Snow skiing is a recreational and competitive sport that is literally thousands of years old. It is thought to have begun in Norway and Sweden around 3000 B.C. This is evidenced by the location of the remains of primitive ski equipment found at several sites in those countries. During most of its life it was primarily used as a method of practical transportation in regions where snow was a regular event in the winters. Only in the 20th century with the advent of competitions and the inauguration of the Olympics did this event become a full-fledged competitive sport.
This sport is a particularly dangerous activity because it usually involves traveling at very high speeds while navigating through treacherous terrain. Many of these events are held on heavily forested mountain slopes or in the case of Alpine events, exceptionally steep, rock strewn slopes. This element of danger has unfortunately been punctuated by the fact that many otherwise cautious people have been severely injured or killed on the slopes by falling off their equipment or striking objects at very high speed. These accidents have not only happened to recreational skiers but also to professionals in major competitions.
Competitive and even recreational forms of this sport take years of training before you acquire the skills to take on a steep mountain trail. In beginning your training, one of the biggest mistakes that many people make, is overlooking training that focuses on the whole body. Many students assume that they should only focus on the strength in their legs and thighs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Upper body strength and core strength are vitally important. In fact every muscle group of your body has to be exceptionally fit to insure that you will not be injured as you attempt to navigate a slope. Champions of this sport use every muscle group in their bodies including their mind in competition.
Before you can start training you first need to purchase or rent some good ski equipment. The first thing you need is a quality pair of boots. These boots are specific to this sport and they have rigid ankle supports to minimize any damage to your legs or feet in the event of an accident or fall. Then you need a good pair of binders. This equipment attaches to the soles of your boot, which then attach to your ski. Binders come in several designs. Some of the designs are heavier than others. Many top pros opt for the lighter versions as they make going uphill faster and more fun. Now you need a set of boards. There are literally thousands of designs available and it is best to ask someone at a pro shop for guidance as a recommendation here is beyond the scope of this article.
Now that you have all of your ski equipment there is one last thing and that is clothing. A very warm jacket and gloves are especially necessary because of the climate. It would also be an excellent choice to include some headgear and a set of snow goggles. The headgear and gloves will come in handy by keeping you warm and the goggles are necessary to keep you from going snow blind or from having a white out.