Ski Jumping: Aerodynamics and Kinematics of Take-Off and Flight

  • Mikko Virmavirta
Reference work entry


Ski jumping performance involves ballistic and aerodynamic factors, which primarily determine the requirements of the discipline. Ski jumper’s velocity and position of the body center of mass at the release instant from the take-off table quantify the ballistic flight trajectory and the length of the jump. Aerodynamic factors cover all aspects of gliding properties of the jumper/skis system (aerodynamic forces) where the equipment has a big role as well. Ski jumping performance is often divided into four different phases: inrun, take-off, flight, and landing. Take-off and its subsequent transition into flight phase are considered the most important phases as they determine the initial conditions and jumper’s final position during the flight. Both ballistic and aerodynamic factors involved in different phases of jump will be discussed in this chapter which consists of, not all, but selected well-known studies and unpublished results. The chapter tries to create a clear view about the technical requirements of ski jumping performance.


Ski jumping Winter sport Aerodynamics Kinematics Take-off Flight 



The author acknowledges Mr. Juha Kivekäs (Arteform Ltd.) for his expertise in aerodynamics and the computer simulations.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology of Physical ActivityThe Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gert-Peter Brüggemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biomechanics and OrthopaedicsGerman Sport University CologneKölnGermany

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