Kinematic Considerations Of Elite Alpine Slalom Ski Racers

  • David A. Goodwin
Keywords: slalom, skiing


This study described specific kinematic parameters associated with success on the international level in alpine slalom ski racing. Sixteen male athletes representing twelve countries comprised the subject pool. Subject selection was based on finish position in the men's special slalom at the 1989 World Alpine Ski Championships in Vail, Colorado. Cinematographical records were made and analyzed by a method known as direct linear transformation. The findings of the study indicated that: (a) to make an efficient slalom turn with a curvature and slope gradient indicative of this particular turn, the hip and knee joint angles of the turning leg must approximate 1.80 to 1.83 radians and 1.82 to 2.21 radians, respectively, through the turn, (b) a decrease in right knee angular velocity and a consistent right hip angular velocity over the turn tend to be associated with higher right boot toe velocities, and (c) distance of the right boot toe from the base of the slalom pole correlated well with velocity in this variable. There appear to be relationships between other variables from correlation data, however, none of the dependent variables tested could be classified as more significant than the others regarding the proper execution of an alpine slalom turn.
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