Friday, February 1, 2008

The Sport Of Ski Jumping

Many sports enthusiasts take skiing to the next level by engaging in ski jumping. This is a fun and adventurous type of winter sport that people engage in for fun or to be part of various competitions. They are judged on the length of their jumps and they earn points for their performance. Both men and women participate in ski jumping competitions held at various ski resorts and in the Winter Olympic Games.

Each participant can earn up to 20 points for their jump, with the points totaled by a panel of five judges. They areas of their individual style that are judged include how steady the skis remain while they are in the air, the amount of balance that the participant has throughout the event, and the manner in which they land.

The person is bend almost all the way forward during the jump, almost parallel to their skis. This body angle is what gives them the dynamics to be able to jump long distances. No ski poles are used for ski jumping so the arms are tucked tightly at the sides of the body to help with the distance factor. If you aren’t sure how to use your body for a quality landing you can imagine the tumble you are going to take from this position.

The distance that a person can ski jump depends on the type of equipment they have. You need different boots and skis than what you use for regular skiing. In practice, the skier only jumps short distances to begin with and then eventually works up to the longer distances. In Olympic competitions the ramp that the ski jumpers go down is 76 feet and they generally launch at just over 30 miles per hour. Their overall jump distance is between 270 feet and 360 feet. Of course those that engage in ski jumping for fun generally won’t come close to that distance, but this is still a fun sport that allows you to glide through the air.

Most ski resorts that offer ski jumping don’t have ramps that go half this distance in order to offer a safe place for people to practice. If you want to attempt the more daring distances for ski jumping you will likely have to get with a personal trainer. It is important to wear the proper safety equipment regardless of the length of the ramp you are using for ski jumping. There is too high of a risk not to use the necessary safety equipment.

To prevent head injuries, a quality helmet is essential. It needs to strap underneath the chin and have a soft strap with padding for the chin area. A quality ski jumping suit is also required to help with wind resistance and to keep the body warm. It is important to wear the right style of boots and skis for this type of winter sport as well. The skis are much wider and longer than those used for regular skiing.

Of all the different types of skiing you can try, ski jumping is one of the most difficult to master. Learning to rely on your body for the majority of the movements is very difficult and requires immense concentration as well as body strength. If you are very flexible and enjoy skiing though this can offer a very good challenge. Stay safe and have fun though so that you can enjoy your adventures while ski jumping.

1 comment:

Data Babble said...

Great info! Do you compete in winter sports?