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Biathlon Equipment and History





Arm sling

Used to stabilise the rifle while shooting.


These are more rigid and have more ankle support than classic technique boots because they are subject to considerable lateral pressure.


Also called a magazine. Used to hold five .22-calibre rifle cartridges. Up to four clips can be stored in the rifle stock while the athlete skis the course. At the range, the clips are taken from the stock and inserted into the rifle as needed.

Fore sight

A marker at the end of the barrel that aids in aligning a shot with the target.


Used to carry the rifle on the athlete's back while skiing.


Holds clips. Each clip holds five .22-calibre rifle cartridges; up to four clips can be stored in the rifle stock while the athlete skis the course.

Rear sight

A clear cylinder that magnifies the target (to align the target correctly, the fore sight should be perfectly centred in the rear sight; generally, one eye is shut to eliminate distractions).

Ski poles

Poles are generally longer and stiffer than those used for classic technique and extend to the chin or mouth of the skier; baskets and tips have the same design as classic technique poles.

Skis and wax

Freestyle technique skis are shorter, nominally stiffer and have tips that curve less than classic technique skis. Glide wax is applied to the entire under surface.

Ski suit

Reduces wind impact and resistance.


The size of the target varies according to the position (standing or prone) of the contestant. If a contestant hits a target that is coloured black, a white disc slides across it, indicating a successful shot.