More food for discussion...
Talking about non-arcing, steered turns, tipping and engaging the bent edges while in motion, with weight on it, is what brings two things into play:
- It causes self-steering effects of the ski to operate on the ski, which rotates it on the snow, creating additional steering angle.
- The additional steering angle eventually gets to the point that, combined with edge engagement and weight, causes the ski to deflect in a new direction.
So edge the ski, weight it, the ski bends, there is some steering angle mostly on the front half of the ski, the midsection and tail are curved back so that they are more in line with the direction of travel. This bias of steering angle on the front causes the ski to rotate itself. When it rotates itself into a bit more steering angle, the mid section then also has steering angle and the entire skier is then redirected into a new direction. Thus the ski self-steers itself on a curved path by continually rotating itself and redirecting itself. The redirection itself also reduces the steering angle because the ski is being redirected to move more in the direction it is pointing. However the ski is also continually creating more steering angle by rotating itself. If the rotation can keep up with the redirection, a sustained, round turn shape can be steered.
Some more interesting things to think about.... If the steering angle is increased even more, what do you think happens? I mean if a little steering angle causes the ski to rotate into more steering angle, and more steering angle causes the ski to create sharper turn shape, then what happens if we somehow get even more steering angle?
Interestingly, creating even more steering angle has a self-straightening effect on the ski. When the steering angle increases to the point that the tail also has some steering angle, then the self-steering rotation diminishes, but the forces to redirect the skier on a new direction, increase. In other words, the turn shape is made even sharper suddenly (not round), but the ski does not rotate itself even more to keep up, it straightens itself into less steering angle, the ski seeks to move in the direction it is pointing faster then any self-rotating effects the ski can do. Thus, turn roundness is lost.
In fact with the tail in steering angle also, the self-rotating is diminished quite a lot. Yet redirection is increased. The skis will then seek a straighter line and lose steering angle. This type of move cannot be sustained on a round, steered turn.
For example, if you are making Z shaped turns, there is a large pivot entry, which creates large steering angle. The skis are eventually edged and the direction of motion changes suddenly towards the direction they are pointing, reducing the steering angle in the process. In this method, the self-steering can not really be maintained, certainly at the large steering angle that was created with the pivot. The pivot sets up a one-time redirection of the skier, but the large steering angle does not cause the skis to rotate themselves further to sustain this larger steering angle and turn shape.
So truthfully, for sustained, round turn shape, steering; there is a sweet spot area of steering angle where the self-steering properties of the skis cause it to rotate and generate new steering angle at the same rate it is changing direction. This sweet spot is surprisingly not that far away from arcing..in other words, not a whole lot of steering angle. Go past that sweet spot and the skis will either wash out if too flat, or seek a straighter line to lose steering angle if they are edged and engaged enough with weight. The wash out means turn shape is widened. Hard edge set means turn shape is less round.
If you want smooth round, steered turns, the best way is to achieve the sweet spot of steering angle and increase edge angle if you want to tighten the turn.
But why should we care about making round turn shapes?
Edited by LiquidFeet - 11/3/13 at 5:06am