How freestyle skiers perform their amazing tricks – the mechanics of Olympic Sports

(ORDO NEWS) — We all watch with bated breath the freestyle skiers who perform the most difficult tricks in the air. But how do they do it?

The jumps of freestyle skiers are mesmerizing!

Freestyle is a type of skiing that has brought together several extremely spectacular ski disciplines:

– ski acrobatics (performance by athletes on skis of complex acrobatic jumps from a special springboard);

– mogul (a mountain skier descends a hilly slope and performs tricks on springboards);

– ski-cross (a race on a track equipped with turns and jumps – the athlete who finishes first wins);

– ski half-pipe (skiing down a special slope (half-pipe) and performing a series of tricks);

– slopestyle (an athlete performs acrobatic jumps on springboards, pyramids, counter-slopes, drops, railings, etc., located sequentially along the entire track).

And in order to perform difficult tricks with accuracy, athletes must follow certain instructions.

Step 1 – Proper Takeoff

Freestyle skiers and snowboarders must create as much lift as possible before jumping. To do this, they accelerate, and during the trick they unbend their knees and stretch their legs.

They can also push off with one foot more than the other, and tilt their body slightly forward, backward, or sideways before jumping to spin in flight.

The more they lean, the better the spin will be – this is the main rule on which the success of the entire acrobatic trick depends.

Step 2 – rotation

As soon as the athlete is in the air, he proceeds to the next stage – performing the trick. At this time, he can control the movement of his body – for example, pulling his legs closer to the body in order to increase the speed of rotation needed to perform a somersault.

And while preparing for competitions, freestylers specifically study various body positions in the air: which ones give the best rotation, how to control arms and legs to achieve the best result, etc.

How Freestyle Skiers Perform Their Amazing Tricks The Mechanics of Olympic Sports 2

Step 3 – doing the trick

This stage is the most difficult. Here, the athlete needs not only to rotate around his axis, but also to perform an acrobatic stunt – for example, a complex somersault.

It would seem that for its implementation some kind of fulcrum is needed to spin. But there can be no support in the air, so freestylers in advance, while approaching the springboard, take a certain body position in order to perform the jump.

And in flight, they perform special movements with their arms and hips – this is how the trick turns out.

Step 4 – Landing

The jump turned out, the trick is done, it remains to land safely. During the trick, while the freestyler is spinning upside down in the air, he needs to look at the track in parallel to choose a place to land.

If you notice that the athlete grabbed his skis with his hands, then most likely, at this time he is looking for a suitable place.

To stop spinning, freestylers spread their arms and legs – at this time there is an increase in the moment of inertia. As soon as they take this position, gravity does its job – it remains only to land successfully.


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