On 24 April 2024, Japanese ski jumping star Ryōyū Kobayashi launched himself off a ramp in northern Iceland and flew 291 metres before landing safely on the snow. After two intense days of attempts, Kobayashi set a new world record for the longest ski jump, beating the previous record by 37.5 metres and taking ski jumping to new heights.

This achievement has profound significance for the athlete. Kobayashi, at 27, is already one of the greats of ski jumping and has dreamed of elevating the sport to new heights since his childhood in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. His tireless dedication to mastering his art has brought him to the forefront, amassing to date 32 individual wins and two overall World Cup titles, individual gold and silver medals at the 2022 Olympic Games, and three overall titles at the iconic Four Hills tournament.

However, Kobayashi was determined to make an even stronger statement for the sport and do it on natural terrain.

“THIS JUMP HAS BEEN A DREAM OF MINE FOR A LONG TIME, AS I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO JUMP FURTHER THAN ANYONE ELSE AND I WANT TO KEEP PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES.”

The challenge Kobayashi faced was unique and his success is a testament to his ability to break barriers and defy expectations. While Kobayashi held the second longest jump in the world with a personal record of 252m, none of the existing ski jumping ramps provided the necessary conditions to be able to break such a world record.

After two years of searching, the ideal site was discovered at Hlidarfjall Akureyri in northern Iceland. There, exclusively for the attempt, Kobayashi’s team spent more than two months building a ski jump ramp in the natural terrain that rises to 1,115 metres high at the start, descending through an altitude difference of 360 metres with a maximum gradient of 36 degrees.

How did the Japanese man break the ski jumping world record?

Prada Linea Rossa is one of the most famous clothing brands in skiing and was one of the key partners supporting the athlete to achieve his ambitious goal in the unforgiving environment of this remote location. Prada Linea Rossa’s advanced textile developments combine comfort and high performance functionality, providing the athlete and core team members with functional clothing and accessories for the extended periods spent on the mountain.

Managing the extended take-off and jump would require a level of physical precision and mental focus beyond anything Kobayashi had experienced. The athlete had been preparing for this intense challenge since 2023, including training at the Red Bull Athlete Performance Center in Austria, and fine-tuned his stance and stability with specific wind tunnel training in Sweden.

Once in Iceland, Kobayashi began his attempts on 23 April, and although he set one new record after another at 256m, then 259m and 282m, the athlete yearned for something bigger. When he finally set his record of 291m on 24 April, emotions were running high.

The event was not only a personal achievement for Kobayashi, but also a significant moment for the sport, inspiring other athletes and the ski jumping community to recognise the possibilities of the future. Figures such as Thomas Morgenstern and Andreas Goldberger have recognised Kobayashi’s achievement, seeing it as a new era for ski jumping and a precedent for future generations looking to break 300 metres.

Kobayashi’s feat not only redefines the boundaries of ski jumping, but also highlights the importance of innovation, determination and the spirit of achievement in the sport.e mountain with its ancient buildings, the magnificent church with its Baroque-era altar and the splendid views that can be admired by venturing through the narrow streets that wind between the houses.
Antagnod enjoys a privileged position: at an altitude of 1,710 metres, it overlooks the other villages of the upper Val d’Ayas and enjoys a sunny exposure that makes the village a destination to visit all year round. The slopes of the Antagnod ski resort guarantee fun for the whole family, from the Baby Snow Park dedicated to the youngest children to the highly technical, internationally approved slopes.