Alpine skiing loses out to cross-country

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As Norway’s ski season melts away, new figures confirm what many have suspected for months: Norwegians prefer cross-country skiing to alpine (slalom or downhill) skiing, and are more active on the trails than ever before.

Norwegians have been doing more cross-country skiing than ever before. PHOTO: Views and News

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reports that Norwegians bought nearly a half-million pairs of cross-country (langrenn) skis this past season, up from around 380,000 the year before, according to statistics from the trade organization Sportsbransjen AS. While cross-country ski sales were brisk, sales of alpine skis were flat, at around 115,000 pairs.

“We see a little dip in alpine sales,” Trond E Hansen of Sportsbransjen told DN. “It’s a little early to sum up the season and we’re not seeing a dramatic decline. But there is a clear tendency towards lower sales of alpine skis.”

Sales of lift tickets at Norwegian alpine resorts also declined, according to the resorts’ national trade association Alpinanleggenes Landsforening. Some families think it’s getting too expensive to spend a day on the slalom slopes.

“We’re a family of five, and for us it costs around NOK 1,600 (USD 300) for a day on the slopes, and that’s just for the lift ticket,” skier Johan Sveen told DN. Food, drink and transportation come in addition, whereas cross-country skiing simply involves putting on skis and hitting free, prepared trails close to home.

The recent Nordic skiing world championships in Oslo (Ski-VM) also are believed to have boosted Norwegians’ already-high interest in cross-country skiing. Skiing associations all over the country have seen healthy increases in membership.

Views and News staff