Let’s take a look at the variations of Skiing

Skiing is a recreational activity, competitive sport, and a mode of transportation on snow. A pair of long skis are specially designed to move on snow. Mostly, when the word skiing comes to the mind, most of the people think that it’s just tying the skis and going downhill. But in actual it’s a lot more than that. If you want to learn skiing, it’s good to know their different types, which also help you to select the place for that particular skiing. Even at the competitive point of view, understanding the variations also helps. If you are a skiing lover, then trying different variations of skiing may give you more fun and enjoyment. From all the points, it’s good to understand different types of skiing which are as follows:

Downhill skiing is most often called as alpine skiing. It is one of the most common type of skiing, which most people have heard about. In this type of skiing, your boot is completely fixed in the ski and mostly takes place at ski resorts or groomed mountains. The definition of this type of skiing is well-described in its name i.e. ski lifts or the chair-lift ride you to the top of the hill, then you ski from the top of the mountain to the bottom. The main purpose of this activity is to slide down those icy mountains with great speed and reach the finish line.

It is also called as backcountry skiing or off-piste skiing. This type of skiing takes place at the un-groomed snowy mountains i.e. outside the safety of a ski resort. Mostly it uses free-heel bindings i.e. only toe of the skier’s boot is attached and not the heel because of more leg movement. This free hill binding helps you to easily go uphill, downhill and around flat surface. But do remember one thing, as backcountry skiing is outside the safety zone, so it’s riskier than downhill. If you are a beginner, try to take proper training before trying this type of skiing and better to go with your team members (rather than going alone).

Nordic skiing is the other name of cross-country skiing and some also shorten this name to XC. This type of skiing is basically used for traveling long distances i.e. takes place at the flat area like countryside rather than on the mountains. Long and skinny skis with flexible boots are used in this type of skiing i.e. toes of the boots have a binding, leaving your heels free. Skiers also use poles in this type to push and move forward. This activity is a great way to have fun by improving your strength and endurance. Skiers may use different techniques for the movement.

If you have gotten bored with the technique of downhill and cross-country skiing, then trying telemark skiing is more fun as it comes with a new challenge. We can say, telemark skiing is the mix of downhill and cross-country skiing. You do skiing to the downhill with flexible boots (i.e. heels are free, only toes are attached). Because of it’s free-heal feature, that makes it more challenging and you have to use different techniques especially while taking a turn. Mostly skiers come up in a full lunge position while taking a turn. You can try this skiing at the ski resorts as well as at the backcountry. Remember, in different situations you may need different techniques. So be well-trained before heading towards the backcountry.

Downhill skiing with a variety of jumps, flips, stunts, twists, and spins, is called as freestyle skiing. Now, it is a competitive sport which has many different forms like aerial skiing, mogul skiing, half-pipe skiing, ski ballet, etc. These stunts are more preferred in the groomed area, because it gets more dangerous at un-groomed areas. This type of skiing is not for the beginners because it has more chances of risk and injury. You need proper technique and a lot of experience to do stunts and flips. If you are interested in this type, first of all learn the basics of skiing, be an expert in this and then learn freestyle techniques. Once you have learnt freestyle skiing, you are surely going to have a lot of fun.

With the help of a special adaptive equipment, even disabled person can enjoy skiing, which is called as adaptive skiing. Adaptive skiing is not just limited to fun and excitement for them, but also helps them to learn balance, confidence, and motivation. It also gives you a sense of freedom. You can try downhill, cross-country or any other type to have more fun. Most of the ski resorts provide this facility. So even people with physical disability can also enjoy this adventure, just like any other person.

First of all, do remember that alpine touring is different than alpine skiing (i.e. the other name of downhill skiing). Alpine touring (AT) is also called as randonee, and is actually the sub-category of backcountry skiing. But the equipment used for AT is different than that of a backcountry skiing. As backcountry have free-heal bindings throughout the trip, but in alpine touring, you can adjust your bindings i.e. free your heels for climbing and lock the heals for downhill. This versatile binding makes it easier for you to uphill and downhill. Just like back-country skiing, alpine touring also needs special training, safety, and is suggested to go with your team members.

Heli-skiing (helicopter skiing) is also known as cat-skiing. It’s like the downhill skiing, but the helicopter is used to reach the top of the remote mountains instead of chair-lifts or ski lifts. You just carry all your equipment with you in a helicopter and then head up to some remote mountain to ride, what a spectacular view and experience one will have. This type of skiing is for experts only, to have more thrill, but of-course comes up with more risks. You may need even more expert guidance for your safety in this type of skiing.

Apart from these, still there are a variety of other skiing options like extreme skiing, glade skiing, kite skiing, slopestyle, yak skiing, etc. which you can try to have more adventure and challenge. There are endless options to enjoy this activity. Just use the proper equipment, techniques, and training sessions to be an expert. Enjoy this activity- STAY SAFE AND HAVE MORE FUN!


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