This winter when you are planning your holiday on the slopes take a moment to think about what discipline you want to learn, the choice is more than just skiing or snowboarding. Of course these two are the most common ones and relatively the easiest ones to learn but there are other disciplines available on Maison Sport which you might want to try, especially if you already know how to ski or snowboard.
What Disciplines are Available
Before last year on Maison Sport you could only find skiing or snowboarding as disciplines available on our platform, but thanks to Covid, we had to think outside the box. Ski lifts being closed meant we had to find other ways to get up the mountain and so we introduced three new disciplines to Maison Sport that allowed people to still enjoy the ski season without the need of the lifts. These new disciplines were Ski Touring, Cross-Country Skiing, and Telemark Skiing. This season, along with skiing and snowboarding, these 5 disciplines are available on our platform. We would like to make sure there is something for everyone heading to the mountains this winter.
Read a little about each discipline and decide which one is the right one for you!
All new sports can be difficult to learn but a lot of it could depend on what previous experience you have, what sports you usually practice, and what your fitness is like. The good news is that regardless of the answer to these questions, everyone at any age can learn how to ski. What makes learning how to ski easier than other disciplines is the front facing body positioning and the actual separation of the skis which are more familiar to most people rather than standing sideways on a board.
Learning to ski with an instructor, especially if it’s your first time on the slopes, is crucial to make sure you learn the correct technique and avoid hurting yourself and others around you. After the first day expect some tightness in your core and leg muscles, this is completely normal and regular stretching before and after your day on the mountains will be great. Overall skiing is a great sport for the whole family to do together, all resorts usually have at least two or three beginner slopes for practice and starting out and from there you take it at your own pace increasing the difficulty of the slopes.
It is said that snowboarding is harder to learn than skiing but easier to master. The reason behind this is because of how you have to adapt the positioning of your body in an unfamiliar way and have both feet attached to the same board. Of course, if you’re somebody that surfs or skateboards on a regular basis then snowboarding should not be so difficult to pick up.
If you want to try snowboarding for the first time ever, then the first few days your bum might be on the snow a lot more than usual, but don’t let that discourage you! Once you get used to the awkward positioning then improving your skills will be a lot quicker and easier. With snowboarding there is also less equipment to worry about than with skiing, you only need your boards, boots, and bindings, and instead of poles, you’ll be using your arms for balance. Overall snowboarding and skiing are very different in style and learning curves but either one is extremely fun and if you already practice one of these two sports, why not try the other?
Ever heard of ski touring? Ski touring involves going up a mountain without the use of ski-lifts, this is possible by using special gear, once you get to the top of the mountain you then ski as you would usually downhill. The best comparison we can give is hiking, ski touring is basically hiking on a snowy mountain with skis on instead of shoes. Ski touring can be challenging, but not at all impossible, it mostly depends on the uphill path you will be taking.
Your equipment will be a little different because your skis will have “skins” attached to the bottom so you won’t slide backwards when you’re going uphill. Your ski binding will also allow your heel to lift up and down to help you push from the front of your toes. If you’re a beginner make sure you ask your instructor/guide to take you on an easier path the first time so you can get the feel of it without committing to a three-hour hike. Although, we’re sure you will enjoy it because you get to discover a whole part of the mountain you probably didn’t know.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing, also known as Nordic skiing, is a discipline for people looking for a change of pace or scenery from regular alpine skiing or snowboarding. Cross-country-skiing is primarily practiced on assigned tracks around ski resorts, these tracks tend to be either slightly uphill or on flat terrain, but you may find some instances where you are going downhill, although not often. The difficulty depends mostly on the tracks, slopes, or trails you are on, but the technique is pretty straightforward and easy to pick up. You will be gliding one ski in front of the other in a long stride walking motion and following the tracks along the pre-established path.
Cross-country skiing is a great alternative for a day when you don’t feel like going downhill. Many resorts have cross-country ski trails of over 70km which will take you to places you wouldn’t be able to reach by simply skiing down the mountain. Hire an instructor and get ready to really explore the area you are in. We will guarantee you will be reaching the most breathtaking hidden areas of the resort.
Telemark skiing is more a different style of skiing than a completely different discipline. Just like Ski Touring, you will go up the hill without the use of a lift (if you want) and then descend using a specific technique. The main technique about Telemark skiing is the turn, skiers do a kneeling motion when turning, their inside leg drops as the heel rises detached from the ski. Just as in ski touring, in Telemark the ski boot is only attached to the ski by the front, leaving the heel free to rise and fall in order to give the skier the ability to properly kneel when turning.
Compared to other disciplines, telemark can be more challenging and requires more physical effort, but this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The challenging thing about telemark is the knee bend during the turns. If you’ve seen someone telemark skiing, it’s like their bodies are in a constant flowing motion which is what makes it look so elegant. An easy way to picture the movement is by picturing forward leg lunges, you can think of telemark as doing leg lunges as you’re gliding downhill…how cool would that look right? As with any other sport, if you exercise regularly then telemark can be easier, but really anybody can do it, it just takes time and practice, and at the end of the day, a full day of telemark skiing is better than any gym session with a personal trainer, and the views are definitely better.
With this guide to all the disciplines available on Maison Sport, we are sure you’ll find the right one for you or better yet, we will have inspired you to try something new this winter season! Whatever you decide on, there are hundreds of qualified instructors in each of these disciplines and they are always happy to teach beginners, or take experienced skiers and snowboarders on incredible off-piste missions around the mountains.
Head now to Maison Sport and book the perfect instructor for your unforgettable experience.
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