Types and styles of skiing

The joys of après-ski: why ski holidays are also suitable for those who don't like skiing

Alpine skiing is an exciting activity that is not easy to learn right away. Skiing from high peaks gives adrenaline and vivid impressions, which is why it attracts thousands of tourists. To master the basics and learn how to slide freely, the beginner will have to learn where to start and how to do the basic exercises.

How to ride a beginner?

Before you can master the correct skiing technique, you need to learn how to put on your skis. To do this you need:

  • Remove snow from boots.
  • Place your foot in the harness, pushing it towards the toe, and then lowering the heel.
  • Fix the binding at the back of the boot.

After that, the skis must be positioned perpendicular to the slope, slightly pressing them into the snow. Thanks to this, the beginner skier will achieve a stable position.

For the first time, it is recommended to descend from a low altitude to get used to skiing and protect yourself from falls

At the same time, training should take place under the guidance of an instructor - he will teach the basic principles of riding, demonstrate the correct technique and show how to perform simple elements.

Before training, you need to do a little warm-up: it will warm up and stretch the muscles, thereby reducing the risk of injury. After that, you need to take the correct stance - with its help, the beginner will provide himself with easy skiing and create optimal conditions for movement. To do this you need:

  • Spread your legs and bend them slightly at the knees.
  • Touch the shins of the boots.
  • Direct weight to legs.
  • Keep your back straight or slightly round.
  • Turn your head forward.
  • Relax your arms and elbows.
  • Hold sticks over the snow, slightly spreading them to the sides.
Downhill skiing

Correct riding technique

How to learn to ski

If your friends call you to a ski resort, and you are indifferent to skiing, snowboarding and snow, do not rush to give up the trip. The mountains are the sun, the cleanest air, incredible landscapes and a lot of entertainment: from the best cocktail bars and restaurants in the world to casinos, SPA centers and cinemas - this is why many people today go to ski resorts, and not to descend the slopes.

In this article we will tell you what the whole variety of après-ski entertainment consists of.

What is après-ski?

Après-ski (pronounced après-ski) literally translates as "after skiing" and denotes the entire complex of skiing activities, except, in fact, skiing. Firstly, skating for a long time is a rather tedious task. Secondly, it gets dark early in winter, so the cozy leisure time offered to skiers and snowboarders by resorts logically takes up most of their vacation. This means that après-ski entertainment must be varied. This is not only an opportunity to drink hot chocolate or mulled wine in the evening, but also have a tasty and hearty dinner, an unusual breakfast, lie in a jacuzzi, go to a sauna or go to a party.

How did the après-ski tradition come about?

Alpine skiing turned into entertainment only at the end of the 19th century, before that they were used only for winter hunting or in military operations. Moreover, skiing came to tourists even later. Initially, it was a popular leisure activity only among those who lived in and around the mountains.

Change began, as often happens, from one hotel. Once the owner of a hotel in the Austrian village of St. Anton decided not to close for the winter and continued to receive guests. To the surprise of many, ski lovers stayed at the hotel all winter. Other hotels soon followed suit.

Since, in addition to housing, tourists needed food and entertainment, hotels began to include hot drinks, dancing and alcohol in their accommodation programs - for that time this was more than enough. Today, the understanding of après-ski has expanded significantly and includes much more possible entertainment.

What is Gemütlichkite?

For example, the word "gemutlichkite" is closely related to skiing. This is how the Austrians call the blessed feeling when you return from the cold all ruddy and contented and in a warm sweater sit by the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate. In Scandinavia, this feeling is included in the corpus designated by the concept of "hygge", and in French the most popular is "après-ski".

Why exactly the French word began to be widely used among skiers, if the first ski resorts appeared in Austria and Germany? The fact is that alpine skiing quickly became quite an expensive pleasure, as heating the hotel in winter, delivering groceries and cleaning the track were expensive. Therefore, in the 1920s, it was mainly aristocrats who could afford such an expensive pleasure. And the aristocrats at that time preferred to speak French. Therefore, at the beginning of the 20th century, skis were quickly enriched with luxury attributes - luxury hotels were built near the best slopes, champagne flowed like a river at parties, and musicians were invited of the highest level.

By the 60s, skiing had already become available to many, young people reached out to resorts, burgers were added to oysters, and beer to champagne.

Today you can choose a ski resort from a huge number of options: democratic and youth or luxury, family or exclusively for professional athletes. For a budget family vacation, it is worth looking at tours to Bulgaria, Turkey, Italy or Montenegro. Countries such as Switzerland, France and Austria offer more expensive options. Austrian and Italian resorts are more suitable for resting with a noisy company.

How to start skiing - learning the basics of skiing. Technique for performing basic exercises and the best tips for beginners from instructors.

In summer, it is customary to relax by the sea, and in winter ... what can you give preference to if none of the most beautiful ski resorts? Alpine skiing is not just a fun winter pastime. This is real excitement, sports competitions, keeping fit and last but not least a wonderful mood and adrenaline. In addition, the chilling and unforgettably clean mountain air, which you just want to breathe on your full chest, cannot be compared with anything. And the mountains rushing upward, wrapped in fluffy snow, resemble a fabulous childhood and create an atmosphere of comfort.

If we talk about choosing one of the best ski resorts in the world, then it is worth mentioning the countries of North America and the Alpine European countries. Should you choose Switzerland, France, Austria or Italy?

What to look for when choosing the world's best ski resort?

Some already have their own preferences regarding ski resorts, where they spend their winter holidays every year, while others ask a lot of questions in search of the best hotels, high tracks and successful snow-covered areas.

There are several criteria to consider when choosing the best ski resort in the world:

  • Good living and recreation conditions.
  • Choice of additional services to taste (ski school, equipment rental, exquisite restaurants with the possibility of ordering national dishes for gourmets and just food lovers, guide services, skiing on the main and additional routes, skiing outside the prepared routes, instructors for children, other additional activities for different generations, family entertainment, demonstration programs, etc.).
  • Modern lift system.
  • Convenient location of the resort, stable snowfalls.
  • Dedicated separate areas for training skating.
  • A wide range of accommodation options (a good hotel, a private house for a family or multi-storey houses for large companies).

Once you know what you need, you can easily find the perfect place to spend your winter vacation.

Ranking of the world's best ski resorts

If we talk about winter holidays, and in more detail, about the highest and most expensive ski resorts in the world, it is worth noting that the choice depends on the wishes of the vacationer. Those who are professional snowboarders and put an emphasis on high-level skiing certainly have their own preferences and their choice regarding the longest and highest ski slopes in the world has long been obvious.

But if you are still undecided where to spend your vacation and want to organize it at the highest level, then the description of the best ski resorts in the world is for you:

Alpine skiing is one of the most technically challenging areas of sport. There are many types and subspecies, including disciplines included in the Olympic program. Let's consider them in more detail, as well as the equipment that will be needed in each case.

There are many types and subspecies of types of skiing:

  • carving. Prepared trails are used, the rider descends at high speed, making cut turns. In this case, both legs in the turn are guided by the edges throughout the maneuver. A feature of the equipment for this type of riding in a large side cut, which makes maneuvering easier;
  • extreme carving (fan carving). This is a further development of the previous style, the essence is that the skier develops high speed, and makes turns, practically touching the snow with his whole body. In this case, a platform is used that is inserted between the equipment and the boot, which minimizes the risk of the sole catching on the snow. It is preferable to use a hard, prepared slope with a steep slope for this style;
  • cruising. In this case, the speeds are high or medium, the turns are cut with a large/medium radius. For this, prepared tracks of large width are used so as not to interfere with maneuvering, the surface is usually hard and medium;
  • freeride. Driving on unprepared routes. In this case, often, riders go to undeveloped peaks. Since the snow is virgin, the models are selected wide, directed and designed in such a way as to float efficiently. The arcs are large, the speeds are high, as is the risk, since there is always the possibility of colliding with a tree or running into a rock ledge covered with snow;

  • powder. This style requires deep and soft snow on which the rider can make mid/short turns. Accordingly, skis should be as wide as possible to support the weight of a person on such a surface;
  • racing. These are high-speed sports types of skiing, like slalom, giant slalom, speed variations. They need the lightest and fastest pairs possible, usually from the top segment of manufacturing companies;
  • skiboarding. The rider uses short skis, slopes prepared, may include park areas with obstacles such as jumps or halfpipes;
  • freestyle. Skating in this class goes in parallel with the performance of acrobatic stunts. The group includes ballet, mogul, freestyle of the "new school", etc. With a mogul, skiing takes place from a prepared slope with an undulating hilly surface, combined with jumping. In ballet, the athlete moves on a gentle slope and performs various artistic figures;

  • freestyle "new school". A very varied style that uses different obstacles to perform stunts, and not necessarily prepared parks. In this case, young riders like to ride right in the city, using natural stunt structures. Equipment for this style should be non-directional, but, depending on the favorite figures, it can have many features;
  • skicross/boardercross. Competition on a prepared course, usually with difficult terrain. In this case, a race is organized between 5-6 riders who can use strength techniques and tricks, this is encouraged;
  • backcountry. This is skiing on virgin lands, often in the forest and other difficult conditions. The style differs from freeriding by the need to make long transitions, for which you need special equipment. A complex and dangerous style that requires serious training and equipment;
  • offist. This is the most extreme type of freeride, which uses very difficult, rocky mountain areas with a steep slope, often close to the vertical. In the conditions of the resort, this method of riding is prohibited, even the insurance does not work for riders who decide to do it;
  • freeskiing. This style of behavior involves a mixture of riding methods, it often involves virgin soil, but in general you can slide anywhere. Fun for well-trained riders who can afford top-end equipment, as well as renting a helicopter to get to the most interesting and challenging areas;
  • heli-skiing. In fact, this is a freeride, but with the obligatory delivery to the slope by helicopter.

Of course, it is not possible to create equipment that allows you to get the most out of all types of slopes. Even quality all-rounders exhibit reduced speed where acceleration can be achieved and limited maneuverability where cut turns are required. That is why manufacturers produce many lines of equipment, sharpened for individual conditions.

Equipment Features

The following ski variations appear most often in the line of equipment manufacturers:

  • track or carving;
  • universal or all-mountain;
  • freeski.

Some well-known companies introduce their own developments, unique collections into the assortment. Most often they are aimed at certain conditions, for example, they allow you to accelerate as much as possible on a hard slope or are designed to give a feeling of indescribable freedom on virgin soil.

Each class has its own division. So carving skis are divided into short, medium and long radius, all of them are piste. The difference is in the radius of the cut, which directly affects the radius of the turn. Most often people come to us, in ski rental, for cross-country skiing, as this is the most common type.

Europe's winter resorts are legendary not only for their excellent skiing, but also for postcard alpine villages and famous resort towns on their foundations. Spectacular seems like an inadequate description of the scenery, and many have lift systems that provide access between several mountains in a single ride - often in a single day. Solo ski runs can take hours, starting at the heights in the mountains and retreating right into the heart of the city below. In many ski resorts in Europe, there is no excuse to repeat the same run twice while on vacation. High heights - over a dozen peaks in the Italian Dolomites exceed 3000 meters, and the Alps soar even higher - average reliable snow conditions, so there is a long season when you can depend on gliding through the powder.

Remember that these mountains are not just for experienced skiers. Most resorts are light terrain and many have dedicated slopes and lifts for learners and beginners only. Each resort has its own character and style, not to mention the incomparable views of the snow-capped peaks. So choose according to your personal skiing tastes - you won't be disappointed with skiing at any of these outstanding resorts in France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany.

Zermatt, Switzerland

With Switzerland's highest vertical dip and rocky terrain up to 3900 meters, the highest winter sports area in the Alps is much more suited to him than just a pretty face. But with this iconic landmark as its backdrop, it puts Zermatt and the mountains at the top of most skier's wishlists. Not only do the Matterhorn provide a picturesque setting for the city, its characteristic profile is visible across much of the 350 km trail system connected to Zermatt.

The southern face of the Matterhorn is in Italy and experienced skiers can ski in both countries in one day skiing up the Theodol Pass and down into the Italian trail system. Zermatt is known for its long runs, some of which end right in the village - you can literally ski home. The world's tallest ski lift, the 3S, currently under construction, will take skiers to the Matterhorn Glacier at 3,883 meters, where skiing is possible all year round. To make this huge network of trails more accessible and safer, skiers can download a free app that uses GPS and adjusts for conditions, weather and snow, and ascent operations to guide skiers safely between locations. For less experienced skiers, Wally Park, atop the Sunnegga funicular, offers a softer terrain with equally stunning views.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Zermatt

  • Read More:
  • Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Zermatt & Easy Day Trips

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

Five ragged peaks, Cinque Torri, rise from the chic town of Cortina d'Ampezzo, giving it not only the appeal of excellent skiing, but also a beautiful setting. And after the 1956 Winter Olympics were held here, beautiful people followed. The city is still filled with high quality labels and the shops that sell them, but skiing is still a big draw. In all of its Olympic ravines and high-altitude snowfields, about half of the ski terrain is in-between, and there is plenty of snow for beginners too. Along with downhill skiing, Cortina offers miles of scenic cross-country skiing trails, cross-country skiing and an Olympic ice skating rink.

Cortina is far from alone in the Dolomites, where a dozen resorts share one Dolomiti Superski Pass which gives access to the lifts and trails of all of them. This includes smaller, more intimate resorts such as Val Gardena, one of several ski towns in the neighboring valleys between the peaks known as the Gruppo del Sella. Links on trails and lifts for nearly 400 kilometers of interconnected skis, including the Marmolada Glacier. The entire area has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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