Safety assessment of jumps in ski racing

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The influence of important parameters on the flight trajectory for jumps in downhill World Cup races was investigated. To quantify the impact injury risk at landing, the parameter equivalent landing height (ELH) was introduced, which considered a variable slope inclination during the landing movement. Altogether, 145 runs at four different jumps in World Cup races and trainings were recorded and analyzed. A simulation model was developed to predict the flight phase of the skier. Drag and lift areas were selected by parameter identification to fit the simulation trajectory to the two-dimensional data from the video analysis. The maximum values of the ELH which can be absorbed with muscle force was taken from the study of Minetti et al. for elite female and male ski racers. A sensitivity analysis based on the four jumps showed that ELH is mainly influenced by takeoff angle, takeoff speed, and the steepness of the landing surface. With the help of the developed simulation software, it should be possible to predict the ELH for jumps in advance. In case of an excessive ELH, improvements can be made by changing the takeoff inclination or the approach speed.

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