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About Nordic Skiing

February 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 145

The history of skiing dates back to ancestors of the Sami (Laplander) peoples, the earliest skis discovered believed to be dated circa 6300BC. These days skiing is commonly divided into two categories, Nordic and Alpine. In this article we make an overview of the Nordic school of skiing.

Nordic skiing is the older of the two skiing disciplines. It covers any form of skiing where the heel is not fixed to the ski, unlike Alpine skiing where both the toe and heel are fixed to the skis. Free-heel bindings may seem at a disadvantage to their toe and heel secured counter parts, but they are very strong and allow no lateral movement of the boots.

Cross country (XC) skiing is a Nordic skiing discipline. Cross country skiing involves very lightweight shoes to lighten your load, long poles to help you stay steady and not use excess energy, and skis without a metal edge. The base of a cross country ski is different to the standard as it had a patterned or waxed area designed to give you forward movement but not allow you to move backwards. It is also useful in uphill skiing. Recreational cross country skiing is usually termed 'touring'. Touring trips may be just for a few hours, or in some cases may take days, with skiers staying in maintained huts along the way.

Ski jumping is also a Nordic discipline, such as that seen at the Olympics. As an Olympic event ski jumping is currently a male-only competition. Ski jumping has been a part of the Winter Olympics since they began in 1924. The first recorded ski jumper was a Norwegian-Danish Lieutenant named Olaf Rye who obtained the height of 9.5 metres in front of his men in 1809. Rye went on to play a decisive role in the Battle of Fredericia and died a hero with a number of streets and barracks being named after him. The idea caught on, and by 1862 skiers were achieving over 30 air bourne meters. This record stood for over 30 years. The first large ski jump competition was held in Oslo in 1879 and the record was set at 20 metres. Technology and technique have moved on slightly, with the current record being set at 797ft in the aptly named discipline of Ski Flying. Ski Flying is very much based on ski jumping, but with bigger hills and modified equipment. The Ski Jumping World Cup also hold competitions in 'normal hill' and 'large hill' categories, as well as the ski flying competition.

Nordic combined skiing is also a male-only winter sport as it encompasses both cross country skiing ad ski jumping. There is currently no recognised women's event in this sport. It consists of three events, the Sprint, The Team, and the Individual Gundersen. The Sprint consists of a large hill jump and a 7.5km cross country race. The Team has four members per team and consists of two jumps on a normal hill, then a 5km relay race (each member racing 5km to a total of 20km). The Individual Gundersen refers to the means of determining the starting order the third section, a normal hill jump followed by a 15km cross country race.

Telemark skiing is also classed as a Nordic disciplines, which uses the Telemark turn. The Telemark turn is similar to a parallel turn except the skier leads with the outside ski and allows the inside ski to trail, raising the knee and heel. Telemark skiing fell out of fashion when parallel skiing became popular, being the easier to learn of the two to learn. However Telemark skiing is still taught and practised, and may be making a comeback.

Philip Loughran writes on a number of subjects from travel to law, automotive to education. For ski chalet holidays and ski chalets in Samoens he recommends Absolute Alpine.

Source: EzineArticles
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