Originally, skiing was used for transporting then developed into a recreational activity and competitive discipline in Winter Olympics. To many people, skiing means traveling to a resort, packing lots of cold-weather apparels and gears such as skis, ski posts, snowboard and gliding on snow from the top of the mountains. In fact, this sport has more styles than that.
Since the mid-19th century, skiing has come a long way to become the sport we see today. It is extremely a fun pursuit to do during winter but it also requires an amount of time for learning, practicing as well as a budget to purchase skiing gears.
Sound too much, right? However, skiing is easy to learn. To master it, you need more time and efforts. Fortunately, skiing is very popular nowadays so you can find ski classes anywhere that can teach you from basic steps of stopping and turning precisely to more advanced methods like mogul or carving. One hint is that you shouldn’t buy all of the skiing gears in the first place to train this sport because in a mere chance you may find yourself not suit this type of sport and waste tons of money on expensive stuff.
When you take this sport seriously as your continuous activity every winter, then you actually need essential supplies and a proper handful of gears such as skis, ski bindings, ski pants, ski shoes, eye and hand protection, etc. Purchasing them in a whole will reduce your monthly rent a lot and there are some secret tips but we will talk about that in next topics. Now we return to skiing styles.
In Winter Olympic Games, skiing is mostly seen and acknowledged by audiences.
There are 4 conventional activities to challenge skiers’ skills:
- Downhill: a speeding contest to find the fastest skier
- Slalom: an alpine skiing race which focuses on your skill to turn and rotate between poles or flags
- Ski jump: skiers compete to figure out who can jump or “fly” the longest distance with fascinating styles and land safely.
- Cross-country: contestants will battle in a varying length course from ten to fifty kilometers depending on the rules of the contest they are participating.
In general, competitive skiing divides into two main aspects: freestyle and racing. Freestyle skiing mixes many other skiing methods such as acrobatics, aerial or half-pine. In the 1930s, when practicing acrobatics in the cross-country and alpine exercises, Norwegian invented freestyle skiing which later became a hot topic among skiers. In 1988 Winter Olympics, freestyle skiing showed up as a demonstration and found its place as a regular competitive discipline after 1992.
Alpine skiing is well-known for most skiers and many people enjoying watching this style on TV. Each type of skiing has specific benefits for each muscle group of your body. Downhill skiing enhances many of your muscle groups, especially leg including quadriceps and hamstrings.
For skiing beginners, cross-country or Nordic skiing feels like walking or jogging over deep snowfall on a long course. But this type of skiing demands many skills to disperse your body’s weight on straight skis or skate to skim around as fast as possible. It also requires you to train strength, endurance, and flexibility at the same time to achieve the skill. After becoming an Olympic discipline in 1924, cross-country skiing developed and evolved into 2 different activities – the first one for people who like to use diagonal stride and conventional skiing strategy and the second is enjoyed by people using skating method.
Inspired by snow and surfing, in 1965, the invention of surfer from Mister Sherman Poppen began the era of modern snowboarding. After just one year, over half one million surfers were sold on the market. In the 1970s, surfer became popular and there were some people started crafting their own snowboard by combining surfer and skateboarding technique.
Snowboarding grew fast to be well-known around the world in every winter season and it got the place in Winter Olympic at Nagano in 1998 and Winter Paralympics at Sochi in 2014. Unlike skiing, snowboarding only uses a single wide snowboard and no posts. Snowboarders control their boards to skim around on the snow or do the alpine snowboarding just using their skilled legs.