Every four years, the Winter Olympics comes along, entrancing millions of people with the wonders of doing sports in icy, snowy wonderlands. Among the most popular sports to catch during this time is skiing.
Generally, the sport of skiing involves traveling through the snow while having a pair of skis fixed to your feet. Beyond being a great avenue for bonding and having fun, skiing actually also carries a lot of health benefits and is a very good form of exercise. Furthermore, there is no age limit involved, with kids as young as four years old able to start beginners’ classes. Many companies, such as Spyder, also manufacture kids’ ski jackets, equipment, and skis suitable for all ages.
Although people primarily tend to picture skiing as going downhill on a slope, there are actually many different types of skiing that you can get into, each one vastly different from the other. Here are some of the most popular types of skiing that you will usually find at major sports events, all of which you can easily give a try:
When people typically think of skiing, they will usually be thinking of alpine skiing. Also known as downhill skiing, skiers start at the top of a mountain and then make their way down the slope on skis. Almost all world-famous ski resorts cater primarily to alpine skiing.
In competition, alpine skiing is further subdivided according to the steepness of the slopes and turns that are involved. As a result, becoming an alpine skier requires a great deal of athletic ability and fearlessness to make your way down a mountain at high speeds.
Cross country skiing
In contrast to alpine skiing, cross country skiing takes place on much flatter terrain. Similar to running, cross country skiing originated in the early use of skis as a mode of transport across snowy lands. For this reason, it is also referred to as Nordic skiing, in reference to where skis were first used for this purpose.
Because there is no need for mountains or slopes with cross country skiing, it is widely popular in countries that are not mountainous but that have snowy winters. Furthermore, the motions involved are easy and simple to simulate, making intense training possible in the summer months as well.
Perhaps one of the most extreme sports in the world, freestyle skiing is for the adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers at heart. This is where athletes perform all kinds of tricks on skis, making use of courses that contain pistes and half pipes. These tricks can include death-defying jumps, rotations, and fancy positions in midair. Because of how cool and thrilling this sport looks, it is also one of the most popular skiing options among the younger generation and is easily compatible with freestyle skateboarding, roller skating, and snowboarding.
Unlike other types of skiing, ski jumping only involves one motion. However, this motion is one of the most extreme and terrifying in all sports. Ski jumping – quite true to its name – involves making an in-run down a slope, taking off and taking flight at the edge of the slope, and then successfully landing at the bottom of the hill. The goal is to achieve the longest jump, along with the highest score for style based on the in-run, take off, landing, and air position. The image of a skier flying through the air definitely makes for some breathtaking moments, making ski jumping an increasingly popular sport.