What Are the Three Main Types of Skiing?

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types of skiing

If you’re new to skiing or already an expert, keeping track of all the different types of skiing can be difficult. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you understand what each class is about and the equipment needed for each discipline.


Downhill skiing is one of the oldest and most popular types of alpine skiing. It’s considered the supreme speed discipline in alpine skiing, with top speeds reaching 130 km/h (80 mph).

Downhill courses are supposed to challenge skiers’ technique, courage, speed, and stamina. They feature icy surfaces, technically demanding curves, and highly steep sections.

Slalom is a technical event that requires navigating through a series of twists and turns. Racers use strength and speed to stay in place on the track while making sure to keep their skis close together as they enter and exit gates.

Giant slalom is longer than a slalom course, and the gates are not as closely spaced together as in slalom races.

Super G is a race that mixes the speed of a downhill and the precise turns of giant slalom. The gates are spaced out for more speed, and the course winding is more pronounced than in a downhill course.


Nordic skiing is a style of skiing that was developed thousands of years ago as a way to travel long distances through snowy landscapes. It’s named after the Nordic region (Norway, Finland, and Sweden), where it originated.

The Nordic region is known for its harsh winters, and people find it challenging to navigate through snowy landscapes without a way of traveling safely. This led to the development of skis, which are long wooden boards attached to your feet.

Cross-country skiing is probably the most accessible form of Nordic skiing to get involved with, and it’s suitable for a wide range of skill levels. It’s often on groomed tracks, so you don’t need to worry about getting stuck or falling, and it’s a great introduction to the sport for beginners.

Telemark skiing is also a popular type of Nordic skiing. Telemark skis have a permanent free heel, meaning you can keep your heel unattached as you move uphill and lock it in place when you go downhill. While it’s a bit more complex than alpine skiing, it can be an enjoyable challenge for experienced skiers who want to try something new.


Freestyle skiing is a winter sport in which skiers compete in aerials, moguls, half-pipe, and slopestyle events as part of the Olympics. This type of skiing has many names, including freeskiing, jibbing, and acro skiing.

The athletes perform gravity-defying flips and twists while skiing down a course with rails and boxes. This is considered one of the most exciting types of skiing.

While freestyle skiing is a relatively unstructured discipline, it is highly competitive and requires high physical fitness and strength. Athletes can train for this skiing style on various equipment, such as trampolines and diving boards.

Athletes can also practice their skills on summer training sites, using an artificial snow surface to simulate the jumps and landings of freestyle skiing. This allows them to train intensively, with a reduced risk of injury.


Telemark skiing is a type of skiing that combines Alpine and Nordic skiing techniques. It is named after the Telemark region of Norway, where it originated.

Telemarking is a great way to challenge your skiing without spending time or money on new gear each winter. It also provides an opportunity to tackle challenging slopes that you might not otherwise be able to reach.

The main difference between telemark and other types of skiing is that Telemark skiers slide one ski in front of the other rather than remain parallel. This creates a lunge-like position that allows you to lead change while keeping your balance.

Learning how to telemark can be scary at first, but once you get the hang of it, it can really amaze and impress. It also brings with it a lot of satisfaction that you have conquered something new and learned to do it your own way.