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The Skiing Speeds of An Average, Beginner, and Expert Skier

  • Filip 

Apart from being a recreational activity, skiing is also a competitive sport. If you wish to learn more about the skiing speed of an average, beginner and expert skier, read this article till the end. You will find answers to all your skiing speed-related questions.

The average skiing speed of a recreational skier is around 10-20 mph or 16-32 km/h. Of course, some skiers are sitting still, and some are going faster down the slope. Expert Olympic skiers can sometimes reach up to 95mph (153 km/h), but you won’t see those speeds in a recreational slope. In 2016 Ivan Origone took the world record in speed skiing at 158 mph (255km/h).

What are the average skiing speeds in downhill competitions?

Downhill skiing is also known as “Alpine Skiing”. The beginner skiing speed varies a lot while being trained for downhill skiing. However, during skiing competitions, the speed hovers around somewhere between 40 to 50mph. Contrastingly, the Olympic speeds reach about 80mph.

With the introduction of new technology, designs, and materials, the downhill skiing speeds have increased in competitions. The new speeds have been around 75 to 90mph in the case of men skiers and 60 to 75 mph for women skiers.

The Olympians skiers ski with an expert skier speed of 75 to 95mph. The speed of downhill skiers’ range between 40 to 60mph. The fastest and the quick-moving skiers drive their skies straightaway downhill on even the steepest slopes of the world.

What is the expert skiing speed?

According to the consensus, Olympic skiers have a speed of 80 miles/hr. Some are even known to have exceeded the speed of 95 miles/hr. A snow skier has a speed of about 20 to 40 miles/hr. This, however, does not mean that skiers continue to ski continuously at that speed. This only means that while descending, they had achieved that mark at some point.

What are the average skiing speeds for recreational downhill skiing?

Skiers who are involved in downhill skiing for recreational purposes are generally not able to attain the speeds reached by the skiers in skiing competitions. Their speeds are also not as high as the skiers who participate in the Olympics. The average speed depends a lot on the run. The average skiing speeds for recreational downhill skiers hover between 10 to 20mph.

What factors impact the expert skier speed?

Generally, the skiing speeds depend on several factors such as skill level, gender, and the ability to take risks. Skilled male skiers having a high risk-taking ability, moves at a comparatively faster speed. Less skilled female skiers who are very cautious while skiing, perceive their speeds to be moderate as well as slow.

Many international studies on skiing activity have also revealed that helmet use has little to almost no association with speed or the perception of it.

How to increase beginner skiing speed?

If you wish to ski faster, you need to work on your skiing technique. Try to take a carved turn instead of a skidded one. Consult a ski instructor who would assist you to improve your technique.

The safest and most location for learning how to deal with varying speeds is the racecourse. The ruts of the previous skiers and the placement of the gates will make the perfect line for you to follow. Keep looking at a gate in the front. It will help you take turns quickly and remain on the quickest line.

You have to increase your back, abdominal, and leg strength for handling high speed turns. For developing strength, you can use leg presses, front and side lunges, abductor machines, etc. You can also do some exercises for your core, using the stability ball.

Select strong, well-fitted boots that will let you manage high skiing speeds. Avoid soft, short skis at high speeds. Opt for a stiffer, longer ski. It would help you in fast cruising.

Make sure that your ski is well-tuned. If you skiing on hard and dry snow, get a completely tuned ski. Wax the skis and sharpen their edges regularly. If you are skiing on heavy and wet snow, texturize the ski bases with 60 or 100 grit sandpaper. Then, hot wax it to disintegrate the surface tension and improve the speed.

How to control your speed while skiing?

British Association of Snowsports Instructors (BASI) is the principal organization for British ski trainers and instructors. This association has laid down five basic techniques for controlling speed. These are: air resistance, the use of terrain, checking, turn shape, and skidding.

Air resistance involves making your body shape and frontal area, less or more aerodynamic. As far as the use of terrain is concerned, with an increase in the steepness of the gradient that you ski down, you can go faster. The last three are all about adjusting and knowing the proper usage of your edges.

What are the things that you should know about the speed of skiing?

The friction that occurs between your ski and the snow is negligible. The most dominant factor that influences the average skiing speed is the layer of air present in front of you.

The frontal area of the skier can be reduced by severing the air resistance. This can be done by having a tight and strong tuck and by using poles that remain around the body in curves. This will hide the baskets at the back.

How to monitor your skiing speed?

There are multiple ways of tracking your skiing speed. Downhill skiers normally use a range of equipment to monitor their speeds. One can stand at the sidelines and measure your speed using a effective speedometer. You can also use advanced and the latest skiing apps on your smartphones to track your speed. These apps can also measure the vertical feet and the distance traveled while skiing.


If you are participating in a skiing competition, you should make sure that you have good speed and even better control over it. Most beginner skiers love to move around and travel quickly. Instead, they should form a better understanding of different skiing speeds before actually acquiring those. This would help them to choose their speeds and ski accordingly.