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What makes a ski turn quick?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
What factors allow a ski to turn quickly? On firm snow, I assume that sidecut is the most important feature. What about in 3d snow, does side cut still affect turn shape there? How important is the shovel taper in allowing the ski to hook up and initiate a turn? I assume that a softer flex also allows a skier to initiate a turn easier, if not more quickly. Is all of this changed with reverse camber skis (like the Gotama) that allow (I'm somewhat assuming here) a skier to pivot when need be and still make long, fast GS style turns on the groomer.

Just trying to gain some insight from those of you who know more than I do about ski design.
post #2 of 15

The skier does it all

 

Left to their own,  most any ski will just make a hilly nilly run down hill.  No quick turns at all from my experience with run aways.

 

Cheers

post #3 of 15

It's not ALL skier.  Construction matters, too.  Take Nordica's Enforcer and Hell & Back for example.  I've skied both extensively.  The Enforcer is a big turn charger.  Astounding.  The Hell & Back, which is identical in shape but lacking any metal, cannot charge quite as wildly, but is so much more poppy and energetic, which really encourages shorter turns.

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydd View Post

What factors allow a ski to turn quickly? On firm snow, I assume that sidecut is the most important feature. What about in 3d snow, does side cut still affect turn shape there? How important is the shovel taper in allowing the ski to hook up and initiate a turn? I assume that a softer flex also allows a skier to initiate a turn easier, if not more quickly. Is all of this changed with reverse camber skis (like the Gotama) that allow (I'm somewhat assuming here) a skier to pivot when need be and still make long, fast GS style turns on the groomer.

Just trying to gain some insight from those of you who know more than I do about ski design.

 

A skier with quick feet makes the ski turn quickly.  If you look to the WC, what are they on for Slalom?  SL WC Race skis.  They are quick, turny and stiff.  Some of the stiffness is to handle the forces, but they want a ski to react immediately and not any second now.

 

Softer flex is easier but it isn't quicker, taking for granted the skier has the ability to properly work the ski.

post #5 of 15
Hi

Thinking on physics, I would say the main factors for quick turning would be a thin width under the foot (quickness edge to edge) and minimizing swing momentum (quickness on steering)

Racing skis are thin. The soul 7 and other previous skis have invested in technologies to reduce weight in tip and tail

Then there is the whole weight matter that is interesting because there is a good reason for skis to be heavy (sturdy bindings, stability, momentum to cut through variable snow). So a heavy world cup GS ski might not be that quick if you don't have the legs to go with it.
post #6 of 15

The skier.

post #7 of 15

I would think that stiff skis would work well at speed because of the forces, but at slow speeds it seems to me that more flexible skis would turn much more quickly that stiff ones.  Am I wrong?

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydd View Post

What factors allow a ski to turn quickly? On firm snow, I assume that sidecut is the most important feature. What about in 3d snow, does side cut still affect turn shape there? How important is the shovel taper in allowing the ski to hook up and initiate a turn? I assume that a softer flex also allows a skier to initiate a turn easier, if not more quickly. Is all of this changed with reverse camber skis (like the Gotama) that allow (I'm somewhat assuming here) a skier to pivot when need be and still make long, fast GS style turns on the groomer.

Just trying to gain some insight from those of you who know more than I do about ski design.

 

The most important factor is you.

You can manually pivot the ski quickly across the snow surface with your legs. 

Any ski will do; reverse camber skis will make it easier, but learning to do this on

cambered skis offers more rewards. You are doing the work.  This takes time to learn.  

Like so:

 

 :Ott 

 

 

 

Or you can learn to get short radius slalom skis to turn you.  Again, you are doing the work. 

You are edging and bending the skis to get them to carve the quick turns rather than pivoting

them.  Carving short turns is easier if the skis are cambered.  This takes time to learn, but is

a hoot once you can do it.  Like so:

 

 


Edited by LiquidFeet - 3/18/14 at 5:43am
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydd View Post

What factors allow a ski to turn quickly? On firm snow, I assume that sidecut is the most important feature. What about in 3d snow, does side cut still affect turn shape there? How important is the shovel taper in allowing the ski to hook up and initiate a turn? I assume that a softer flex also allows a skier to initiate a turn easier, if not more quickly. Is all of this changed with reverse camber skis (like the Gotama) that allow (I'm somewhat assuming here) a skier to pivot when need be and still make long, fast GS style turns on the groomer.

Just trying to gain some insight from those of you who know more than I do about ski design.

Define  "turn".  Define "quickly".

 

The question (as posed) is really too broad to answer, so all answers have a degree of truth to them - especially if you throw rotary into the equation.  In the right conditions, a skier can twist (turn) a ski 90* to the direction of travel and not change his/her direction of travel one iota.  So are we discussing reorientation of the ski to the direction of travel or changing the vector of travel of the skier?  Are we talking about what initiates the fastest deflection of travel (in a specific snow condition), or the tightest "complete" turn in a series of linked turns?  

 

In general, regardless of the medium (ice -> powder) it is about the "Arc of the Board" (to parody the Donald) and piloting that arc against centripetal forces.   But, unless there are some constants in the equation - given speed, given weight of skier, given snow condition, given radius and completeness of turn, etc. - the caveats to the "answer" are endless.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyone's responses. I'm thinking of different skis I've demoed over the past few years. Some of them have really stood out as being able to turn quickly. The Icelantic Shaman with its short turn radius turned very quickly in crud/powder, which surprised me because I didn't think sidecut mattered in 3d snow. The down side of the Shaman (for me) was that all it wanted to do was turn. Then the Icelantic Gypsy also turned very quickly in 3d snow with it's full rocker, but also made long turns with no problem on any type of snow. Recently I tried a K2 Shreditor 112 on firm snow. It was soft in the tip and tails and had what I'd consider an average turn radius, yet it was one of the most nimble skis I've been on (for 112 underfoot). The rep told me that it had to do with the taper of the ski, but I"m not sure I really understood what he was talking about. Anyway, just trying to bring it all together and have a little better understanding of what properties give skies that quick turning ability. Thanks.
post #11 of 15

Lloydd:

I have been looking at skis that will help me to make short, quick turns (read: sideslip) on mogul runs.  I have been working a lot on moguls this year and have decided my Apache Recons are just to stiff and heavy to do the job.  I have been looking hard at some Shreditor 102's and your post has about convinced me that these are the ones!  Thanks!

The recons will stay in the quiver for those fast runs on groomers, however.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I took a couple runs on both the shreditor 102 and 112 and really loved them. Both really quick. I bet you'll love them.

To add to my above post, I've always thought I wanted soft skis to make quick turns in tight places in soft snow. I was recently told that reverse camber negates the need for soft Skis because the ski is already flexed in the position necessary to turn it, so a stiffer ski will suffice in soft snow and be better at speed/crud etc. Just trying to bring it all together and maximize my demo time.
post #13 of 15
Lack of stiffness = easier to bend the ski into a smaller radius when carving

Tight sidecut = ski's natural ability to carve small radius, at the downside of inability to cleanly carve large radius turns

Lack of sidecut = improve's the ski's ability to be pivoted, or throw sideways, a tighter sidecut will increase the amount of chatter and grabbiness when thrown sideways which can feel very uncomfortable at speed

Speed = more force generated to make a stiffer ski easier to bend into a smaller radius

Rocker = reduced running length, making the ski easier to pivot and swing around

Pop = the zing produced at the end of the turn can help you drive the ski into a smaller radius into the next turn, this is related to speed

Higher edge angles = more force to bend the ski into a smaller radius

Narrower ski = quicker edge-to-edge, allowing you to leave one turn and enter another at a quicker pace

 

Of course, the skier has to do all of this stuff, and will generally trump all. The better skier will generally be able to make quicker turns, regardless of his or her equipment.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by lloydd View Post

To add to my above post, I've always thought I wanted soft skis to make quick turns in tight places in soft snow. I was recently told that reverse camber negates the need for soft Skis because the ski is already flexed in the position necessary to turn it, so a stiffer ski will suffice in soft snow and be better at speed/crud etc. Just trying to bring it all together and maximize my demo time.

This is done at the expensive of stability on 2d snow. Reverse camber gives a washy feeling to the ski, unless they're at an appropriate edge angle (given the stiffness, reverse camber, and sidecut). Try to haul while carving down hardpack, and the ski will feel extremely nervous in the turn transitions.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
That's a great summary, Brian. Thank you.
post #15 of 15

all of my skis turn quick with in reason. 

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