The name thing

Earlier this year, Alex Matthews (I think) posted an article on Fasterskier (which I can’t find, but you can try here) in which she made a brilliant point: our sport needs a new name. A new image.

Mmm. Yes. Cross-Nordic-skiing. (main ski museum photo)
Mmm. Yes. Cross-Nordic-skiing. (main ski museum photo)

Every time someone asks me what sport I do, I identify as a skier. Inevitably, whomever I’m speaking with will flip through their index of small talk points, stop midway through the “S”s and ask me what my favorite mountain is. Do I do GS or Slalom? Downhill? At this point, I then have to make a choice: do I explain that I am a cross-country skier? or a Nordic skier?

As Alex pointed out, there are few things more dweeby than a hyphenated sports name (the runners figured that one out early and prefer XC). But, on the other hand, nothing that sounds more obscurely elitist than capital “N” Nordic skiing. I can already see the person in front of me flipping through his index, landing at onesie suits and wooden skis for cross-country or fur laden Scandinavians for Nordic. Usually, in the name of efficiency, I’ll say that my favorite mountain is Alta, and move along.

We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s time for change. Below is my brainstorm to rename the sport, based on other popular sports names, feel free to add.

Figure skiing: I mean, we all do have pretty nice bodies. And I wouldn’t mind more glitter.

UPhill skiing: “Actually, sir, I’m an uphill skier.”

Enduro-ski: I know, I know, there’s still a hyphen. But it’s sounds like endurance hunting so I like it.

Skinny carbon fiber skiing: Literal, like basketball. Doesn’t really solve the polysyllabic problem though.

Full body skiing: Also literal, like football.

Derby skiing: For all of those sprinters out there.

NO EDGES!! Abrupt, but it gets the point across.

Special Cross: This is how Nordic Combiners refer to skiers who only do cross country. I feel like I could say it wearing a slumpy hat. Special cross, breh.

Mixed Skier Arts: I’m a green belt in MSA.

Snow polo: We ride things and carry club-like equipment. Close enough.

Aerobic skiing: Because VO2Max

XCSki: Short…rhymes…but the runners beat us to it. Sorry, guys.

That’s all I got for now. Maybe we’ll stick to tradition just a little longer.


2 thoughts on “The name thing

  1. skinny skiing (take out “carbon fiber”). reflects the essential equipment/technology of the sport; immediately differentiates from downhill/alpine; reflects the ideal and typical physique of the participant.

  2. YES! I always have this problem! I feel too snooty when I say Nordic, so I usually say cross-country skiing. Whenever I say Nordic I always get the “is that like downhill?” question.

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