Skiing has a history of almost five millennia. Although modern skiing has evolved from beginnings in Scandinavia, it may have been practiced more than 100 paintings ago in what is now China, according to an interpretation of ancient paintings. However, this continues to be debated. The word “ski” is one of a handful of words that Norway has exported to the international community. It comes from the Old Norse word “skíð” which means “split piece of wood or firewood”.
Asymmetrical skis were used in northern Finland and Sweden until at least the late 19th century. On one foot, the skier wore a long straight non-arching ski for sliding, and a shorter ski was worn on the other foot for kicking. The underside of the short ski was either plain or covered with animal skin to aid this use, while the long ski supporting the weight of the skier was treated with animal fat in a similar manner to modern ski waxing.