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Other people want to start this hobby

Snow Skiing

Skiing is the winters most popular and fun sport. There are incredible resorts throughout the US where you can easily learn and become a pro. To start I recommend going to a resort and taking private or group lessons for your skill level. Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white subtabs above to navigate the other Skiing resources. We have a Skiing forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with Skiing how-to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to other sites, and a page with the best Skiing books and products.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Duncan Davis

 

Intro


Snow skiing is not just a hobby but can also be a classy way to keep fit. Remember James Bond, skiing in cold pursuit of the bad guys! You can be in tune with Mother Nature, enjoy fresh air, and be one among the mountains. With a little training you too can take up snow skiing not just as a hobby but also as a way of life.




It helps if you are staying in an area where it snows. This will make it easy for you to travel to and fro from the mountains where you plan to ski. There are various types of skiing techniques that you could learn. There is Alpine or downhill skiing, Cross-country or Nordic skiing, speed skiing, extreme skiing etc. Depending on which style of skiing you want to learn, you can buy the matching equipment. You will therefore require the correct type of skis. So for example for cross-country skiing you will require skis where the heel can lift up to enable you to ‘walk’ on the snow, whereas in alpine skiing you will require to be fully attached to your skis, so that you can stay in control during your downhill run. Cross-country skis are also longer and thinner. The construction of your skis is also very important. Older skis were made of wood but now in addition, skis are also made of aluminum, fiberglass and nowadays, of carbon fiber, titanium and Kevlar. You can join classes or a ski school which have skiing instructors to teach you all about skiing. They can provide you with the right equipment to teach you about skiing. You can learn privately, where a ski instructor will provide training only to you or you could sign up in a group. Private lessons are naturally more expensive, but then you get the undivided attention of your instructor. So choose according to your budget. Basic training is necessary for whichever style of skiing you want to pursue further on. The skiing slope should have a variety of small obstacles like bumps and twists so that you can learn to jump over them or dodge around them. You should be warmly dressed with a ski jacket, snow goggles and proper gloves. As with any other sport, keep a first aid kit with splints and painkillers close at hand always.




Learning


In the beginners course you will be taught to stand up, maintain your balance and ski slowly down a gentle slope. You will then be taught to increase speed as well as turn left and right by shifting your body weight. You will also be taught to use your ski poles correctly. Ski poles help you to maintain your balance as well as propel you ahead. Always warm up by doing simple stretching exercises or take a small walk. Advanced ski poles are light and flexible but sturdy. Once you learn to ski, then you can start downhill skiing. Your speed will be determined depending on the gradient of the slope and the snow conditions. Downhill skiing is fast and exhilarating and you feel the wind in your face as you turn your body from side to side. On a big mountain slope, you can try various different ways of skiing down. That will provide hours and hours of unlimited fun, and also improve your skiing skills.




There are various styles in skiing downhill such as powder, free-style, speed and mogul. Powder skiing is when you ski on light powder like snow. Ski lovers love this kind of skiing since it allows them to display their technical skills and the feeling of gliding over powdery snow is pure bliss. A mogul is basically a slope with lots of small bumps, where you use your knees as a spring to move over the bumps. This style improves not only body flexibility, but also jumping skills and timing. This style is also very exciting because each bump has its own unique character.




However, the best way for you to get totally immersed in nature is to try out cross-country or Nordic skiing, also known as backcountry or off-piste skiing. You can attempt cross-country skiing once you get enough skiing experience, since cross-country skiing involves skiing in un-chartered territory. Do not attempt it alone; take along a partner who has prior experience. Also carry a proper first aid kit along with you. If your mobile phone works in those areas then carry it along or if budget is not an issue you can carry a satellite phone or GPS system along with you. Cross-country skiing puts you literally in the lap of nature and the feeling of skiing long distances without anybody bumping into you can totally relax your mind and body. You can visit different ski resorts, which have cross-country packages. That way, you can get a change of scenery and skiing conditions every time you go cross-country skiing. Wear bright colored outer clothing and be careful of avalanche prone areas during your cross-country adventure. Once you have mastered these forms of skiing, and still want more adventure, you can enter into the dangerous arena of extreme skiing. This involves skiing down from almost 90-degree mountain faces and moving at maniacal speeds. It also involves high and long jumps and you should attempt this only if you have become an expert in various methods of skiing and are medically declared ‘physically competent’ and tough enough to handle it. Broken bones and concussions are unwanted side effects of this extreme sport.




Many resorts provide weather forecasts and these can be useful if you want book a package or even before you leave on one. Your ideal vehicle would be a 4 wheel drive SUV with lots of interior space and a ski rack on top. This rack can hold your skis, if you are planning to use your own. Since the weather will be cold, your vehicle’s heating system should also be checked before leaving. A first aid kit with medicines, warm and waterproof clothes and flasks filled with hot chocolate and coffee should be taken along if there are no proper eating outlets along the way. Your clothes should include thermal underwear, thermal shirts and pants, padded thick ski socks. Over these clothes you can wear a woolen or fleece jacket or sweater, ski pants and your ski boots. Do not forget to wear a ski helmet.


 




Conclusion


Nowadays, there are many variants to snow skiing such as snowboarding, which can be tried out. Even physically handicapped people can learn to ski, with technology now providing for special skiing equipment. So, do not just look at the snow from your window. Go out, take a deep breath and enjoy the wonders of nature. Skiing is a wonderful sport and it is also a hobby to keep you fit for life.