History of the Alpine skiing
An English inventionThe principle of climbing a top as soon as possible to descend it to ski was invented several times in an independent way:
- the first descent is organized in California, with the Door in 1866 by gold diggers emigrated for the majority of Norway.
- In 1906, the Austrians organize the descent of Horn.
- In 1911 English leaves on line the top Wildstrubel to Montana to Switzerland.
However the Alpine skiing is organized like a true sport, invention English, by… English. The English Arnold Lunn carries out first tests in 1897 with Chamonix whereas it is only ten years old. E.C. Richardson, “the father of the British ski”, off founds in 1903 the Ski Club Great-Britain which initiates the British pupils of the public schools to the winter sports in the Alps. The Alpine skiing is already with the program. Roberts off Kanadahar Challenge Cup is a competition of Alpine skiing installation in 1903. In the great British tradition, these tests are reserved to the only British. Thus, as of after the Great War, Lunn sets up in the Alps the first British championships of Alpine skiing, “under the glance incrédule of the autochtones”.
It will be necessary to await 1929 to attend the first championships of Austria; 1930 in Switzerland and 1931 in France. All these dates concern until there exclusively the descent. The first slalom is disputed the January 21st 1922 with Mürren. It is then more one test of style which speed.
Among the other initiators of the Alpine skiing, let us quote the Austrian Mathias Zdarsky who published in November 1896 a work of techniques of ski in which it takes again primarily the old Norwegian techniques (Ski touring and Télémark mainly) on the model of the work To ski through Greenland of the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen, published in 1890. Zdarsky preaches in particular the use of only one large stick, as did it formerly the Norwegians, whereas the use of the two sticks spreads in ski touring as of the end of the Années 1880.
Difficult recognition of the Alpine skiingIn 1924 are created the International federation of ski (MADE) and the French federation of ski (FFS), year when the first Winter Olympics to Chamonix are organized. However, these organizations do not recognize the Alpine skiing and the term “ski” is reserved exclusively to indicate the Cross-country skiing. Only the Cross-country skiing is besides present at the program of the first go Olympic. In the same way, the famous First contest international of winter sports organized with Montgenèvre of the 10 with the February 12th 1907 by USFSA related to only the cross-country skiing.
The English Arnold Lunn present at the congress of the MADE with Saint-Moritz in 1928 a project of integration of the Alpine skiing, still very largely unknown even in the sporting mediums. This motion is pushed back because of a categorical opposition of the Scandinavian countries. Lunn is not discouraged, and presents a new demand for 1930 to Oslo. The Scandinavian countries are shown less categorical and authorize the creation of competitions tests, but are always hostile with the admission of the Alpine skiing to the Olympic program. Lunn can thus organize the first edition of the championships of the world with Mürren in 1931. MADE integrates finally the Alpine skiing into the Olympic Games of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936.
Germanic dominationThe first schools of Alpine skiing are installation in Switzerland and Austria at the beginning of the Années 1930. and the Germanic world - Swiss Germany, and especially the Austria, with its Mecque of the Arlberg - dominates without rival the Alpine skiing until the middle of the years 1930. The method of ski of the Arlberg, codified by Hannes Schneider is the reference. It is based on the Snowplow turn and the Stembogen. These turns were easy to realize but broke speed.
The large high-speed motorboats of the ski of the time are the Swiss Austrians and Otto Furrer, David Zogg, the Ruud brothers, Toni Seelos, Rudolf Rominger, Christl Cranz, etc
Among the important technical innovations:
- the first modern fixings date from the years 1933 - 1934. They are essentielleent developed in Austria and Norway.
- the first ski-lift with roller is invented in Suisse (Davos) in 1934. This same year, French Jean Pomagalski installs its first ski-lift with poles.
The emergence of the French school of ski (1937-1950)Although the arrived ski come very early in the the French Alps, the emergence of the Alpine skiing like a sporting discipline with whole and autonomous share will be slow in France.
In 1933, a first training center of the monitors is created with the Mont Revard (Savoy), animated by Roger Clipping-Rock under the high competence of Dr. Hallberg. One teaches there at the beginning the method of the Arlberg.
The French federation of ski has prepared for a few years its revenge, with a concerted strategy of popularization of the French ski. The offensive rests on a French technique of revolutionary and concurrent ski of the Austrian method. It is developed by Emile Allais, Paul Gignoux and, paradoxically, the Austrian Toni Seelos, trainer of the team of France (sign of the Germanic supervision, until this time, on this sport). This technique, very innovating, judged " more flexible, more elegant and more efficace" , is based on the parallelism of the skis, the diving ahead, the systematic study of the skids (oblique, side), essential to the fast turns, even celebrates it " ruade" pure Christiana.
The French technique is popularized by:
- the French École of ski (ESF) created in 1937 by Emile Went, Paul Gignoux, Charles Diebold, with the support of Léo Lagrange.
- French victories with the Championships of the world of Alpine skiing of 1937 (Emile Went), and 1938 (James Couttet).
- films of Marcel Ichac (teaching films, films of competition, tourist propaganda films, attempt to also break the Germanic domination in the Cinema of mountain).
France also innovates as regards material: Abel Rossignol invents the pasted ski (1936) and the lamellate ski pasted (association of wood blades by hard, light and flexible wood joining: frène-fir tree or frène-birch or frène-hickory) (1945).
The rise of the ski is fast in France at the end of the years 1930:
- the French federation of ski passes from 7.000 members in 1930 to nearly 50.000 in 1939 ().
- in 1938, the hexagon counts 6 Téléski S and 11 Téléphérique S.
This rise is of course broken by the Second world war.
In international competitions, the French technique of ski dominates however until the beginning of the year 1950, with also Henri Oreiller, Georgette Thiollière.
French domination on the Alpine skiing (years 1960)
a sporting domination
Of the technical innovations
- In 1955, Georges Solomon, which manufactures screwed cross-sections, invents the safety binding for Emile Allais: " Skad " ().
- Jean Vuarnet gains the gold medal of descent of the Winter Olympics of 1960 with Squaw Valley grace, in particular, with two major innovations:
- the metal ski " Nightingale Went 60" (conceived by the company Rossignol with Emile Went. This ski precedes the modern ski with hidden cross-sections and a sole Polyéthylène. It is first standard ski sandwich with a core wood and two blades of Zicral alloy around.
- the invention of the " position of the oeuf" who, the skier being folded up on itself, improves the Aérodynamisme. A position thereafter unanimously adopée.
the development of the economy of the ski
Thanks to its sporting successes, France is a model for the whole world: " Its repercussion is such as North America (and also that of the south) have mainly recourse to French to create and equip their stations like developing their schools ski." ().
The universalization of the ski (since the years 1970)As its name indicates it, the Alpine skiing is very popular in the alpine countries but also in Scandinavia. For several decades, the number of followers has been in increase with the Japan and North America.
In the years 1960-1970, the United States will take over France in terms of innovation:
- the first skis in Glass fiber since 1960.
- Bob Lange invents the plastic hull for the ski boots out of resin Epoxy (1964).
- Shervin Popper (California) invents the Snowboard.
Competitions of Alpine skiingIn competition, the skiers spring one by for against the watch in various disciplines. The competitions are organized by the International federation of ski (MADE, founded in 1924) and the Alpine skiing made its Olympic beginnings at the time of the Winter Olympics of 1936.
1931, officialized by the MADE since 1950, the championships of the world propose to crown its winners on only one race, with the manner of the Olympic Games. These tests proceed from now on on ten days, every two years (odd years).
the World cupThe one day races like those proposed with the Olympic Games or the Championships of the world are sometimes unjust. In order to mitigate this deficiency, MADE it met places from there in 1966 a World cup with attribution of points at the time of several races, and general classification at the end of the season. It should be noted that it integrated during its history the Arlberg-Kandahar.
The material of Alpine skiingThe Alpine skiing is practiced normally with two sticks (for each hand) and two skis (for each leg). The control of the skis is ensured by the use of ski boots maintained the skis by fixings. A helmet is sometimes carried to protect the head from the impacts pulled by a collision with snow, other skiers or obstacles or to improve aérodynamisme at the time of competitions. At the time of the competitions the port of this helmet is obligatory, in the event of important race, the skiers are equipped with combinations sticking to the skin. They improve the penetration in the air and their elasticities help the movement.
The stickThe stick is a crucial factor in practice ski, even if for the beginner it proves to be awkward and useless. Indeed, this one contributes to the balance of the skier and allows the release of the turn while being used as axis of rotation. During the schuss, the stick is also used to perfect the position of egg.
The stick should not be too short nor too length. When it is planted in snow, the skier who holds it must have before arm which forms a right angle with the arm. Too much short, the stick does not make it possible to touch snow and becomes useless then. Too much long, it becomes awkward.
To approximately 5 cm of the end of each stick a disc is. This disc makes it possible to the skier to be able to plant the stick in snow without this one not being inserted too much. That is particularly useful in the case of powder snow or soft.
In competition, particularly during the tests speed, the stick is profiled to marry the shape of the body of the skier at the time of the schuss. The disc is also curved in the shape of cone to improve its penetration in the air.
The ski bootThe ski boot makes it possible to the skier to control his skis. With this intention, the shoe must marry and tighten the foot and, thus, transmit the movements of the legs and the feet. For that, the ski boot is made up of:
- a hull: extremely rigid, it is made of plastic and includes the foot and goes up to semi calf, although several preceding iterations of the ski boot had very different designs (stop with ankle or the knee). The hull ensures the maintenance of the foot and the transmission of the movement. It must nevertheless allow the inflection. The ski boots can be provided with more or less rigid hulls that the skier chooses according to his style of ski like his level. The parameter which makes it possible to distinguish the flexibility of the hulls often calls Flexindex and it is spread out approximately 20 or 30 to 130 and 150 (skiers of race).
- a slipper: encrusted in the hull. It ensures the skier well-being. Nowadays, the slipper can be moulded with the shape of the foot by techniques of thermoforming and can be heated in the event of great cold.
- a sole: all the alpine ski boots have a sole of origin. However, several skiers will choose to replace it for a orthèse, in particular if they have problems of major posture or flexibility, in order to use the shoe to the maximum of its potential.
- of the hooks: bound to the hull. They make it possible to tighten the ski boot. Normally, more the number of hooks is high, more the shoe is related to the foot and thus more control of the ski is fine. Thus, there can be between 1, for the skier beginning, and 4 hooks for the professional skier. However, a shoe which too would have been tight can reduce the feelings of the foot and thus harm the skills fine mortises of this last.
So that the shoe is maintained in fixing, a plastic protuberance is moulded in the hull with before and with the heel of the shoe. This system is used by all the manufacturers since the middle of the Seventies when the world of the ski saw an effort concerted to put before an interface shoe-fixing (DIN) which would be sedentary and easy to adjust by trained technicians.
For a few years, a very great number of skiers have called upon the services of bootfitters : specialists in the anatomy of the foot and the techniques allowing an adjustment bio-engine refined of the hull, slipper and sole, those are sometimes the only main door for an amateur of which the foot would be problematic. Previously held with the runners or to the professionals of the ski (monitors, guides), the advent of engoument for the high level practice of the ski (rising, inter alia, of technological advances in other fields of the sport), the bootfitting is now an important part of the purchase of ski boots for many skiers.
FixingsFixing makes it possible to connect the shoe of the skier to the ski. Fixing is today component able to support the abrupt jolts of the ski while being able to slacken itself in the event of fall. For that, springs are assembled in fixing. It is essential to make regulate its fixing according to the standards in force. The international standard is the ISO 11088. France took inititative interesting by introducing a distinction man/woman into the recommendations of adjustment (booklet of documentation AFNOR FD S 52-748). The standards allow an adjustment personalized by holding account:
- of the weight of the skier
- of the size of the skier
- length of the sole of the shoe
- of old of the skier
- of the level of the skier
- of his physical condition
- of its style of ski
The adjustment of a fixing is thus a subtle compromise of 8 parameters so that the shoe is due to the ski without that becoming dangerous in the event of fall. It is essential that the adjustment is made by taking account of the standards according to criteria Ci above.
A too tight adjustment is dangerous since in the absence of release, the skier will be able to be wounded on the level of the lower extremity. Cepandant, the professional skiers frequently subject their skis to strong side pressures, which obliges them to tighten of advantage their fixings. For a skier of 75kg, a tightening of competition borders the 110 or 120kg quickly. A too flexible adjustment can also be dangerous since fixing will open in an inopportune way and can cause the fall of the skier and a traumatism of any part of the body.
The adjustment in length of fixing is the principal element of safety. Without an adequate adjustment in length, the fixing even regulated in the standard will not be able to function.
Fixing is made up of two parts:
- front fixing. Before shoe comes to engage there. It has a system of springs making it possible to the skier to expose (the shoe is not related any more to fixing) in the event of back effort or before side. That makes it possible to secure many problems of ligaments on the level of the knee.
- back fixing. The back of the shoe comes to rest on it then by a vertical pressure comes to engage the fixing which maintains the shoe then. It also has a system of spring making it possible to open in the event of effort before (heel which falls apart).
Electronic assistances with the adjustment exist (e.g. ISOSKI).
The skiThe ski is obviously the essential component since it is the intermediary between the skier and snow and consequently makes it possible to the skier to slip. The ski extraordinarily became more and more complex with the passing of years to lead ajourd' today to a form and a structure of high technology.
The ski is divided in three parts: before ski or spatula, back of the ski or heel, medium of the ski (under the shoes) or shoe.
The formSeen top, the modern and current Alpine skiing has what the jargon calls a " cut guêpe" : the spatula and the heel are broader than the shoe. That results in the definition of a line of coasts, i.e. by the definition of the width of the ski in these three points.
When a ski has a size of wasp, one says that it is about a shaped ski (parabolic being the name of a model of shaped ski launched by Élan and who known a sharp success), in reference to the shape of the curve which he makes it possible to carry out. Indeed, from this curved form, and if the skier exerts a pressure and thus a sufficient inflection, the ski can marry the form of a turn to cut snow. The skier thus gains of speed since the ski does not skid any more during the turn.
The shaped ski is now the tool of choice for a vast range of grounds and followers: the beginner will like the facility with which this one is operated as of the first descents, whereas the expert appreciates his versatility and his speed of movement, even at high speed. However, for a few years, several skis having a profile much less pronounced have made the appearance on the slopes and gained the favor of the average consumer, in particular for particular uses, like the off-piste skiing or acrobatics. Certain skis have even a spatula and a heel of size lower than the shoe. This construction distributes weight of the skier on a broader surface of contact and, in return, allows a greater buoyancy in the duster.
Moreover, dimensions and the construction of the ski are sometimes dictated by very precise standards. Let us think here of the skis of Slalom which, according to the standards MADE must measure 165 centimetres for the men and 155 centimetres for the women at least, but they also have restrictions concerning the Length in all the disciplines and the ray of the skis for international competitions. These standards often change but the skis of the disciplines speed must to exceed 200 centimetres for the two sexes .
The structureThe structure of a ski depends much from one manufacturer to another, it is thus difficult to make a description of it specifies the manufacturers so much compete of imagination and research to improve its weight, its rigidity, its resonance level,…
To simplify, let us summarize its structure with:
- the sole. It is in contact with snow and thus makes it possible the ski to slip. Generally out of polyethylene, it is slightly grooved in the longest direction to make it possible molten snow to evacuate itself more quickly and thus to increase the speed of the skier. Indeed, the ski does not slip directly on snow but on the water which results from the snow melt in contact with the ski. It requires a regular maintenance to improve slips it (to stop the holes and to wax). In addition, waxing used depends on the consistency of snow.
- the cross-section. There is of them one on each side of the ski and make it possible to control it on snow. Out of steel very abrasion resistant and very sharpened, they allow the control of the turns and the fixing on hard snow. In the same way, it requires a regular maintenance to improve the aspect slicing: it is sharpening.
- the core. As its name indicates it, it is located in the middle of the ski and exploits an important role its rigidity. It is on point that the manufacturers differ more. Constituted of Alloy S (such as the Titanal), of Wood or metals, it gives to the ski its solidity and its rigidity. This heart is often very sensitive to water and must thus be protected by sandwiches layers.
- the top of the ski. Often manufactured starting from reinforced epoxy glass fiber composite, it makes it possible to protect the heart from the ski and plays a decorative part. The last layer is a transparent polymeric sheet decorated on the lower part and unfortunately sometimes sensitive to the shock.
The helmetAlthough he is not an integral part of the hardware requirement to the practice of the Alpine skiing, the helmet is since ten years a part of equipment appraisal by great number of beginners and experts.
Following studies, several schools of ski now require the port of the helmet for the children or the beginners, whereas the competitive branch of the sport was done with the need for its use. Very the high speeds reached by the runners (and the skiers amateurs) make dangerous the falls and collisions: the port of the helmet attenuates the risks of traumatism and lesions which can prove to be fatal.
Lastly, with the invention of new light plastics and material, attractive and allowing a greater breathing than those used in the old helmets, this one is now an at the same time accessible and esthetic option.
Disciplines of Alpine skiingThere exist five disciplines in Alpine skiing which are run each year from November to March in World cup of Alpine skiing and are all present at the Winter Olympics and with the Championnats of the world of Alpine skiing. They are races against the clock, the skier starts itself the stop watch by the opening of a wicket and stops it with the crossing of a photocell. The runner descends a course drawn by doors delimited by two stakes, it must cross all the doors.
DescentThis discipline is created by Arnold Lunn in 1911 with Montana in Switzerland. The descent is the oldest sporting discipline of the Alpine skiing and is called today the “discipline queen”. It is the fastest discipline and its courses are longest of the tests of Alpine skiing . The descent combines speed at the pure state, a technical control and a courage with any test. Today, the chutes reach in their race speeds points of 130 km/h. The unevenness is of 800 m to 1100 m for the men and of 500 m to 800 m for the women, of the doors very broad, are materialized by two streamers supported by stakes. Broad turns, jumps, compressions and broad outlines straight draw the course according to modelled ground. From the danger of such a race, the skiers must involve themselves several times on the course before the race (that is true only in descent). The winner is that which carries out the fastest time. To note that the minimal width of a track must be 30 meters.
The least small error at these speeds and on such courses often generates spectacular falls, wounds and exceptionally of our day of the deaths like Régine Cavagnoud. The most famous track is indisputably Hanenkamm with Kitzbühel where the runners reach the fastest speeds in Alpine skiing on the circuit of the world cup and where the falls are generally accompanied by very serious wounds sometimes. We add that the track of Kitzbühel is prohibited to the women, for the descent. For this reason the security measures do not cease increasing since the end of the year fifty. The trees are protected by large covers, one uses also nets which are placed all along the track. Snow is prepared many front days, it is necessary that they are sufficiently frozen and smooth.
SlalomThe first slalom (or special slalom) appeared in January 1922 with Mürren. It is about the most technical test. The slalomeurs need to be aggressive, fast and nimble. The courses of slalom are shortest, but they comprise the greatest number of doors and the narrowest doors. They are spaced from 4 to 15 meters and one counts some between 40 and 75. The doors are materialized by two simple stakes, but the stakes, assembled on kneecap, can be rocked by the skier. The uneven one for the male tests varies between 180 m and 220 m, while it is of 140 m to 200 m for the ladies.
The test comprises two sleeves disputed on different courses. The skier who obtains the best combined time of the two handles gains the test.
The advent of the parabolic skis the latter years made the slalom much more technical. Indeed, the new shapes of the skis making it possible to reduce the ray of the turns, the doors of slalom tend to be brought closer while preserving the transverse spacing. It results from it from the turns shorter than only the parabolic skis make it possible to follow while preserving a speed and a revival at important exit of turn.
Giant slalomThe giant slalom (or giant), which appears in 1950 with the championships of the world of Alpine skiing 1950 with Aspen, is a technical discipline as the slalom but which is faster. The doors are made up of two stakes connected by streamer of a blue or red color.
Though of appearance less technical than the slalom, the giant slalom requires a high degree of accuracy, a good sense of the rate/rhythm and a good power to approach each turn as well as possible. As its name indicates it, the course of a giant slalom is longer than that of a slalom. The doors are spaced also, which gives broader turns. The uneven one can reach 450 m for the men and 400 m for the women. The skiers must cross a minimum of 30 distant doors from/to each other of at least ten meters.
The official test comprises two handles, disputed on two different courses. The skier who obtains the best time combined of the two handles carries it.
Super GSuper G (" slalom super géant"), created in 1982 is, with the descent, one of the two disciplines speed. The doors are almost the same ones as those of the giant and the descent. It is a compromise between the descent and the giant slalom what makes it more technical than the descent but faster than the giant. The participants must thus be very precise at high-speed to connect large curves. The unevenness into super-G is slightly less than in descent, but the course is prepared appreciably in the same way. Contrary to the descent, the candidates cannot test the course before the official race, as they have a time of recognition restricted, they must know to quickly memorize all the physical parameters of the race.
Super G was introduced by MADE at the time of the world cup of 1986.
CompoundThis test was created for the first time at the championships of the world of Alpine skiing of 1932. Formerly, only the compound descent-slalom counted. Then, the disciplines were separated, with titles decreed for the descent, the slalom, and compound of these two disciplines. From now on the compound is a discipline with whole share since the participants must produce a sleeve of descent then a sleeve of slalom in same the day. The cumulative total of the stopwatches of the two handles determines the final classification. This test makes it possible to emphasize the general-purpose skiers who can play their speed in the descent and compete of address and technique in the slalom.
Absent from the Olympic program of the of 1952 with 1984 included, the alpine combination was reintroduced with Calgary in 1988. There are very few compounds at the time one season, because it is rare that the technical tests and speed take place the same weekend.
The ski freestyle is a discipline of the Alpine skiing considered as an extreme sport. Often confused with the hot-dogging (called " freestyle skiing" in English), the ski freestyle is a new discipline appeared at the end of the Nineties, resulting from several other disciplines like the ski of bumps, the half-pipe or the lifting jump.
The ski freestyle is practiced in special zones called snowparks or of except track (one speaks then about backcountry). It consists has to carry out figures starting from structures in snow or metal.
The skier who practices the ski freestyle is called freestylor, or more generally ridor.
Great names of the Alpine skiing
Physiology of the Alpine skiing
Ruptures of the ligaments of the knee
Because of the holds under the shoes which give considerable action leverages which are not mitigated by skis " on rails" the slightest incident causes an overpressure then a rupture of the Ligament S of the Genou.
Catalog of films
- a film of reference: 50 years, or life of a skier (1972), a filmed history of the ski, carried out by Marcel Ichac.
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