Alpine skiing is one of the types of skiing. It is extremely popular as one of the types of outdoor activities, especially in winter. Alpine skiing disciplines are distinguished:
Downhill (English downhill - "down the hill") - the passage of a specially prepared track (which is laid along the natural relief of the slope, and provides for passing through the guide gates, overcoming jumps, turns, hillocks, ridges, etc.) for the shortest possible time interval. The track is marked on both sides with colored lines in the snow or bright flags, there are guiding gates on it - double poles with rectangular flags in red and blue. In some cases, athletes can reach speeds of up to 140 km / h, the length of the flight when jumping can be from 40 to 50 m. This type of skiing is included in the program of the Winter Olympic Games.
Slalom (from Norwegian "downhill trail") - the fastest skiing downhill, in which the athlete must pass through all the gates (if the skier missed the gate or crossed them with only one ski, he is eliminated from the number of competitors). The length of the track is from 450 to 500 m, the height difference between the start and the finish point is from 60 to 150 m; the width of the gates installed on the track is from 3.5 to 4 m, the distance between them can vary from 0.7 to 15 meters. Skiers reach speeds of up to 40 km / h, when summing up the results, the results demonstrated by athletes during descents on two different tracks are taken into account. Since 1931, slalom and downhill skiing for men and women has been included in the program of the World Alpine Skiing Championships.
Giant slalom (giant slalom) and super giant - skiing downhill is carried out in compliance with the slalom rules. The difference is that the length of the track is from 800 to 2000 m, the height difference between the start and the finish is 200-500 m, the width of the gates installed on the track is 8 meters. Overcoming the distance, skiers can reach speeds of up to 65 km / h, when summing up the final results, the results of two descents (for male athletes) or one (for women) are taken into account.
Mogul (from the word mugl, which means "small hill" in the Viennese dialect of German) is one of the types of freestyle skiing - descent from a rather steep hilly slope and jumping on trampolines. Bumps (moguls) on the slopes are formed in the process of skiers making short-radius turns (most often on tracks that cannot be aligned due to steepness, obstacles, small width, etc.) or are specially built using technical means (for example, snowcat) for competitions. Mogul has been included in the Winter Olympics program since 1988.
Ski acrobatics - the pioneer of ski freestyle - performing tricks on skis. Olympic sport since 1994.
New School (from the English new school "new school") is one of the freestyle areas that emerged in the late 90s of the last century. In style, this type of skiing resembles snowboarding, and, unlike freestyle, is free from the limitations of the complexity of the elements performed. At first, representatives of this direction rode exclusively in snowboard parks, later they moved to specially prepared tracks and even to city streets (riding on railings, boxes, walls (volrides, from the English wall - "wall" and rclasse - "ride") and rails ( from the English rails - "railings, hedges").
Nowadays, New School is subdivided into the following subspecies:
Halfpipe (English half-pipe - "drainage chute") - rolling in a U-shaped half-pipe;
Bigair (from the English big-air - "big air") - an athlete accelerates and makes a jump from a springboard, while performing various tricks. The flight length is from 5 to 30 m;
Slopestyle (from the English slope - "slope, mountain for skiing" and style - "style") - a competition consisting in the virtuoso performance of jumps and acrobatic stunts on a specially equipped track (jumps, pyramids, railings, counter-slopes, etc. .);
Ski cross (from the English ski - "skis" and cross - "cross") is a ski race on a specially equipped track (jumps, waves, turns, etc.). At the first stage of the competition (qualification), skiers pass the track one by one. In accordance with the results shown, they are divided into groups of 4 people to participate in the final race, held according to the Olympic scheme (with elimination);
Speedskiing (from the English speed - "speed" and ski - "skis") - competitions in downhill skiing on a straight, well-prepared track. The goal is to cover the distance at maximum speed. Features of equipment - lead plates are placed on the toes of the skis, handles are installed in front of the mounts, which make it easy to maintain the position of a deep squat, an inflatable fairing is fixed on the athlete's shoulders. The maximum speed developed by a skier in this type of descent was registered in 1999 - 248.105 km / h. This achievement belongs to the athlete from Austria, Harry Egger.
Telemark (from the English Telemark - "turn with a lunge on skis") - a type of skiing that originated in the province of Telemark (Norway) thanks to the efforts of Sondre Norheim (Aversen), who managed to systematize the knowledge and techniques of descent from the mountains. Apart from traditional skis with telescopic poles, telemark equipment includes a special pole (lurg).
Freeride (from the English free rclasse - "free ride") - downhill skiing outside the prepared trails (best of all on untouched snow). The main dangers of this type of skiing are the danger of avalanches and difficulties in providing medical care in case of injury. Therefore, a freeride athlete must not only be well prepared physically, but also appropriately equipped, familiar with the rules of behavior on the mountain slope. In some cases, the services of an experienced guide are required.
Types of skiing:
Lightweight freeride - athletes climb the mountain on lifts, after which they descend on untouched snow;
Backcountry (from the English back country - "remote area") - descent on virgin snow, which is preceded by the ascent to the mountains, not equipped with a lift;
Ski tour (from the English ski - "skis", tour - "travel, hike") - a hike that provides for periodic ascent to mountains and descent on virgin snow on special lightweight skis;
Heli-skiing (from the English heli - "helicopter" and ski - "skiing") or heliboarding (from the English heli - "helicopter" and board - "board") - skiers are thrown to the top of the mountain by helicopter. In some places this type of freeride is prohibited;
Snowmoboarding is skiing on the snow using a snowmobile (motorcycle) as a draft (water skiing principle).
The following skiing styles are also distinguished:
Tourist skiing (Allround - English "universal", Recreation - English "rest, recuperation, entertainment") - is not divided into levels, is not characterized by clearly expressed techniques. Most often, people who choose this style of skiing do not strive to achieve sports results, but simply try to get the maximum benefit and pleasure from the very process of skiing from a sparkling white snow-covered slope;
Freeride - skiing off the prepared tracks. There are two directions of freeride: freeride proper, which involves skiing in any conditions (on soft and hard snow, ice, stones, etc.) and "powder" (from English powder - "powder") - descent through deep fluffy snow. Sometimes, in the process of descent, freeriders not only make jumps from various kinds of hills, using them as springboards, but also perform various acrobatic stunts;
Fancarving or extreme carving (from the English carving - "cut") - descent from the mountain on special carving skis, which includes sharp turns (not only to the sides, but also in a circle). Differences in technique - strictly cut turns, wide skis with a deep slope inward, refusal to use ski poles.
New School freestyle, "new school" freestyle, modern freestyle - skating, involving the performance of various kinds of tricks, jumping from trampolines, skating in a gutter (halfpipe), riding on rails and rails.
Alpine skiing is the most traumatic sport, especially for children. No, in children's alpine skiing, injuries are extremely rare, since experienced coaches choose the right equipment, and young athletes go down the slope one by one (which excludes the potential for a collision with another skier). At a higher level, older athletes do have injuries. There are several reasons: improperly selected and configured ski mounts (after all, most often amateurs do this on their own, considering themselves to be competent enough, the result is dislocations and fractures after falls); overestimation of one's strength; poor organization of movement on the slope, as a result of which the skaters collide at full speed. That is why both novice athletes and professionals are required to comply with the FIS rules: be attentive to other skiers; control the speed and method of descent, as well as choose the right trajectory of movement; avoid stops in poorly visible narrow places, pay attention to signs. At the same time, according to statistics, alpine skiing is much less traumatic than, for example, hockey or football.
Slalom originated in Norway. Indeed, downhill skiing has been extremely popular in Norway since ancient times - for a long time, locals competed among themselves in the skill of downhill skiing in Hopmenkollen near Christiania (now the city of Oslo). At the competitions, which were held in 1767, 4 prizes were awarded among skiers, who were faced with the task: to walk along the slope, overgrown with bushes and trees, trying not to fall and not break the skis. For 6 more prizes, daredevils fought, descending from a steep slope without the help of ski poles. At that time, there was no distinction between skiing and alpine skiing - the technique of alpine skiing began to take shape somewhat later, in the Norwegian province of Telemark. In 1875, in the same Norwegian Christiania, the world's first ski club was founded, and in 1877 a ski school was opened at the club. In 1879, the first alpine skiing competition was held on Mount Goosby near Christiania. However, some experts believe that the founders of alpine skiing were the inhabitants of Austria - after all, it was in the Alps that official competitions in this sports discipline began to be held since 1905.
Freestyle skiing appeared at the beginning of the last century. Indeed, 1930 is considered to be the date of birth of this type of skiing - it was then that Norwegian skiers began to include acrobatic stunts in the training program for cross-country and alpine skiing. However, some researchers insist that the first acrobatic ski jump took place back in 1860. To this we can add that Stein Erickson developed ski acrobatics in the 50s of the last century, and freestyle competitions, as an alternative to traditional alpine skiing disciplines, began to be held in the early 60s. In the 60s and 70s, ski freestyle (at first called "hot dogging") continued to develop, and soon from one discipline, involving the demonstration of technique and performing tricks of one's own choice, three modern trends emerged - mogul, ski acrobatics and ski ballet.
First, a new style of riding appeared - carving, and then - the corresponding equipment. This is not true. At first, skis with a new (carving) geometry were created, and only a little later did people appear who try to use all the possibilities of a new model of a special shape, sometimes equipped with lifter plates, which make it possible to raise the boot above the snow surface by 8-10 cm, which is ideal for extreme carving.
A skier's outfit is extremely expensive. Of course, professional athletes spend quite an impressive amount on equipment. And for a beginner skier, it is enough to buy a strong helmet, high-quality ski boots (maximum 100 €) and comfortable warm clothing. Skis, poles, bindings, etc. at first you don't have to buy - all this is provided in sports schools and sections. Over time, having gained experience, you can purchase your own inventory, the cost of which is about 250 €, and if the set is used, then 50 € can be met.
It is best to start skiing at the age of 11-12. There are no age restrictions in this sport. You can start at 4-6, 11-12, and 14-15 years old. And the retirement age is by no means a hindrance to skiing.
Only healthy people with great physical strength and endurance can go in for skiing. Of course, if we are talking about extreme skiing, you cannot do without good preparation. And for mastering the basics of this sport, physical data are not important (in some cases, people with almost completely atrophied muscles, of a rather venerable age, got up on skis and achieved considerable success) - intelligence is much more important. In ski schools, as a rule, everyone is accepted, and it depends only on the person himself how much he will advance in mastering all the subtleties of this sport.
Downhill skiing is for the rich. On the contrary, it is one of the most democratic sports. In many ski schools and sections, trainings are free or not so expensive (although in some "promoted" places the prices are really exorbitant), and all pupils get to summer camps in the mountains, regardless of the thickness of the parents' wallet. True, the official sports schools are not always conveniently located, but the sparing schedule of classes allows you to put up with this problem. The only negative is that in order to ride all year round, you really should have a fairly large amount of money. If there is none, you have to get used to seasonal breaks in training.
The most prestigious are sports skis. Of the whole variety of sports skis (slalom, giant slalom, super giant, downhill, freestyle) skis for giant slalom are suitable for amateurs, although with appropriate training, skiers who prefer high speeds and are not afraid of hard slopes can use slalom skis and skiing for mogul (hill descent). At the same time, it should be remembered that sports skis are designed, as a rule, for high speeds, icy tracks, therefore skating on them will not bring pleasure to a non-professional. The easiest way is to purchase universal skis that have all the sports attributes in the design (for example, the inscriptions competition, equip, racing, etc.). Products of this kind are easy to control, allow to develop a fairly decent speed during descent and, at the same time, serve as a means of satisfying the owner's ambitions.
For amateur skiers and novice athletes, tourist skis are suitable. This is true, however, it should be noted that this type of sports equipment is divided into several groups:
skis for children and juniors - they are highly controllable at low speeds and easy to make turns;
skis for advanced skiers are designed specifically for aggressive skiers whose goal is self-improvement in this sport;
Expert skis are suitable for skiing on various slopes with different snow conditions. They are highly obedient, stable in turns, and designed for fairly experienced skiers;
skis for recreational athletes and skis for downhill slopes are distinguished by good handling (even on hard snow) and less sensitivity to technical errors compared to sports models. However, on icy tracks, at high speeds, such skis perform worse than sports skis;
special types of alpine skis - specially designed lightweight products for ski trips (ski tour), for extreme descents on steep slopes (ski extreme), for descents on virgin slopes and for telemark technology.
When choosing skis, you need to take into account the length, stiffness and product specification, the other parameters do not matter. This is not entirely true. To avoid some annoying misunderstandings in the future, in addition to the above parameters, you should pay attention to the radius of the side cutout, which is most acceptable for your chosen riding method.
For radical carving, it is best to purchase skis with a minimum side cut (preferably about 10 m), the ideal choice is skis for Krav Slalom, Radical Carving or a softer model, the geometry of which generally corresponds to skis for special slalom. Ski poles are almost unnecessary in this sport, but gloves with a Kevlar-reinforced palm are very useful;
For ski cross, slalom, giant slalom, you should opt for a product with a sidecut radius of at least 15 meters (unless, of course, you aim to pass slalom turns at maximum speed - in this case you will have to use skis with a radius of 10-12 m). And in order to achieve the width and smoothness of the outline of the arcs, you need to buy a model with a radius of 16-18 m.It is good, of course, to get the latest, improved model, but keep in mind that such skis are extremely demanding on the track and in order to ride them, you should have high level of skill;
If your choice is a snow park or New School, when buying skis, give preference to a model with curved heels and a minimum own radius. However, it should be noted that the smaller the radius, the more difficult it is to land after a jump;
For universal skiing on broken, uncivilized slopes (freestyle) outside specially paved tracks, freeride skis and universal models for carving (for example, allmountain - from the English "ski for the whole mountain") are best suited. The radius of the side cutout of the model should not exceed 20 m, so that when moving to a prepared slope you do not have to change skis
For the mogul, preferable (but by no means necessary) mogul skis with a sufficiently soft toe, medium level of rigidity, narrow, with a sidecut radius of 20 to 25 m.
It is best to give preference to shorter skis at the beginning of training. Not necessary. When choosing skis, in addition to the level of training of a skier (beginner, intermediate, athlete), his complexion and constitution (strong and stocky or thin and tall), age, gender, and also intentions are taken into account. For example, short skis (mini) are best suited for evolutionary (sequential) training, which involves frequent ski changes from 100-135 cm to 160 cm in length.
The compact skis, the length of which ranges from 150 to 190 cm, are distinguished by their high maneuverability even in deep snow, a narrow waist, which gives many advantages when cornering, and therefore are ideal for mastering cut sliding. In addition, it should be noted that the shortest skis are the most manageable, but when descending a hard icy slope at high speeds, longer skis are preferred.
When choosing the length of skis, be sure to take into account the manufacturer's recommendations. In accordance with the nomogram, you can easily determine the length of the product you need, simply by drawing a line through the indicators corresponding to your height and weight. In this case, an amendment should be made to the level of preparedness (a beginner skier should opt for a product located one line below, an experienced and aggressive one - one line above the obtained parameters) and gender (for women, skis are suitable for two lines below those indicated in the nomogram for their growth and complexion).
The most expensive skis are sports skis. More often than not, this is true. However, sometimes the price of tourist skis of the "expert" class, in the creation of which the latest achievements in the production technology of this type of sports equipment are used, can be higher.
For the first steps in the development of freeriding, specialized "entry-level" skis are suitable. The success of the process of mastering freeriding largely depends on the quality of the equipment used. And high-quality equipment for this type of skiing, in particular, junior freeride models, are not very suitable for training, and for ordinary skiing on prepared slopes. Therefore, at the initial stages, you should opt for freeride freestyle skiing (FR / FS), which are quite suitable for both mastering the art of off-piste skiing and for simple skiing. Moreover, it is recommended to choose skis of a smaller size than indicated in the nomogram for your physical parameters - it will be easier for a beginner to cope with them.
The stiffness of the skis is the same along the entire length of the product. In fact, the stiffness is distributed along the length of the ski in different ways, depending on the type and purpose of sports equipment. For example, slalom and sport skis have a softer center (skate) than giant slalom skis. And on tourist skis, the central part is stiffer, and the toe and heel are softer than on sports skis. Such design features are due to the specifics of the slopes on which these or those skis will be used (for example, tourist skis are designed for skiing on softer snow cover, sports skis are designed to slide on a harder, well-tamped surface of a specially prepared track). And the softer heel and toe of the snow park skis are designed to make the landing after a jump as comfortable as possible.
It is difficult for an inexperienced skier to determine the quality of the skis and choose the right stiffness of the product. Indeed, at first it is best to turn to an experienced instructor in a section, a ski club or at a tourist base. But there are ways to check the quality of a product, and even a novice athlete must know about them. First, the skis must be flat and not deformed. If a dull sound is heard when the skis are sharply pressed against each other by sliding surfaces, then you have a good quality product. The ski softness is also easy to check. To do this, put them vertically with sliding surfaces towards each other and try to squeeze the skis in the central part with the thumb and forefinger of one hand. Usually, with normal rigidity, this force is sufficient to bring the products into contact. However, it should be remembered that this method cannot determine the distribution of stiffness along the length of the ski, and it is this factor that affects their maneuverability. For example, soft skis (especially those equipped with a soft toe) are more maneuverable, while harder skis are just a godsend for the energetic skier.
Experienced athletes can feel even a slight difference in ski construction. It really is. It has been found that a good specialist is quite capable of sensing even such changes as 5% rigidity, 2% length and 4% width of the product. Indeed, with a decrease in the length of the ski by 10 cm, its weight decreases by almost 130 grams, the width decreases by 1 mm, and the rigidity increases by 3%. However, the difference between quality and mediocre products can be felt even by novice skiers.
All skis are bent only in front. No, there are twin tips, which are similar in design to a snowboard and are curved at both the front and back. This design feature allows you to slide both your face and back forward. Most often, the twin type is used in the mogul and some types of freestyle.
Buying the most expensive skis is the key to success in mastering the skills and abilities of skiing. For money, you can buy good equipment and hire a professional trainer, but knowledge, skills and abilities come in the process of practical training, and for quite a long time.
You can ski in any clothing, as long as it is comfortable and warm. In the initial stages of training, you can really dress as you like. However, later, when the increased level of skill will allow you to devote to alpine skiing for quite a long time, you should make sure that such classes are held in the most comfortable conditions, which directly depends on the correct selection of equipment. For example, cotton underwear is good at absorbing sweat and therefore remains damp for a long time. This leads not only to discomfort, but also to hypothermia. But underwear made of synthetic fabrics (Polartec, polyester) is less hygroscopic, therefore, more suitable for skiers and snowboarders. When choosing socks, it is also best to give preference to products made of polyamide, polypropylene, polyacrylic or a combination of wool with elastane (lycra). In addition to the above items of equipment, you should purchase a warm fleece jacket, and when buying a suit, make sure that the lining is made of WindBloсk or WindStop material - in this case, you will be reliably protected from the cold wind.
Skiing in the Alps is very expensive, so you should give preference to the ski resorts of the Caucasus. Indeed, a visit to Dombai will cost you about half the price of an equivalent trip to the Alps. However, let's take into account the difference in service. After all, any skier, whether professional or amateur, goes to the mountains, by and large, for one thing - to ride. Therefore, accommodation and riding time should be paid. How are things going with different ski resorts? At alpine resorts, the athlete's time will be distributed approximately like this: 10% - standing in line, 45% - climbing the slope, 45% - descending. And in the Caucasus, because of the huge queues for the lift, the time is distributed as follows: standing in line - 30 minutes (i.e. 60%), ascent - 10 minutes (20%), descent - 10 minutes (20%). From all of the above, we conclude: in the Alps, the time of pure skiing is almost twice as long as that in the ski resorts of the Caucasus. To this it is also worth adding the variety of alpine tracks and highly organized service for children, which, alas, domestic resorts cannot yet boast of.
While staying at a ski resort, you need to start skiing from the very first day. Keep in mind that the air is thinner in the mountains, so you should wait at least one day, giving the body the opportunity to adapt to the lack of oxygen. In addition, be sure to arrange for yourself days of relaxation, devoting them to excursions or visits to wellness treatments.
If you regularly visit the gym or fitness club, you will not feel discomfort at the ski resort - after all, the muscles are thoroughly prepared for the expected loads. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The fact is that when playing sports, some muscle groups are trained, and when a person gets on skis (snowboard), others, most often not particularly trained muscles, are involved in the work. Therefore, on the second day after skiing, body pains are observed in many novice athletes. To minimize the aforementioned painful effect, you should skate for no more than 60 minutes on the first day, and on the following days, extend the time spent on the slope by 30-50 minutes. If pain still occurs, some medications will help. For example, "AE-Vit", which detoxifies substances that cause muscle pain. Also, a visit to the sauna or taking a hot bath with sea salt, followed by rubbing the body and applying an anti-inflammatory ointment ("Finalgon", "Fastum-gel", etc.) will have a positive effect. The above methods will help to eliminate pain in the muscles in a maximum of 2 days.
For those who cannot ski, there is no need to go to the mountains. Like any other resort, skiing, in addition to skiing, provides vacationers with a fairly wide range of additional services: ice skating and sledging, horseback riding and walking tours, spa treatments, etc. In addition, a few days in the fresh air, among the picturesque nature, will help you to improve your health, get rid of stress, forget about anxieties and everyday problems, and harmonize your daily routine.