As temperatures drop, the ski season heats up — and so too does manufacturing of skis, poles, and boots.
The first snowfall of the year means sledding down favorite neighborhood hills, cozying up by a fire, and decking the halls for the holiday season. But for fans of winter sports, it means just one thing: skiing.
Archeologists date the first skis back to 6,000 B.C., when gliding across snowy surfaces on wooden planks was simply a more convenient means of transportation during frigid winters. The pastime first appeared in the US in the mid-eighteenth century, primarily carried over from Europe by immigrants. With the rise of luxury ski lodges in the Northeast and West after World War II, consumers in the US began to flock to the sport en masse. Today, more than 50 million skiers (and snowboarders) visit US ski resorts each season.
From a necessary mode of transportation in icy climates to a beloved pastime throughout the world, skiing has evolved dramatically over the centuries. With so many skiers taking to the slopes every winter, how do ski manufacturers keep up with demand for the latest and most innovative ski designs each season?