SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1985

A Comparison of Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing Injuries


This paper contains an analysis based on data generated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for cross-country (XC) and downhill (DH) skiing injuries, obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). The data concentrate on the last four years (1978 through 1982). Analysis of the data suggests that the overall injury patterns for the two sports are remarkably similar. Given that the overall patterns are similar, especially with regard to apparent lower extremity torsion and bending movement-related injuries, the analysis suggests that XC equipment should be evaluated in the same way as DH equipment. An examination of the available XC equipment reveals disturbing trends in stiffer connections between the skier and ski. The use of nonreleasable heel attachments, metal edges on skis, and the spread of XC skiing into remote areas, where first aid and medical support systems are not generally available, suggests a need for reconsideration of XC equipment design.

Author Information

Shealy, Jasper, E.
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 423–432
DOI: 10.1520/STP46657S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-6832-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-6833-6