Could you be a Jackrabbits Coach?  Please email ensc.jackrabbits@gmail.com to express your interest.  Nordiq Canada certified training is provided to Jackrabbit Coaches & an honorarium as our thanks and appreciation for your efforts to increase outdoor recreation opportunities for children.

Registration for the 2023/24 Jackrabbits season opens November 1st!  Register HERE

The Jackrabbit Program is designed to introduce children aged 4 to 12 years to the sport of cross-country skiing.  Children become proficient when moving through a series of skill levels.

The emphasis of the Program is on fun, participation, skill development and safety. The objective of the Program is to provide the opportunity for children to learn to cross-country ski at their own pace, based on their personal abilities, skills and interests.

2023-2024 Season

Location:  All lessons take place at Gold Bar Park.

Cost:   Jackrabbits & Learn to Ski $140.  Bunnies $110.  Nordiq Alberta, Nordiq Canada, and Edmonton Nordic membership fees are an additional cost, as indicated on the Zone 4 registration system.

Rental Equipment:

Families requiring rental equipment will receive an email in early November with detailed rental information.   Skis, Boots and Poles are rented at $100 for the season.  Families take the rental equipment home with them and return rental equipment in March.

First Lesson:  December 9/10, 2023
  • Bunnies (Ages 4 & 5) lessons are 60 minutes
    • Saturday Afternoon 1:30pm
    • Sunday Morning 11:00am
    • Sunday Afternoon 1:30pm
    • The first day of lessons will be Dec 10/11 (with a 2 week break over Christmas)
    • Weather permitting, there will be 12 lessons in the season.
  • Levels 1-4 (Ages 6+) lessons are 90 minutes  
    • Saturday Afternoon; 1:30pm
    • Sunday Morning; 11:00pm
    • Sunday Afternoon; 1:30pm
    • The first day of lessons will be December 9/10 (with a 2 week break over Christmas/New Years)
    • Weather permitting, there will be 12 lessons in the season.
  • Learn to Ski (Ages 8 to 12) lessons are 90 minutes  
      • Saturday Afternoon; 1:30pm
      • Sunday Afternoon; 1:30pm
      • For older children new to skiing or who have not previously taken lessons
      • The first day of lessons will be December 9/10 (with a 2 week break over Christmas/New Years)
      • Weather permitting, there will be 12 lessons in the season.
  • If your child is in Level 4, they may be interested in adding Biathlon training to their weekly Jackrabbits class. Click here for a full description of the Biathlon Bears program.
  • After your child has completed all levels of Jackrabbits, they may be interested in continuing in ENSC’s Track Attack program.
  • If your child is between the ages of 8-12, a novice skier, and would like to ski with kids his/her age, try the Youth Learn-to-Ski (Classic) group.

Parents and kids, please note: it is quite common for the kids to repeat levels – there is a lot to learn, and the season is short!

Level Bunnies Level One Level Two Level Three Level Four
Age (approximate ages for Levels 1-4) 4-5 years

Children must be 4 years old by January 1, 2023 to be admitted into the program.  

5-7 years 6-8 years 7-9 years 8-10 years
Skills required New skiers

No or limited ski experience*

Bunnies is a parent- accompanied class – all participants must have a caregiver with them during the lesson

Beginner skiers

Limited ski experience

Novice skiers

A year of ski experience

Experienced skiers or have completed Level 2 Jackrabbits Three years ski experience or have completed 

Level 3 Jackrabbits

Skills learned
  • Emphasis is on having fun on skis!
  • Balance and movement are key objectives
  • Ski without poles
  • Getting up from a fall on the flats
  • Keeping skis straight while moving forward
  • Climbing hills using herringbone & side step
  • Skiing without poles
All Level 1 skills plus:

  • Beginning of diagonal stride (“gliding”)
  •  Straight running and turning on downhill
  • Stopping and turning, using the “Snowplow”
  • Getting up from a fall on a hill
  • Double poling
All Level 2 skills plus:

  • Introduction to skating techniques
  •  Free skate and skate turn
  • Diagonal skate
  • One-step double poling
  • Intermediate diagonal stride
  • Endurance built = 10 mins of classic / 5 mins skate
All Level 3 skills plus:

  • Parallel side slipping
  • Two skate
  • Offset skate
  • Advanced diagonal stride
  • Uphill diagonal stride
  • Stem Christie and Telemark turns
  • Transitions from one classic technique to another
  • Endurance built = 20 mins classic /15 mins skate

*NEW*  – CBJR: Classic Beginner for Jackrabbits Parents

These lessons are intended for Jackrabbits’ parents who want to improve their classic skiing skills, while their children are in Jackrabbits’ programs.

These programs aim to take students from the beginner level to be able to safely ski easy to intermediate terrain at the student’s level. Students registering for this class should either have never skied before, never had a cross-country ski lesson before, or want to refresh their classic skiing skills at the beginner level. In lessons, students will learn the diagonal stride technique with a focus on five key points: athletic stance, leaning forward from the ankles, hip rotation, quick feet, and actively driving their feet forward, with an overall goal of skiing on one ski at a time. Additionally, students will learn how to double pole, how to get up from a fall, herring bone, side step, as well as slowing down, turning, and stopping on downhills. Aside from technical aspects, students will learn the functional application of the skills they have learnt on adventure skis, and ultimately how to have fun while cross country skiing. All lessons will involve education on proper skiing clothing, equipment, waxing, and other information as the instructor sees fit. If you think that the Classic Beginner program is a good fit for you, please register today!



    • Skis: A child’s first ski equipment set would include a pair of no-wax skis. 
      • Initial on-snow play does not require long skis, and they should be approximately the same height as the skier. It is better for the child to outgrow their skis than to grow into them.
    • Bindings: Select a binding that is not difficult to operate, but is not prone to releasing either.
      • If you select strap-type bindings used in conjunction with snow boots, ensure that all the straps are integrated into the binding construction.
      • Loose straps have a way of getting lost. Snow boots can be nice and warm, but unless they are laced up firmly, there is a risk of little feet coming right out of the boot. The boot will be securely fastened to the ski – and the young skier will be left standing with sock feet in the snow.
    • Poles: No poles are required for the Bunnies program.
    • If a child is on their second pair of skis, they may be ready to graduate to waxable skis

Levels 1 and 2

  • Skis: Waxable skis are preferred, but waxless/skin skis are fine.
  • Poles: Generally not used in Level 1, but are introduced in Level 2. Poles should be “classic” length (with the pole tip in the snow, the pole height would reach the under arm).

Level 3

  • Skis: Skate equipment (skis and poles) is not yet required. The child can learn skating technique skills while using classic skis.
  • For skating technique sessions, skiers using classic skis must have the grip wax removed from the kick zone and the entire length of the ski prepared with glide wax.
  • For classic technique sessions, the kick zone must be in place again, and grip wax would be applied.

Level 4

  • Skis: As in Level 3, in Level 4 the child can advance his/her skating technique skills while using classic skis.
  • Poles: Require both skating length poles and classic length poles. Skating poles should roughly come to the child’s chin, when the pole tip is in the snow.
  • Parents may wish to provide the child with two sets of equipment (both skating and classic) if their ski skills and future involvement in the sport appear to warrant the investment.

Where to Purchase Equipment

Parents are encouraged to buy suitable equipment for their children for two main reasons:

  • it is an investment in a positive, fun learning experience
  • good equipment retains its re-sale value – someone will always buy it when you are finished with it.

Retailers in the Edmonton area that sell ski equipment include:

  • Fast Trax
  • Campers’ Village
  • Mountain Equipment Co-op
  • Pedalhead Bicycle Works
  • Totem Outfitters (used equipment may be available)
  • Track ‘n Trail

Several of these stores offer discounts to Edmonto Nordic members – be sure to ask!

Used equipment is sometimes available at the Edmonton Nordic Ski Swap, held each November; however, the selection is usually limited.

Jackrabbit Ski Rental Program

Rather than purchasing equipment, many families may decide that they would prefer to rent the skis, boots and poles that their kids will use for the year. ENSC has started a program in partnership with Fast Trax to allow Jackrabbits and Biathlon Bears to rent one of the packages below (we will only rent whole packages, not just boots or skis or poles):

Includes Price 

(2023-2024 season)

Waxless Classic Package

(for Bunnies, Level 1 or Level 2)




Waxless ski with NNN bindings (100cm -140cm)

Junior NNN Boot (sizes 12-5)


$100 for the season,

+  $100 damage deposit

Classic/Skate Combi ski package

(Levels 3 and 4)

Waxable ski with NNN bindings (120cm – 160cm)

Junior NNN Boot (sizes 12-5)

Two pairs of poles (skate and classic length)

$100 for the season,

+  $100 damage deposit

An email to all families registered in an ENSC program will be sent in early November outlining the details on how to rent equipment for the upcoming season.