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Ski Design, What does what?

SkihackSkihack Posts: 448 Baller
edited June 2012 in Skis Fins Bindings
Starting this thread because it appears I don't know shi.......... about ski design. I think I need to better understand slalom ski designs before I drop another K on another one. I know we have bevels, concaves, tip and tail rocker, etc. But what does each do? I stand corrected that the tail rocker does not increase the ski's turning characteristics and that larger bevels do. And that generally larger bevels make a ski slower from side to side. Some people are looking for stability, some easier turning, some easier skiing( good luck with that one!) What I am looking for is some of the best turning skis, the easier turning skis. Hopefully, some of the ballers in the know will chime in. It seems like I am always trying to adjust the fin for better turning. For once, I would like to be adjusting the fin to stop the ski from overturning. Now, that would be nice. I think!

Comments

  • DustyDusty Posts: 315 Baller
    Great idea. Empirically, for me anyway- I've found that more rocker = a slower, 'turnier' ski. They usually came with a shorter 'flat spot' and less forgiveness for skier movement fore and aft. Bevels and concaves- not so sure. Some skis with rounder bevels seem to 'hunt' when not edged, if that is the correct term. Narrow tail and lots of rocker made several skis nearly unskiable for me. They weren't around long so maybe others found them that way as well-
  • SkihackSkihack Posts: 448 Baller
    Dusty, when you say rounder bevels seem to hunt, that brings to mind the EP Pro Stock. That ski was not for the faint of heart. Always felt like you were sliding to 2nd base going into offside turn.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,741 Administrator
    edited June 2012
    There was a time in my life when I thought could look at a ski and tell you what it would ski like. I was wrong.

    What I do think is that shape-> perimeter outline-> proportions is the most important factor in a modern ski. Then we start talking bevels, thickness, rocker, longitudinal and torsional flex, tunnel depth and radius, tail shape and so on. I would say that there are less than 20 people on earth that can really just look at a ski and take a really good guess about how it will ski.

    Classic example: I dare anyone but Eddie Roberts (or team Radar) to tell me the real difference between the old RS-1 and the older MPD. RS-1 felt faster and had the greatest On Side turn ever but the Off Side turn was a challenge. The MPD rode like a different ski but they came from the same mold or almost the same mold (depending on who you ask) .

    My point? If someone who really does ski R&D wants to comment that is great but for the average baller this thread is dangerous. You should choose a ski by demoing them. Hopefully my reviews and comments from other skiers also help.The idea that you can look at a ski and judge if it will work for you is flawed.

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  • SkihackSkihack Posts: 448 Baller
    I think you are right in that you used to be able to look at a ski and tell what it would ski like. Now, it seems to be difficult to do so. And, you can't beat demoing the ski first. I have only demoed one ski in that I really do not ski much anymore and I can say from that experience that the Radar Strada is a bitching ski. Put the right skier on it and he or she won't be beat. However, my daughter does not like it. She has demoed all the skis and basically skis the same on all of them. No one ski stands out for her at this point. Basically, to her, some skis are easier to ride, while others no so much. But, at the end of the day, she skis the same on all of them.
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    I can vouch for that comment. I had an RS-1 prior to my Strada. I ski'd like crap on my RS-1 vs my Strada. Looking at both of them side by side on the dock, it was VERY difficult to tell any difference at all looking at the bottom of the ski.
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    I think of ski design like a bunch of overlapping circles. Some design features have characteristics that do one thing more than anything else, when looked at in isolation. As soon as you have other factors - such as stiffness or dampening - the overlap changes. So, you cannot look at this mathematically at all. So, ski design is more of an art with a whole lot of science backing it up. What I find really interesting is two identical skis may feel different enough to influence your scores. So, a lot of effort is spent to make manufactured skis consistent ski-to-ski. That is tough with the very fine differences that can be felt.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,039
    edited June 2012
    I have ridden a lot of skis in the last 12 months (and I will preface this comment by saying "I suck"); but I have taken account of one thing over all of those skis and that was bevel shape and transition of the bevel. Whether it is in my head or I am on to something I am not sure; but, I have found I prefer skis with rounder bevels or at least skis that transition to rounder bevels earlier going from tip to tail. For instance, I did not like the Strata, A1, A2 (sharper bevels with the chamfer running much further down to the tail of the ski) vs D3's, Elite, Sans Rival, and now the Connelly Prophecy which all have rounder bevels and/or an earlier transition to rounder bevels tip to tail. The rounder bevels seem to allow for a more progressive build up of angle vs the sharper, longer chamfer style where you seem to "get what you get" when your set your angle out of the ball.

    I am not one of the elite 20 that Horton speaks of...just an over analytical engineer that sucks at skiing. None the less....it is all fun...or torture...i haven't figured that out yet.
    Bob Grizzi
  • WishWish Posts: 7,834 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Not an enganeer but agree with @skibug 100%. Not sure which design makes that happen among those skis but that's the difference in performance I noticed (tested some of his listed and others). To me the designs were all trade offs not nessisarely one being not good and one good or better. My goal has been to find a ski that will reduce the hits out of the turn and or force me to change somewhat in style to eliminate them. The S2 seems to have the least amount of trade offs for me but it's also making me more patient out of the turn and back to the wake (not easy for me). It's been easier on my back. Unfortunately I got the bright idea of riding a stationary bike (Airdine) where your arms and core get a work out. Went at it to hard with bad form and jacked my back. Grrrrrr! Stupid bike.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,464 Mega Baller
    Has she tried shorter? I prefer to lean toward the short side of the recommended range, and one reason is I need the turning quickness and am not strong enough to take full advantage of a longer ski behind the boat anyhow.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • SkihackSkihack Posts: 448 Baller
    She tried and ran 22 off three times for the first time today. She can't run 15 off but can run 22 off. Now I have to figure out how to deal with this for a tourney. If she starts at a lower speed at 22 off and doesn't get to and run the 34mph pass, she doesn't get credit for all the buoys below I believe. Not really sure.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,872 Infinite Pandas
    @skimech I'm not sure how this relates to ski design but if she starts at 22 off and runs a pass below the maximum speed she will score the pass as if it were long line. When she runs the maximum speed she will get 18 buoys for that pass. If she likes 22 off better - ski there.

    Certain characteristics have a predictable influence on a ski. If you take a ski and soften the edges you can be sure that the ski will ride lower in the water, roll over more and turn sharper. But that is just one factor in the ski design. There are so many other factors in a ski design that the soft edge ski may not ride lower, roll over more and turn sharper than a different ski which has sharp edges. And localized softening of the edges adds another huge variable. Factor in rocker effects, stiffness, thickness, bottom features, size fin settings and placebo effects and there is no way to tell how a ski will feel just by looking at it.

    Strangely enough, the shape of the ski is a relatively minor effect on my skis. Grinding a ski to a radically different profile has made surprisingly minor changes in feel.

    @than Short skis rock! But that's just one variable...

    Eric
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