The first skiing thought to be for recreation was about a thousand years ago in Iceland. A painting was discovered and dated back to around 1000 A.D.. The painting depicts a deer of some sort pulling a sleigh full of people with what appears to be four men on skis following the sleigh. It is astounding to me that with out the utilization of most metals and plastics, these people were able to craft skis that worked.
Skiing did not evolve too much until the last half of the 19th century in Norway. The Norwegians had created the first organized skiing competitions. With the desire to increase speed, agility, and overall skill, they Norwegians had invented the first form of telemarketing skis (Skis that did not lock in the heel of your foot). These competitions sparked a vast interest in the world over this new phenomenon, most people had never seen skis before. Suddenly people were from around the world were flocking to Norway and other snow covered mountains to try this new fad out for themselves. Everyone knows, where there is supply there is demand, and in 1886 the first Ski Factory was constructed in Norway.
At the turn of the century, skiing had evolved into a world known sport and recreational activity, and in 1924 skiing became a part of the winter Olympics. After skiing became a part of the Olympics, everything else is history. Over the past seventy five years, people have been improving and creating new, better types of skis. Today skiing is known around the world as one of the most famous winter sports.