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Types of Skiing – Alpine, Nordic, Powder, Moguls, Backcountry

Skiing is a versatile sport which includes many different styles and methods. Although most people associate skiing with snow it can also be done on water, grass, and sand. It can be done on hills or flat terrain, and it can be done with one ski or two. Let’s take a look at the wide world of estilos de esquí.

Alpine and Nordic

The two basic styles of snow skiing are alpine (downhill) and Nordic (cross country). The two types use quite different equipment and require different techniques. That’s not to say that if you do one kind you can’t do the other – many skiers enjoy both Nordic and Alpine skiing at various times.

The main difference in equipment is that Nordic ski boots are attached to the ski at the toe only. This allows the heel to be lifted from the ski to allow a striding motion. Alpine ski boots need to be firmly attached to the ski to offer the most control under high speeds and when turning.

Other differences in equipment include ski boots and skis. Ski boots used for Nordic skiing are flexible and low cut compared to the rigid, high boots used in alpine skiing. Nordic skis are longer and thinner than alpine skis to allow them to glide more easily over the snow.

Alpine Skiing

There are many types of alpine skiing including powder, mogul, off and on piste, as well as specific disciplines like free-style, telemark, speed skiing and ski jumping.

Ski Powder

For many skiing enthusiasts powder is the ultimate. The experience of cutting through light pristine snow cannot be matched, so it’s no wonder that skiers go to great lengths for the chance to ski in powder. Powder snow refers to snow that is light and dry. Skiing in these conditions requires a different technique than skiing on groomed trails. The weight has to be further back on the skis and turns are more gradual. The technical finesse is a pleasure to watch and when done properly, powder skiing can be like floating on clouds.

Moguls

Moguls are the bumps that form on a ski hill as a result of many skiers following the same paths down the slope. Some hills can become covered in moguls and skiing them requires a specific technique. It is important to maintain control when skiing through moguls. It may be frightening to face a hill full of moguls but the key is to take them at a slight angle and to use your downward pole as a pivot point. Use the spring action of your knees to go over the mogul and pivot around the pole at the same time. Learning how to maneuver moguls on easy and intermediate slopes prepares you for the fun and excitement of fast mogul skiing. Maintaining a rhythm to your turns is a great way to stay in control while mastering a mogul field.

Backcountry Skiing

Experienced skiers sometimes get bored with the groomed trails of ski resorts. The call of the wild beckons. Although backcountry skiing can be exciting and challenging it also has dangers which most ski resorts have removed. Skiers who go backcountry are on their own – there is no ski patrol to get you out of difficulties and the nearest shelter may be miles away. Nonetheless, thousands of people take the challenge of backcountry skiing without any mishaps. Being a strong skier and knowing what to expect are the keys to a successful off-piste excursion.