Types of Ski Racing Clothes

Types of Ski Racing Clothes
Whether they race alpine, Nordic or moguls, skiers rely on their clothing to perform just as well as their skis. Race wear is designed specifically for each type of ski racing as racers require specific attire to race their best. To keep racers at their peak, the clothes must protect the body from injury, weather and unforeseen hazards. Ski clothing must also fit properly and allow the racer freedom of movement.

Nordic

As the New Hope Nordics mention on their website, many Nordic skiers dress like runners so Nordic ski racing clothes are tight fitting, stretchable and usually made of Lycra. As the New Hope Nordics mention on their website, many Nordic skiers dress like runners Some race clothes have added weather protection from precipitation or wind. They may be either one-piece or two-piece construction. Zippers down the front offer ventilation or sometimes a breathable mesh panel on the back, arms and legs is applied. Some styles have pit zips as well for additional breathability. The clothing may be tighter in areas like the thighs for added support to large muscle groups. Elastic at the ankle openings grips and helps keep the bottom of the pant legs into thebboots. The back panel or sides may have pockets for carrying food or other essentials. Nordic racers do not wear helmets.

Alpine

Made of nylon or Lycra material, alpine race suits are anatomically designed to fit tight to the body and reduce drag. The tightness is not to show off the body according to lifetips.com but rather help retain warmth and support the muscles that take a beating while the skier flies down the hill. Padding may be added to the suit in the shoulders and knees to protect racers when they fall or athletes may wear body armor underneath.

Some racing suits have thumb loops that the racers will wear inside their padded gloves. Elastic boot cuff grippers help the pant bottoms stay in the racer's boots. They typically come in a full zip and usually are one piece. Padded gloves, helmets, shin guards and other protective clothing are worn to keep from getting gashed by the start gate and from crashes.

Moguls and Freestyle

The clothing chosen by mogul or freestyle skiers is both performance and preference based. Their clothing is looser fitting than Nordic or alpine racers, but still gives the skier the ability to move, flex and stretch. The clothes are also more insulated. Padding and extra support is added to the knee and elbows areas to lessen the blows from the bumps and from landing off the jumps. Padded gloves, helmets, shin guards and other protective clothing are worn to keep from getting gashed by the start gate and from crashes.

Article Written By Courtney Johnson

Courtney Johnson is a freelance sports writer and photographer based in California. Her articles and photos appear regularly in newspapers and magazines such as "Triathlete" and "Cross Country Skier." Johnson graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in media production and minor in writing. She is studying for her copy editing certificate at the University of San Diego.

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