Have you ever tried downhill skiing? If you haven’t, do you ever wonder is downhill skiing fun? Every winter, thousands of people hit the slopes so to speak! They pack up their cars and head out on an adventurous vacation.
People that ski regularly will tell you that skiing is truly the best thing about winter. They love heading out in the cold winter weather and strapping on their skis.
So does this group of people’s opinion answer the question about whether skiing is actually fun or not? Let’s look a bit deeper in who skies and why?
How many people downhill ski?
Before we go any further, let’s look at the statistics of the number of people of that ski every year. Those numbers do give us a glimpse of downhill skiings’ popularity. Numbers truly don’t lie!
In Canada, it is estimated that 2.5 million people ski every year. 14.2% of kids over the age of 12 ski or snowboard in Canada. When polled, almost all said that the main reason they enjoyed skiing was “to do something together as a family.”
Canadian slopes are so popular, that we have approximately 275 ski slopes that see approximately 19 million visits per year. That is a ton of visitors that come here to go downhill skiing.
What about the U.S?
Stats show that in 2018 alone, there were 9.2 million people that went downhill skiing. That works out to about 4% of the U.S. population that are downhill skiers. So really not that high of a number.
Overall Germany has the most skiers with approximately 14.6 million skiers. With their population, that amounts to 20% of their population. Obviously the Germans love their downhill skiing!
The stats also show that the age of people that are skiing is an aging group. Just look at the age group of 55 and over, they account for 11% of all skiers.
One of the stats, that I find the most interesting, is how often skiers actually go skiing per year. The numbers say that 77% of people skied 8 days of less per year. That is pretty surprising to me. So although people like to ski, they don’t do it that often.
What is great about skiing?
If you have ever gone downhill skiing, then you know that it is not for everyone. But those that love to ski, really do love it.
When we look at some positive things that skiing can offer, besides fun of course, the number #1 thing it provides is EXERCISE!!
Skiing is considered a sport, so anytime you take part in a sport, you will get the reward of amazing exercise.
Besides overall exercise, there are some other pretty amazing positives to going skiing. Things like how:
- It boosts your mood which is beneficial to your mental health
- Increases cardiovascular endurance due to its aerobic nature helping burn calories and lose weight
- Strengthens your bones and joints from the movement or tension created while skiing
- Builds up your lower body muscles
- Dramatically increases your balance and core strength
- Promotes a deep sleep after, simply because it is an entire workout for your body
- Improves your flexibility
- Promotes healthy eating by requiring you to fuel up before a day on the slopes and refueling at lunch to continue the day
When I think of downhill skiing, I think of a cool crisp winter day out in nature. There aren’t very many activities that get us exploring the great outdoors and moving in the winter months. Even if it’s snowing or extra cold, being able to bundle up and head outside to go skiing is amazing.
Along with the physical benefits, it gives our body, skiing is a wonderful way to mentally challenge ourselves. There is just something so raw about standing at the top of a mountain and thinking, wow I am about to ski down that. No matter how many moguls or how steep the run is, getting to the bottom, is a huge sense of accomplishment. I think in many ways skiing offers us a glimpse into ourselves to see what are we really capable of overcoming.
Skiing with friends and family is a great way to socialize and have some fun. How can all of these positives benefits, not be fun!
Like every physical activity that we do, there are always downfalls to doing them. Skiing of course is no exception. Whether you are a first time skier or an avid one, there are things that aren’t so much fun about hitting the slopes.
If we look at what some of those things are, we come up with a list that looks like this:
- It is only a seasonal activity
- Walking and wearing the ski boots
- Can be expensive
- Requires some athletic ability
- The risk of a potential injury from falling or crashing
- If you haven’t skied in a while, your body is going to be stiff and very sore
- You usually have to travel quite far to get to the mountains
- There is a risk of bad weather
- Nature can be dangerous from things like avalanches and of course those pesky trees that can get in the way
Anyone that has gone skiing regularly has likely seen or encountered some things on this list. Sadly things can even go as far as causing death. Accidents happen, especially when we are speeding down a mountain in the middle of winter. The risk of course if very low of anything major happening to someone, but it is still possible.
My ski story
I still remember the very first time that I went downhill skiing. I was maybe 10 or 11 years old. My family decided to take a trip to Fernie B.C. to try downhill skiing. We were lucky enough to have family that lived there, that we absolutely loved spending time with. Not only did we get to try something new, but we also got a wonderful chance to see what it was really like to live near the mountains of beautiful British Columbia.
What was so great about going to Fernie, was that my auntie Pat actually worked at the ski hill, so we were truly welcomed to the mountain as special guests of hers. From the beauty of the mountain to the meals in the chalet and just hanging for that week made us feel like we were part of the downhill ski family. Even though it was only a week, we all jumped in with both feet and embraced the whole experience.
As with many young skiers, my parents opted to sign me and my siblings up for ski lessons. This was the best way for us to learn the proper skills and techniques of downhill skiing. It was so much fun. After lessons, we then took what we learned every day in class and put it to use on our own. I think that was one of the reasons that we instantly fell in love with skiing. Once you have the skills and no how to do it properly, that makes skiing even more fun.
I will say though, that as a young skiier, tackling things like the Bear tee bar and was a challenge. After a few attempts to stay on the lift, my sister and I were able to master it. Just one more thing that skiing taught us, TOO NEVER GIVE UP!
One year, we were even lucky enough to bring a friend of mine and my sisters with us for the week. That was just awesome! With Pam and my sister, the 3 of us had a super time together. I still remember how much fun we had that week. Those memories are always something I remember when I think about going skiing.
After that first trip skiing, we proceeded to come back again for a week at Easter every year for a few years. Up until one trip when on the first day out, my mom broke her ankle. That of course was not a great start to the trip. Luckily enough, we were still able to ski the rest of the week.
Once I got older and was able to go without my parents, I managed to head out skiing with friends.
I have skied at locations like: Lake Louise in Banff, Sunshine in Banff, Mount Norquay in Banff, and Whitefish in Montana. All of these locations, are great skiing resorts and wonderful places to ski.
I even managed to try snowboarding one day and wow that was fun, but super hard. I think I fell down 100 times that day. For me skiing, was were my passion was, but trying snowboarding was still something that I can say I tried.
Downhill Ski finale
At the beginning of this post, I asked the question is downhill skiing fun? Like anything that is a physical activity, there are always varying opinions about it.
For me, I 100% believe that downhill skiing is fun. It is one of those activities that is an amazing way to get some exercise, and hang out with friends and family. There are not many activities first off that you can even do in a group. Even though you don’t all ski down the hill together, you still are meeting up with each other in the chalet for lunch, stopping for a hot chocolate and just socializing together. Sometimes even lucky enough to hit the hot tub after a hard day of skiing.
Now I know skiing isn’t for everyone, but if you are looking for a new challenge and the ability to do something as a group, then skiing is the answer. Let’s be honest, where else do you get a chance to ride in a gondola, or ride up a chair lift to the top of a mountain. My answer is NOWHERE ELSE!
I hope that you have enjoyed reading my post about downhill skiing. I would love to hear your thoughts on skiing and if you have ever tried it.