Types of Skiing

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Types of Skiing

Downhill Skiing

In Downhill skiing, competitors take a "set course from start to finish." They take turns racing and each run is timed. The person with the fastest time wins. Downhill racers use ski poles to pick up speed at the start and for balance when they take turns. They try to keep there skis as close as possible to the snow. As he leaves the starting gate he activates an automatic timing mechanism. Downhill racing is the fastest Alpine ski racing sport. Champion skiers reach speeds of over 90 miles per hour on the steep, strait parts of the course. The turns call for immense skill and powerful muscles. Taking tuns at fast speeds puts a lot of stress on the legs. The racers use helmets for protection, because falling at high speeds can be very dangerous. The sport needs a great deal of courage. The good thing about it is that it is probably the most exciting ski event ever.

Large bumps called moguls, and steep pitches add to the hazards. The course ranges from about 1 and a half to 3 miles long. The fastest recorded speed for a man on skis is 129.827 miles per hour. The fastest recorded speed for a woman is 124.759 miles per hour. Both records were achieved at Lees Acres, France, in April 1984.


In slalom competitors race downhill through a series of gates represented by pairs of poles. The flags on the gates are either red or blue. There are three types of events: Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Super-G. Slalom has many gates and tight turns. Giant Slalom has fewer gates and wider turns. Super-G is a combination of Giant Slalom and downhill racing.

Getting through the gates of a slalom course calls for great balance...