The Physics of Awesome

February 3, 2010 at 9:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Physics of Awesome

Despite the fact that it might seem (a) dangerous, (b) crazy, and (c) out of control, freestyle aerials is actually a delicate art, where specific body movements are used to control the rate of flipping and twisting, and to ensure a smooth, upright landing.

There’s an article in Tuesday’s Science Times that, using Ryan St. Onge as an example, meticulously dissects the physics behind his lay-full-full (that’s a “triple flip jump with a full twist in each of the second and third flips”). There’s also a freeze-frame video that accompanies it (a must-see, that I was sadly unable to embed here), where Ryan and the article’s author pause a video of the jump at various points to describe what he’s doing at each moment.

When I was in Salt Lake a few summers ago, I stopped by the Olympic Training Center in Park City. Here, a freestyle aerialist is taking summer jumps: plastic snow, and a swimming pool to cushion the landing.

(There’s a video on the snowboard halfpipe worth checking out too, and future videos in the series will dissect the luge, figure skating, and downhill skiing).

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