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Nordic Combined 101: Equipment

Feb 18, 2018; Pyeongchang, KOR; Bryan Fletcher (USA) takes off his skis after jumping in the nordic combined individual gundersen large hill 10km training session during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre.
Feb 18, 2018; Pyeongchang, KOR; Bryan Fletcher (USA) takes off his skis after jumping in the nordic combined individual gundersen large hill 10km training session during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre.

Ski Jumping Equipment

Skis: Jumping skis are very large, usually about 2.5 meters (8.20 feet) and twice the width of normal skis. The maximum length of a competitor’s skis is based on body weight and height. The maximum ski length is 145 percent of the total body height of the competitor based on a minimum BMI of 21 for female athletes and 21 for male athletes. However, if an athlete’s body mass index (BMI) is under 21, then the skier must shorten his skis in relation to FIS regulations.

Bindings: The binding must be mounted parallel to the run-direction and must be placed so that a maximum of 57 percent of the entire ski length is before the bindings. They are meant to unfasten from the boots in case of a fall.

Boots: The boots used in ski jumping are designed to allow the skier to lean forward during the flight. They are high-backed, flexible yet firm with a low cut at the front.

Connection Cord: The connection cord, which is part of the binding, attaches the ski to the boot and prevents the skis from wobbling during flight.

Suit: All portions of the ski jumping suit must be made of the same, spongy microfiber material and must show the same air permeability from the outside in and from the inside out. The thickness of the suit must be between 4.0 millimeters and 6.0 mm (about one-fifth of one inch). The suits must conform to the body shape in an upright position with a maximum tolerance of 2 centimeters to the body size at any part of the suit. Exceptions are allowed for sleeve length and the crotch length, where the maximum tolerance is 4 centimeters. The most common reason for disqualification is having a suit with insufficient air permeability. At the 2006 Olympics, Norwegian ski jumpers Lars Bystoel and Sigurd Pettersen were disqualified after the first round of the normal hill competition for that reason. (Bystoel was later reinstated and went on to win the gold medal.)

Gloves: Gloves offer protective covering against weather and external forces. The glove size must correspond to the hand size. Thickness of the material is can not exceed 5mm. Only gloves with fingers (for all fingers) are allowed.

Helmet: Full head protection has been compulsory since the 1980s. The helmet improves aerodynamic flight and protects the head in case of a fall.

Goggles: Ski goggles are devices protecting the eyes against weather and sun rays with optically correct lenses. Their aim is to guarantee good, contrast-free visibility in all weather conditions. The use of goggles is recommended. Reshaping the ski goggles in order to attain more aerodynamic features is not allowed.

Cross-Country Skiing Equipment

Bindings: Cross-country bindings attach the boot to the ski only at the toe — unlike alpine bindings, which attach the boot at the toe and heel. Cross-country bindings only connect at the toe to allow the heel to flex up and down.

Boots: Cross-country boots are similar to running shoes. They are lighter and more flexible than the boots from other disciplines though freestyle boots are more rigid than classical boots and have more ankle support.

Poles: Two poles of equal length must be used in competition with one pole held in each hand. They are generally made of metal tubing, have a hand grip at the top and a round plastic disk on the bottom.

Skis: Cross-country skis are lighter and narrower than alpine and jumping skis. They also have an arch at the center of the ski.

Suit: The suit worn in cross-country skiing is made of a stretchy fabric that hugs the body.