Downhill Skiing – How to Play?

This sport is a good exercise for mind and body. It improves physical abilities and skills while making the participants entertained, and in most cases the spectators too. There are sports for recreation and amusement all over the world but few are taken into count by international groups and organisations for competitive purposes. One of which is downhill skiing.

It’s a sensation that is incomparable to any other thing in the world of sports. In a line, very few sensations can be compared to this. You can be a first time skier or a pro. There are few basic assumptions and steps to be followed while any skier gets himself onto the ice. Before the skiing begins, let us navigate through how to make yourselves ready to involve in the fascinating event of downhill skiing.

Gearing up with boots, right skis, poles and bindings is the key for any best possible experience on the icy mountains. The gear can make and also can break your trip. These are few basic steps and rules that will be teaching any beginner the game of downhill skiing.

Get Ready for Skiing

Alpine skiing involves a lot of climbing, more often at high altitudes. Hence the skiers should be strong enough and in very good physical condition.

Ensure all the mates have an avalanche gear, a compass, a map, a whistle or radio that are properly functioning and a clear understanding of the plan. Practise well the tricks of basic skiing and get yourself boosted up with confidence.

Skiing is fun, only with proper gear. If there is any mistake in the gear the skiers may end up dying in frostbite.

  • Firstly, prefer long and warm underwear.

  • Choose shirts that are thermal, thick and wicking for maintaining the heat around the body. The shirt should be fitted to your body and must not slide while walking.

  • Thermal pants that are tight, thin and pressed up against the legs.

  • There should be no exposure of skin to direct air. Cover the entire body with a warm cloth like wool and others.

  • Avoid using cotton-clothes as additional layer because cotton cannot wick moisture like other synthetic materials.

  • A long neck will be preferable as it keeps the body warmer than other garments.

  • Sweatpants should be relatively tight else it can be bulky to put anything else.

  • The third layer should be a ski jacket. This doesn’t need to fit perfectly.

  • Ski jackets are specially made to keep the body warm unlike other sweaters and cotton garments.

  • Put on ski pants after that. Specially look for ski pants because they have an inner layer to keep legs warmer, which is very helpful.

  • The ski socks should be thin but warm. At any cost, wrinkles should be avoided.

  • Ski boots that can clip to the skis are mostly used during skiing. Hence, selection is very important.

  • Goggles aren’t compulsory but there is a great amount of good done by these. If it is precipitating or a windy day, goggles help you a lot. The bigger goggles, the better is the impact of protection of your eyes.

  • The next recommended item is a gator. They are basically felt tubes that slips on the neck, which can be pulled over the mouth on cold days.

  • Take a hat or a helmet. If the skiing is through glades, a helmet is preferred than a hat. If the player does anything dangerous, there is a chance of accident even at an expert level. So wearing a helmet is highly recommended.

  • Ski gloves should be thick and make sure that they are not regular. They have a rubber lining and thick grip. If they aren’t worn, the skier may have the impact of frosting in an hour at minimum.

After getting ready with the dress the skier needs to know about some basic steps in the process of skiing.

skiing accessories

All beginners should follow these sequences in order to maintain a safe glide. The steps are listed below −

  • Make sure the skis are put properly by jumping several times after they are worn. This gives a firm grip to the feet during gliding.

  • If skiers are not using any poles, let them waddle walk for practise until they learn how to use the skies effectively. If they use poles, they should learn how to use the poles properly and using pole straps before going on to any run.

  • The ski lift are of different types. For a chair lift, the skier should wait behind the line and go as fast as they can before next chair arrives.

  • Different ski grounds have different criteria for beginners. The beginners should make sure that they might not commit something so called icy or steep. Before beginner gets up there, it must be checked thoroughly.

  • Learning how to stop should be at the top priority.

  • In order to reach the next stopping point, the beginners should learn to take a minimum number of turns i.e., the skier should take one or two turns before coming to rest at the stopping point.

  • Slowly, practise and build your confidence for better run and expertise in the game.

After attaining a certain stage of basic requirements, the steps to be followed are −

  • One of the most important thing in skiing is learning how to stop. To control the speed most skiers spread their skis in a pizza shape called wedge. This will allow to control speed and direction of skiing.

  • Keeping a centred stance is important. Moving all the joints, knees and ankles, bent slightly. While doing this, make sure that the shins on the boots should be pressed.

  • To glide faster, keep the skis straight. And to go slower, legs should be opened sideways and spread out the tails of the skis wider. This will make a bigger wedge, until you lower your speed and finally stop.

  • To turn, pivot with your lower body is known as stemming. Turn the skies slowly to your desired direction. First your legs should turn, before your body does. When you start skiing, the body feels some skidding as you enter a turn.

  • Learn providing pressure to downhill skiing as this makes turns easier. Try to ski while lifting the downhill ski off the snow. Remember, providing pressure to downhill rather than uphill skiing makes easy to take turns.

  • No matter how much speed the other skiers glide, it is the full responsibility of yourselves to stay and glide at a controllable speeds. Remember, racing is for experienced skiers and not for beginners.

The conditions for imposition of penalty are listed as follows −

  • Any attempt that leads to commit an offense in the game is considered as conduct for penalty imposition.

  • In the case of emergency, the conducted offense may be considered.

  • Any planned accidents in the game are considered as eligible for penalty.

Alpine skiing is now a very popular winter pastime game. To an estimation there are nearly 300 million skiers and snowboarders in the world today. The average visits only in USA are nearly 57.5 million with a record of 60.5 million alone in 2007-08. The game is full of fun and amusement throughout but there are few angles to be taken care of while it is being played.

Injuries occurring at head, knees, shoulders, spinal, thumb and wrist get reported in a higher frequency by the skiers. This may be due to lack of effective training or negligence of planning for success with a false action.

The skull injuries were reported to be minor frequently. But the 10% injuries which are at higher risks were to be taken seriously and prevented by gradual precautionary actions. The minor injuries were due to collision during a slide with the ground or mountain rocks or wood along the track. They can be easily eradicated if the skier takes few precautionary steps.

Knee injuries were common during a ski due to the twisting force generated during the transmission leads to fall and then breakage of lower leg bones. The development of release bindings reduced this adverse effect of knee fractures. But still 30-40% of the injuries occurring in alpine skiing were related to knee injuries.

Shoulder joint injuries may occur due to sudden fall down at the time of skiing. If the causality falls with an out stretched hand on to the ground may result in shoulder fracture.