The Grand Canyons

From Nordic to Alpine: Your Guide to Types of Skiing

Posted In Talking Points - By The Grand Canyons on Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 With No Comments »

SkiSkiing is such a fun and exciting way to enjoy the winter. The feel of the cold air brushing against your face and enveloping your body like one large ice blanket is something that is both numbing and exciting. But, did you know that there are actually several types of skiing? Although they go by different names, one thing is constant – skiing is a fun way to move on snowy terrain.

Nordic Skiing

Perhaps the oldest type, and the grand-daddy of all skiing types, the Nordic or cross-country type of skiing involves gliding on straight and relatively flat terrain. It originated from man’s need to travel from one place to the next, and with the absence of transportation, the fastest means was on skis. The Nordic skier uses cross-country boots that are bound for the ski, but its heels remain free.

Alpine Skiing

Get ready with your best Bogner ski jacket from as you go alpine skiing. Derived from the Alps, this is also known as downhill skiing. Compared to the flat terrain of cross-country skiing, Alpine skiing requires excellent balance, agility, and maneuverability to zigzag down challenging slopes. The skis are generally wider for greater stability and the poles are shorter for maneuverability.

Backcountry Skiing

In Europe, they call this ski-touring. Backcountry skiing is skiing in areas that are largely untamed or uninhabited. There is a potential risk of danger as one cannot really expect what looms beyond a corner. There are no specific skiing techniques required in backcountry.

Freestyle Skiing

Freestyle skiing involves freedom from any restrictions or rules regarding how skiing should be carried out. It includes a variety of freestyles such as aerial skiing, half-pipes, moguls, and snowboarding. The one thing that is important in freestyle skiing is the expression of one’s unique individuality. So, expect a lot of creative tricks and death-defying stunts in freestyle skiing.

Ski Racing

Just think Formula 1 in snow. Slalom ski racers are blistering fast on the snow and they are very agile, making those tight and fast turns before blazing downhill at speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour.

Telemark Skiing

Telemark skiing marries the straightforwardness of cross-country skiing to the excitement of downhill skiing. It’s not really a combination of different terrains but rather they use an unbound heel to their skis which is what characterizes the skis of Nordic skiers.

There are other types of skiing that are continuously discovered or modified to make it a new type. One thing important to remember is that skiing is supposed to be fun. So, whether you’re going on a cross-country or downhill or even a halfpipe, don’t forget to have fun.

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