A Year-Round Activity
Ski jumping is a year-round sport at Blackhawk and the facilities are some of the best in the nation. Blackhawk has 5 meter, 15 meter, 30 meter, and 60 meter ski jumps. All of Blackhawk’s ski jumps have plastic mats and steel track for training in the non-snow months. Blackhawk’s smaller jumps (5, 15, and 30 meter) also have a rope tow that is used throughout the year to dramatically increase the number of jumps a jumper can get during a practice session.
Ski jumps are designed for the jumper to fly close to the ground and to land safely on the hill. This is an individual sport that stresses good sportsmanship and encourages kids to improve their personal records. Ski jumpers come in all body sizes. Ski jumping is a great sport for families with kids of all ages. Everyone can come together and practice at the same time. A typical practice session lasts about an hour and a half and includes playing soccer (non-snow months), cross country skiing (winter months), stretching, imitation jumping, jumping and reviewing video tapes.
Success in the Past and Present
Blackhawk has a long and proud past in ski jumping. The club was founded in 1947 by a group of ski jumpers. Blackhawk added snow-making equipment and was the first ski jumping club in the Western hemisphere to successfully install plastic mats for year-round training. Three of Blackhawk’s ski jumpers have participated in the Olympics: Dave Norby (1968), Bill Bakke (1968) and Kurt Stein (1992 and 1994). Blackhawk has produced numerous national champions including Werner Schorr, Kurt Stein, and Will Schott (2006). Will Schott participated in Junior Worlds in January 2010 and has been named to the U.S. Ski Jumping Team.
Success in the ski jumping program comes from having access to top-level facilities and highly trained coaches. Blackhawk is fortunate to have excellent coaching direction from Kurt Stein, 1992 and 1994 Olympian; Kip Kopelke, member of the 1997 United States Ski Jumping Team; and Dave Norby, 1968 Olympian. Additionally, Will Schott, 2006 U.S. National Champion, and Nick Schott, 12th at Junior Olympics 2006, assist with coaching the younger jumpers.
Introduction to Ski Jumping
Skiers who can easily ski down Hill #2, usually kids ages five and older, are welcome to try ski jumping. Blackhawk offers an Introduction to Ski Jumping class on six Saturdays beginning in early January (weather dependent). Lesson times are 10:30-11:15 a.m., or 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. New jumpers will have a chance to participate in Blackhawk’s home tournament in January. Jumpers may choose to participate in Badger State Games with the Blackhawk Ski Jumping Team. Participants need to register and pay a separate entry fee for Badger State Games.
Beginner ski jumpers will learn the basics about ski jumping. When they feel comfortable, they can go off of the smallest jump with their alpine skis. Helmets are required. As the young jumpers progress, if they wish to join the Blackhawk Ski Jumping Team they can come to regular practices on Tuesday and Thursday nights 5:30-7 p.m. by the small ski jumps. Parents are asked to stay and help during practices.
Blackhawk coach and former Olympian Kurt Stein answers the question “How do I get started with Ski Jumping?”
Blackhawk Ski Jumping Team
The team includes youth who have tried the sport and want to learn more, possibly compete in tournaments and/or work towards the goals of Junior Olympics and beyond. Practices are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-7 p.m. Members of the team can train on snow in winter (December-March), and train on plastic in the spring (May-June) and fall (September-November). Jumpers are not required to attend all practices.
Jumpers can participate in the club’s winter tournament on Saturday and Sunday, January 12-13, 2013, or in optional camps throughout the year. Jumpers can begin traveling to other tournaments in the Central Region (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois) when they want to. Many of Blackhawk’s ski jumpers like to participate in the Badger State Games each winter. Participation in tournaments at other clubs is optional and the fees are not included. As jumpers progress, they can rent jumper skis and boots from the club for a modest fee. Parents are asked to stay and help during practices.
Online Video and Photo Albums
2009 Ski Jumping Summer Camp Video
We have online video of the jumping programs:
USSA Central Division News
The Central Division has a website with news and highlights of events in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois. Visit http://skijumpingusa.com/. Please use this site as a reference for all things Central during this busy season. The site posts Invites and Registration Forms for Central events. Also, the Junior Olympic Rankings and the current red and yellow jersey standings will be posted there.
To see great pictures and video clips of Central Division events, please visit www.centralskijumping.smugmug.com. If you are interested in contributing your photos and/or video clips to this site, please contact Karyl Loomis, Email Coordinator for USSA Central Division.
Women’s Ski Jumping
Women’s ski jumping will be included for the first time in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Members of the U.S. Women’s Team and other nations worked for years to make this possible. More information about the U.S. Women’s Team can be found at: http://www.wsjusa.com/.
For more information
For more information about Blackhawk ski jumping, contact Christine Gessner.
For downloadable pdfs of the Ski Jumping program
Blackhawk ski jumpers were fortunate to participate in Summer Development Ski Jumping Camps in 2008 and 2009 with volunteer coaching assistance from members of the U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping Team.