Is skiing a sport?
Skiing is a sport which takes place in the snow. Most skiers opt for alpine skiing involving skiing down a mountain at speed, however there are other variations of skiing also, such as cross-country skiing, which is done on generally speaking flat ground and involves a hiking motion with ski attached to your feet.
Skiing has been an extremely popular sport all over the world for over a hundred years now. Have a look at When was skiing invented (link to article) to find out a bit more about the origins of skiing and how it was turned from a practical means of transport thousands of years ago in Scandanavia and parts of Russia and China, to the luxurious hobby and exciting Winter sport it has become now. Skis have been adapted greatly over the years as well, from only being made as long, thin planks of wood used to cross the tundra (similar to how cross-country skis are designed nowadays) to being designed in a curved hourglass shape, to help build speed and manoeuvrability when carving down the mountain.
There are three main categories of competitive skiing as a sport. These include alpine skiing (downhill skiing), nordic skiing (cross-country skiing) & freestyle skiing (this includes ski jumps and halfpipes etc and uses similar skis to that of alpine skiing). All of these different types of skiing have been turned into competitive sports, with various competitions occurring all over the world during the winter. The major competition for alpine skiing is the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships which takes place in different locations around the world each year.
Each of these different forms of skiing have become a key part of the Winter Olympics, with many different variation of alpine skiing, nordic skiing and freestyle skiing to take part in.
Is skiing a sport or hobby?
The answer to this is that it can be whatever you want it to be. As with any sport, if you want to do it as a hobby that’s perfectly fine, if you want to get more competitive about skiing, there are plenty of opportunities, especially in mainland Europe or in Canada, to take part in races. Millions of people descend upon the Alps in Europe, the Rocky Mountains in Canada and USA, and the Dolomites in Italy, every year for family ski holidays or a ski trip with friends. The vast majority of skiers and snowboarders simply have skiing as a hobby.
If you have never been skiing or snowboarding before, you may find it a bit hard to believe that people go skiing for a week or two at a time. There are few other sports or hobbies that can keep people amused every day for that long, especially when you find out that they start skiing at 9am every morning and don’t finish until 3pm! That just shows you how much fun skiing can be, and that skiing isnt just a hobby, it’s a way of life.
Is skiing a rich person's sport?
There is no denying that skiing is a very expensive hobby and sport. In short, yes skiing does tend to be a sport that unfortunately is marketed towards those with more disposable income. This is in part due to the inaccessibility of ski resorts tucked up in the mountains, which means there is limited space, and will inevitably drive prices up.
Why is skiing so expensive?
With average lift passes in USA and Canada averaging at around $100 per day, with little in the way of discount for multi-day purchases, this is just the beginning of the costs that build up for the holiday. On top of a lift pass you will need to consider the price of ski rentals if you don’t have your own equipment. You will need to purchase all the correct clothing and accessories such as goggles and gloves as well. This is before you have even looked into the extortionate price of accommodation in ski resorts, or the flights to get there. Ski equipment tends to be quite expensive due to the need for waterproofing and insulation. Cheap and inadequate clothing will just lead to a cold and wet day on the slopes unfortunately. This is why skiing ends up being as expensive a sport as it is, and is more often than not, enjoyed mostly by the wealthy.
When you take into consideration the price of flights, accommodation, ski rental, lift tickets & all the clothing and accessories you need to buy, you can very easily see how quickly the price of a holiday builds up. On top of this, if you have a young family you are taking on holiday, you will need to multiply this cost by 5, and then purchase all the clothing all over again the next year when they have grown another 5 inches!