Meet & Greet Jacob Fantuzzo, Marwe Contest Winner

Today we are happy to present the entry that won inaugural Marwe/DailySkier contest on the best story about rollerskiing.

Our winner is 16, he is from Upstate New York where winters are long, snow is plentiful – and Nordic skiing is popular. Ditto for rollerskiing, especially among young athletes

Meet and greet Jacob Fantuzzo and the story of his path to the best summer sport ever – that of rollerskiing, of course!

Jacob in Pittsford Nordic racing suit

” …When Coach told us that the beginning of the Nordic season would be mainly roller skiing, we realized we were in a quandary.

Many of my teammates, including myself, did not in fact own roller skis so we had to borrow them.

This was a skate year and as such we should be practicing on the appropriate equipment. My coach, however, only had extra classic roller skis for us to borrow so I had to figure out how to skate on classic roller skis.

The wheels are far too fat to skate and in all of our agility drills there is a section of backward skiing. This created a huge problem as I couldn’t improve my technique.

Pittsford Nordic, team Jacob runs for

The frustration of this created a burning passion to find a solution to my problem. As my parents were not willing to buy me new roller skis and I have limited funds, I looked everywhere from craigslist to eBay hoping for a cheap fix.

Coming up was the annual ski swap and I hoped to maybe find an old pair there. The day of, I arrived not too optimistic as the swap was already an hour or so in and I expected that if any were there, they would already be taken. We walked in looked around and there on a table in the back was an old pair of steel Elpex roller skis. I was delighted!  

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rollerskiing in the neighborhood

They were a little rusty and the wheels were a little worn but they were roller skis and they would run. I walked out of that swap with around $40 less in my pocket, new to me roller skis and excitement for a new adventure and good Nordic season.

That night, I sprayed the axels with WD-40 and let them sit overnight so that I could use them the next day. The next day I sat through school itching to try out my new roller skis. When practice came around I showed them off quite proudly to my buddies who congratulated me for becoming part of the roller ski family and we set out for practice.

My roller skis are by far the worst ones on the team, everyone else has brand new ones, new wheels, new bindings, the whole deal. But I was just thrilled to have a pair to call my own. After clicking them on, I immediately begin adjusting to the unsteady wheels and got the feel for this new technique. As I was new to the whole skating on roller skis, Coach had me skiing for long distances so I could grow accustomed to it, after about a week, I caught right up with the rest of my teammates and began cruising with them.

Now when we get to our agility workouts I am able to zoom around the cones and I can ski backwards, never have I been happier.  

I love to roller ski, it’s a great tool and it really helped me in my Nordic season.

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