Skiing has evolved a great deal over the years into many different disciplines
The invention of advanced skiing equipment’s has led to different types and styles of skiing. Currently the various skiing techniques are all regulated by the International Ski Federation (IFS) and every year different organisations arranges numerous events.
Skiing can vary from recreational skiing to backcountry challenges which is accompanied by different terrain types ranging from flat, country trails to steep slopes.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross country skiing or Nordic skiing was practiced when modes of transportation was limited. For cross country skiing, chair lifts are not required and the skier’s heel is not attached to the boot binding unlike other skiing techniques. This type of skiing can be divided into two categories namely the classic style and the skating style.
The classic style of cross country skiing involves gliding and straight ahead movements whereas the skating style involves the V shaped glide which is similar to the movements used in ice skating and roller skating.
Alpine skiing, otherwise known as Downhill skiing involves going downhill as its name implies. This type of skiing requires the skier to attach the ski boots to the boot binding. Alpine ski boots are higher and heavier compared to the cross country ski boots. The poles used for alpine skiing are shorter and the skis are wider.
Backcountry skiing does not involve any ski lifts instead skiers seek out free and unmaintained trails which may involve hiking up hills or venturing into ungroomed territory. This type of terrain are known as off-piste. The recent open gate policy at ski resorts has made this type of skiing very popular
Freestyle skiing involves several types of jumps and tricks which include Mogul skiing, Aerial Skiing and Halfpipe. This type of skiing is always performed on manmade terrain parks.
Mogul Skiing– Skiers perform tricks over large mounds of packed snow.
Aerial Skiing– Skiers descend a hill without poles and perform flips, twist and somersaults. Skiers use a special ski called the twin tip to help them move forwards and backwards.
Halfpipe– Skiers drop in and out of semi-circle scoops in the hills and perform various jumps and stunts in mid-air. This type of skiing was approved and included in the 2014 Olympic Games hosted by Russia by the International Olympic Committee.
Telemark skiing is a mixture of cross country and Alpine skiing. Skiers perform on a downhill slope but like cross country skiing, the heel is not attached to the boot binding. The movement involved in telemark skiing appear like a series of lunges travelling down the slope.
Telemark skiing was made popular by Norwegian born Sondre Norheim in 1868. The skis used for this type of skiing are similar to Alpine skis with leather ski boots and three pin binding. In certain cases cable binding and hinged plate binding can be used. This particular type of skiing has proven to be quite popular with the younger skiers and is said to be one of the most sought after skiing activities in the world.