Skiing Past Vs Present


Source: "Lin Skiing" by Mr Moss

Skiers enjoying a ride in Sainte Foy.

By: Ella Wallinger, Journalist

There are lots of skis on the market today, with so many different brands, styles, shapes, sizes, and colors it is hard to find the perfect ski. The engineering of a ski is particular to each person.

Whether a person skis downhill, snow board, monoboard, trick skis, or any others their ride has been fitted to the individual using them. Skis are customized by proportioning the skis to the individual’s height, length, style, and experience. This allows for the best experience.

However, skiing has evolved over the years. Skiing started long before it was marketed to the public where people could buy it  from a manufacturer.
Skiing has changed tremendously through the years even comparing skis from today vs. the 80s there is a visible change in the industry. Ski styles, shapes, and even the outfit designs have been altered.

Rough History

Skiing has been around for hundreds of years. Although no one is sure exactly when the first idea of skiing came about, experts estimate it to be between 8000 and 7000 BCE. They were used for hunting, transportation, and possibly fighting. There have been discoveries of Russian skis that could have been dated back to 700 BCE. There have been fragments of skis found in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and China. There have been written records of skiing from the Han Dynasty. Skiing was used throughout colder climates as a way of transportation. They have been used through centuries evolving based on the purpose and place of origin. Skis were used during Roman times for hunting while Vikings used skis for hunting and travels. Skis have been used for wars throughout the years mostly used in Scandinavian countries in combat.
Today, skis are mostly used for sports and recreational purposes. There are biathlons that include skiing and target shooting, skiing competitions, and just for plain fun. Skiing for competition is seen in the Winter Olympics and in ski teams for adults and children. The industry is huge and has had many advancements from the simple designs of skis from 8000 BCE.

Engineering the Perfect Ski Over Time

Skiing in general has changed as a sport, today so much has been adjusted and changed. For starters the design of a ski. Over time, there have been more styles and technology made. The design of the 80s ski was flatter, straighter, and longer. Overtime, the material progressively shaped from wood to more plastic and fiberglass. The shaped ski only began to change the industry around 1993. In modern days there are deeper side cuts, and different shapes based on the purpose of the ski.
Ski lifts have also improved, they are larger, faster, and safer for people to ride on.

The ski outfits have changed both visually and structurally. In the 80s ski fashion consisted of bright onesie suits, puffy jackets, and snow pants that were either thin and cold or big and bulky. The design now visually is very diverse and a consumer can find almost any design on the market. People can even design their own jacket or pants! There is so much more on the market now and the technology is much more advanced and comfortable for skiers and snowboarders.
The introduction of snowboarding is also a recent change. In the 80s the idea of snowboarding was not as popular as it was now. It has much less history being that it was 1965 when the snowboard was invented. Although it was gaining popularity in the 80s it really wasn’t that commonly seen until the 90s. Snowboarding became a Winter Olympic sport in 1998. In modern days snowboarding is much more common.

Cost of a New Set

In the 80s a regular pair of skis could cost one from 200 to 300 dollars. With the simpler, more fragile design, the cost was cheaper. The popularity in skiing was also much less and not as globally spread as it is today.

A brand new set of modern day skis may cost anywhere from four hundred dollars to some of the most expensive skis on the market which cost nearly seven thousand dollars. The average cost for a pair of skis however, is around six hundred dollars to one thousand dollars. The price will vary from the age of the skier, childrens skis are obviously less expensive than the average price for an adult set. It will also depend on the size of the ski, a ski will be less expensive for someone who is 5’4 rather than a person who is 6’3. It will also depend on the skier’s style of skiing, some styles may cost more than others. It mostly depends on how much one is willing to spend on a new set.

It also takes money to maintain a good set of skis, there must be a proper place to store them, wax them, sharpen edges, and smooth out blurs. As in most cases the higher the price the higher the quality, it takes a lot to design and build a set of skis. As in most cases the higher the price the higher the quality, it takes a lot to design and build a set of skis.


A Brief History Of Skiing- How Did We Get Where We Are Today?


Engineering a Smooth Ride: Creating the Perfect Ski Through Shaping and Vibration Damping