While there are daredevil skiers, many people go out on the slopes just for a good time. But, a lesser percentage of skiers decide to take their skiing up a notch.
Anytime I witness such a stunt, it amazes my mind why a skier would transform a fun and exciting activity into an extreme sport.
My take on skiing being an extreme sport is neither yes nor no, but both. I know it might begin to sound indecisive, but stay with me; I’ll explain further in this article.
Is Skiing Considered An Extreme Sport
Coming from my expert knowledge on skiing and further research I have carried out, I have concluded that skiing can be an extreme sport or not – depending on the skier.
Primarily, a sport gets the term “extreme” when it involves high risk or speed. And in skiing, depending on the skier, some factors can either make skiing safe extreme.
For instance, the risk level in skiing that determines the sport’s extremity varies greatly depending on different factors. The factors I use in classifying the level of risk in this sport include;
- The skiing terrain
As you may know, when skiing in a resort or mountain, the slope and terrain roughness significantly affects each ski. Some slopes are steeper, snowier, and rockier than others.
If, as a skier, you decide to ski over rougher and steeper terrains, you increase the risks of danger. By engaging in this act, you transform skiing into an extreme sport.
However, skiing on a slightly sloped, less snowy, and rocky terrain makes it safer. Generally, this type of skiing doesn’t get referred to as extreme because there’s less risk.
- The skier’s speed
You can determine a skier’s speed by two factors – the technique and terrain slope. On a regular day, skiing between 10 to 20 mph is pretty safe and possesses fewer risks.
On the other hand, if you decide to push your speeding tempo like a stunting olympian or professional at 90 to 150 mph, skiing becomes an extreme sport.
At this moment, the life risks and speed increase.
- The skiing pattern or style
When performing basic techniques like parallel and carving skiing, you might consider that a bit safe – depending on the speed and terrain.
However, when a skier decides to perform freestyle skiing, then it becomes extreme. Freestyle skiing is the act of performing tricks and stunts as you ski over snow.
It is dangerous, and you can almost compare it to mimicking skateboarders’ tricks. The only difference is skiing occurs on snow, and it’s faster.
Is Skiing A Dangerous Sport For A Beginner
I believe this is one question that gets frequently asked by concerned mothers and new skiers. The perfect answer is this; skiing is dangerous, mainly when you go about it wrongly.
The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) statistics show that about 44.7 serious injuries occur yearly from skiing. Further reports state that skiing accidents make up 6.4% of reported collisions.
For beginners in any sport, there pose dangers lurking around, and skiing is no exception. If a beginner skier follows the guide’s instructions and skis recreationally, it offers no risks.
However, should the beginner skier choose not to adhere to the instructions or try professional stunts, skiing can become extreme and dangerous.
As a beginner, I’d advise you to ski on less steep slopes, smoother terrains, and with protective guards. This way, you mitigate the risks of getting hurt while skiing.
What dangers are beginner skiers exposed to while skiing?
If practiced according to a professional guide – none. But, once the beginner begins to sway off the instructions, they are likely exposed to;
- Snow blindness.
- Hitting trees or rocks.
- Colliding with fellow skiers or snowboarders.
- Falling over and breaking a bone or dislocating a joint.
- Getting sunburnt.
Things To Consider When You Skiing For The First Time
I remember what it is like to go on your first ski, the excitement, fear, joy, and panic – all in one. Although it might seem extreme, it mainly turns out safe when executed well.
As a first-time skier, I will share some things you might want to consider or crosscheck before skiing. These things include;
- The equipment
Is the equipment the best? Is the equipment faulty? Make use of only strong and reliable gadgets.
- Your clothing
Ensure you are comfortable and your clothes fit snug, including the ski, boot, jackets, and glasses.
Never ski on steep, rough, and rocky paths; it will increase the risks involved in the ski.
Find out if it’s going to be snowy or windy. Never ski during snowy or windy conditions as a beginner.
Although you can grasp it by yourself through watching videos on it, you need to undergo physical training before skiing. It allows you to have the increased confidence that you need.
Generally, skiing can be dangerous and extreme, but it depends on the skier and some factors. However, this post has answered the question, “is skiing an extreme sport?”
If you ever want to try skiing, especially as a first-timer, you might want to consider the things mentioned above in this article.