Skis are long and slender and are used to glide over snow or water. They can be made of wood, plastic, metal, fiberglass or a combination of materials. Originally, people wore them to make traveling over packed snow easier. Today, skis are primarily used for sport and recreation.
History of Skis
People have been using forms of skis for a very long time. 4,500 to 5,000-year-old rock drawings in Norway depict a man on skis. The oldest ski was found in Russia and was 8,000 years old. Norwegian Sondre Norheim is considered the father of modern skiing for allegedly improving the bindings that attach the foot of the skier to the skis.
How do skis work?
How do skis glide over the snow? As the skier is pulled downward by gravity, heat is produced from the friction of the skis and the snow. This friction creates a thin layer of water between the base of the skis and the snow, allowing the skis to glide.
Skis are long and slender with their front ends curved upwards, which prevents them from digging into the snow and getting stuck when the skier is using them. The skier’s boots are attached to the skis by bindings. Some bindings attach the whole foot while some only attach the toes. Today, many manufacturers design and sell skis and bindings together.
Types of Skis
There are many different types of skis all used for different purposes. Some of these are: alpine skis, twin-tip skis, alpine touring skis, monoskis, Telemark skis, cross-country skis, backcountry skis, mogul skis, water skis, and skis made for ski jumping. Skis can have different features, shapes and sizes depending on how they are used. For example, water skis are broader than snow skis because their surface area helps the skier to glide above water. Downhill skis attach to the whole foot to allow the skier to make sharp turns. Meanwhile, cross-country skis only attach to the toes, giving the skier more flexibility.
As the popularity of ski sports increases, new technology is being applied to improve ski design. People can expect better and safer skis in the future.
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