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Skiing 101

Picture of a skier at  a slopestyle event at the Winter X Games.
Courtesy of EXPN
Photo of  a skier getting big air at the Winter X Games.
Courtesy of EXPN

Add some excitement to your winter by learning to ski. Kidzworld checks out the info you need for hitting the slopes.

Skiing - History

Skiing has been around for over 5,000 years. Scandinavians were moving through snow on boards as early as 3,000 B.C., when skiing was important for both transportation and military purposes. Skiing began to be used as a form of recreation in the late 1800s, when people decided that flying down a snow-covered hill on skis would be pretty fun. That's when a guy from Norway invented the first ski binding, which allowed skiers to go down really steep hills without worrying that their skies would come off.

Skiing - Styles and Events

Alpine skiing includes both traditional racing events like downhill and slalom and modern freestyle events, like moguls, slopestyle and superpipe competitons. Before specializing in any of these areas, you should learn the basics of skiing, like how to get off the chairlift and how to make it down the hill in one piece.

Skiing - What You'll Need

  • Skis - You're most important piece of equipment. You'll probably want to start off with a pair of "shaped skis", which have wide tips and tails, which make it easier to carve turns and stop.
  • Boots - There are many different styles of boots to choose from, depending on your ability and style of skiing. The most important things to remember when choosing a boot is that they fit and are comfortable.
  • Bindings - Bindings hold your boots to the skis and are designed to release when you fall. The type of binding you choose is based on your weight and ability.
  • Poles - Poles are used to help you with your balance and rhythm while skiing. Poles are also used to help you push off and propel yourself on flat terrain.

Skiing - Getting Started

  • You can get started on the slopes by signing up for a ski club at your school, a local community center or at your closest ski hill.
  • Skiing can be an expensive sport, but you can save money by borrowing gear from a friend, buying used gear or renting equipment. Many ski hills also offer cheap Learn To Ski programs that include cheap rentals, lessons and lift tickets.
  • It is highly recommended that you learn to ski by taking lessons. Skiing is a safe sport but you can get hurt very easily if you don't know what you're doing and don't learn from a qualified instructor.

Skiing - Helpful Hints

  • Wear layers. This will help you adjust to your body's changing temperatures.
  • Wear a helmet. You're almost guaranteed to have at least one nasty wipeout on your first day of skiing, so protect your head and wear a helmet.
  • Always ski with a friend and watch where you're going. Arrange a meeting place for your friends or parents to meet you, in case you get separated.
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