The differences between ski jumping and ski flying are, on the one hand, minor, but on the other hand huge.
Minor, huge differences
The main difference is, of course, the distance of the jumps resp. flights. On a large hill jumps of up to 150 m are possible.
Jumps until HS 150, flights from HS 200
For example, the hill record on the very large hill in Willingen (GER) is currently at 152 m. The hill as a HS of 145 m. The smallest of the five ski flying hills at the Kulm (AUT) has a hill size of 200 m. So flying hills are a lot bigger.
The inrun speed is higher and so the athletes can jump farther, the period of time in which the athletes are in the air is longer > so jumps are becoming flights.
Jumping technique very similar
There's not that much difference in the actual jumping technique of the athletes. Inrun, take-off, flight-phase and landing are similar. Who can do well in ski jumping, can usually also be competitive on a ski flying hill.
But there are also specialists in ski flying, athletes who have a very good feeling for the flight.
These are, for example Slovene Robert Kranjec, Austrians Martin Koch and Gregor Schlierenzauer, Japanese Daiki Ito and a few more top athletes.
Ski flying is physically demanding
And there's another difference: Ski flying is extremely physically demanding for the athletes. A weekend in Planica (SLO) is exhausting for all of the jumpers. The body is full of adrenalin, the pulse raising to unbelievable heights and at the end all athletes are simply tired.
Right now FIS World Cup events and FIS World Championships are held on five hills.
Oberstdorf (GER) HS 213 Meter , Details »
Bad Mitterndorf / Kulm (AUT) HS 200 Meter, Details »
Harrachov (CZE) HS 205 Meter Details »
Vikersund (NOR) HS 225 Meter Details »
Another ski flying hill is located in Ironwood (USA), but it's not in use anymore. The certificate expired in 1995.
The facility in Vikersund is the world's largest hill with a hill record of 246.5 m (world record), set by Johan Remen Evensen of Norway (Feb. 11th, 2011).
Unlike in World Cup competitions on a normal- or large hill where 50 athletes get to participate in the first round, in a World Cup competition in ski flying only 40 jumpers are competing. The best 30 then qualify for the second round.
The athlete, who scores the most World Cup points in the ski flying competition of a season, is awarded with the trophy for the overall victory of the ski flying World Cup.
W. HOFER - VIDEOBLOG
Lillehammer 7/12/2013 Ski Jumping Highlights