Alpine skiing also known as downhill skiing is a sport and recreational activity, which involves sliding downhill on snow-covered slopes with the aid of narrow skis attached to the feet. Alpine skiing branched off from cross-country skiing with the development of ski lifts at ski mountain resorts, which towed skiers back to the top of mountain slopes so they can make as many downhill runs as they want without having to climb back up again after each ride.
Alpine skiing is popular in many parts of North America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and South Korea and practically any region where there is plenty of snowy mountain slopes and available infrastructure.
To be safe when Alpine skiing, careful preparation is necessary. Skiing, in general, is a physically demanding sport so it is best to conditioning the body and train during off-season. For beginners, seek professional ski lessons now only to learn how to ski but also how to use ski equipment properly. Prior to skiing, do some warm up and stretching exercises. Always check snow conditions before skiing to ensure safety. Always ski with a companion and ski only on runs that are suitable to your level.
When choosing ski equipment, ask advice from professionals about what particular equipment is suitable to Alpine skiing. You should also consider your skill level and size. Proper adjustment of ski bindings is crucial and reduces risks of injuries. Make sure your boots fits comfortably. Wear clothing suitable to Alpine conditions. Wear headgear for protection. Helmets are highly recommended for kids. Eyewear with UV protection is also important.
In Alpine skiing, slopes have marks that indicate their level of difficulty. In North America, green circles mean easy slopes. These are usually smooth and flat. Blue squares mark slightly difficult slopes, which are steeper and may be un-groomed. Even steeper slopes have black diamond markings. The terrain in these slopes is also more challenging. A double black diamond mark means the slope is suitable for expert skiers only. In Europe, blue marks are for easy trails, red marks mean medium difficulty, black trails are difficult and yellow ones are for the experts. Usually, it is up to the ski resort how they mark their trails.
There are two types or disciplines in competitive alpine skiing – racing and freestyle alpine skiing. In racing, skiers make high-speed turns around several gates and must complete one or a couple of runs through the course at the fastest time in order to win.
There are several events in freestyle alpine skiing including aerials and moguls. There also many other alpine skiing competitions such as extreme alpine skiing and speed skiing.