Nordic Ski Jumping is a tradition that has been tightly entwined in the roots of Steamboat Springs and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) since 1915. Nordic Combined is a unique and exciting event in which skiers compete in a ski jumping tournament followed by a cross-country ski race for an overall result.
The SSWSC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined programs are currently the largest of their kind in North America, hovering around 100 athletes ages 4-18. Since 1932 the SSWSC has had a ski jumper or Nordic combined athlete represented in every Winter Olympics with the exception of 1936. In all, 88 SSWSC athletes have qualified for the Olympics. 37 of them competed in Ski Jumping or Nordic Combined.
Howelsen Hill (home of the SSWSC) also boasts one of the largest selections of ski jumps in North America with seven jumps ranging from a “bump jump” for beginners to the Olympic-sized HS100 and HS127-meter jumps. Howelsen Hill also offers 25 kilometers of exciting and challenging homologated cross-country trails for our Nordic Combined athletes.
Ski jumping & Nordic Combined are exciting sports for children of all ages. In our most entry level programs beginning at age 4 or older, we get them started on the “bump jump”. Here we develop a base of comfort and safety, with an understanding of how to approach, lift off, and land a jump, always keeping it fun and encouraging. From there, our professional staff coach the kids through a progression that moves them up little by little from the smaller jumps to the largest jumps sometime in their early teens. The focus is always first and foremost on safety, having fun, skill development, character, and respect for the sport.
We offer different levels of training/involvement for every age group, from the once a week casual jumper to the dedicated athlete with Olympic aspirations. Athletes can chose to focus solely on ski jumping or participate in the full sport of Nordic combined, which means learning ski jumping as well as cross country skiing. In order to make the sport more accessible, we maintain a full inventory of high-end ski jumping equipment.
Ski jumping and Nordic combined are no longer sports exclusive to the winter months. Summer training is extremely significant in both athlete and sport development. When Carl Howelsen started jumping here in Steamboat, the world record was 169 feet. The current world record is a whopping 825 feet!! Such a flight would not be possible without year-round training facilities like ours.
As a combined effort between the City of Steamboat Springs and private donors, two of Howelsen’s jumps (the HS45m and HS75m) are equipped with plastic matting that allows our athletes to train year round. The summer programs combine jump training and camps to other jumping venues along with dry land and endurance training. These summer programs continue to develop our athlete’s fitness, mind, and technique so they are prepared to go into the winter season successfully.