm

January 4, 2022 – February 22, 2022


Thursdays: 3:15-4:45pm

January 6, 2022 – February 24, 2022


Homeschool Hours:

Thursdays: 9am-10:30am

January 6, 2022 – February 24, 2022


$350 for 8 weeks

Register Now
Youth/Junior Sessions- Grades 4-8

Youth/Junior Sessions

This the perfect option for a student who is a recreational nordic skier looking to improve and learn new skills while having some fun. This year, we are letting you choose what you want to work on! We have three options, so please choose the appropriate class for you based off of what interests you. Once you choose an option, it is what you will be doing for the whole session.

  • Classic: We will spend 8 weeks working only on building skills around classic skiing. If you have never nordic skied before, this is a great place to start. Students will learn how to use poles, become more efficient on classic skis, balance, and more. You will only need a classic setup for this option.
  • Skate: We will spend 8 weeks working on skate skiing. You will only need a skate skiing setup for this option.
  • Hybrid: This is a blend of the two! We will spend 4 weeks working on classic skiing, and the other 4 working on skate skiing. This is a great option if you are looking to try new things or build on skills you already have. Students will need to have both classic and skate setups for this option.

These sessions are for skiers grades 5-8.  Skiers will be separated by age, skill level, and discipline. Whether your child is a beginner or an avid Nordic skier, these sessions offer possibilities for all. 

Our coach to skier ratio of 1:5 allows for more individualized coaching and confidence building to help ensure all participants are receiving the attention they need. 

All programs start and end at the Virginia Meissner Sno Park. All options start at the same time on Wednesdays for 8 weeks. We will separate groups on the first day.

We have limited transportation spots open leaving from the Best Western Peppertree Inn at 3:00pm.

Each session will balance a mix of fun activities, building endurance and skill practice. 


January 5, 2022 – February 23, 2022

Wednesdays: 3:30pm-5:00pm

Homeschool Hours:

January 6, 2022-February 24, 2022



$350 for 8 weeks

$400 with transportation

Register Now
Masters Program

Masters Programs

Are you looking to increase your skate skiing game?  Or maybe you have some ski goals in mind that you need help reaching. Our Masters level Nordic programs are geared towards helping adults increase their ability on skis or work towards a ski/fitness goal.

In order for us to continue to offer great programs while keeping all of our participants and coaches as safe as possible we ask that you familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 operations prior to enrolling. You can find them in the menu below.

Intro to Skate Skiing

Have you watched skiers effortless ski past you in the classic tracks and wondered how you can learn to skate?  Join long time BEA masters coach Don Leet for 8 weeks of learning different skate ski techniques and when to use them. Participants should have some previous on snow experience like classic skiing, alpine skiing, etc.

Instructor: Don Leet

  • Wednesdays
  • 9:30am – 11:00am
  • January 5, 2022 – February 23, 2022
  • Virginia Meissner SnoPark
  • Limit of 6 participants


Intermediate Skate Skiing

Looking to take your skate skiing to the next level?  This group is designed for the skier who has previous experience skate skiing and is comfortable with and understands V1, V2, and V2 alternate techniques.  Over the course of the 8 weeks the group will work on refining those skills and breaking them down for increased efficiency. 

Instructor: Don Leet

  • Sundays
  • 9:30am – 11:00am
  • January 2, 2022 – February 20, 2022
  • Virginia Meissner SnoPark
  • Limit of 6 participants


Intro to Classic Skiing

Looking to get into classic skiing this year and you’re not sure where to start? Look no farther! Our beginner classic skiing group will help you get your ski legs in no time. 

  • Sundays
  • 9:30am – 11:00am
  • January 9, 2022 – February 27, 2022
  • Virginia Meissner SnoPark
  • Limit of 6 participants


Register Now
Privates & Semi-Privates

Privates & Semi-Private Lessons

Private and semi-private lessons provide a great alternative to our standard group lessons. These lessons are available for all ages and skill levels. Read below and decide which is the best fit for you.

Private Sessions

Are you looking for a more personalized learning experience? Private lessons are one on one and allow the coaches to focus all attention on you or your student.

Together we can decide on the length of the session, day and time, and recurrence if desired. You can also have a voice on which instructor you would like to have. Each session runs for a minimum of 1 hour. 

Contact our nordic director Natasha at for scheduling your private.Do not register through the enrollment page!

The cost of a 60 minute session is $60.


Semi Private Sessions

Semi-private lessons are for groups of students. These groups need to be a minimum of two and a maximum of five. Ideally, the group should have similar skills and ages for a better experience overall.

We started our Semi-private sessions under Covid-19 circumstances. Pods of kids who were already doing “class” together or friends who would rather skip the group sessions and exposure to more kids. Semi-private sessions are also ideal for homeschooled/online children who want to ride at a more convenient time during the day. A great options for families that want to ski together too!

Together we can decide on the length of the session, day and time, and recurrence if desired. You can also have a voice on which instructor you would like to have. Each session runs for a minimum of 1 hour. 

Rate depends on the number of students in the group and how many sessions they will be doing. Contact our nordic director Natasha at for more information and scheduling your private.

Planning for Nordic Skiing - Equipment

If you are new to skiing and have any questions, please reach out via email and we can help you!

Sunnyside Sports has a deep inventory of lease equipment suitable for our after-school skiers under 100lbs. We encourage you to look into their deeply discounted Winter equipment lease options available to BEA families.  Webskis is another good local option if you’re looking for new gear.

If you have equipment your child has outgrown, you can donate it to BEA and we’ll find a family that can use the gear.


Clothing and Personal Gear

Layer Up! Layers of synthetic and wool clothing will help keep you dry, warm, and happy. Never wear cotton while skiing.  It’s important for skiers to be warm and dry before and after practice so they can stay healthy and recover. 

  • Base Layer (top and bottom)
  • Mid Layer
  • Shell/Outer Layer- this should be something that is breathable. Some days with heavy snow you may want a waterproof layer. Heavy “puffy” or insulated jackets are only appropriate for before or after practice. 
  • Winter Hat- thin winter hats that cover the ears tend to be best
  • Gloves- this should be able to fit through the pole straps. Big bulky mitten or gloves may not be the best choice and often do not fit through pole straps
  • Sunglasses
  • Water belt
  • Ski ties


Please note that all minis program skiers will only need classic skis.  Our hybrid Youth/Junior programs will need both classic and skate ski setups.  While we provide some guidance below on proper ski setup we highly suggest you speak with an employee at any of the reputable ski shops in town that carry Nordic skis if you have any sizing specific questions.

Please make sure your boots and bindings work together!

Classic Skis (for all programs)

  • Using two hands, squeeze the skis together at the bindings. If the skier can compress the ski bases together with a very strong squeeze, the skis are likely in the ballpark for flex. If they can’t, the skis may be too stiff. If it’s easy to compress the bases together, the skis may be too soft. 
  • When in doubt, for youth skiers it’s generally better to have classic skis that are a little soft than skis that are too stiff. Softer classic skis may not always be fast, but they should be easier to kick. Classic skis that don’t kick aren’t much fun.
  • Classic ski length should be skier height plus maybe 10 to 15cm. In other words, about 10 to 15cm longer than a skier’s skate skis. However, this is just a general guideline and ski length is rarely a make-or-break factor.
  • Paper method kick zone/wax pocket test – Place skis (scraped and brushed) on a clean, flat surface such as hardwood floor. Have the skier stand on the bindings and balance their weight equally on both skis. Slide a business card between the flat surface and the ski underneath the skier’s foot on each ski. Slide the card back and forth, and mark where the card stops both in front of the foot and behind the foot. Then do the same with 100% of the skier’s weight on one ski at a time (in other words, while the skier stands and balances on one foot), and mark where the card stops at both the front and back. On a good fitting pair of skis, with the skier’s full weight on the ski (i.e., standing on one foot), the card will slide approximately 40 to 55 cm from the heel plate toward the tip (front) of the ski before it stops. This area of a classic ski is known as the kick zone or the wax pocket. You will have four marks on your ski. The actual kick zone (from the tip/front of the ski to the tail/rear of the ski) is the second mark and about half way between the third and fourth mark. 

Skate Skis (Youth/Jr Sessions)

  • Flex – Squeeze the bases together with two hands. If the athlete can easily squish the skis together, they are too soft. If they cannot compress the skis much, they are too stiff. If they are able to close the skis together with a pretty good squeeze they are in the ballpark

Can I schedule a make-up day?

  • We expect skiers to come on the day they have signed up to attend. Switching days is tough on the coaches and can disrupt groups; please do not come on a day that you are not signed up to attend.
  • No make-up days for full programs or after school programs.
  • There is no “credit” for days that you miss.

How do you assign skiers into groups?

  • We create groups on any day based on a number of factors including terrain, weather, experience, ability, age and motivation of the participants.
  • By default, we begin with age and then adjust by friendships / ability / experience to make efficient groups.

What is the best program for my child?

  • Start with their age. All programs have a minimum age, some have a maximum age. Exceptions must be approved by the Nordic Program Coordinator.
  • We can always switch groups or programs once they get started. There’s a lot of info on this page. Get started, go for a ski, and check in with the coach afterward to see if we need to make any adjustments to groups or programs.
  • Ability must be evaluated by our coaches, and skiing in “slow groups” is not a bad thing — we are trying to ski as a team so being in a bunch is often part of how the skiers get to socialize with each other.
  • If a skier wants to try a next-level group please talk to the coaches before practice.
  • Skiers must earn their progression through dedication, participation and demonstrated mastery.
Contact Nordic

Nordic Program Coordinator


Nordic Coaches

Natasha West

Coach's Bio

Natasha is a lifelong Oregonian who originally moved to Bend to attend OSU Cascades. While an avid cyclist in the summer and fall, in the winter she spends her time as a nordic and alpine ski instructor. She is the nordic program coordinator for Bend Endurance Academy. She loves helping kids find joy and independence in the outdoors.

Don Leet

Coach's Bio

I started cross country skiing in 1970 when I was on a snowshoe overnighter and a couple of skiers went by us on cross country skis. It looked fun and fast. I was there at the beginning of skating and have been at it ever since. Similarly, I’ve been with BEA from the beginning of its inception. In reality, I’m actually a cyclist who loves to ski. Fun, Fast, Safe is my motto.