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The Benefits Of Drafting

In long distance skiing, much like in cycling, drafting another skier is greatly beneficial. The term drafting is mainly used in sports physiology and biomechanics to describe the tactic of performing a mode of activity in a sheltered position.

Photo: Magnus Östh

At Vasaloppet drafting is extremely beneficial

In general terms, drafting is when one rides behind another to take advantage of the lower wind resistance in this “slipstream”. This allows the drafting rider to use less energy while traveling at the same speed. Conserving effort this way pays off in endurance sport like skiing, because the one who can maintain the fastest pace over the long distance usually wins. In skiing, the wind resistance factor is only one benefit of drafting as the other advantage is that the trailing skier can also get a better glide on his or her skis compared to the leading skier.

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