Not only is it beautiful, it is fun to play in: skiing, snowboarding, skating, snow shoeing, sledding, etc. And, since Skiing is one of the Smith family’s favorite pastimes, this week’s Flavor of Fitness Friday activity is… SKIING!

Skiing is a group of sports using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. It’s been said that skiing can be considered the World’s oldest sport. It is argued that it originated in Norway, and it was used by the people there to get along quicker while hunting. However, the oldest skis were found in northern Europe (Russia), aging about 6,000 years old. These skis were short and broad, unlike the skis today, which are long and narrow. The first written references to skiing came from the Han dynasty (206 BC- 220 AD), from the northern part of China.

Cross- country skiing was the earliest mode of skiing, when skis helped people travel over the snow to get from one place to another. Competitively, cross- country skiing did begin in Norway, in the 1840s. By 1860, it had reached California. In 1870s, ski- jumping became a popular way to ski. Because downhill skiing meant that people had to climb a hill before or after skiing down, the ski lift was introduced, in the 1930’s, to minimize climbing. In 1936, Alpine Skiing was included as a part of the first Winter Olympic Games. This is also when skiing became a “business”. In the 1950s and 1960s, resorts boomed in the Alps (Austrian, Swiss, and Italian), the Rocky Mountains, and many other mountainous areas. About 400 ski resorts were built in the United States in 1960.

What is Snowboarding?
Snowboarding was recognized in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. It is similar, in principle, to surfing, but with a boot that is set into the board for the feet. A snowboarder travels down a snow-covered slope just like skiers do. However, advanced snowboarders are able to change directions and do a number of tricks and jumps with a snowboard that skier can’t. Although ski resorts were slow to allow snowboarding onto their runs, snowboarding became popular. It was entered into the Winter Olympic Games in 1998.

Which is better? Skiing or Snowboarding?
Each can be argued to be better than the other. Many say that skiing requires more finesse, therefore it is harder to learn. However, others say that snowboarding is easier to learn, therefore being able to do cool tricks earlier.

Either way, try them our- both can be fun to learn!

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