A Look at Different Types of Skiing to Try Next Winter

As winter is wrapping up (at least in most parts of the country!), we may welcome the sunshine and the flowers, but it can be difficult not to stare out the window at the green grassy mountain slopes and long to go skiing just one more time. Or perhaps you didn’t get the opportunity to go snowboarding for the first time, as you’ve been dying to do for ages.

Unless you’re a hardcore winter athlete, there’s a good chance that there are quite a few things you haven’t tried yet–just in the realm of skiing itself! So let me tell you about a few different types of skiing popular around the world so you can keep them in mind as you daydream about your next winter getaway.

You will want to keep in mind that tricks and techniques in this sport are very difficult to master, but as you probably know, there are all kinds of “ski schools,” that have instructors that can tailor skiing adventures to your level of expertise–whether you need help stopping on the slope or want to learn how to carve up the snow, they will show you how it’s done.

Alpine skiing is probably the most familiar to the average person who dabbles in skiing during family vacations. It takes its name from its origins in the Alps during the late nineteenth century (although various forms of skiing have existed among the Nordic peoples since the Middle Ages).

This is what we tend to envision when we everyday people think of skiing. The difficulties arise because the serious skier works hard to employ aerial acrobatics and various other challenging maneuvers to demonstrate their skill and expertise. Rails or jumps (sometimes referred to as kickers or launches) are the major tools used so that skiers can get the lift they need to perform stunts.

You may be surprised to learn that there is a way to continue skiing despite the snow runoff and the blooming blossoms. Dry slope skiing is essentially what it sounds like: skiers are on terrain that is either artificial or dry snow or just plain dirt. It has become particularly popular in the United Kingdom because despite cold winters, the snow cover is inadequate for Alpine-style skiing.

A third type is called Nordic jumping–but you may hear it called “ski flying,” or “ski jumping.” The skis used are generally much longer and wider than those you would wear for Alpine or dry slope skiing, and jumpers typically abandon poles altogether.

The purpose is for skiers to compete in sliding off a ramp (which is called a jump, unsurprisingly) to see who can launch themselves the furthest before hitting the ground. It’s like the long jump for track and field, but for skiing.

Now that you’ve learned about a few types of skiing, it’s time to stop daydreaming and start planning your next winter vacation. After all, it’s only seven months before the snow sets in again. And in the meantime, you can brush up with a little dry slope skiing!

You’ve got to book early to get the best deals! For Colorado ski vacations that can’t be beat, be sure to check out The Mountains USA (http://themountainsusa.com), offering deals on everything from Telluride to Aspen and more. Art Gib is a freelance writer.

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