To ski

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Different skiing techniques from different eras and age groups

When skiing (in Austria often Skiing written) or skiing ( skiing ) slides a skier on a ski slope or in open space on two skis on the snow .

If the term skiing is usually used to define the popular sport variant, competitive sport is called " Alpine skiing ". Skiing as an overall concept of winter sports also includes cross-country skiing .


Grouse hunters on the Norwegian plateau , skiers after an illustration by Vincent Stoltenberg Lerche for the magazine Die Gartenlaube , 1872
Skier 1949

Origins in Telemark around 1860

The Norwegian Telemark landscape is generally considered to be the origin of skiing as a sporting activity. What is less well known is that as early as the 17th century there were reports of farmers in Carniola who completed daring descents and even a kind of slalom on skis, which is also known as " Carniolan farmers' skiing". Slavic immigrants brought the skis to Slovenia from northeastern Russia in the 17th century. The Krainer Bauernskilauf has little importance for the spread of skiing. The Norwegians ensured the massive spread of skiing in Europe and North America. Their technique, which is used to move in the snow on rudimentary boards, was initially based on ski jumping. In order to make the training more efficient, they had to stop quickly after jumping in order to shorten the ascent time. That is why they developed the first changes of direction or stop turns. At that time a distinction was made between telemark and Kristiania swing . The original concave ski developed there already had a sidecut, similar to modern carving skis. The other skiing techniques ( cross-country skiing , touring and, in a broader sense, ski jumping ) are also derived from this original way of skiing with a binding that is not fixed on the heel side .

Development of skiing in Central Europe after 1880

The increasing popularity of skiing in Norway led to a real ski boom in Central Europe in the second half of the 1890s. In 1883, skis based on the Norwegian model were used by head forester Arthur Ulrichs to determine storm damage in the forests around Braunlage . Furthermore, as early as 1885, the forester Maximilian Lizius in Jachenau was one of the first in Germany to use skis that had been given to him by a Norwegian forester. Norwegian skis were imported and ski clubs were founded: in Germany in 1891 in Todtnau , in Switzerland in 1893 in Glarus and in Austria in 1901 in St. Christoph am Arlberg . Scandinavian students acted as mediators and the first textbooks appeared. Due to the steeper terrain compared to Scandinavia, learning the turns was difficult at first, and ascents were difficult and arduous. The turning techniques were therefore adapted to the conditions: The telemark turn was changed, for example, so that the outer ski in front was turned into a larger cambered position in order to be able to change the movement safely and with braking. At the same time, the skiers of the time increased the caulking position so that both inner edges of the skis could slide. With this technique, called Stemmtelemark , the braking effect could be increased. The Norwegian technique, the ride on the waist of the ski - has been modified. As a result of this innovation, the bracing turn and the blocking of the ski-skier system in the direction of travel became an important element of further skiing techniques in the years and decades that followed.

The founder of the alpine skiing technique is Mathias Zdarsky , who lived in Lilienfeld in Lower Austria at the time of his ski discovery . The first downhill descent in ski history is attributed to him. In 1897 he published Lilienfelder Skilauf-Technik , a book that was groundbreaking for skiing at the time. The skiing technique developed by Zdarsky himself was based on caulking . From it he developed the first alpine ski turn, the snake turn . He already made use of the tailored construction of his self-constructed skis. He realized that the sidecut automatically enables curvy turns.

Ski mountaineering began around 1900

In 1890 Karl Otto performed the first winter ascent of the 1790 m high Heimgarten in the Bavarian Prealps on skis . In Austria in 1892 the 1782 m high Stuhleck was climbed on skis, in 1893 the Rax ( 2007 m ) and in 1899 the Arlberger Galzig peak ( 2185 m ). The Swiss mountain guide Josef Lochmatter traveled to Norway around 1900 in order to better learn the skiing technique there.

Upswing from 1920 and development into a competitive sport

Alpine skiing took off in the Alps in the 1920s . The railway lines built before the First World War meant that more tourists came to the mountains in winter and the first ski schools outside of ski clubs were founded to teach them how to ski (e.g. in 1921 in Seefeld in Tirol and Lech am Arlberg ). It was also during this period that Arnold Fanck's films brought skiing to the cinemas and thus also brought people closer to them who had never been to the mountains in winter before. The establishment of rules for slalom and the organization of recurring competitions such as the Arlberg-Kandahar race and the Inferno run in Mürren also fall within this decade. As a result, the International Ski Association added the alpine disciplines to its program and organized the first alpine ski world championships in Mürren in 1931 . Alpine ski races became Olympic with the 1936 Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen .

Another groundbreaking innovation in skiing was the development of the parallel turn by Anton Seelos from Seefeld , who triumphed at world championships with this technique in the early 1930s. As a coach for the German and French national teams, he laid the foundation for their Olympic and world championship titles from 1936 ( Christl Cranz , Emile Allais ) and made the new swing internationally known. The parallel turn is still the basis for mogul slope and deep snow skiing as well as for controlled skiing on steep slopes.

Development to mass sport around 1950

Heavily frequented ski slope

The development of alpine skiing into a popular sport was promoted in the 20th century, especially from the 1950s, through the increased construction of ski slopes with cable cars and ski lifts and their ever increasing transport capacity , as well as through the strong expansion of the tourist infrastructure ( ski areas , ski huts , accommodation providers in the winter season etc.). The number of skiers worldwide rose from 5 million in 1950 to 35 million in 1975. The focus is not so much on performance (as in alpine skiing ), but on the experience of movement, the direct experience of nature, social contacts and as a predominantly Austrian form of entertainment , the après-ski .

Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports in the Alpine countries as well as an important factor in winter tourism, as well as in Scandinavia and other European low mountain ranges such as the Carpathians, Pyrenees, the Apennines and the Appalachians , the Rocky Mountains (USA and Canada), Japan , Australia, New Zealand New Zealand Alps ) and the South American Andean countries Chile and Argentina. Ski tourism and the ski industry are of major economic importance, especially for Switzerland and Austria . Skiing is also playing an increasing role in many other mountains around the world (e.g. in the Iranian Elburs Mountains ). But it is also spreading more and more in the lowlands : in many places ski halls are being built where you can ski all year round. Heliskiing also emerged around the world , with the helicopter as an aid to the ascent, which - subject to the same reservation of environmental aspects as in piste skiing - has opened up most of the high mountains in the world ( Himalayas , Altai , Caucasus, etc.). Another aspect in the development of skiing were school ski courses as elementary and secondary school content, which established skiing as a popular sport in the Alpine region.

Improvements in ski construction and the introduction of inexpensive mass production also contributed to the spread of skiing, as did the development of safety bindings and matching ski boots .

With increasingly higher skills and better ski equipment, a special variant of skiing developed with "extreme skiing" on steep wall descents. Even Mathias Zdarsky had 1,905 of its Lilienfelder skiing technique to demonstrate the superiority of the Schneeberg in Lower Austria , the width Ries traveled by skis. On April 29, 1931, Matthias Krinner and Hermann Lanzl managed the direct descent from the western Karwendelspitze over the Wanne down to Mittenwald (which was only repeated in 1969). In the 1960s and 1970s, the Swiss Sylvain Saudan and the South Tyrolean Heini Holzer were the protagonists of the boom in extreme skiing, conquering rock and ice flanks with an inclination of 45 ° –55 ° on the descent.

Skiing in art

  • Music. Various songs sing about the joys of skiing, such as Zwoa Brettln, a g'führiger Schnee or Wolfgang Ambros ' song Schifoan .
  • Painting. Works by the painter, mountaineer and skier Gustav Jahn show skiing at the beginning of the 20th century.
  • Movie. As with mountain films as a whole, the roots of the ski film genre lie in the 1920s. The most important ski films include some works by Luis Trenker , who merged mountain films and sports films into one genre, or Fire and Ice from 1986. Spectacular ski action scenes can also be seen in some James Bond films.

Driving technique

Basic movement patterns of skiing in sloping terrain are the weft run in the fall line , the diagonal run diagonally to the fall line, the lateral turning to the slope from the weft run or from the diagonal run, the so-called arc (also called curve), as well as the change of arcs over the fall line or over the line of fire. The arc change is called swing . The techniques with which a bow change is initiated - the swing techniques - are partly different from those techniques with which the bow is controlled functionally or aesthetically. The momentum allows the skier to change direction over the fall line, e.g. B. to stay on the groomed ski slope . Furthermore, depending on the swing technique, the downhill force is braked and the speed is controlled. The same thing happens when the skier turns from the fall line or from the firing line only with an arc sideways to the slope, braking. In addition, swings and the control of the arcs serve to experience speed and aesthetics of movement.

Special techniques and forms of application

The popular sport of skiing has produced some special techniques and forms of application:

  • Mogul slope skiing: skiing on slopes with small hills
  • Carving (English to carve = to carve, cut): Technique in which the turns are driven completely on the edges.
  • Freeriding : skiing through unprepared terrain
  • Ski mountaineering (touring): Mountaineering or ascent with ski skins and touring bindings in open terrain, followed by descent
  • Slopestyle : jumping over kickers and tackling other park elements
  • Telemarking : skiing with the heel not fixed vertically - a historical technique that is increasingly being used again
  • Deep snow skiing : skiing in deep and loose, unprepared fresh snow.


Efforts to scientifically represent the movement sequences and biomechanical principles of alpine skiing began in the 1960s. The first scientific presentation of the sequence of movements and the biomechanical fundamentals of alpine skiing was only possible in the 1980s by the sports scientist and mathematician Georg Kassat from Münster . Among other things, he refuted the prevailing hypothesis that parallel turns are triggered by loading and unloading.

Risk of accident

As with every sport, risks and typical injuries are also associated with skiing , so that sports medicine of skiing accidents is a specialty in its own right, which with changing technology also includes a constant change in typical skiing injuries. A common cause of skiing accidents is inappropriate speed to slope conditions and / or one's own skiing ability. Overcrowded and heavily used slopes with machine-made snow make an increased risk of falls or collisions. One of the main reasons for an increased risk of injury is poor fitness and the resulting fatigue of skiers. Badly prepared and unsuitable material also carries the risk of injury. Driving away from marked slopes harbors particular dangers due to avalanches and falls. In order to minimize the risks, the FIS rules of the international ski federation FIS are valid on the slopes in many countries as a basic code of conduct. Some recent court decisions have raised these rules to the basis of jurisprudence.

Skiing on sand and grass

Grasski-ÖM 2010 Hannes Angerer Giant Slalom.jpg

It is possible to ski on sand too. This is usually possible on Monte Kaolino, for example . When skiing on sand, however, less high speeds are reached due to the higher friction. In summer and in the snow-free months it is also possible to ski on grass with special skis. With grass skiing , the runner rolls over the slope and therefore cannot reach high speeds.

Skiing on mats

There are also facilities that allow year-round skiing on mats. Such a system exists, for example, on the Freedom Hill in Pozńan , and another in Warsaw .

See also

Web links

Commons : skiing  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Skiing  - explanation of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Henry Hoek: The ski. 5th edition. Munich 1911, p. 201 ff.
  2. Mehl, Weltgeschichte, p. 25 ff.
  3. Walter Kuchler: Ski revolution carving. The new pleasure in skiing. Werne 1997, pp. 17, 18
  4. Eerke U. Hamer: Arthur Ulrichs or the discovery of sporty winter freshness in the Harz Mountains (= materials on Lower Saxony sports history. Lower Saxony Institute for Sports History, Vol. 6). Hoya: NISH 1998.
  5. ^ Maximilian Lizius: Am Hüttenherd , Munich 1949, p. 185
  6. Jost Gudelius: Die Jachenau , Jachenau 2008, p. 41
  7. Hans Zehetmayer: On the interdependence of ski techniques and ski ideologies - a contribution to the history of skiing. In: Grüneklee, Alfred / Heckers, Herbert (ed.): SPORTS series of publications on winter sports. Volume 19: Skiing and Snowboarding Today. Düsseldorf 2005, p. 12
  8. Hoek, 1911, pp. 119 ff.
  9. Zehetmayer 2005, p. 16
  10. ^ Georg Bilgeri: The alpine skiing. Munich 1922, p. 26.
  11. ^ Mathias Zdarsky: The Lilienfelder Skilauf-Technik. Hamburg 1897
  12. Zdarsky 1897, p. 33
  13. Honolka, Harro, pioneers of snowshoes in MUH issue 23, winter 20165/17, pp. 60–62.
  14. Christian Imboden: Mountains: Profession, Vocation, Fate. Rotten Verlag , Visp 2013, ISBN 3-907624-48-3 . P. 93: Beginnings of both winter mountaineering and skiing .
  15. Christian Imboden: Mountains: Profession, Vocation, Fate . Rotten Verlag, Visp 2013, ISBN 3-907624-48-3 . P. 92: Ski guide.
  16. Innsbruck: Winter is on Sale , Der Spiegel 6/1976 of February 2, 1976.
  17. Tourism sets initiatives for school ski courses Austrian Chamber of Commerce, Federal Tourism and Leisure Industry , April 8, 2008.
  18. ^ Announcements of the DAV Mittenwald section from 1975
  19. George Kassat: appearance and reality parallel skiing , Münster 1985