My Most Studied Racers – Part II

Welcome to the not-so-long-awaited sequel article where I give my take on ski racers that I analyze the most. Not that it is totally necessary, but if you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend going back and reading the first one here. Before I dive into this edition, I will say these racers were already picked out prior to the start of this year’s Kitzbühel race weekend. The fact that these guys have since gone on to win 2 Hahnenkamm downhills and 6 Olympic medals, including 3 golds, just goes to show how incredible they all are. Now let’s get to it!


Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Norway DOB 9/21/1992

The current great in a long line of legendary Attacking Vikings, Kilde has an amazing attitude on even the worst of days and maintains a passion and dedication for skiing like no other. Aleks is not only one of my favorite skiers to watch but is also one of my very good friends that I look up to immensely. On the skiing side of things, one of my favorite parts about his style is how well he stays stacked over his skis. Built like a muscular linebacker, Aleks pressures the front of the boot continuously and can exit out of turns with a massive amount of generated kinetic energy. Having this body position allows him to drive through adverse conditions like bumps on the track and nearly all forms of built-up terrain. Moreover, Aleks also has a natural amount of bow leggedness with his body’s alignment that allows him an insane amount of inside knee angulation and limits his hip from dropping into the turn. This especially comes in handy in speed because it allows for equal pressure distribution on both inside and outside ski edges, a critical component to being fast in gliding as well as in other more technical segments. For me, Aleks may be the most well-rounded speed skier currently on tour for which I’ll never get tired of watching.


Matthias Mayer, Austria DOB 6/9/1990

Matthias Mayer, also called Mothl by his family friends and fans, first established himself among the créme de la créme upon winning the 2014 Sochi Olympic downhill at the relatively young age of 23. He has since solidified his impressive Olympic prowess over the past 4 years by winning both the 2018 PyeongChang and 2022 Beijing Olympic Super G’s. These accomplishments are already among the historical records with much of his ski career still yet to be seen. Taking all accolades aside, Matthias’s skiing is one of the purest definitions of an Austrian skier in terms of technique and composure. Starting at the base of his body he seems to always ski with parallel shins and from there everything lines up square. What I mean by this is you can connect a straight line say between his two knees or two hips or across his shoulders and the line will always run parallel to the surface of the snow. This is rudimentary in skiing as it optimizes the connection with snow and a skier’s body. Like how Kilde keeps everything stacked square and in line, Matthias generates a generous amount of power to the apex and further drives constantly forward in a tight aerodynamic position throughout.


Beat Feuz, Switzerland DOB 2/11/1987

Many great things can be said about Beat Feuz, pronounced Bee-aht Foitz, from his 16 World Cup wins, 45 World Cup podiums in downhill alone, 4 consecutive World Cup DH titles and now an Olympic gold in downhill (among many other significant achievements). His skiing style is so often difficult to replicate because of the level of finesse and precision built into what he does. Beat has an incredible touch on the ski not only seen in his gliding but also how and when he sets the ski in turns that are too tight for any racer to arc clean. His ability is exceptional, like a surgeon delicately slicing open an incision, he floats above the surface as he directs the ski to the right spot and then suddenly gets the ski to bite down and grab on to the rest of the turn. This subtlety is perfect for turns like Steilhung in Kitzbuhel, Kernen-S in Wengen, and even Russi’s Ride on Birds of Prey, everywhere that high exit speed is an essential component of winning. Feuz’s level of smoothness and efficiency is one of the many reasons as to how he is a contender on any given day.


A post shared by Beat Feuz (@feuz87)


Marco Odermatt, Switzerland DOB 10/8/1997

Back in my first article you might remember discussing what makes Marco such a great GS skier and I even alluded to him being featured eventually on the speed side. Then it should come as no surprise that I am talking about him once again, but as it pertains to the downhill and super g disciplines. Marco skis with a special level of excitement and energy in speed. Rather than sitting and waiting for a course to come to him, he goes and attacks the course. Odermatt knows how to push the limit and appears to ski fearlessly by frequently taking a more direct approach in terms of line. Even in the highest of pressure situations, Marco does not back down. This high-risk style has paid off more so in super g than downhill so far, but it seems the sky is the limit for him as he keeps dialing in the speed.


And there you have it. Whether or not you agree with everything that has been said or if you feel I have left out some crucial racers, I hope at the very least you have been able to gain some insight into a few of the most important styles of skiing that I try to learn from daily. Let me know what you think and who you like to study that I left out. As always, have fun and keep ripping!