I cringe at that question. It’s not that I don’t like cross-country skiing or skiing down hills, it’s just that in its oversimplicity, this question dismisses a broad range of exciting and worthwhile ski activities. There is more to the ski world than just cross-country and downhill. In fact today, hybridism has blurred the inter-genre spectrum and created so many new possibilities that it is a shame to limit ourselves only to the two most widespread style.
For the casual skier who wants to try something new, this can be confusing. It seems that the lines have all been blurred. Take the skis themselves. There once used to be virtually only two types of skis. Thin straight ones and thick straight ones. Both really long. Walk into to a ski shop today and you might find a near-perfect continuum of sizes and shapes running the entire geometric gamut with no distinctions delimiting where one ski style ends and another begins.
All this can make stepping out of the comfort zone of the familiar ski disciplines can be difficult if you are not familiar with the various styles and corresponding equipment. To help we classified the various styles of skiing into individual categories and discuss in this article their respective gear. If you want to diversify and try a new style but don’t know how, take this as a starting point. If you haven’t considered trying some new ski styles, think about it now. Trust me, it’s worth it.