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The impact of start strategy on start performance in alpine skiing exists on flat, but not on steep inclines

Supej, M.; Nedergaard, N.J.; Nord, J.; Holmberg, H-Christer.

Journal of Sports Sciences 37(6): 647-655

2019


ISSN/ISBN: 0264-0414
PMID: 30317917
DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1522698
Accession: 065943182

Here, we explored the relationship between incline and start strategy during alpine skiing. Eight FIS skiers performed starts on a flat (3°) and steep (21°) incline employing five different strategies. Their times, trajectories and velocities were monitored with a GNSS system and video. A significant interaction was observed between slope incline and start strategy with respect to the skier's exit velocity (p < 0.001, ƞ2p = 0.716), but not for the start section time (p = 0.732, ƞ2p = 0.037). On the almost flat incline, both section time (p = 0.022, ƞ2p = 0.438) and exit velocity (p < 0.001, ƞ2p = 0.786) were influenced significantly by start strategy, with four V2 skate-pushes being optimal. On the steep incline, neither section time nor exit velocity was affected significantly by start strategy, the fastest section time and exit velocity being attained with four and two V2 skate-pushes, respectively. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate that the start strategy exerts considerable impact on start performance on almost flat inclines, with strategies involving three or more V2 skate-pushes being optimal. In contrast, start performance on the steep incline was not influenced by strategy.

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