Science and Skiing

By E.Müller; H. Schwameder et al. | Go to book overview

30

THE TECHNIQUE OF GLIDING IN ALPINE SKI RACING-SAFETY AND PERFORMANCE

P.SPITZENPFEIL, S.BABIEL, M.RIEDER, U.HARTMANN and J.MESTER

Institute for Theory and Practice of Training and Movement, German Sport University Cologne, Germany

Keywords: alpine skiing, equipment, feedback, gliding technique, performance diagnostic, side-camber.


1Introduction

In the course of the last few years, development in both equipment and technique of Alpine ski racing has advanced considerably. Along with this development, the maximum speed of down-hill races have clearly increased.

Meanwhile, maximum speeds in glide passages of downhill races of 110-120 km/h in women's contests and 130-140 km/h in men's are not unusual. Even in turns it is nowadays possible to ski with higher speeds than only a few years ago due to the increased side camber of the modern ski design.

Because of these developments, the risk of falling for the skiers has grown considerably. The increase in dangerous situations not preceded by an obvious skiing mistake is remarkable. In the first place these are situations that may occur by “catching an edge”.

Naturally, the intention of training in ski racing is to increase the performance of the athletes, i.e. to enable them to achieve higher speeds. Apart from the optimization of performance, a maximisation of safety must be guaranteed (at the same time). Thus, for example, the racers must be enabled to avoid the dangerous situations caused by “catching an edge”. To achieve this it is above all necessary to improve the sensation of the peripherial fine motor regulation. Only if the racer is in a position to avoid or to recognize events of incorrect regulation early, will he/she be able to reduce the number of precarious situations and falls.

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