What is Skiing Out in Slalom?

Skiing out in slalom means that a skier missed a gate on the course or skied outside of it. The slalom event requires skiers to go down a course full of various gates they must navigate. If they miss any of these, it’s called skiing out. 

I’m Christine, and I created this blog because of my lifelong love of skiing. I get out to the mountains as often as possible and enjoy everything about the sport. I’ve watched many slalom events over the years and know the rules through first-hand experience. 

This post will explain what skiing out in slalom is. I’ll let you know what this phrase means and how it relates to the rules of the slalom event. My goal is to give you a better understanding of this popular type of skiing race. 

Let’s get after it. 

Key Takeaways

  • Skiing out in the slalom event occurs when a skier skis outside of a gate. The slalom course comprises a series of these gates, and it’s skiing out if they miss any of them. 
  • In most slalom events, you are automatically disqualified from the competition if you ski out or miss a gate. Even if you just miss a single gate, you aren’t allowed technically complete the course. 
  • Sometimes skiing out also refers to when a skier falls during a slalom event and their skis slip out from under them. This is a less technical use for the term and isn’t as common. 

What is Skiing Out in Slalom? 

The slalom event is a popular ski race involving racers competing against one another by navigating a downhill course made up of a series of gates. These gates are basically two poles with flags with an area of snow between them. 

Skiers must ski between all these gates during the event; if they miss even one, they are disqualified from the competition. Skiing out is when a skier skis outside of these gates at any point during the race. 

Sometimes skiing out occurs because a competitor slips or falls when attempting to turn or navigate the course. Other times it happens because the skier is going too fast and can’t turn quickly enough to make it through the gates. 

Regardless of why the racer misses the gate, they are disqualified from the competition, and it’s most often called skiing out. If you watch an event on television, you’ll hear the announcers say that the skier “skied out” when they missed a gate. 

Skiing out can also refer to when a slalom skier slips or falls and their skis slip out from under them. This isn’t as common of a use of the term, but it still applies to the situation. Most of the time, skiing out refers to missing a gate rather than simply falling

Slalom Skiing Gates

Slalom skiing gates are what makes a slalom course in the first place. Every slalom event you’ll see has these gates up along the course length, no matter where the event is taking place or what type of snow conditions exist. 

A slalom course will have between 40 to 75 of these gates, depending on the length of the course and whether it’s a men’s or women’s event. The skiers must ski through all of these gates on their way downhill. 

The gates are typically blue and red in color and are made up of a long pole and a flag on top. This allows for them to be easily seen, even in poor visibility. The gates are made of bamboo or plastic and usually don’t cause injury if a skier runs into them. 


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to what is skiing out in slalom. 

What does it mean to ski out in giant slalom? 

Skiing out in giant slalom has the same meaning as skiing out in slalom – it applies to anytime a skier misses a gate during the course. The rules of slalom and giant slalom are very similar, but the gates are closer together in the giant slalom event. 

What are the rules of slalom skiing? 

The basic rules of slalom skiing involve skiing as fast as possible through the course while navigating through all the gates set up down the mountain. If a skier misses one of these gates, they are disqualified. The skier with the fastest time wins the event. 

Why do slalom skiers hit the gates? 

Slalom skiers hit the gates during the course because navigating as close as possible to them often leads to the fastest time. By getting close enough to hit the gates, you avoid slowing down and turning as much as possible. 

Final Thoughts

Skiing out in slalom is whenever a skier misses a gate in the event. If this happens, that skier is disqualified from the competition automatically. This term is often used during live televised skiing events. 

Skiing out also refers to when a slalom skier slips or falls during the race, but this isn’t as common of a use. 

Have you ever watched a slalom event or even competed in one? Let me know in the comments below. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.