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Ski Jumping 101

Dec 07, 2007

This winter action sport is made for only the most extreme and insane athletes! We've got the goods on ski jumping!

Ski Jumping - The Goods

Ski jumping is one of the most popular Winter Olympics events. In this sport, skiers race down a steep, man-made takeoff ramp. The goal is to get the right distance on a jump. Ski jumpers are also judged on style of their takeoff, form in the air and their landing. Aside from being a winter sport, ski jumping is also done in the summer time - usually for pro jumpers to keep their skills sharp in the off season. Instead of snow on the ramp there is porcelain and there is plastic on the hill where they land.

Ski Jumping - Rules of Competition

In order to receive the most points, jumpers must land on the K-line - which is set at either 90 or 120 meters. They lose points if they go past or short of this line. Most major individual competitions are made up of two rounds. The first round consists of around 50 jumpers, who get two jumps each. The overall scores are made up of the total score of those two jumps. The top 30 advance to the finals where they get two more jumps. Team competitions usually make up four to a team.

Ski Jumping - Equipment

Ski Jumpers use a wider and longer ski than normal skiers. Skis with a maximum length of 146 percent of the skier's total height are allowed to be used in competition. A ski jumper must also have a special body suit, which is also heavily regulated. For example, all portions of the ski jumping suit must be made of the same material. The boots must be firm but flexible at the same time. They are designed to allow the skier to lean forward during flight. Other equipment a jumper needs is a special helmet, goggles and boots.

Ski Jumping - Did U Know

  • Ski Jumping originated in Norway in the 1860's. Holmenkollen, Norway is considered the Mecca of ski jumping.
  • Most of the best ski jumpers come from Central Europe, Scandinavia or Japan.
  • Ski jumping was part of the first Winter Olympic Games held in Chamonix Mont-Blanc in 1924.
  • In the mid 1950's, Swiss jumper Andreas Daescher developed a mid-air technique that is still used today. The technique is holding your arms backwards while you lean forward while in the skies.

Ski Jumping - Getting Involved

Ski Jumping is a sport that is not as accessible as other sports. For starters, you must be located by ski resorts that have such facilities. Also equipment is expensive and so are lessons. But there are few sports that offer the same excitement and rush as ski jumping can. Click here for a list of some of the ski jumping clubs in the U.S.

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