10 Fun & Crazy Facts About Skiing

by Anthony Schwabe | Posted On: June 3rd, 2022
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Skiing and snowboarding are two of the coolest sports out there, but we all know this already, right? Well, there are still plenty of facts about skiing that most of us won’t know. I didn’t even know most of these before I started researching for this article. 

Skiing is one of the most diverse sports in the world. Due to the variety available in the region, and style, coupled with a long history, there is an endless amount of interesting facts most people do not know. 

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The following facts are pretty diverse in nature to show just how interesting skiing and snowboarding really are. Let’s dive right in!

1. Skiing On The Moon

One of the members of the Apollo crew, Harrison Schmitt, once believed that cross-country skiing should be a part of an astronaut’s training. 

This is because he believed the activity of skiing would translate well to traversing the lunar landscape found on the Moon. His ideas might have been a bit too out there though, as he even believed lunar skiing holidays could be a thing of the future. 

2. Skiing Is A Great Workout

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Skiing and snowboarding are not only an awesome way to spend a day, but it counts as a tough workout. 

On average, a moderate effort run down the slopes can burn between 350 and 400 calories per hour for an adult. That’s similar to running at a moderate pace for 20 minutes!

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Backcountry touring takes it even further, with a burn rate of over 1,000 calories per hour when climbing.

3. You Can Ski In Australia

Despite Australia holding the records for some of the hottest days in human history, you can actually ski here during the winter!

There are actually 5 major ski resorts to choose from in Australia from July to August. You can find these in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

4. Snowboarding or Surfing?

Freeride Snowboarding

Sherman Poppen is credited for creating snowboarding when he bound two skis together in 1965. At the time of invention, he decided to call the new activity surfing – short for snow surfing. 

I think we can all be glad that didn’t stick and it became snowboarding. 

5. Speedy Skiing

It is no surprise that skiing is one of the easiest ways for a human to go fast. That being said, I don’t think people realize just how fast. 

The world record for fastest ski is held by Ivan Origone. In 2016, he set an absolutely mind-boggling record of 254.958 km/p or 158.424 mph!

6. The Origin of Skiing

The earliest origin of the word ‘ski’ can be traced to Norway. The word ‘ski’ comes from the old Norse word ‘skíð’. Pretty easy to pronounce, right? This Norwegian word translates literally to ‘piece of wood’.

Although the word comes from Norway, skiing was invented in prehistoric times. The oldest known date is between 8000 and 7000 B.C.

7. Skiing In The Military

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Skiing has been implemented for military purposes as far back as the Battle of Oslo during the Norwegian Civil War in 1200. It has held its military practice in alpine regions since then. 

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You might think this is where the Winter Olympics sport of biathlon originated, but you’d be wrong. The biathlon originated from Scandinavian traditions as a way to pay tribute to the Norse god Ull. 

Both Ull and his wife, Skadi, were revered as gods of hunting and skiing. 

8. German Engineering

Prior to 1908, the only way to reach the summit of a slope was to hike the mountain yourself. Can you imagine hiking some of the behemoths like Breckenridge in the US? Nothing like a 3,914-meter hike to get you warmed up. 

Thankfully, German engineers created the first ski tow in 1908 in the Black Forest. Since then, there have been many advancements in ski and chair lift technology to make our lives on the slopes easier. 

9. True To Their Traditions

In the Altai region of China, there is a Mongol/Kazakh tribe that is still staying true to their tribal traditions. 

Here you will find them making skis by splitting spruce trees by hand and then wrapping them in dried animal fur, typically horse or reindeer. This is actually how skis used to be made before manufacturers turned to more modern techniques. 

10. It’s Super Popular

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Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most beloved activities out there. There are over 6,000 ski resorts globally and more than 350 million people visit the slopes every year.

That’s a pretty staggering number. Snowboarding played a huge role in this as it was the fastest growing sport in 2000. 

To Wrap Up

There are plenty of interesting facts about skiing and snowboarding. The incredibly long history, diverse skiing regions, and varied styles of skiing mean there is just so much to learn. Whether you want to learn more or just enjoy the slopes, skiing is definitely something to be grateful for.

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