How do ski jumpers not sustain injury when landing? Vertically it appears to be at least a 100 foot drop.

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How do ski jumpers not sustain injury when landing? Vertically it appears to be at least a 100 foot drop.

In: Biology

The direction they fall after their jump is similar to the direction of the slope they hit. So they just keep on going, and it doesn’t jar their legs too much.

They preserve their forward momentum. Not a lot of energy is transferred through their joints since they maintain a forward speed. They only get hurt if they have a sudden stop because then a lot of energy is transferred through the joints.

When a skier jumps he/she follow a parabolic trajectory which is a symmetrical curve. The landing ramp is designed so that skiers coming down on a ramp that follows that curve. When they first land they are basically going the same direction gravity wants to take them. But landing on the ramp while likely not gentle involves a much slower change in momentum for skiers.

Like the saying goes, “it’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop at the end”. Ski jumpers are falling due to gravity, but they’re also moving forward from their momentum off of the ramp. When they land they are landing on a slope that allows them to keep going in more or less the same direction, forward and down. Like a car on the highway, you can be traveling 80mph and as long as you don’t have a dramatic change in speed or direction you’re fine.

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