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Impact of ski geometry data and standing height ratio on the ACL injury risk and its use for prevention in recreational skiers
  1. Gerhard Ruedl1,
  2. Markus Posch1,
  3. Katja Tecklenburg2,
  4. Alois Schranz2,
  5. Klaus Greier3,
  6. Martin Faulhaber1,
  7. Irving Scher4,5,
  8. Martin Burtscher6
  1. 1 Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  2. 2 Medalp, Imst, Austria
  3. 3 University College of Education, Stams, Austria
  4. 4 Guidance Engineering, Seattle, Washington, USA
  5. 5 Applied Biomechanics Lab, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  6. 6 Sport Science, Medical Section, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gerhard Ruedl, Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria; gerhard.ruedl{at}


Objectives To evaluate the impact of ski geometry data and standing height ratio on anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury risk of male and female recreational skiers.

Methods A retrospective questionnaire-based, case–control study of ACL-injured and uninjured recreational skiers was conducted during six consecutive winter seasons. Ski geometry data (ski length, side-cut radius, widths of the tip, waist and tail) were recorded from each participant’s skis. Standing heights at the front and rear components of the ski binding were measured with a digital sliding calliper, and the standing height ratio between the front and rear was calculated.

Results A total of 1817 recreational skiers participated in this study, of whom 392 (21.6%) sustained an ACL injury. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicates a higher age, a lower skill level and riskier behaviour as independent individual risk factors associated with an ACL injury. An increase in ski length, tip width of the ski, standing height at the rear ski binding component, and in standing height ratio were found to be independent equipment-related risk factors for an ACL injury.

Conclusion Reduced ski length, narrower ski tip width, lower rear standing height and a lower standing height ratio (ie, rear component of the ski binding is more elevated compared with the front component) were associated with a reduced likelihood for ACL injury. When buying or renting skis, these parameters could be considered to reduce the likelihood of ACL injury in recreational skiers.

  • accidental Injuries
  • knee injuries
  • risk factor
  • skiing

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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  • Contributors All authors signifcantly contributed. GR serves as the guarantor and accepts full responsibility for the conduct of the study and the finished work, had acces to the data and controlled the decision to publish.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.