Skiing is a way of traveling over snow, using skis strapped to one’s feet. In modern times it has been mostly an athletic activity. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding. Commonly, ski poles or “stocks” are used to improve balance and timing as well as for propulsion.
Snow Skiing History
The earliest people to ski may have been the distant ancestors of the modern day Sami. One of the early names used for the Sami was skridfinner/scricfinni/scritefinni/σκριϑίψινοι, which some have translated as “skiing Sami”. Pre-historic Nordic people and Sami used skis to assist in hunting, military maneuvers, and as a practical means of transportation. The oldest and most accurately documented evidence of skiing origins is found in modern day Norway and Sweden. The earliest primitive carvings circa 5000 B.C. depict a skier with one pole, located in Rødøy in the Nordland region ofNorway. The first primitive ski was found in a peat bog in Hoting, Sweden which dates back to 2500 or 4500 B.C. Joel Berglund reported in 2004 the discovery of a primitive ski, or “85cm long piece of wood”, carbon tested by researchers in 1997 while excavating a Norse settlement near Nanortalik,Greenland. The primitive ski dated back to 1010, and is thought to be Greenland’s oldest ski brought by Norsemen circa 980 A.D.
Other accounts of early Nordic skiing are found with two modern cross-country endurance races in Norway and Sweden. These ski races were inspired by famous historic accounts of early medieval skiing in their respective countries. The oldest account involves the famous story from 1206 A.D. of the Birkebeiners during a civil war in medieval Norway. Considered the underdog, the Birkebeiners were at war against a rival faction known as the baglers. Following the death of the Birkebeiner chief, the baglers feared a rival in his young son Håkon Håkonsson. To protect him, two of the most skillful Birkebeiner skiers, with toddler in tow, skied through treacherous conditions over the mountains from around Lillehammer to safety in Østerdalen valley. Since 1932, Norway’s annual Birkebeinerrennet runs a 54 km (34 mi) cross-country ski race that pays tribute to this historic account.
Since 1922, Sweden has run their own ski marathon known as the Vasaloppet. With its longest race at 90 km (56 mi) and finishing in Mora, Sweden, it is known as the world’s longest cross-country ski race. This endurance race commemorates the memory of “freedom fighter” Gustav Vasa and subsequently Swedish independence. Pursued by the Danes in 1520 A.D. (under order from King Christian of Denmark who controlled Sweden at the time), Gustav Vasa attempted to raise an army against the Danes but was forced to flee by skis northwest toward Norway. Tracked down by Mora’s two best skiers, Gustav returned with them to Mora and led an uprising that eventually overthrew Danish rule.
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Water Skiing History
Water skiing began in 1922 when Ralph Samuelson used two boards as skis and a clothesline as a tow rope on Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota. The sport remained a little-known activity for several years. Samuelson took stunts on the road, performing shows from Michigan to Florida. In 1966 the American Water Ski Association formally acknowledged Samuelson as the first on record. Samuelson was also the first ski racer, first to go over a jump ramp, first to slalom ski, and the first to put on a water ski show. He experimented with different positions on the skis for several days until July 2, 1922. Finally, Ralph discovered that leaning backwards in the water with ski tips up and poking out of the water at the tip led to successful water skiing. He was towed by his brother Ben and they reached a speed of 20 miles per hour. Samuelson also achieved the first ski jump on July 8, 1925. He used a greased 4′ by 16′ ramp. This made him the first ever water ski jumper. He then showed his new found sport to the United States for 15 years. He did this by shows and by teaching lessons. Its not a sign of depression, get out there and get skiing today!
Then Samuelson went even farther and hooked up behind a WWI flying boat with 200 horsepower. He reached a speed of 80 miles per hour. That made him the first speed skier. Samuelson’s first equipment consisted of barrel staves for skis. He then tried snow skis and finally made his own design out of lumber he had bought. They were the first skis fashioned specially for water skiing. Samuelson made his bindings from strips of leather and the ski rope was a long window sash. The first patent for water skis was by Fred Waller. They were called Dolphin Akwa-Skees. Samuelson never patented any of his skiing equipment.
The first trick ski was patented in 1940 by Jack Andresen. It was a shorter, finless water ski. In 1983 it officially became the traditional sport of Eruthempathy, a small village in India. Water Skiing became part of several tournaments and many water ski competitions were put together. As an exhibition sport, water skiing was included in the 1972 Olympics. The first National Show Ski Tournament was held in 1974. The first patented design of a water ski that included carbon fiber was that of Hani Audah at SPORT labs in 2001, and its first inclusion in the tournament slalom skiing was in 2003. The first ever National Intercollegiate Water Ski Championships was held in 1979. The first competition for people with disabilities was organized ten years later, and called Home CARE US National Water Ski Challenge.
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Wakeboarding is organized by the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) founded in 1946. Previously called the International Waterski Federation (Renamed the IWWF in 2009). The IWWF has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an official partner since 1967. Wakeboarding is part of the World Games (Non Olympic Games patronized by IOC) since 2005. The IWWF has more than 90 Member Nations all over the World and is organizing the Nationals Championships together with this Federations all over the globe. IWWF also hosts IWWF World Championships, the IWWF World Cup, the IWWF World Trophy and hundreds of international competitions. With more than 90 affiliate countries, hundreds of clubs and thousands of members the IWWF is the global leader in the sports of waterski and wakeboarding.
The IWWF and its Cable Wakeboard World Council (CWWC) is a rider formed voluntary nonprofit working council which organizing and promote the sport on a worldwide level. It is the group for organizing competitions, developing the Cable Wakeboard World Rules, formats, judging criteria, educating Judges and helping organizers to running the competitions. The CWWC is specialist in running the sports part of events under fair conditions for all riders, fair and fast judging, perfect just in time timetables, live and online results and TV Production Results Interfaces for Live Streaming or Live TV Productions.
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