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A different way to think about ski set up?

HortonHorton Posts: 25,318 Administrator
edited May 5 in Skis Fins Bindings
This is an idea that is nowhere near fully cooked....

This year I have started thinking about ski set up as speed and load management. Traditionally we all talk and think about fin and bindings as a way to tune turns. My new thought process is that if I am going the right speed at apex then the turn more or less just happens.

To be fair @AdamCord may not have intentionally put the seeds of this idea in my head but it is at least derivative of his ideas.

Blasphemy?

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lazznpumpinpete

Comments

  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 159 Baller
    Not blasphemy at all. I think of water skiing as energy management. Something I learned from a pilot years ago and it certainly applies to water skiing. Acceleration and deceleration are all about creating and dumping energy, which is your moving mass at speed. To get to the next ball you create massive amounts of energy (speed) that you then have to get rid of. All that water being thrown in the air is a reflection of the energy being used to do something (slow down).

    And I agree with you - turning is sort of something that just happens.
  • skibugskibug Posts: 1,972
    sorry...are you telling me the laws of physics cease to exist on your ski?!?!? Not. Of course speed and load management are elements of what goes into making a ski work; but you gotta have the set up within a workable range.
    Bob Grizzi
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 320 Solid Baller
    @Horton you are mixing two different things, the dynamics of the path you want to take and the fluid dynamics that determins how the ski will react to inputs from the rider. The fin and binding settings are the fluid dynamics side of the problem. Your settings will be dictated by the ski design, your body center of gravity, how you distribute the load on the ski at different moments throughout a turn, how fast the ski is going... Notice that the only constant from person-to-person is the ski design (assuming two people on the same ski). This is why the perfect fin setting for one isn't perfect for another, maybe they can be close but it's unlikely to be exactly the same between two people. The path is partly dependent on the ski's and rider's abilities, in addition to the desired path. You could have the right speed at the apex but the wrong path. Your path could even be good up to the apex, then go bad after.

    Guess this can be simplified to saying: I suspect that ski setup is way more complicated than just making sure you have the right speed at the apex. It's about making the ski do what you want, when you want it based on the physics of fluids and dynamics.
  • teammalibuteammalibu Posts: 665 Crazy Baller
    Bazinga
    Mike Erb Cedar Ridge Canton Miss.
    Horton is my hero
  • lazznlazzn Posts: 25 Baller
    @vtmecheng I think what Horton is saying is that fins and bindings should be tuned for what happens prior to the turn, ie pull, edge change, deceleration, rather than adjusting for feel in the turn. A turn is only as good as your setup is. Once a skier transitions off of one edge the boat is not applying force to the skier/ski; it's just the inertia of the skier vs whatever the fin is doing. Of course the fin parameters are still important during the turn, but I think however much speed is carried into the turn is something to analyze, and more importantly, something that can be controlled with fin and wing adjustments.
    Media Director, Wisconsin Waterski Team
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 320 Solid Baller
    @lazzn didn't you just describe adjusting fins and bindings to tune the turn? From the time the ski is on the inside edge it is making a turn right? The fin and bonding setup will change how the ski acts on the water throughout the turn, not just the beginning.
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 320 Solid Baller
    edited May 6
    I should be more specific. A turn doesn't just happen because of speed or even direction. The skier must continue to apply forces onto the ski do that it does what the skier wants. How the ski responds to that condition is dependent on its shape, speed, and design. The fin settings are the part of the ski design that the user can change. The bindings are a way for us to adjust where our forces and CG are with respect to the ski.

    For the record, I'm just typing as I'm thinking here. I could be off base on some of this but hopefully it gets others thinking a bit more.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,318 Administrator
    @vtmecheng you make good points.

    I am simply proclaiming that it has been an eye-opening experience for me to stop thinking about how to make the ski turn with fin and bindings but only focus on how to get my speed at the first wake, load at centerline, & speed at apex correct.

    The fact that I'm skiing on the Denali c-65, with an S wing, and a CG Fin likely has a lot to do with the experience. Even if the experience is not going to be exactly the same on a more traditional ski, I have learned some things.

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  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 320 Solid Baller
    I get what you are saying @Horton, even if I am a beginner. It's easy to go straight for adjustments to try and get that turn sharp. Instead, thinking about everything up to the turn and that first part of the turn are really what often needs the work. Hell of a lot harder to change what the body does than to move a fin.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,318 Administrator
    @vtmecheng I 100% agree and actually the ski setup methodology I'm talking about is pretty advanced

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  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 320 Solid Baller
    In the end, I still think that ski setup is technically based on what you need the ski to do with respect to the forces applied. The real challenge is the mental one. How do we make our bodies do what they should throughout the course. Hopefully I'm understanding you correctly that the idea presented is a way to think about body position and how to transfer loads to the ski. It's funny because I really do suck at the course. As an engineer I love looking at a skier and just picturing the forces and moments, their changing directions and magnitudes as my mind sees them. I'm sure that others have spent years doing that mental exercise because there's so much going on from one camera frame to the next.
  • ghutchghutch Posts: 39 Baller
    @Horton, what size ski and settings are you using. Might need to address this on another thread but what are your settings and boot placement on the Denali?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,318 Administrator
    edited May 8
    @vtmecheng No I do not think we are really on the same page...

    With the ski/fin/wing combination I am using - I am literally adjusting the ski for acceleration and deceleration. Less fin surface area means less load out of the ball but more speed after the second wake. Less fin also may mean the ski has a flatter additude out of the ball so it can make more speed more efficiently.

    More fin surface means more load between apex and the wakes and maybe more speed but faster deceleration after the second wake.

    As I said in my first this is an incomplete & developing idea for me. I do not totally understand but I feel like I have moved past only thinking about fin / binding tweaks as a way to make the ski turn.

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  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 320 Solid Baller
    I get what you are saying now and it makes sense to consider all of those effects due to fin adjustments. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that fin adjustments impact accelerations and turning, meaning it's more than but includes the turns? I would think it dangerous to try and boil down fin settings to only a couple of ski aspects.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,318 Administrator
    @ghutch I will try to remeasure my C65 settings tomorrow and post them.

    @vtmecheng I guess that since this idea is new to me I am thinking of it as separate but parallel to more traditional logic. I have not abandoned the traditional methods long term but for at the moment all my adjustments are speed focused. In the end a blend of the methods may be best but for now I am narrow focused.

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  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 588 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Boot position and fin/wing setup should always be set up with speed/load management in mind first. @vtmecheng to your point it is very difficult to get in good position on a ski that’s set up with poor speed and load characteristics. I have on many occasions made fin adjustments to someone else’s ski and they immediately go from looking like a beginner to getting in a strong and stacked position. Bindings are a big part of that as well.

    Once the speed of the ski is right, fin tuning can be done to get the turns exactly how you want them.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,318 Administrator
    @ghutch

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  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 320 Solid Baller
    I fully admit to not knowing nearly as much as many here about fin settings.
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