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Why do women's skis have such tight turning radius?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Most men's skis have a side-cut of between 15m and 20m while ladies have side-cut radius as tight as 11m. In my experience ladies (and small light men) do not necessarily want to make tighter turns than their heavier partners on longer skis. I know there are some ski construction issues at work here but is there another reason why a 120 lb lady on a 160 length ski would benefit 13m radius while a 180lb man on a 185 length marketed at the same ability and terrain by the same manufacturer might get a 19m. I know women have more curves but does that apply to their skis too?biggrin.gif

post #2 of 12

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post

Most men's skis have a side-cut of between 15m and 20m while ladies have side-cut radius as tight as 11m. In my experience ladies (and small light men) do not necessarily want to make tighter turns than their heavier partners on longer skis. I know there are some ski construction issues at work here but is there another reason why a 120 lb lady on a 160 length ski would benefit 13m radius while a 180lb man on a 185 length marketed at the same ability and terrain by the same manufacturer might get a 19m. I know women have more curves but does that apply to their skis too?biggrin.gif

 

The skis are proportionately shorter in length but the tip/waist/tail are the same. I for one do like women with tight turn radiuses. icon14.gif

post #3 of 12

it depends what ski you get I have a womens GS ski that is 23m radius.  yes this radius is shorter than the man's ski at 27m but that is because the length is also shorter because us females are generally shorter.  Most guys that I have been doing GS training with also ski the womans ski as the radius is more suitable to what they are trying to do with them - ski instructor training.

 

I would agree that some manufacturers and /or ski shops seem think that ladies would like a cruise around on some skis with pink butterflies or fluffy bits and then go for a coffee but i would say ladies specific skis are more to do with marketing than any need.  I only have skis that are neither for men and women but in a suitable length for my height which then does slightly affect the radius - see Head iSpeeds length and radius for an example.

 

 

post #4 of 12

And i guess a 185cm long ski with an 11 or 12m radius would be pretty horrendous to ski on!  mens slalom skis are 165cm and then a 13m radius maybe?

post #5 of 12

The reason is because everyone knows women don't like to ski fast. So to help them ski slow there skis are designed to make tighter turns.

 

You know, some of us like our women to have smaller curves.

 

I'm with you on that one Phil.

 

;)

post #6 of 12

Works for me.

lindsey-vonn-mobile-wallpaper.jpg

post #7 of 12

Simple, the answer is.

 

Shorter sidecuts, shorter skis have.  Herh herh herh.

 

“Size matters not, ... Look at me. Judge me by size, do you?”

post #8 of 12

I think many of your answers can be found HERE. 

post #9 of 12

A lighter person has a harder time keeping a ski of a given stiffness engaged and bent to a given turn shape.  Although both skis will be bent to the same shape, the forces that bend the ski and engage it into the snow will be different.

 

A shorter radius ski does not need to be tipped as far on edge to make a given turn size.

 

For the force to have a line of action perpendicular to the base at a given turn size, the shorter radius ski will have a bigger ratio of down force to sideways force, when resolving the net force between into horizontal and vertical components. 

 

 

....Fx

======>

\.............||

...\..........||

......\.......|| Fy

...F....\....||

.............\/

 

While it is true that the ski won't slip out of it's groove until the critical angle is surpassed, it is also true that in the real imperfect world of bumps, some give and play, in-exact turn shapes, ruts and imperfect technique, Down force helps keep a ski engaged and let's you exert more sideways force to bend a ski.

 

If you have a lot of weight, you can tip to bigger angles and and increase Fx a whole lot before you start to run into problems because your Fy isn't enough to conteract the bumps and other secondary factors.

 

While FX, can be increased, a lighter person only has so much Fy, and in order to bend the ski, it must be pressed into the snow and not break loose, and it is Fy that presses it into the snow.  Too big a ratio of FX to Fy (higher tipping/inclination) and the ski will be more difficult to keep engaged.

 

That's why skis for lighter skiers are more flexible (don't need as much force to bend)  and have a shorter turn radius (more of the force you do have directed into the snow at a given turn radius).  Although the first factor is by far the most important, the latter does have some physical basis.

 

 

 

 

 

post #10 of 12

They have a tight turning radius because the alternative is a loose turning radius.....and society frowns upon that.

post #11 of 12

^^ Epic response.  That gets a cred point from me!

post #12 of 12

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I think many of your answers can be found HERE. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer View Post

They have a tight turning radius because the alternative is a loose turning radius.....and society frowns upon that.

Betaracer, you'll find more about that in the thread Phil linked. 

 

 

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