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What element of ski construction takes the longest to master

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Ski manufacturers tweak their construction through the decades to increase some aspect of performance. What areas of the ski's structure do they focus on, problems they work to surmount, materials they upgrade, details they tweak?

 

Traditional properties of Rossignol's have kept continuity, with their focus on anti-vibration construction, for example. And this has always, and still does, contrast somewhat with the Austrian approach.

post #2 of 4
I think the biggest hurdles now are related to testing geometry concepts (shape, in all 3 dimensions) vs on-snow performance.

That's how it looks to me as someone who has followed ski gear closely, but hasn't ever been involved in ski designing or building. It seems mfrs are playing with amounts and placements of rocker, amounts and placements of camber, effects of bulging/spooning at different places on the ski's running surface, and types of taper.

Most of what they seem to be trying to do is make skis more loose, as if they have been nauseated by edge engagement. It reminds me of what was happening in whitewater kayaks in the early 2000-10 decade.

The influence of jib/park skiing on modern skis is like how rodeo boat designs began pushing regular ww boat designs in new directions. Whether the new directions for skis are good directions is something that will get sorted out over the current 2010-20 decade. For me the ability to ride switch and have loose pivoty surfy behavior is something arriving too late on my life-scale to make it interesting for me. If I were 20 years old I'd feel differently. At my ancient age, I'm not interested in playing like a rodeo boater as I go downhill on my skis.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzledVeteran View Post

I think the biggest hurdles now are related to testing geometry concepts (shape, in all 3 dimensions) vs on-snow performance.
That's how it looks to me as someone who has followed ski gear closely, but hasn't ever been involved in ski designing or building. It seems mfrs are playing with amounts and placements of rocker, amounts and placements of camber, effects of bulging/spooning at different places on the ski's running surface, and types of taper.
Most of what they seem to be trying to do is make skis more loose, as if they have been nauseated by edge engagement. It reminds me of what was happening in whitewater kayaks in the early 2000-10 decade.
The influence of jib/park skiing on modern skis is like how rodeo boat designs began pushing regular ww boat designs in new directions. Whether the new directions for skis are good directions is something that will get sorted out over the current 2010-20 decade. For me the ability to ride switch and have loose pivoty surfy behavior is something arriving too late on my life-scale to make it interesting for me. If I were 20 years old I'd feel differently. At my ancient age, I'm not interested in playing like a rodeo boater as I go downhill on my skis.

The trend I see is skis like the Automatic and the S7 (which are each part of a three or four ski group in the Big Mountain sector of their brand) have trad camber in the center with highly specialized tip and tail profile and shape for powder performance. That considered, it's not loose on packed snow, it just skis shorter in that situation. There are skis for other specialties that may be designed toward loose for the sake of style and technique I imagine.

 

*like the phrase nauseated by edge engagement.


Edited by davluri - 12/2/12 at 6:13pm
post #4 of 4
davluri,

in a twisty-turny, stance-switching sense, an effective shorter edge (for example, camber only for middle 1/3 of ski's running length) = a looser ski.

Loose isn't just relative to edge angle. Loose has to do with whether the ski wants to be engaged, or doesn't.

The most radical designs in modern skis don't want to be engaged ever, they require you to tell them to be engaged. I find this frustrating because I like the reverse situation. I prefer to have to force the looseness with my technique.
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