13 Bizarre Facts About Skiing
Think you know everything there is to know about skiing? Well think again! Here are thirteen weird facts about skiing that you can’t even pretend you knew:
1. Where did it come from?
The word ‘ski’ comes from the Norwegian word skíð which literally translates into ‘piece of wood.’ Skis have been around for centuries in this part of the world, there is some evidence to suggest they may have been found as far back as 4,500 B.C. – that’s when mammoths walked the Earth!
2. In the War…
Norway was the first country to have a specialised ski unit in their army – for bonus points, did you know it was first established in 1721? Since then many armies have taken on a specialist ski unit for use in snowy climates.
3. What about Injuries?
Around 35% of skiing accidents result in some form of knee injury. In snowboarding however it is shoulders and the upper arm which most prone to injury. However, statistically skiers are still less prone to injury than footballers or rugby players.
4. Taxi to the Top
Before 1908 if you wanted to get to the top of the mountain then you had to hike there. Germany created the ski tow in their Black Forest in 1908 and it is still in use today. However, there have been many advancements in this technology and now there are dozens of uplift methods, including helicopters!
5. Where to Ski
There are around 80 countries that have some form of ski area available. In this list of countries are ones that you may not have even thought about for skiing, including Spain and Australia.
6. USA ‘Almost’ All the Way
Out of the 50 states in the USA, 40 of them have ski resorts! That’s not just a mountain where it occasionally snows and you can fly down on your skis, that’s an actual purpose built resort for skiing.
7. White Workout
Skiing isn’t just an excellent pastime, it is a brilliant workout – moderate downhill skiing burns up around 400 calories an hour, while uphill cross-county skiing can burn over 1,000 calories an hour.
8. It is Elementary Watson!
The creator of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, is responsible for the popularity of Swiss ski holidays. After falling in love with the sport in Norway, he brought a pair of skis to Switzerland and, with two Swiss brothers, took to the slopes at night to avoid being mocked by the locals.
9. Ski to Snowboard
In 1965 the first snowboard was made, by Sherman Poppen, who bound two skis together to make a board. He called this invention a Snurfer (a combination of snow and surf, very clever) and within ten years he had sold nearly a million of them.
10. What’s the Hardest?
According to competitive skiers, the course at Kitzbühel in Tyrol, Austria is the most challenging slope in the world. For most skiers, just getting to the bottom of the course is considered one of the highest achievements in the sport.
11. Not as Dangerous as You Thought
According to figures from the National Ski Areas Association, the chance of having a serious accident resulting in a fatality is 1 in every million visits. That is an astronomically small percentage of ski related deaths and the chance of having a serious accident is a very similar figure.
12. Snowboarding Boosted Skiing
In 2000, snowboarding was the fastest growing sport in the USA and this added pressure on the ski industry saw a revolution in the way ski manufacturers created products. This launched a whole new range of shorter, more manoeuvrable skis.
13. Skiing Makes You Happy
When skiing, endorphins are released giving you an adrenaline rush and creating feelings of happiness. This means that you can spend days and days on the slopes and still leave with a big smile on your face. If you want to make yourself really happy then make sure you stay in a catered ski chalet – no cooking and cleaning, what more could you want?
About the Author – Snowchateaux is a family run business who provide self-catered and catered ski chalet holidays in the ski paradise that is the French Alps. As a family run business we like to ensure that all our guests have the best possible experience, to find out more about our chalets visit us online today.
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