Difference between Ice Skating and Skiing

Key difference: The term ice skating means sliding on an ice surface by using ice skates. Skiing is an international sport and a famous pastime, which entails attaching a pair of skis to one’s feet, and passing through snow.

Ice skating, as suggested by its name, means to move around on an ice surface using ice skates. These skates come specially equipped with blades that enable the skaters to grip the surface better and propel themselves forward. Ice skating is usually performed on frozen rivers, lakes, ponds or other water bodies. These are the naturally available venues for ice skating. Whereas, there are also artificial ice turfs established specifically for the purpose of ice skating. The venues of these kinds may be constructed as an indoor or an outdoor stadium as well.

The principle of ice skating is to put on the skates and skate around on the ice turf. Using this principle, many ice surface games, or winter sports have originated. The likes of ice hockey, bandy, short track, figure skating, ringette, etc. are the prime examples of this fact. These games are also an integral part of the Winter Olympic Games, which is held at an interval of every two years from the Summer Olympic Games. Notably, ice skating cannot be typecast as merely a sport, or a winter sport. Ice skating is widely engaged as a recreational activity, a hobby, an exercise, or even a mode of transport on thick and icy terrains.

The term skiing is derived from the Old Norse language of Norway. The root word of this term is the word ‘ski’, which means a split piece of wood in Old Norse. As one can learn from its brief history, skiing means to travel on snowy surfaces, by attaching skis to one’s feet. The skis are attached to the skier by the means of plate bindings. Skiing features as a prominent winter sport in the Winter Olympic Games, organized by the IOC (International Olympic Federation), and also as a single major event, in the competitions organized by its regulatory body, FIS (International Ski Federation).

Contrary to what many people believe, skiing didn’t evolve as a sport right from the beginning. In fact, up until 1860, skiing was used for a plethora of military purposes. It was also used as the most feasible mode of transport for man in areas that were difficult to traverse due to dense snow fall. It was only after 1860 that skiing gained status as a sporting activity and a recreational activity. In this day and age, skiing is followed as a highly competitive sport, a joyful leisure activity or pastime, sometimes a mode of traveling, or even as exercise.

Comparison between Ice Skating and Skiing:

 

Ice Skating

Skiing

Meaning

The term ice skating means sliding on an ice surface, by using ice skates.

Skiing is an international sport and a famous pastime, which entails attaching a pair of skis to one’s feet, and passing through snow.

Instrument used

Ice skates

Skis

Terrain

Natural and artificial ice turfs

Snow hills, mountains, slopes

Regulative authority

ISU (International Skating Union)

FIS (International Ski Federation)

Disciplines

Figure skating, short track, etc.

Alpine, Nordic, freestyle, etc.

Image Courtesy: infokids.gr, suntan.com

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