Skiing is one of the most popular and easily recognizable winter sports. From its early use as a method of travel over snow-covered landscapes to modern recreation and sport, the ski is an unforgettable innovation, continuously evolving to meet needs of new generations. The basics of skiing can be found in its history, current and past uses and the designs of the ski itself.
A ski is a long, flat surface that allows efficient movement over soft snow. Abrupt edges act like large ice skate blades and provide control while turning.
Skiing has been used for centuries by Northern European and Asian cultures for transportation. The modern ski design was developed in 1850 by Sondre Norheim, according to Skiinghistory.org.
Efficient transportation across deep snow is essential to cultures based in areas of harsh winter. The ski has even been used in wartime by light military units.
Modern skiing includes cross-country, back-country, downhill, slalom, speed skiing and ski jumping, among other hybrid activities.
Most contemporary skis feature a moderate length, reinforced edges and an advanced, adjustable binding system that connects to a stiff plastic boot. Downhill styles lock the heel of the boot, while flat-terrain skis leave the heel free.
Harry Egger set a world speed-skiing record in 1999 of 154 miles per hour, according to Speedski.com