8 Different Types Of Skiing – A Detailed Overview

If you think that skiing only includes a ski and a path where you could surf, then you are probably wrong. There are different types of skiing that people prefer over others, and well, you should also know about them. If you are a beginner or an inexperienced skier, you might have to face difficulties deciding on which type is the most suitable, but that is why I am here to help you out.

Do note that some of the types are suitable for professionals, and some are good for all. So you will have to consider your experience, skills, and learning capabilities too in order to proceed. If you directly rush into the advanced levels, the consequences will be more significant than the thrills you were hoping for. So let’s actually get started and see what the different types of skiing are!

Skiing: The different types that you should definitely know about!

Types Of Skiing

Let’s proceed with the types and see what types of skiing are there and what is so unique in them!

1. Downhill Skiing

This is the type of skiing that is actually the most common in the world. You can even understand what type it is through its name. Downhill skiing simply describes the skiing that takes place on hills. Skiers simply go from top to bottom, and the whole scenario is stated as downhill skiing.

The best thing about downhill skiing is that it can be enjoyed by all types of skiers. It does not precisely matter if you are a beginner or an experienced skier skiing for years; you will be able to enjoy your rides with downhill skiing. Not only that but downhill skiing is also considered the first step towards the skiing world. It is also relatively straightforward to learn, and many beginners don’t face many hurdles getting used to it. As for the techniques and skills required, downhill skiing does not require any specialized skills. Your enthusiasm will be quite enough to get started with it and explore it with ease.

And yes, never ever confuse yourself over what alpine skiing is. Another name for downhill skiing is alpine skiing, and both work the same way. 

2. Cross-country Skiing

If you have some powerful urges to explore different aspects of a place along with skiing, then cross-country skiing is for you. Unlike the skiing resorts, cross-country skiing urges the skiers to travel by themselves, on foot, to reach their destinations. There are no lifts or transport to help them out, and they have to reach the top by themselves. Not only that, but the skiers also have to hike, go through the fields, and whatnot in order to cross the paths. The ski path is usually relatively flat and with fewer bumps in cross-country skiing, which makes the rides easier. 

For cross-country skiing, most skiers use lightweight equipment due to traveling hurdles. Cross-country skiing can also be cheaper than downhill skiing. Skiers don’t have to spend a lot on ski passes, and that is where they can save their money.

3. Backcountry Skiing

Many people confuse themselves with cross-country skiing and backcountry skiing, but both of them are different. If we talk about how backcountry skiing is done, you again have to cover the distance yourself, on foot, to reach the top. There would actually be no one to help you out, and you will still have to reach the top. 

The actual difference between both types comes from the terrain structures. In cross-country skiing, the terrain is usually flat and rolling. As for backcountry skiing, you do not really know what type of terrain there is. You have to ride yourself and expect anything at any time. In simple words, no one can specify what type of terrain backcountry skiing offers. That is one of the reasons why backcountry skiing is also considered dangerous, even for experienced skiers. So if you are willing to take risks, you are most welcome, as it can save you a lot of money. But keep all the safety aspects in your mind and then decide if you are capable of doing it. Otherwise, there are other types available too!

4. Freestyle Skiing

Yes, just as its name suggests, this is the type of skiing that is done only by professional skiers. You might have watched videos on the internet of people doing stunts while skiing. Well, that is what we are talking about right now. And, of course, it is undoubtedly not a very easy task to perform freestyle skiing. You have to jump, maintain your speed, perform flips, take sharp turns, and many other things to enjoy the perfect feel of this type. 

If you think where you can perform freestyle skiing, then the best place is to go to a ski resort. Downhill would be the perfect spot for anyone who is looking forward to performing all these stunts. This is because the downhill offers a plain path and man-made stunt ramps to be used by anyone. If you take a risk to freestyle anywhere else, you might have to face some severe consequences.

5. Telemark Skiing

This type of skiing might seem difficult to most of the skiers out there, but telemark skiing also allows the skiers to move quite freely. The significant difference between telemark skiing and the other types is that your heels do not stick to the skis. Instead, the skiers have to use specialized boots that can be placed on the skis.

This allows the skiers to jump, make their movements sharper, and perform different techniques with ease. But as there is no solid binding between you and your skis, there is a risk of losing control and your skis at the same time.

6. Adaptive Skiing

There are countless people in the world who are not blessed with the things a common man is blessed with. Well, adaptive skiing is specifically for those types of skiers who are disabled in any way. But does that mean they cannot ski? Surely not! 

Well, that is where adaptive skiing comes and offers suitable equipment to those users. That equipment varies from user to user, depending on the type of disability they have. So if you want to enjoy skiing despite the hurdles, you can try adaptive skiing out.

7. Off-piste Skiing

Just like off-road is a thing in the vehicles industry, there is an off-piste in the skiing industry. Off-piste skiing simply defines the skiing that is done on untouched snow. But do you really know what untouched snow means? This means that you do not know how deep the snow is, how hard or soft it is, what is underneath it, and few other aspects. Off-piste skiing is considered very dangerous too, and that is why only professionals go towards this type.

You can try it out if you have got enough experience and skills to handle unknown turf. Other than that, it would not be a good idea to try it.

8. Alpine Touring

Alpine touring can also be considered a type of backcountry skiing, but there is one slight difference that changes the whole scenario. In backcountry skiing, skiers use the skis that allow them to move their legs freely. But in alpine touring, the skiers get 2-in-1 options. They can either free their legs or lock them up as per their preferences. 

As for the location, alpine touring is also usually done in the backcountry, so it is better to consider all the risks. Besides that, alpine touring requires excellent skills due to the switching between the rides and the balance.


There are some types that are suitable for beginners, and there are some types that are only for professionals. Now you will have to check your experience and see how good you are at skiing. As you are talking about yourself and to yourself, so you can be honest there. In the end, you will just have to learn, practice, adapt, and you will be able to try all the types.

Mitchelle Lynn