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Explain it to me like I'm five please. How does a multi-radius ski work?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

So I was in my favorite local ski shop, and noticed that this year they have a few pairs of "The Ski" in stock. So being an EpicSki lurker, I've heard of them, and apparently they're the bee's knees and all that.

 

So how does the whole multi-radius thing work?

 

I tried searching. I'm sorry. :(

post #2 of 21


@Philpug will be able to give you the low-down. Bees Knees indeed they are! (bend the beez neez pleez)

post #3 of 21

Phil will tell you about the justifiably celebrated Ski. Have only fondled one, what I think is cool is the elliptical cross section. Seems from reviews like a thought-vanished species: Easy going at speeds most skiers use, a generalist for real lift-served that includes bumps and variable snow, adequately high performance on tap but not optimized for chargers. So unfashionable it's fashionable...

 

I will only add that lots of brands have multiple sidecut skis, ranging from 2 to 3 to elliptical, and for all I know, hyperbolic. Not so mysterious high school geometry; just imagine two or more slightly different curves - one a touch flatter than the other because it has a longer radius - that blend into each other. Deeper = quicker, so some have deeper in front, some in back, some at both ends. 

post #4 of 21

The tip is wider than the tail and both are wider than the waist. Put the ski up on edge and it makes a turn. Simple enough for a 5 year old?

 

Like mentioned, there are more than one ski out there that are designed this way. Don't get hung up on the numbers or elliptical or multi-radius.

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

just imagine two or more slightly different curves - one a touch flatter than the other because it has a longer radius - that blend into each other. Deeper = quicker, so some have deeper in front, some in back, some at both ends. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

The tip is wider than the tail and both are wider than the waist. Put the ski up on edge and it makes a turn. Simple enough for a 5 year old?

 

Like mentioned, there are more than one ski out there that are designed this way. Don't get hung up on the numbers or elliptical or multi-radius.

 

So, you guys are obviously both right. Beyond actually answered the question, and Phil honored the request to treat the OP like he was five. 

 

I am posting because this is a stark side-by-side example of a phenomenon I've seen here around gear. Phil, you have a very strong tendency to answer questions on EpicSki as though the asker were in your shop, where your job is to sell skis. I have not the slightest doubt, by the way, that your M.O. for selling skis is to take the long view and provide honest and expert service and advice on a variety of fronts, to keep people coming back, in addition to the obvious function of having inventory. I have even enjoyed the benefit of this approach to retail personally, when you lent me a pair of skis for a day. I have referred people to you who actually bought skis, and will continue to do that enthusiastically.

 

Meanwhile, I worked in retail a lot in my younger days, and am not stupid about it. I worked selling wine and bikes - two items which people purchase as "electives," with discretionary income, and which can engender some of the same kinds of confusion, hesitation, defensiveness, and chips-on-shoulders that sometimes happen with ski gear. I've also spent plenty of time in ski shops fondling skis while waiting for liners to be cooked and what have you. So I am well acquainted with the principle that if you let a potential customer overthink things and get too analytical... If you allow him to be presented with too many options, too many fine details that he is really not sophisticated enough to appreciate in the first place ... If you allow those things to happen, a critical moment can pass, and you can find that you have wasted forty-five minutes of your time yammering off and on with someone who walked in the door ready to lay down money, but is now walking out the same door without buying anything. I get that. In that retail context your job is absolutely to simplify, build confidence, and encourage focusing on an outcome that's bound to be fun as long as a major mistake is not made ... which it won't be, because you are a good advisor.

 

Here on Epic ... I don't see this as the same context. Obviously you should opine in the way that you think is right, just like we all do. And if that way is the retail way, so be it. But, speaking for myself, when I ask a question here I do it partly because this is NOT a retail establishment. I have a good brick & mortar retailer I can ask questions of if I want to, not to mention that I could phone you or dawg or whiteroom or others who have well-regarded online shops. No, when I ask a question here I am often asking it out of what you might call "pure curiosity," and I'm hoping that its answer won't be too influenced by concerns about whether it will make me too confused or not, or about whether it will prolong the discussion too much or not. Here on Epic, if I want to be confused by information that's over my head or whatever, that's my prerogative, Everyone here who bothers to answer a post is volunteering their time. If they want to ignore me, they can. If I want to overthink something, I want that to be my choice. If people get tired of hearing me overthink it, again, they can ignore me.

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

just imagine two or more slightly different curves - one a touch flatter than the other because it has a longer radius - that blend into each other. Deeper = quicker, so some have deeper in front, some in back, some at both ends. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

The tip is wider than the tail and both are wider than the waist. Put the ski up on edge and it makes a turn. Simple enough for a 5 year old?

 

Like mentioned, there are more than one ski out there that are designed this way. Don't get hung up on the numbers or elliptical or multi-radius.

 

So, you guys are obviously both right. Beyond actually answered the question, and Phil honored the request to treat the OP like he was five. 

 

I am posting because this is a stark side-by-side example of a phenomenon I've seen here around gear. Phil, you have a very strong tendency to answer questions on EpicSki as though the asker were in your shop, where your job is to sell skis. I have not the slightest doubt, by the way, that your M.O. for selling skis is to take the long view and provide honest and expert service and advice on a variety of fronts, to keep people coming back, in addition to the obvious function of having inventory. I have even enjoyed the benefit of this approach to retail personally, when you lent me a pair of skis for a day. I have referred people to you who actually bought skis, and will continue to do that enthusiastically.

 

Meanwhile, I worked in retail a lot in my younger days, and am not stupid about it. I worked selling wine and bikes - two items which people purchase as "electives," with discretionary income, and which can engender some of the same kinds of confusion, hesitation, defensiveness, and chips-on-shoulders that sometimes happen with ski gear. I've also spent plenty of time in ski shops fondling skis while waiting for liners to be cooked and what have you. So I am well acquainted with the principle that if you let a potential customer overthink things and get too analytical... If you allow him to be presented with too many options, too many fine details that he is really not sophisticated enough to appreciate in the first place ... If you allow those things to happen, a critical moment can pass, and you can find that you have wasted forty-five minutes of your time yammering off and on with someone who walked in the door ready to lay down money, but is now walking out the same door without buying anything. I get that. In that retail context your job is absolutely to simplify, build confidence, and encourage focusing on an outcome that's bound to be fun as long as a major mistake is not made ... which it won't be, because you are a good advisor.

 

Here on Epic ... I don't see this as the same context. Obviously you should opine in the way that you think is right, just like we all do. And if that way is the retail way, so be it. But, speaking for myself, when I ask a question here I do it partly because this is NOT a retail establishment. I have a good brick & mortar retailer I can ask questions of if I want to, not to mention that I could phone you or dawg or whiteroom or others who have well-regarded online shops. No, when I ask a question here I am often asking it out of what you might call "pure curiosity," and I'm hoping that its answer won't be too influenced by concerns about whether it will make me too confused or not, or about whether it will prolong the discussion too much or not. Here on Epic, if I want to be confused by information that's over my head or whatever, that's my prerogative, Everyone here who bothers to answer a post is volunteering their time. If they want to ignore me, they can. If I want to overthink something, I want that to be my choice. If people get tired of hearing me overthink it, again, they can ignore me.

I try not to use 100 words when 10 will do.

 

This is about as simple as it gets here on gear...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

It's easy really-

 

you ask a question (so far so good)-> we ask for more detailed information: where do you ski, how big are you, maybe if there are brands you've liked disliked in the past, etc (consider this me asking).-> you provide more info-> we start giving advice-> we then tell you what you should really want that isn't what you actually asked for-> we argue amongst ourselves about the advice given-> this continues add nauseum. Simple really.

 
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

 

This is about as simple as it gets here on gear...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

It's easy really-

 

you ask a question (so far so good)-> we ask for more detailed information: where do you ski, how big are you, maybe if there are brands you've liked disliked in the past, etc (consider this me asking).-> you provide more info-> we start giving advice-> we then tell you what you should really want that isn't what you actually asked for-> we argue amongst ourselves about the advice given-> this continues add nauseum. Simple really.

 

 

Yeah, I loved that post too, so we agree that far! 

post #8 of 21

As far as I can tell multi-radius is a fabled concept used by brands and parroted by reps to oversell their products. I had a pair of Line Influence 105 boards that apparently had a 5-cut thing going on. I think it has something to do with early taper…blah, blah, blah. Apparently the Dynastar Powertrack is the only ski on the market with with a true multi-radius sidecut…so I've been told. I don't know. Couldn't tell ya. What I can tell you is that I rather liked that Line Influence 105, and the Dynastar Powertrack rips. 

post #9 of 21

I think there's a difference between 5-point sidecut (on many powder skis) and multi-radius skis. The New Blizzards have it, some Fischers as well, most Scott skis...

 

It's really a thing, and it is here to stay, apparently. And I, too, would like to know how it works. For if a ski is on edge on let's say hard pack, doesn't the entire effective edge toutch the snow and therefore shape the turn? That means: a bit with a larger sidecut radius and one or two bits with smaller sidecut radiusses? How does that work? :dunno

post #10 of 21

A 5 point is essentially a convex (reverse) curve in the shovel followed by a more traditional concave curve from forward of mid-ski into tail. (Think DPS's "spoon" analogy.) If the entire ski were flat, then the convex curve would tend to fight with the concave curve. But since the shovel is raised, what happens is that the convex engages first and makes the shovel slide down the fall line rather than bite. So it can give you a very easy initiation at very low edge angles. Then, as the concave curve comes online, the ski begins to behave as we're more used to, and carves or slarves the middle of the arc. 

 

This is really a design device for doing what intermediates (or some elite racers) have been doing happily for years: Rotating their fronts into the turn, and then starting the carve. You can fit a longer radius turn into a shorter radius space. In powder, it works far better, since you're not carving. The downside is on firm surfaces, where starting the turn with a slide can be, uh, interesting. And in some circumstances, you can find yourself turning uphill for a moment.

 

Or you can just read Shane's classic description of the Spatula, then apply it just to the front of the ski:

 

"Reverse Side Cut

For normal skis side cut is used to make it easier to turn. You simply roll the ski on edge, add some pressure to the ski and it carves around. In recent years ski manufacturers have been adding significant amounts of side cut to their skis greatly facilitating the ski experience for everyone. This is true. ON HARD SNOW!

In powder or soft snow side cut creates two distinct negative effects:

 

1.       “The Pool Cover”- Your weight is directly on top of the narrowest part of the ski. This type of weight distribution immediately puts you in a sinking into the snow situation similar to what happens to the pool cover when you try to run across it. This causes your tips and tails to float but the center of your skis where all your weight is sinks, bogs down and then you must plow through the snow. You will be forced to carve every turn and expend a lot of energy bouncing in and out of the snow.

Sinking/carving = Bad. Floating/sliding = Good.

2.       “The Unstable Hooker”- Skis become very unstable and much more difficult to control. In sun crust or wind affect you may have noticed the occasional Unstable Hooker. This is when you start a turn and your downhill ski hooks fast and hard up and across your uphill ski. You cross your tips, step on your downhill ski with your uphill and then stuff your face into mountain. Or at high speeds you may have noticed your skis trying to swim around a bit making it hard to control as you try to keep your tips up and out of the snow. The solution to this in the past has always been to maintain a wider stance in powder and to slow it down a bit.

 

Fortunately now you can use your Spatula to dish out a good spanking to that Unstable Hooker and Pool Cover. The reverse side cut of the Spatulas immediately sets you afloat on top of the snow allowing you to initiate turns and negotiate everything you encounter much more easily without having to labor through it. Reverse side cut also eliminates the instabilities commonly encountered with “shaped” skis in the soft snow. You will notice little or no Unstable Hookers and you will be able to enjoy a much more relaxed stance in variable snow and at high speeds."

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShopGimp View Post

As far as I can tell multi-radius is a fabled concept used by brands and parroted by reps to oversell their products. I had a pair of Line Influence 105 boards that apparently had a 5-cut thing going on. I think it has something to do with early taper…blah, blah, blah. Apparently the Dynastar Powertrack is the only ski on the market with with a true multi-radius sidecut…so I've been told. I don't know. Couldn't tell ya. What I can tell you is that I rather liked that Line Influence 105, and the Dynastar Powertrack rips. 

And this would be incorrect. Some reps have a way with words. Beware of exclusives and superlatives. The product (power track 89) speaks for itself. It's a fine ski.
post #12 of 21

Yep. How is a "multiradius" design different from having three, like the Blizzard 810 and some narrower models, or an elliptical sidecut (very very large number of radii), like various Kastles and DPS's, ON3P's, and I think The Ski? Answer: It isn't. Fact, I'd wager a bare majority of all skis now have more than one radius. Enjoy the technological advantages and forget about who what and when...

post #13 of 21

Yeah, I'm on board with this sentiment. Blah-Blah-Bro-Brah….the ski either feels good under your feet or it doesn't. 

post #14 of 21

What happens when multi radius meets flip core?

post #15 of 21
Flip core is branded rocker. My guess is marketing happens.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShopGimp View Post

Flip core is branded rocker. My guess is marketing happens.

Seems like in addition to emoticons, this forum ought to have the little TM in a circle thing to add to our posts. 

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingFish View Post
 

"The Ski" in stock.......

 

So how does the whole multi-radius thing work?

 

I tried searching. I'm sorry. :(

 

I apologize in advance, but I'm too ignorant to know if this "multi-radius" thing is related to or the same as the "flex-radius" thing that causes a number of ski models to turn differently with an upright stance versus a forward-driving stance, or a leaning back: examples of this while demoing have been what has gotten me wanting to know more: for example, the neat Nordica Soulrider, that is longer turn and slarvy when upright, quick turn fast on edge when forward. How do they do this? With this ski, the two gears are really dramatically different, at least to me. 

 

Other examples: Line Sick Day 110: seems to have three different "gears"--turn types--depending on whether stance is forward (slalom-y), upright (gs-y) or leaning back (slarvy)  

Also the Praxis GPO: turny when forward, upright a long turn charger.  

With this latter, I'm told you can use a demo or Marker Schizo binding to further affect such two or three gear skis: e.g., move the binding back from center to make the GPO more of a charger in any stance; move the binding forward and the ski is more prone to its quick turn mode. (This is somewhat true with any ski, but more so, perhaps, with such "flex-radius" skis.) 

 

I know there are other skis, and even brands, that utilize some sort of similar "multi-flex" design.  Is this completely different than "multi-radius" being asked about here? Or related?  Either way, I'd sure like to know more about how this works, and also, to see reviews of skis clue us in more often to if a ski is a two or three gear ski in this way.   Thanks.  

post #18 of 21

I have a pair of Volkl P30 RC with a big sticker with the dim and radius still on it that says 3D sidecut technology patent pend and when I google 3D ski I got a SKI magazine ad from 1998 for Volkl using the  3D  buzzword.  Further down with google I got a German site discussing multi radius sidecuts with a   radius calculator   So I plugged  dims and  length into the calculator and it was very accurate using length of ski but not so good using contact length. It also gives radius at 30 degrees edge angle and 60 degrees and the percentage difference between front and back radius. Interesting but I am also in the 'shut up and ski' camp.:D

 

 

http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.carving-ski.de/equipment/multi-radius-ski.php&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dmulti%2Bradius%2Bski%26espv%3D2%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D923

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

The tip is wider than the tail and both are wider than the waist. Put the ski up on edge and it makes a turn. Simple enough for a 5 year old?

 

Like mentioned, there are more than one ski out there that are designed this way. Don't get hung up on the numbers or elliptical or multi-radius.

Phil with all due respect , I have not seen a ski in maybe 20 years where the tip is NOT wider than the tail and both are wider than the waist!  :ROTF....I know, I know!  You had your tongue firmly planted in cheek!

post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joal View Post
 

I have a pair of Volkl P30 RC with a big sticker with the dim and radius still on it that says 3D sidecut technology patent pend and when I google 3D ski I got a SKI magazine ad from 1998 for Volkl using the  3D  buzzword.  Further down with google I got a German site discussing multi radius sidecuts with a   radius calculator   So I plugged  dims and  length into the calculator and it was very accurate using length of ski but not so good using contact length. It also gives radius at 30 degrees edge angle and 60 degrees and the percentage difference between front and back radius. Interesting but I am also in the 'shut up and ski' camp.:D

 

 

http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.carving-ski.de/equipment/multi-radius-ski.php&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dmulti%2Bradius%2Bski%26espv%3D2%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D923

That was an different concept! Was it a P30 RC ( I don't believe the original P30 RC (Race Carver) (1st generation of P30 and of Shaped Race skis) had 3D sidecut) or was it a P30 RC R (Race Carver Racing)  The P30 RC Racing was one of my favorite skis ever!  The idea was is the widest part of the ski was farther forward from the normal contact point. So as Phil described above as the ski was stood up on edge the tip would engage farther forward.

post #21 of 21

Indeed, Atomicman. I was a little unfamiliar with them and did not include the 'Racing'.  I was tempted to put bindings on them for a while but they are undrilled. My first Volkls were 724.

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