How Fast Do Skiers Go? (With 5 Examples)

There’s a popular saying that “Skiing is a sport of speed and calories,” this is true!

In a race that purely involves both men and women, versus snow and mountain, skiers move very fast in the slope’s race.

The average speed downhill skiers can go depends on the Ski. If the skis are straighter and the tuck is tighter, they will be faster. The average skiing speeds of professional skiers can reach about 150 mph, but most recreational skiers travel an average speed of 10 and 20 mph.

The Olympians racers ski between 75 and 95 mph while the downhill skiers’ race from 40 to 60 mph, the speed attained depends on the conditions, their body composition and their equipment.

A record of 158 mph was recorded in the sport of speed skiing. The fastest skiers point their skis straight downhill on some of the world’s steepest slopes.

There are several ways to monitor the speeds of a skier; It can be a speedometer from sidelines or from skiing apps on the smartphone which track speed, vertical feet, and miles travelled.

Competition downhill skiing speeds

Most professionals call the Downhill skiing the “Alpine skiing”. During downhill training, the speed may vary, but during the competition, the speed is between 40 to 50 mph, but the Olympic speeds are about 80 mph.

However, the introduction of technology, designs, changes, innovations and new materials, it leads to an increase speeds in downhill skiing competition to about 60 to 75 mph for women and  75 to 90 mph for men.

Downhill ski racing record

In Switzerland 2013, Johan Clarey the French skier broke the triple-digit barrier on the same course, setting a world record at 100.6 mph.

The initial world record was 96.6 mph which was set in Wengen by Klaus Kroell of Austria on the Lauberhorn course.

Speed skiing record

Speed skiing is an essential aspect of downhill ski racing. The purpose of this event is to go in a straight line down the mountain very quickly.

Simone Origone, the Italian speed skier, set a world speed skiing record to 158.424 Mph in 2016.

He broke his record of 156.978 mph which was set in 2015. In 2016 ValentinaGreggio, a female Italian skier set a new speed skiing record of 153.530 for the women. 

Average recreational downhill skiing speeds

recreational downhill skiing

Recreational downhill skiers are not likely to reach the types of speeds attained by the Olympic skiers or any other competitive ski activity.

It all depends on the run, the average recreational skier skiing speed range from 10 to 20 mph. Many factors can impact ski speed, which are the course difficulty and slope, skier skills, ski quality and length, and more.

Speed and cross-country skiers’ downhill speeds

A skier who is dress in aerodynamic apparel can travel over 150 mph if he skis straight down the mountain without turning.

An Italian skier Simone Origone broke his speed record, to set a new record of 158.424 mph in Vars, France 2016. At the same event, an Italian skier ValentinaGreggio also set an incredible record 153.53 mph in the women mark.

Skiing requires control and professional athleticism to prevent severe injuries, so there is no such thing as “Casual Speed Skier.”

Speed skiers are those with the best control and those with least wind resistance, during the competition, the skiers will have to make it down the hill fast, in other skiing competition like the cross country this is not the case.

In cross-country skiing, professional skier reaches an average of 15 mph to 35 mph for continuous distances; top ski racers reach the speed of about 20 to 25 mph on the flat and 35 to 40 mph on the downhills, but for the recreational cross-country skiers they attain a speed of 7 to 10 mph.

How to Increase Speed in Downhill Skiing

In general, skiers travel fast on downhill if the skis are straighter and the tuck is tighter, Skier speed can be reduced if he dodges obstacles like trees, a small rock or jumping over small slopes.

The significant factor to remember when a skier wants to increase its speed on a downhill run is by developing his core strength to control the skis at high speeds.

Safety gears are compulsory for skiers attempting to ski very fast because when a certain speed is attained, serious injury is inevitable for skier without safety gears.

Though amateur may find the idea of speeding down a mountainside appealing, developing the proper skiing techniques is very important to avoid crashing and getting hurt.

Additionally, skiers should avoid skiing at a faster speed during poor condition like bad lighting, because the sun glaringly reflective on the mountain and this make skier unable to see obstacles covered by snow.

Crowded runs or unpredictable snow conditions are also not suitable for attempting fast speeds.

For the recreational skiers, they should always obey any rules in a ski area, these rules may limit your speed, but all these rules are for your safety.

What sou should know

The friction between the snow and your ski is so small, so the main factor that affects speed is the wall of air in front of the skier.

Skiers can decrease their frontal area by cutting the air resistance: maintaining a tight tuck, using poles that curve around the body, so the baskets hide behind the back and having boot buckles flush with the boot.

When other factors are constant, a heavier skier is faster compared to the lighter one because the air resistance of the heavier skier is low.

So a skier can attain a faster speed by putting on more weight, try to become as heavy as possible.

Some ask if longer skier skis faster. The length is a concession between the skier that will exert the least pressure on the snow and the skier that can still be turned.

A longer ski exerts fewer pounds per square inch of pressure, and so is less likely to wind up ploughing rather than gliding. But a longer ski is also more challenging to whip around for a slalom gate or a downhill turn.