Downhill skiing

Discover downhill skiing

Looking to discover a sport that is uniquely thrilling? Take a breath of fresh air!

Downhill skiing is the ultimate sport for you.  

Downhill skiing is for youngsters, grown-ups and thrill-seekers or even those who like to admire the beauty of the winter scenery. It is an opportunity to enjoy the pure mountain air with the family or a group of friends and, more particularly, to have fun on safe marked pistes.

What is downhill skiing?

A little bit of history~ 

The first ski resorts emerged in France about a hundred years ago.

Initially practised by a closed circle of professional enthusiasts, downhill skiing then became popularised, becoming THE ultimate winter sport.


Where do you do it ?~ 

As its name suggests, downhill skiing is only practiced ongroomed slopes, offered by the various ski areas.It is therefore the job of the ski resorts to prepare, maintain and ensure the security of the slopes in winter. You can reach them using the lifts, i.e. cable cars, gondolas, chair lifts and ski lifts.

Off-piste, the snow is in its natural condition. Skiing on this type of snow is referred to as All Mountain or Freeride skiing.

In a ski resort, each piste is colour coded according to its level of difficulty:~The green piste is considered as the easiest.They are suited to people who are learning how to ski. Then comes the blue piste, which has an easy to medium difficulty and is suitable for beginner skiers. Red pistes are for intermediate skiers, with a gradient of between 30 and 40%. Finally, the black piste, which is the most difficult, is for advanced skiers, who enjoy a steep slope to gain speed. This is referred to as carving, which means that the ski edges are used to carve out great-looking turns.

downhill skiing

The rules of downhill skiing

When skiing for the first time, it is advisable to take a lesson with a ski instructor. It will help you to adopt the right techniques so that you can start on the right basis.

At the beginning, you will ski using thethe snowplough technique on green/blue slopes. You will learn to control your speed, balance and direction. Then, you will do a series of skidded turns followed by parallel turns . Once you feel comfortable on the red slopes, you can move to the steeper ones and try to practise carving to discover new gliding sensations.

The ski slopes form a huge playground, where there are a large number of skiers.It is therefore important to be vigilant and pay careful attention to what is going on around you. There is a code of conduct on the slopes that must be followed to ensure you have a trouble-free day of skiing.

Downhill skiing – what are the benefits?

Downhill skiing combines sport with pleasure. 

It offers you a sense of freedom that is associated with the surroundings around you.. Given that it exercises all the muscles (abs, arms, calves, buttocks, shoulders, legs, etc.), piste skiing is a complete sport. It also helps to improve your balance, coordination and agility.

Given that the sun's rays are stronger at altitude, a piste skiing session will increase your level of vitamin D, which will give your immune system a boost. (As long as you protect your face with sunscreen!)

Doing a sports activity at altitude also improves blood circulation by speeding up the heart rate.Muscles develop and calories burn faster.

Finally, downhill skiing is a sport that's shared.Whether you are with friends or family, you can enjoy some particularly special times between skiing sessions to get together and have a great time.

Downhill skiing

Piste skiing – is it for you?

If you want to have fun with family or friends in an idyllic setting, this really enjoyable sport is made for you!

There are slopes for every level of ability and all tastes.

There are no restrictions to piste skiing and a medical certificate is only required if you want to pursue it at a competitive level. Any healthy person who has no underlying health issues can therefore enjoy the ski slopes without a problem.

If you are planning to practise the sport at an altitude of more than 2500m, it is advisable to consult your GP.

The equipment needed for practicing downhill skiing

Downhill skiing requires special equipment that is designed for the discipline.

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Ski boots

Ski boots

Ski boots can be more or less rigid depending on your skiing level.The degree of stiffness of the boot is measured using an index called Flex. A higher Flex means that the boot is more rigid, giving the advanced skier more precise control.

For beginners, it is advisable to opt for more flexible boots which are more forgiving of errors in positioning.


The skis

Downhill skis are short and relatively narrow in order to ensure good edge grip on hard snow and provide good reactiviy:perfect for controlling your speed and direction!


The poles

Downhill ski poles are different in that they have small baskets, which make them light and aerodynamic for fast accelerations.


Helmets and goggles

Skiing is not without risk and an accident on the slopes can happen to anyone.It is therefore strongly advisable to wear a helmet. And if you are wearing a helmet, you need goggles! They are strongly recommended and offer effective protection from the cold,wind and sun, while improving your vision.



A downhill skier will opt for a pair of gloves rather than a pair of mittens. Indeed, gloves are more practical for carrying your skis when you go to the ski lifts, for getting the wrist straps on and holding your poles properly.


Downhill ski jackets and pants

The ideal outfit for the expert alpine skier is worn close to the body to promote aerodynamics. A stretch breathable component will provide comfort and freedom of movement.

So, are you ready to put on your skis and make the most of the pure mountain air?



Wedze communication team, made up of skiing enthusiasts 

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