How fast downhill skiers are depend on a number of factors, including the skier's experience and physical fitness, along with the location being skied and the equipment being used. In general, most recreational downhill skiers can expect to spend much of their skiing time at speeds around 20 miles per hour. However, it is certainly possible to go faster than this, as demonstrated by the speed of professional downhill skiers.
Recreational Downhill Skiers The answer to how fast downhill skiers are obviously depends on the experience and skill of the skier. Physical fitness is another skier factor affecting how fast downhill skiers are. Recreational downhill skiers move as slowly as fifteen miles per hour, but can reach speeds of 40 miles per hour or more under some circumstances. It is important that beginning recreational skiers not go too fast, reaching speeds at which they can no longer control themselves; this is how a number of beginning skiers are injured. Downhill skiers' speed in the recreational arena also depends on equipment quality. Without equipment touting the newest and best technological advances, recreational downhill skiers are unlikely to approach speeds reached by their professional counterparts.
Professional Downhill Skiers How fast downhill skiers are in the professional world also varies substantially. Most professional downhill skiers have reached speeds of 80 miles per hour or more. However, speeds of just 40 to 50 miles per hour are often reported from the winning skier in racing competitions.
Records in Downhill Skiing Speed If you are hoping to break records, you have your work cut out for you. Olympic skiers can reach speeds of 90 miles per hour or even slightly more. In Switzerland, an Austrian by the name of Klaus Kroell reached a top recorded speed of 96.6 miles per hour in a downhill skiing competition. Oddly, this feat did not equate in winning, with Kroell placing nineteenth in the competition.