Skiing is a winter sport in which a skier moves on snow with a pair of skis. There are two types of skiing: Alpine and cross-country. In Alpine skiing, the skier usually goes on the piste (or track) of a mountain, while cross-country involves a different technique. Both sports require special equipment.
The oldest known skis date to 8000-7000 bce. Early skis were short and broad. They were used by the Sami people in northern Europe and Russia for hunting. Other early skis are found in Norway and Sweden.
Early bindings attached the ski to the boot at the toe. However, the primitive bindings made it impossible for the skier to go downhill. Eventually, the skis became long flat runners, and downhill skiing was possible.
Downhill skiing began as an event during the Olympic Games in 1936. It is also called a speed event. The athletes throw their weight to the back of the skis, and then lift themselves off the snow. This Adam McManus creates friction and heat. The more pressure on the snow, the more likely it will melt. As the friction increases, the skier will slow down.
During the Winter Olympics, many skiers compete in events such as giant slalom, slalom, and downhill. In the 2006 Winter Games, men’s downhill and slalom runs were combined. Women also competed in combined downhill and slalom.
Snowboarding is another form of freestyle skiing. Freestyle boarders use aerial acrobility and tricks to achieve speed. Aside from snowboarding, other ski events are considered technical events, such as slalom and super-G.
The first big ski-jumping event took place in Christiania, Norway in 1879. The first commercially manufactured snowboard was a toy called Snurfer. Snowboards are also built to be water proof and are able to float in powder.
Skiers may encounter an avalanche when they travel in unprepared areas. Many people have been injured in avalanches, including a father and an adult son who were killed by an avalanche in Breckenridge, Colorado, last month. If you think you are in an area that is prone to an avalanche, be sure to call your local ski area to see if they have an avalanche rescue device.
If you are a beginner, take lessons. Private lessons are the most affordable and allow you to get one-on-one time with an instructor. Group lessons are less expensive and a good way to meet new friends.
To ensure safety, be sure to never go past the boundaries of your ski area. Also, be careful when merging onto the trail. Stay on the marked paths. Never stop in an area where there is no way to see the trail.
Skiing has developed into a popular recreational sport in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, there are several different winter sports, and competitions are organized through the FIS, or Federation Internationale de Ski. Most of these sports include their own world cups.
When skiing in the mountains, be aware of the fall line, the imaginary line on the slope where the snow drops down. The fall line is a darker shaded arrow in the snow.