Say skiing and you immediately think of the colder months, snow-covered slopes, log cabins and mountains. But what if this sport wasn’t exclusively confined to winter? After all, a passion for skiing doesn’t wane even in the summer! Well in fact there’s also grass skiing, a sport practised on fields with a gradient of around 20%.
If you’re still unfamiliar with grass skiing, here are three interesting facts that will help raise your knowledge.
- It was invented in the last century. If anyone imagines that this sport is the result of an Internet or social media fad they should think again: grass skiing originated in Germany in the middle of the last century. Initially, however, it was not accorded the dignity of a real sport, being simply practised as a way of preparing for traditional on-piste skiing. Grass skiing arrived in Italy around the beginning of the 1970s.
- Clothing and equipment. As regards clothing, it’s a good idea in grass skiing to wear fully-covering garments that nonetheless allow a certain fluidity of movement. Obviously, in view of the season, this clothing is much lighter than traditional ski gear. The equipment is very similar to that of winter skiing: helmet, boots, poles, gloves, back protector, elbow and knee pads. The big difference between the two sports is in the skis. On grass, equipment similar to small caterpillar tracks used to slide downhill, with a fixed part that is attached to the boot.
- World championships. Grass skiing is a sport recognised by the Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI). At the competitive level there are two world championships: one for juniors, which takes place every year, and one for adults, held every two years.
Now you’ve read this introductory teaser, all you have to do is give it a go!