Why ski jumpers maintain their skis in a V form


If you happen to take a look at photographs of ski jumpers as we speak and ski jumpers 50 years in the past, you’ll discover one large distinction.

Two skiers showing different styles of holding their skis. On the left, in black and white, a skier with the number 50 holds their skis parallel to one another. On the right, in full color, a skier holds their skis in a V-shape with the point at the heel.

Getty Photographs/Composite by Edward Vega

Prior to now, athletes held their skis tight beneath their our bodies in a parallel place. Maintaining the physique in a straight line like this was thought-about elegant and interesting. However extra importantly, it was the place they used to collect as a lot distance as attainable. This place made athletes skinny and small, which allowed them to maneuver ahead by way of the air rapidly. Nevertheless, the parallel place didn’t do a lot to assist them struggle gravity.

Within the Nineteen Eighties, ski jumper Jan Boklov examined out a special ski place — one which resembled a V. He seen that the V form allowed him to fly farther.

That’s as a result of, not like the parallel place, the V place permits air to hit athletes’ our bodies straight. As an alternative of solely reducing by way of the air rapidly, they’re utilizing their physique to catch air like a wing. This impact lifts athletes up, permitting them to remain airborne longer — and go farther. This small change revolutionized the game, and since then, gold-medal winners have used the V model to make it to the rostrum.

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