Evolution of The Winter Sport of Skiing

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1043 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Oct 25, 2021

Words: 1043|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Oct 25, 2021

The winter sport of skiing is something that many people all over the world enjoy. It grew from a way of transportation, to something much more. Skiing has changed the lives of many, it also changed how we view the environment today. Skiing has not only progressed over the past century, but it also drastically changed. But how has it changed? How has it remained the same? Overtime, skiing has changed in many ways throughout history by the development of ski resorts, technological improvements, and the overall progression of the sport.

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Skiing has a long history. During the early 1800s, skis were not used by many. Those who used skis at the time were in the military, or used them to walk through deep snow while hunting. It was only until the early 1900’s when skiing became much more than travel equipment. According to the National Ski Hall of Fame, “American skiing history including sports clubs, such as the first club in U.S, the Altoona Snowshoe [ski] Club formed in La Pointe, California in 1867”. Very few people have heard of the new sport of skiing at the time. Local clubs in the northern United States started to introduce the activity to more and more people. Eventually, as the sport became more popular, the first ski resort was created in Sun Valley, Idaho in the 1930’s. Years later, more and more ski resorts were being created to support such growing interests. During this time a man named Dave McCoy set out to create a ski resort in California, “In November of 1953, Dave announced that he’d quit his job to focus on building a full-fledged ski area. The Forest Service had put out a call for bids to build a European-style resort on Mammoth Mountain” (Page 102-105). As time went on, more ski resorts were being created. This ultimately led to skiing’s growing popularity. In the ski industry, there have been many technological advancements that drastically revolutionized the sport. Those advancements also lead to the spread of skiing in other parts of the world. 

According to the article “Two Planks and a Passion: The Dramatic History of Skiing” it stated that “Equipment was vastly improved in the 1900s with the development of laminated skis, metal edges, cable bindings, adjustable toe pieces, and sturdy boots” (Birkeland 62-64). As the sport gained popularity, and people started to become very skilled skiers, people started to improve ski equipment. As people improved at skiing, adjustments needed to be made to ski more difficult terrain. Future founder of Head Skis, Howard Head came up with a brilliant idea, “Disappointed by the wooden skis he encountered as a 32-year old novice skier 1946, aviation engineer Head set out to design an easy turning ski” (Cohen 22-23). Howard Head impacted the sport tremendously, eventually taking the ski industry into his own hands and created his own company. This company is called Head, and is still well known for quality ski equipment that pushes the sport to higher standards. Improvements on ski equipment made it easier for people to learn how to ski, this grew the sport tremendously. Another advancement that changed skiing tremendously was the development of the ski lift. “Rope tows were popular at first, but it was the chair lift, first used at Sun Valley, Idaho, in 1936, that was the conveyance that got the masses up into the mountains” (Birkeland 90-93). The implementation of the ski lift led to an increase in skiers on the mountains. Not only did the ski lifts make skiing easier, but they also let other resorts adopt the new system which grew the sport. 

Today, ski lifts are found on every ski mountain. These technological advancements helped the growth of skiing to a great extent. Without ski lifts, skiing would not be the sport like it is today. Overtime, skiing has progressed dramatically. More and more people started pushing the boundaries for what was possible on skis. A popular event was ski jumping. This is also known as freestyle skiing today. In the past, only the bravest souls pushed the sport’s limits by doing crazy spins and flips that have never been done before. “Ski carnivals were popular in Norwegian communities, featuring cross country and jumping events” (Bergin 23-24). These events were one of the first ski competitions in history. These events began to increase in popularity throughout the world. 

Today, there are many of these competitions that include racing and freestyle that are seen in the Winter X-Games and the Olympic Winter Games. A modern influential figure in the free-ski community is Warren Miller. According to the article “100 most influential skiers of all time” it stated that “Starting in Sun Valley, Idaho, with a borrowed camera 50 years ago, Miller succeeded by doing nothing less than projecting his love for the sport through his lens and go onto the big screen” (Cohen 48-50). His skiing pushes the boundaries for what can be done on skis. In conclusion the start of new skiing technics, shows how skiing progressed over the past century and will still progress into more crazy things to come. 

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Overtime, skiing has changed in many ways throughout history such as the implementation of ski resorts which grew the sport to make skiing more accessible. Also the technological improvements in the ski industry that made skiing easier, which allowed for more progression. Skiing has changed substantially over the past century and his continuing to change. One thing that will never change is the culture of the sport. Skiers around the world enjoy and ski for the same reasons: to get exercise, clear your mind, or to have fun exploring the outdoors with friends. 

Works Cited 

  • Bergin, Ron. 'The National Ski Hall of Fame.' Cross Country Skier, Dec. 2002, p. 30+. Gale In Context: High School, Accessed 6 Oct. 2019. 
  • Birkeland, Peter. “Two Planks and a Passion: The Dramatic History of Skiing.” Arctic, Antarctic & Alpine Research, vol. 49, no.1, Feb. 2017 
  • Cohen, Steve. 'The 100 Most Influential Skiers Of All Time.' Ski, Dec. 1999, p. 99. Gale In Context: Biography, Accessed 6 Oct. 2019. 
  • Page, David. 'The real McCoy: at age 98, the legendary ski pioneer Dave McCoy keeps both eyes on the future.' Ski, Nov. 2013, p. 96+. Gale In Context: Biography, Accessed 6 Oct. 2019. 
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Evolution Of The Winter Sport Of Skiing. (2021, October 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 1, 2023, from
“Evolution Of The Winter Sport Of Skiing.” GradesFixer, 25 Oct. 2021,
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