The sport of ski jumping has seen the use of numerous different techniques, or "styles", over the course of its more than two-hundred-year history. Depending on how the skis are positioned by an athlete, distances have increased by as much as 200 metres (660 ft) within the past century.


Harald Pfeffer using the Kongsberger technique, 1959

The Kongsberger technique (Norwegian: Kongsbergknekk) was created by Jacob Tullin Thams and Sigmund Ruud in Kongsberg, Norway. Developed after World War I, the technique was characterised by the athlete's upper body being bent at the hip, with arms extended at the front in the manner of a "superhero",[1] and skis held parallel to each other. Sometimes the arms would be waved or 'flapped' around vigorously in a bird-like manner. This technique extended jumping lengths from 45 m (148 ft) to over 100 m (330 ft), and was used in ski jumping until being superseded by the Windisch and Däscher techniques in the 1950s.[2]


Miro Oman using the Windisch technique, 1958

The Windisch technique, created by Erich Windisch in 1949, was a modification of the Kongsberger technique. The athlete's arms are instead placed backwards toward the hips for a closer, more aerodynamic lean.[2]


Hans-Georg Aschenbach using the parallel style, 1973

The parallel style,[3] classic style,[4] or Däscher technique was created by Andreas Däscher in the 1950s, as a modification of the Kongsberger and Windisch techniques.[2] No longer was the upper body bent as much at the hip, enabling a flatter, more aerodynamic position in the air. This style became the standard for ski jumping as a whole until the development of the V-style. In the 1980s, Matti Nykänen created a variation of the parallel style in which the skis were pointed diagonally off to the side in order to increase surface area, essentially forming a crude "half 'V'".[5]


Primož Peterka using the V-style, 1997

The V-style, sometimes called the Graf–Boklöv technique,[6] remains the sport's most recent significant technique change, with the ski tips spread outwards in a highly aerodynamic "V" shape. It became the predominant jumping technique following the Däscher/parallel style, which was last used in the early 1990s.[2]

The originator of the V-style was Mirosław Graf, a Polish ski jumper from Szklarska Poręba.[7] Graf discovered the technique as a child in 1969, but it was not taken seriously by his contemporaries. He was nonetheless aware that the V-style was highly effective, as his jumps became considerably longer.

In the early 1980s, Steve Collins used a modified variation of the V-style, or "delta style", with the ski tips held together in front instead of at the rear.[8] Collins was the youngest winner of a World Cup event at the age of fifteen, but his technique never caught on. During this era, any technique aside from the parallel style was considered inappropriate by FIS judges. Although it enabled much longer jumps – up to ten per cent more than the parallel style – judges made it an issue to award poor marks to those who used it.

The V-style only became recognised as valid by judges in the early 1990s, following wins and high rankings by Jan Boklöv, Jiří Malec and Stefan Zünd, who insisted on using the technique despite receiving low style points. By the mid-1990s it had become the predominant style of jumping used by all athletes, and was therefore no longer penalised as it had proven to be both safer and more efficient than the parallel style.


Léa Lemare using the H-style, 2017

In the H-style, the skis are spread very wide apart and held parallel in an "H" shape,[9] with minimal or no V-angle.[10] A lesser-used technique as of 2018, it is prominently used by Domen Prevc,[11][12] Léa Lemare,[13][14][15] and Nika Križnar.[16]

See also


  1. ^ Mooallem, Jon (6 March 2018). "Once Prohibited, Women's Ski Jumping Is Set to Take Flight". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d MacArthur, Paul J. (March–April 2011). Skiing Heritage Journal, pp. 20–25, at Google Books. International Skiing History Association. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  3. ^ Ito, Shinichiro; Seo, Kazuya; Asai, Takeshi (2008). "An Experimental Study on Ski Jumping Styles (P140)". The Engineering of Sport 7. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  4. ^ Husar, John (10 February 1992). "Ski Jumpers Have Discovered 'V' Is for Victory". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved 11 February 2020.]
  5. ^ Higdon, Hal (March–April 1991). Snow Country, pp. 48–51, at Google Books. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  6. ^ Maryniak, Jerzy; Ładyżyńska-Kozdraś, Edyta; Tomczak, Sfawomir (2009-12-14). Configurations of the Graf-Boklev (V-Style) Ski Jumper Model and Aerodynamic Parameters in a Wind Tunnel. Human Movement.
  7. ^ Johnson, Wayne (2007). White Heat: The Extreme Skiing Life.
  8. ^ "USASJ Story Project- Dec 31 Bakke". USA Ski Jumping Story Project. 31 December 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  9. ^ German commentary following Lucile Morat's first-round jump, from the ORF broadcast in Sapporo on 12 January 2019.
  10. ^ Tiilikainen, Tomi (24 September 2010). "V-tyylistä kohti H-tyyliä - "Uran kovin muutosten kausi"" (in Finnish). Etelä-Suomen Sanomat. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Domen Prevc: Ne razumem medijev". 11 December 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  12. ^ Domen Prevc, competition 1, round 1, Pyeongchang, 15 February 2017 on Imgur. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  13. ^ German commentary by Toni Oberndorfer following Léa Lemare's first- and second-round jumps, from the ORF broadcast in Ljubno on 11 February 2017.
  14. ^ Lemare, Léa (4 February 2017). "New chance to rock tomorrow". Pictagram. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Lea Lemare of France competes during Ljubno FIS Ski Jumping World Cup.". Getty Images. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Women's Ski Jumping HS100 - FIS Nordic World Ski Championships". Getty Images. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.