Nordic Combined 101: Glossary

Feb 22, 2018; Pyeongchang, South Korea; Ben Berend (USA) jumps in the nordic combined mens team large hill and 4x5km ski jumping trial round during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre. (Matt Kryger-Usa Today Sports)

Anchor leg: The fourth and final leg of the relay race in the team event. 

Fall Line: A designated line on the outrun of a ski jumping hill. If a ski jumper loses his balance and falls after the fall line, style points will not be deducted from his jump.

Freestyle Technique: The skating, or freestyle, technique, developed in the 1970s, closely resembles the motions of ice skating, pushing the inside edge of the ski simultaneously backward and outward at about a 45° angle. It is faster than classical technique and thus always used in nordic combined, though there are no rules that stipulate which technique is to be used. 

Glide Wax: Wax used to decrease the friction between the skis and the snow. It is applied to the entire ski in freestyle races.

Inrun: The portion of the jump during which the athlete travels down the ramp.

K Point: The distance from the takeoff that is equivalent to the height of the hill. For the large hill in Pyeongchang, the K Point is 125 meters from the takeoff; for the normal hill, it is 98 meters. The K Point determines the amount of distance points awarded to a jump. 

Outrun: The flat area at the bottom of the jumping hill where skiers decelerate and stop.

Piste: The snow-covered track or course that is used for racing.

Pursuit Start: Also known as the staggered start. In all three nordic combined events, the start positions and time deficits of the individual (or team) at the beginning of the cross-country skiing portion are dictated by individual (or team) score in the preceding ski jump. The top jumping individual (or team) is pursued by the second-placed individual (or team), who is pursued by the third, and so on.

Speed Trap: A section of the course a coach will set to gage ideal skis and wax before a race.

Takeoff: At the end of the inrun, the moment where the jumper takes flight.

Telemark Position: Landing with one ski in front of the other, lunging forward.

V-Position: The position of the skis most jumpers use while in the air. The skis are touching or nearly touching at the tail, and spread apart at the tips to form a “V.” The position improves the aerodynamics of the ski jumper.

Vertical: An uphill climb.

Wax Technician: Called a wax tech for short, a staff member responsible for finding the ideal glide and/or kick wax for a given race and snow temperature.