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This article is about snow skiing. For water skiing, see water skiing.
Skier carving a turn on the Grande Motte, Tignes, Savoie, France

Skiing is a recreational activity and competitive winter sport in which the participant uses skis to glide on snow. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Ski Federation (FIS).


Main article: History of skiing

Skiing has a history of almost five millennia. Although modern skiing has evolved from beginnings in Scandinavia, it may have been practiced as early as 600 BC in what is now China.[1]

The word "ski" is one of a handful of words Norway has exported to the international community. It comes from the Old Norse word "skíð" which means "split piece of wood or firewood".[2][3]

Asymmetrical skis were used at least in northern Finland and Sweden up until the late 1800s. On one leg the skier wore a long straight non-arching ski for sliding, and on the other a shorter ski for kicking. The bottom of the short ski was either plain or covered with animal skin to aid this use, while the long ski supporting the weight of the skier was treated with animal fat in similar manner to modern ski waxing.

Early skiers used one long pole or spear. The first depiction of a skier with two ski poles dates to 1741.[4]

Until the mid-1800s skiing was primarily used for transport, and since then has become a recreation and sport.[5] Military ski races were held in Norway during the 18th century,[6] and ski warfare was studied in the late 18th century.[7] As equipment evolved and ski lifts were developed skiing evolved into two main genres in the 1930s, Alpine and Nordic.

Types of skiing[edit]


Main article: Nordic skiing
Spring ski touring on Hardangervidda, Norway

The Nordic disciplines include cross-country skiing and ski jumping, which share in common the use of binding that attach at the toes of the skier's boots but not at the heels. Cross-country skiing may be practiced on groomed trails or in undeveloped backcountry areas.


Main article: Alpine skiing

Also called downhill skiing, alpine skiing typically takes place on a piste at a ski resort. It is characterized by fixed-heel bindings that attach at both the toe and the heel of the skier's boot. Because it is difficult to walk in alpine equipment, ski lifts including chairlifts bring skiiers up the slope. Backcountry skiing can be accessed by helicopter or snowcat. Facilities at resorts can include night skiing, après-ski, and glade skiing under the supervision of the ski patrol and the ski school. Alpine skiing branched off from the older Nordic skiing around the 1920s, when the advent of ski lifts meant that it was not necessary to walk any longer. Alpine equipment specialized to where it can only be used with the help of lifts.


Main article: Telemark skiing

Telemark skiing is a ski turning technique and FIS-sanctioned discipline. It is named after the Telemark region of Norway. Using equipment similar to nordic skiing, the ski bindings having the ski boot attached only at the toe.


The following disciplines are sanctioned by the FIS. Many have their own world cups and are in the winter olympics.

Other competition includes grass skiing and Telemark.


Equipment used in skiing includes:


Technique has evolved along with ski technology and ski geometry. Early techniques included the telemark turn, the stem, the stem Christie, snowplough, and parallel turn.

New parabolic designs like the Elan SCX have enabled the more modern carve turn.

Skiing without snow[edit]

Originally and primarily a winter sport, skiing can also be practised indoors without snow or outdoors on grass, on dry ski slopes, with ski simulators, or with roller skis.



  1. ^ Editors (January 25, 2006). "Ancient paintings suggest China invented skiing". China Today. Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 2015-01-27. 
  2. ^ The cradle of skiing (Norway – the official site in the United States)
  3. ^ Skiing and the Creation of a Norwegian Identity (Norway – the official site in the United States)
  4. ^ Hergstrom, P (1748). Beschreibung von dem unter schwedischer Krone gehörigen Lappland. Leipzig: von Rother. 
  5. ^ Saur, Lasse (1999): Norske ski - til glede og besvær. Research report, Høgskolen i Finnmark.
  6. ^ Bergsland, Einar (1946): På ski. Oslo: Aschehoug.
  7. ^ "How concern for the national health and military preparedness led France to build the infrastructure for Chamonix, 1924.". Retrieved 17 July 2014. 

See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skiing — Please support Wikipedia.
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14235204 news items

Outside Magazine

Outside Magazine
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:33:15 -0800

He recommends starting with skate equipment, but we'll get to that in a bit. By renting gear for your first season, you buy time to decide whether you want to pursue cross-country skiing and which discipline you're most interested in. You also don't ...


Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:56:15 -0800

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Thu, 05 Mar 2015 15:03:45 -0800

Heidi Wyle is wide of the mark in suggesting that it is possible to make backcountry skiing safer (“Avalanche,” Opinion, March 1). I support her proposal for increased education and forecasting, but backcountry skiing is an inherently dangerous ...


Thu, 05 Mar 2015 08:08:16 -0800

Rockies: A dry weekend on tap, but that means bluebird skiing. I see a very small chance for some light snow Sunday evening in Southern Colorado, but that's it. When will the next big snow hit the West? The pattern starts to shift next Tuesday-Wednesday.
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Thu, 05 Mar 2015 09:48:45 -0800

West Virginia Ski Areas Association spokesman Joe Stevens says it's a boost to late-season skiing in what's already been a strong year. Stevens says the timing of the storm was good for the industry. Highway crews will be able to plow interstates and ...

Flathead Beacon

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Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:41:15 -0800

The ski pioneers of Big Mountain donned wool clothing and strapped seven-foot-long wooden skis to their bear-trap bindings, wore leather boots and gripped bamboo poles with baskets measured in double-digit circumferences. It's part of the community's ...

St George News

St George News
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 13:22:30 -0800

Groomers have been out on the area's 15K of cross-country skiing trails and have reported that the conditions are the best they have been in 30 years, Ron Harris, web administrator and marketing team member for Ruby's Inn, said. “There is 2 feet of ...

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