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Turn radius - how much impact does it have?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I get the basics - smaller turn radius generally means deeper sidecut and aski that wants to hook up into tighter turns. Bigger radius tends to be harder to make shorter turns yes?

 

I'm guessing most people (myself included) probably can't really tell the difference between a couple of meters - but what kind of range would someone notice a big difference? What kind of range does it start getting pretty big and does that make it harder to ski in tight places like trees or tight chutes?

 

Also - does anyone think a tighter radius would help a wider ski feel quicker edge to edge? For example - something in the 100-105 range with a significantly bigger radius that something closer to 110-115. Would the wider ski feel a little easier to get on edge or quicker edge to edge when you have to ski the groomed back to the lift if ti has a tighter radius/ more sidecut?

 

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBean View Post

I get the basics - smaller turn radius generally means deeper sidecut and aski that wants to hook up into tighter turns. Bigger radius tends to be harder to make shorter turns yes? Yes if you control for anything else, but flex and the location of the sidecut relative to the tip and tail rise are a bigger part of the package if you plan to bend the ski. Technically, if you cannot change the curve via bending, then if you try to carve a smaller turn than allowed by the sidecut, you'll skid a bit of it, probably chatter if it's hardpack. Most folks never notice unless it's extreme, like trying to do a SL turn on a 30 m 115 mm on hardpack. Not most people's fav use.

 

I'm guessing most people (myself included) probably can't really tell the difference between a couple of meters - but what kind of range would someone notice a big difference? What kind of range does it start getting pretty big and does that make it harder to ski in tight places like trees or tight chutes? No hard figures here, but all else equal, I notice about a 2 m difference on groomers, maybe twice that in soft snow. Again, all else is seldom equal. There are some 32 m skis I've had that turned on a dime, and some 24 m skis that hated turning for any size currency.

 

Also - does anyone think a tighter radius would help a wider ski feel quicker edge to edge? For example - something in the 100-105 range with a significantly bigger radius that something closer to 110-115. Would the wider ski feel a little easier to get on edge or quicker edge to edge when you have to ski the groomed back to the lift if ti has a tighter radius/ more sidecut? A tighter radius in a wide ski may help it feel quicker through an arc, but IMO we typically mean "quick initiation" when we say "quick edge to edge" And initiation is more influenced by the shovel rise, shape and mass of the tip, where the sidecut ends. In any case, a ski over 100 is going to be aimed at soft snow, where "getting on edge" is less of an issue. No one makes soft snow skis for going back to the lift. You can ski soft snow various ways, ranging from tipping and banking through pivoting to smearing the tails, but primarily you won't be riding the edges. 

 



 

post #3 of 5

I have experimented with and do notice a 1 m difference in skis that are at or below 23 m, but I doubt I would notice the difference between 65 and 70..

 

Flex has more to do with how uncooperative a ski would be in tight chutes when you wanted to make tight turns slowly, but if you have a ski stiff enough ski fast securely on, then I would say that starting at about 18 m and definitely by 23 m I would want something with a smaller radius for that.

 

I don't think it would be quicker edge to edge with a shorter radius, but it would hook up with more alacrity once you got it to the edge.

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBean View Post

 

I'm guessing most people (myself included) probably can't really tell the difference between a couple of meters - but what kind of range would someone notice a big difference?

 



I think you and even very low level skiers  would be able to tell the difference between a couple of meters.   

 

Not because the turns are smaller, but because the smaller-radius ski  feels stable quicker on a sketchy surface (hard pack).

 

And if that  answers your second question, well, there it is.

 

 

90-something waist skis felt pokey and slow to edge until they got massive sidecuts, and now people use them everywhere.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Awesome feedback guys.

So if I'm understanding - flex, tip shape and taper all play significant roles in initiating turns. Softer flex and early rise being helpful.
Radius is more important on hardpack, and variances are more noticeable in lower ranges (e.g. 13 - 15m noticeable, whereas maybe 25-27m not as much).

 

Makes sense.

 

The comment on "wider skis are made for softer snow and no one makes a wide ski to ski groomers" was interesting too. I fundamentally agree, but I just feel like the new breed of "all-mountain" skis are getting wider. Obviously you can opt for soft-snow bias all-mountain, or hard snow bias all mountain. They would likely differ in width, amount (if any) of early rise and probably stiffness etc.

 

When I ask people to recommend a OSQ these days, I feel like so many people recommend stuff over 100 waist. I was just trying to figure out if some of these wider skis might handle harder snow, groomers, tight trees etc better than others - thought turn radius might play a part - but guess it's only really a factor if you get the things on edge and really carve on harder snow.

 

For softer snow and tree agility I'd be looking more at softer flex (at least softer tip) and early rise, and for hard snow performance not too soft or too much early rise (or else they'll flop about a lot?)... Hmmm really sounding like 2 completely different skis. Maybe there really isn't a true "all-mountain" machine...

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