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Kunama 1960

Literary Contributions / The Art of Ski-ing

One bright sunny day, the snow lay deep on the hills around Cabramurra, and I was in high spirits because of this. I was about to try my hand at ski-ing for the fine time. I donned my ski-gear and boots and skis and set off (to I thought) for the ski-run.

Much to my dismay I found that the moment I stood on my skis, I sat down again. This grew frustrating, as I thought that ski-ing looked easy, so, after much perseverence and many a wet pair of pants I mastered the art of standing on skis and running a few feet at a slow pace (and of course on reasonably level ground) and stop.

Still more and more practise was needed before I could snowplough (a form of turning in which the skis are spread apart in a V. nearly touching in the front; and the weight is shifted from foot to foot in accordance with the direction of the turn), this being only an early achievement in ski-ing.

Next I learnt the stem-christiana (which is more or less the same as the snow-plough only the leg is brought out of the V and back parallel to the other ski). My next experience was racing. This is done in two events, the downhill and the slalom. The former is a race in which gates (two flags which are placed eight metres apart) are spread out down the slope, and the person who can dock the fastest time without being disqualified (this is when a person straddles a flag or mines a gate) wins. The slalom is of the same principle. the only variation being that the gates are three metres apart and there are more gates. The rules about disqualifications are the same as the downhill.

The next step is to learn the full Christiana (which is a parallel turn where the skier only shifts his weight in accordance to the direction of the turn) This turn helps to speed up one's runs in the slalom and the downhill. Also there is the jump turn (which is similar to the Christiana only the skier jumps.

These new two events, the slalom and the downhill are called Alpine events; and the other two events langlauf (which is a cross country ram on snow), and the jumping (ski jumping is only for very good skiers who have grown up to learn to jump), are called the Nordic events.

Ski-ing is a great sport and I would advise any ablebodied person who is near the snow to take it up.

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