Cross-country skiing analysis and ski technique detection by high-precision kinematic global navigation satellite system

Masaki Takeda, Naoto Miyamoto, Takaaki Endo, Olli Ohtonen, Stefan Lindinger, Vesa Linnamo, Thomas Stöggl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Cross-country skiing (XCS) embraces a broad variety of techniques applied like a gear system according to external conditions, slope topography, and skier-related factors. The continuous detection of applied skiing techniques and cycle characteristics by application of unobtrusive sensor technology can provide useful information to enhance the quality of training and competition. (1) Background: We evaluated the possibility of using a high-precision kinematic global navigation satellite system (GNSS) to detect cross-country skiing classical style technique. (2) Methods: A world-class male XC skier was analyzed during a classical style 5.3-km time trial recorded with a high-precision kinematic GNSS attached to the skier’s head. A video camera was mounted on the lumbar region of the skier to detect the type and number of cycles of each technique used during the entire time trial. Based on the GNSS trajectory, distinct patterns of head displacement (up-down head motion) for each classical technique (e.g., diagonal stride (DIA), double poling (DP), kick double poling (KDP), herringbone (HB), and downhill) were defined. The applied skiing technique, skiing duration, skiing distance, skiing speed, and cycle time within a technique and the number of cycles were visually analyzed using both the GNSS signal and the video data by independent persons. Distinct patterns for each technique were counted by two methods: Head displacement with course inclination and without course inclination (net up-down head motion). (3) Results: Within the time trial, 49.6% (6 min, 46 s) was DP, 18.7% (2 min, 33 s) DIA, 6.1% (50 s) KDP, 3.3% (27 s) HB, and 22.3% (3 min, 03 s) downhill with respect to total skiing time (13 min, 09 s). The %Match for both methods 1 and 2 (net head motion) was high: 99.2% and 102.4%, respectively, for DP; 101.7% and 95.9%, respectively, for DIA; 89.4% and 100.0%, respectively, for KDP; 86.0% and 96.5%, respectively, in HB; and 98.6% and 99.6%, respectively, in total. (4) Conclusions: Based on the results of our study, it is suggested that a high-precision kinematic GNSS can be applied for precise detection of the type of technique, and the number of cycles used, duration, skiing speed, skiing distance, and cycle time for each technique, during a classical style XCS race.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4947
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 2


  • Classical technique
  • Cross-country skiing
  • GPS
  • Kinematic GNSS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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