When snow means speeding up not slowing down

31st January, 2017

The thirst for speed on snow
For most of us in this country, when the snow falls it means things slow up or even come to a standstill, especially on the roads. But whilst driving conditions are potentially treacherous before the snow clearance begins, there are some individuals who see snow as a challenge to go as fast as they can. Fortunately, they’re not on the road.

We are talking about speed skiers. If you thought World Cup downhill skiers were fast, you should check out this elite bunch of individuals who regularly hit speeds in excess of 250kph (150mph).  

Faster on snow than terminal velocity
Speed skiing is the sport of skiing downhill in a straight line as quickly as possible. The current world record holder is Italian Ivan Origone who recorded a speed of 254.958kph (158.424 mph) in March 2016 which, amazingly, is faster than the terminal velocity of a free-falling skydiver in the belly-to-earth position - about 190 kph (120 mph) – and he’s the fastest non-motorised human on earth. The fastest woman is Valentina Greggio, also from Italy, who recorded her speed of 247.083 kph (153.530 mph) on the same day as her compatriot.

Speed skiers wear dense foam fairings on their lower legs and aerodynamic helmets to increase streamlining. Their ski suits are made from air-tight latex or have a polyurethane coating to reduce wind resistance, with only a back protector to give some protection in the event of a crash.

Speed skiing is practiced on steep, specially designed courses that are 1km (0.62m) long. There are approximately thirty of these courses worldwide, many of them at high altitudes to minimize air resistance. 

There is even a record for speed skiing on a bike which stands at 223.30 kph (138.75 mph)!

Organise your snow clearance and don't get caught out
Presuming that you don’t want any speed world records set on your premises, it’s wise to make sure that your winter gritting and snow clearing is organised. Call us today on 01728 633900 for a quote tailored to your needs.

Speed skiing on snow

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