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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A shaped, twin-tip alpine ski.

A ski is a long, flat device worn on the feet designed to help the wearer slide smoothly over a flat surface of snow or a hill. Originally intended as an aid to travel in snowy regions, they are now mainly used for recreational and sporting purposes. Also, a ski may denote a similar device used for other purposes than skiing, for example, for steering snowmobiles.



The original Nordic ski technology was adapted during the early twentieth century to enable skiers to turn at higher speeds. New ski and binding designs, coupled with the introduction of ski lifts and snow cats to carry skiers up mountains, enabled the development of alpine skis. Meanwhile advances in technology in the Nordic camp allowed for the development of special skis for skating and ski jumping.


Skis were originally wooden planks made from a single piece of wood. They are now usually made from a complex assembly of components including glass fibre, Kevlar, titanium, other polymers, and composite materials, though many contain wood cores. These components are put together through a variety of ski manufacturing techniques.

Most skis are long and thin and curve upwards at the front to prevent digging into the snow. The skier is attached by bindings which latch ski boots to the skis. Beginning in the early 2000s, many ski manufacturers began designing skis and bindings together, creating an integrated binding system. These systems serve two purposes. Firstly, they often use a railroad track design, to allow the toe and heel pieces to slide, which in turn allows the ski to flex deeply, without a non-flexing spot underfoot due to the binding. Secondly, it requires the consumer to purchase both skis and bindings from the same manufacturer due to the proprietary nature of the system, thus increasing sales.


Many types of skis exist, designed for different needs, of which the following are a selection.


Like all skis, the original alpine "downhill" skis were little more than wood planks. Eventually metal edges were added to better grip the snow and ice of a ski trail and for durability. Downhill ski construction has evolved into much more sophisticated technologies. The use of composite materials, such as carbon-Kevlar, made skis stronger, lighter, and more durable.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, spearheaded by Elan, manufacturers began producing parabolic "shaped" skis (when viewed from above or below, the centre or "waist" is significantly narrower than the tip and tail). Virtually all modern skis are made with some degree of side cut. The more dramatic the difference between the widths of the tip, waist and tail, coupled with the length, stiffness and camber of the ski, the shorter the "natural" turning radius.

Skis used in downhill race events are longer, with a subtle side cut as they are built for speed and wide turns. Slalom skis—as well as many recreational skis—are shorter with a greater side cut to facilitate tighter, easier turns. Many ski manufacturers label their skis with the turning radius on the top. For a racing slalom ski, this can be as low as 12 metres and for Super-G they are normally at 33 metres. For off-piste skis the trend is towards wider skis that better float on top of powder snow.

The ski is turned by applying pressure, rotation and edge angle. When the ski is set at an angle the edge cuts into the snow, the ski will follow the arc and hence turn the skier; a practice known as carving a turn. While old fashioned "straight skis" which had little side cut could carve turns, great leg strength was required to generate the enormous pressure necessary to flex them into a curved shape, a shape called reverse camber. When a modern ski is tilted on to its edge, a gap is created between the ground and the middle of the ski (under the binding) as only the sides near the tip and the tail touch the snow. Then, as the skier gently applies pressure, the ski bends easily into reverse camber.

Influenced by snowboarding, during the 1990s the side cut became significantly more pronounced to make it easier for skiers to carve turns. Such skis were once termed carving skis, shaped skis, or parabolic skis to differentiate them from the more traditional straighter skis, but nearly all modern recreational skis are produced with a large degree of side cut.

Reverse Camber

Reverse Camber (also referred to as Rocker) is a term that describe skis with something other than the traditional camber shape. Reverse camber skis have tips and tails that curve up while the length between them is flat. This allows the ski tip to remain above soft powder snow. The first production ski to feature reverse camber was the Volant Spatula which premiered in the 2002-2003 season. Since then, many manufacturers have experimented with the concept and today rocker and reverse camber can be found in dozens of ski models.


The Böksta Runestone is believed to depict the Viking god Ullr with his skis and his bow.

Twin-tip skis are skis with turned-up ends at both the front and rear. They make it easier to ski backwards, allowing reversed take-offs and landings when performing aerial maneuvers. The turned-up tail allows less application of aft pressure on the ski, causing it to release from a turn earlier than a non-twin-tip ski. Twin-tip skis are generally wider at the tip, tail, and underfoot and constructed of softer materials to cushion landings. Bindings are typically mounted closer to the centre of the ski to facilitate the balance of fore and aft pressure while skiing backwards or "switch", and built lower to the ski for easy rail sliding. Some skis are also manufactured with special materials or a different side cut design under and close to the foot to facilitate rail sliding.

In the past five years twin tips have become popular among youth skiers, ages 14–21. The popularity explosion of twin-tip skis created a push for the inclusion of more terrain park elements at ski areas. Once considered a passing fad, twin-tip skis have become a staple in the product line of all major ski-producing companies worldwide, with a few specializing in twin tips. Line Skis, started by Jason Levinthal, was the first company to market only twin-tip skis. The first twin-tip ski was the Olin Mark IV Comp introduced in 1974. The first company to successfully market a twin-tip ski was Salomon, with their Teneighty ski. While the first person to first introduce the Twin-tip to Salomon was famous Freeskier "Michael Douglas". These skis are used by freestylers also known as freeskiers.

The 1903 rendition of medieval Russian soldiers' use of skis to facilitate their movement during winter campaigns.

Alpine touring ski

The Alpine touring ski is a modified lightweight downhill ski with an alpine touring binding. Like the backcountry ski, it is designed for unbroken snow. For climbing steep slopes, skins (originally made of seal fur, but now made of synthetic materials) can be attached at the base of the ski. The heel of the ski boot can be clamped to the ski when skiing downhill climbing and released when climbing. The ski is used with alpine touring boots which are rigid but lighter than downhill skiing boots.


The monoski is wide enough to attach both boots to a single ski. After a brief boom in the 1980s, only a few thousand enthusiasts continue to use it. Due to its extra width and flotation in deep snow, enthusiasts claim it to be a superior powder ski. The monoski is produced by a half dozen companies worldwide in limited quantities.


The Telemark ski is a downhill or touring ski, where the binding attaches only at the toe. The Telemark ski was the first ski with a significant side cut. It was pioneered by Sondre Norheim of Telemark, Norway. The fact that the foot is only attached to the ski at the toes means that flexible ski boots are worn. The primary turning technique involves pushing one foot forward and lifting the heel of the other foot.


Cross-country skis are very light and narrow, and usually have slight sidecut, though some newer skis are a sidecut more like an alpine ski. The boots attach to the bindings at the toes only. Three binding systems are popular: Rottefella's NNN, Salomon's SNS profil, and SNS pilot.

The ski bases are waxed to reduce friction during forward motion, and kick wax can also be applied for adhesion when walking uphill. Some waxless models may have patterns on the bottom to increase the friction when the ski slides backward.

Theh two major techniques are classical (traditional striding) and freestyle or skating, which was developed in the 1980s. Skating skis are shorter than classical skis and do not need grip wax. The skating technique is used in biathlons. V1 skating is done when going up a hill and one arm is the lead arm which poles ahead of the second with its side. V2 skating is done while going down a hill or on a flat area. It involves poling with every stride of the ski.


Skis for mountain/backcountry/cross-country free range skiing are designed for skiing on unbroken snow where an established track is lacking. These skis are characteristically 10 cm or more in width and often fitted with cable bindings to provide general sturdiness, and to make it easier to extract one's feet from deep snow banks, in case it should be impossible to reach the bindings by hand. This is also the model used by military forces trained to fight in winter conditions, and the most closely related to the original ski. The widest backcountry skis are often called Big Mountain skis.


These skis are specifically designed for moguls. They are typically softer, narrower and have a smaller side cut than a common carving ski.

Ski jump

Skis for ski jumping. Long and wide skis, with bindings attaching at the toe.

A futuristic skier, winter sport landscape by Philippe Derome, France, 1976.

Other uses

Use on vehicles

Skis are sometimes used in place of tires on vehicles intended to travel over snow. The best known example of this is the snowmobile, but larger vehicles such as aerosans, snow coaches, and snow planes also employ skis.

Ski in modern art

As the water and mechanical sports, ski also was a subject of inspiration for the artists of the twentieth century.

See also

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Ski is a municipality in Akershus. It is situated just south of the capital Oslo

Get in

By plane

There are three airports within reasonable distance: Moss Airport, Rygge is 47 km (approx. 43 mins) away. Oslo Airport, Gardermoen is 70 km (approx. 56 mins) away. Sandefjord Airport, Torp (Ryanair branding Oslo Airport, Torp) is 78.5 km (1 hr 41 mins including ferry) away.

By train

The three daily international trains Oslo - Gothenburg stops here, two of these corresponding during low season with trains to Copenhagen and the European continental railway network. The journey to Gothenburg takes about 4 hrs and to Copenhagen takes about 8 hrs. There are several train connections to Oslo per hour and at least one service per hour southbound towards various cities in Østfold (Mysen, Halden and Moss).

By car

European Route 6 and 18 are nearby. There are local buses to Drøbak, Ås operated by #Ruter.

Get around

By feet, and there are also buses operating.


Waldemarhøy. The ghettos of Finstad and Hebekk


Bowlers and Krydder are respectable establishments while avoid Flamenco Bar & Grill at all costs.


Thon Hotel Ski, located in walking distance from the train and bus stations.

Routes through Ski
KristiansandOslo  W noframe E  AskimStockholm
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SKI (pronounced "skee," Icel. scidh, snow - shoe, properly "piece of wood"), the wooden snow-shoe on which the inhabitants of Scandinavia and neighbouring countries travel over the snow. Implements for this purpose were used by many nations of antiquity. Xenophon (Anab. iv. 5) describes the shoes or pattens of skins with which the horses of the Armenians were shod, to prevent them from sinking into the snow, and Procopius made mention of the ancient Lapps, known in Scandinavia as "SkridFinnen," or sliders. Snow-shoes have always been used by the Mongols of north-western Asia. From the evidence of the old Norse sagas they must have been general in Scandinavia long before the Christian era. Uller, the god of winter, is always spoken of as walking upon skis, the curved toes of which gave rise to the legend that they were really ships upon which the god was wafted over hill and dale. Skis have been used time out of mind by Lapps, Finns and Scandinavians for hunting and journeying across the frozen country. The first skis of which there is any record were elongated, curved frames covered with leather. Those of the Skrid-Finnen of the 16th century were leather shoes, pointed at the toe, about 3 ft. long, into which, a few inches from the rear end, the feet were thrust up to the ankles. The form of the shoe varied in different districts. Modern skis are not, like the North American snow-shoe, made of broad frames covered with a thong web, but long, narrow, nearly flat pieces of ash, oak or spruce, pointed and turned up for about a foot at the toe. Their length is usually the distance their wearer can reach upwards with his hand, that for the average man being about 7 ft. 6 in., although some advocate less length.

Their width at the broadest part is about 5 in., and their greatest thickness (just under the foot) about 14 in., tapering towards both ends. The under surface is usually perfectly smooth, although some skis are provided with narrow strips running lengthwise on the under surface, to prevent sideslipping. The feet, encased in stout deer-hide shoes, heelless or nearly so, are fastened to the middle of the skis by an arrangement of straps, called the binding. A staff from 4 to 5 ft. long completes the touring outfit. On level ground the skis are allowed to glide over the snow without being lifted from it, the heels being raised while the toes remain fast to the skis. At this gait very long steps can be taken. Climbing hills one must walk zigzag, or even directly sideways step by step. Gentle slopes can be ascended straight ahead by planting the skis obliquely. Downhill the skis become a sledge upon which great velocity is attained. The staff is used as a brake in coasting, and is provided with a small disc a few inches from the lower end, to prevent it sinking into the snow.

Skiing as a sport began about 1860 in the Norwegian district of Telemark and rapidly spread over all the Scandinavian peninsula. The climax of the racing season is the great international ski tournament held annually in February at Holmenkollen, 6 m. from Christiania. This "Norwegian Derby" is divided into two parts, the first devoted to jumping contests, the other to long-distance racing. The take-off for the jumping contests is built into the side of a hill, and each competitor must jump three times. No staff is allowed and no jump is counted if the jumper falls in alighting. The distances covered are e:_traordinary, 134 1 ft. being the record. The jumper, who starts some distance up the hill, descends at top speed, stoops as he nears the take-off and launches himself into the air with all his force. He maintains an erect position until he reaches the ground, alighting with bended knees, on both feet, one a little in advance of the other, and "giving" with his legs to overcome the force of the fall and to preserve his balance. Another feature is double jumping, performed by two persons hand in hand. The highest prize is the King's Cup. The principal distance race is over a difficult course of about 20 m. The record for 25 kilometres (15z m.) is 2 hours, 7 min. A Lapp once covered 220 kilometres (about 138 m.) in 21 hrs., 22 min., the country being level. Skiing is very popular in Norway with both men and women; in fact it may be called the national sport of Norway.

The sport has been introduced into other countries where the winter is severe, and has become very popular in Switzerland and the United States, especially in Minnesota and the Rocky Mountain country. The principal club in the British Isles is the "Ski Club of Great Britain." The mails between Chile and the Argentine Republic are carried in winter by relays of Norwegian ski-runners, about 300 being employed. The skis worn by them are usually shod with horn. Skis cannot be used with advantage during a thaw or where the snow is less than 6 in. deep. On this account, and because of their general unwieldiness, they are less convenient in thick forests than the Indian snow-shoe, though faster in the open country.

Ski have been used for military purposes by the Northern peoples for several centuries, and of late years other nations which have mountainous regions of snow have turned their attention to this most useful mode of winter marching. The army of Sweden - under Gustavus Adolphus and his successors one of the foremost in Europe - employed infantry provided with ski in its military operations. In Norway special units so provided were organized in 1710. Recently (1902) the Alpine infantry of France and Italy have taken up the question. In Briancon, attached to the 159th regiment of French infantry, is an ecole militaire de ski (established 1903) which trains the Chasseurs Alpins of the 1st line, and also the regional troops which are intended to take part in the defence of the southeastern frontier of France. These regiments as a rule furnish one officer, one non-commissioned officer and a few soldiers each to every course of instruction, which lasts two months. At the end of the first month the skieur is expected in full marching order to cover 60 kilometres (371 m.) of Alpine territory in the day. The ski are put to a variety of ingenious uses; to form a stretcher-sledge for wounded men; and if rapidity of movement is desired, a horse or pony pulls the skieur along by means of long reins attached to the horse's girth. Even camps in the mountains are improvised. The skieur is thickly clothed and muffled, and his eyes are protected against snowblindness by blue or black spectacles. Some of the performances of soldiers on ski have been notable. Captain Bernard, chief of the ecole of Briancon, ascended the cols of Arsine (2400 metres) and of the Cauterel (2080 metres) in 16 hours with a party of 25 men. In Russia some Finland troops in full marching order executed a long hunting march in Carelia. In 29 days they covered 860 kilometres. In Switzerland a skieur took less than 1 1 hours to cover 25 kilometres, including altitudes of 1547 metres. In order to witness this competition, which took place in Glarus, the soldiers from the S. Gothard garrison made a march of 48 kilometres including the ascent of the Klausengrass (2000 metres). A Norwegian soldier named Holte covered with one leap a distance of 21 m. 20 cm., and his companion Heyderdahl later achieved 24.

In Italy each company of Alpini has an annual credit for the provision of ski. Their duties in war time are almost the same as those of mounted infantry - exploration and communication, and the seizure of advanced positions.

In the seven months of snow on these frontiers the garrisons of the lonely posts cannot go out save on ski or snow-shoes, as to the respective merits of which military opinion is divided.

See Norway's National Sport, by T. W. Schreiner, Outing, vol. 37; Auf Schneeschuhen durch Gronland, by F. Nansen (Hamburg, 1891); Ski-running, edited by E. C. Richardson (London, 1904); Year-Book of the Ski Club of Great Britain.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also ski



Alternative spellings



Ski m. (genitive Skis, plural Skier)

  1. ski


  • Schneeschuh

Derived terms

  • Skianzug
  • Skibindung
  • Skilauf, -laufen
  • Skisprung
  • Skistiefel

Related terms

Wikipedia has an article on:



Proper noun


  1. A municipality in Akershus, Norway

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