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Slalom skiing

Slalom is regarded as the most technical of the alpine ski disciplines.

A course is constructed by laying out a series of gates. Gates are generally formed from either two red poles or two blue poles. The skier must pass between the two poles forming the gate. (Strictly, the tips of both skis and the skier's feet must pass between the poles.)

For slalom the vertical offset between gates is around 9m and the horizontal offset around 2m, although these figures have changed significantly in recent times because of the huge technical developments in ski equipment which have revolutionised the sport. The gates are arranged in a variety of differents configurations to challenge the competitor. The world wide govening body, FIS (Federation Internationale de Ski) has a set of regulations detailing what configurations are allowed / mandated for an official course

Because the offsets are relatively small in slalom, skiers take a fairly direct line and often knock the poles out of the way as they pass. In modern slalom, a variety of protective equipment is used such as shin pads, hand guards, helmets, face guards.

See also: Sondre Norheim



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