No one has measured how the design of jumps affects the stability of skiers and snowboarders while jumping. Until now.
Jeff Campbell, Research Assistant at the Applied Biomechanics Lab, University of Washington is using the latest technology to see if jumps can be engineered to be safer. We spoke to Jeff about his research and his new crowdfunding campaign to fund the completion of his project.
What is your background in skiing?
I’ve been skiing since I was 2. Grew up skiing Alta, UT. I skied competitively for a bit, was ranked on the US Freeskiing tour in the mid-2000’s (RIP Jim Jack), and have been lucky enough to ski with some incredible photographers in some amazing places.
Where do you ski?
I love touring in the Cascades and I’ve ridden at Stevens Pass since I moved to the PNW for grad school 4 years ago. LOVE it.
What made you want to study this?
I broke my femur in 2006, and was actually researching how femur rods are ‘installed’ in a lab while in school. I actually got into an argument with the surgeon about how he was going to put mine in. I fell in love with researching Biomechanics and ever since I’ve wanted to research ways of preventing injuries or treating them when they do happen.
When I was looking for a project for my PhD Thesis at UW, Guidance Engineering (http://www.guidanceengineering.com) came into my lab wanting to develop a way to improve terrain parks, and I pounced. Luckiest grad student on earth.
How do you envision your results being applied?
We hope that from the experimental data we collect, we can build computer models that predict how a specific jump design can influence a rider’s balance while jumping. From this we can build safer jumps, and give park designers feedback on new jump designs. We also hope we can use our measurement system for rider education and give them live feedback on learning how to jump or even how to learn new tricks.
Anything else you would like people to know about?
We just launched a crowd-funding campaign to help fund our research through this coming winter and we can use all the help we can get through donations and helping spread the word.
Our research group is always looking to collaborate on side projects or involve more people. For example, this summer we are working on a small side project evaluating how well tech boots release in non-tech bindings.
Anyone interested in our work, how they can help, or how they can donate can find more info at: http://depts.washington.edu/uwabl/ssrf .