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# Stiff Fischers vs Atomic GS 11

I am a rookie Masters racer. I ski 183 racestock Fischers. They are generally considered to be relatively stiff. Radius is 21m.

The atomic GS 11 (as an example) is relative butter compared to Fischer.

And yet the turning radius is still 21m.

Could anybody educate me with your wisdoms about choosing race skiis for mere mortals. What are the theories behind such different arrays of construction and stiffness, and so on?

Tom A

### Fischer vs. Atomic

Two reasons:

1. AFAIK, sidecut is calculated from ski geometry. Therefore stiffness of the ski will have nothing to do with the radius.

2. Race stock skis rarely have 21m turn radius. If you look carefully, the radius is marked something like R>21, merely stating that geometry of the ski conforms to FIS regulations. Typical radius for a race stock ~185-190 cm is 26m

Consumer race Atomic GS11 and race stock Fischer are two totally different animals. If you thought your Fischer is stiff, try _real_ race stock Atomic, with racing plate.

Edited by rush614 - 2/23/11 at 4:00pm
Quote:
 Originally Posted by rush614 Two reasons: 1. AFAIK, sidecut is calculated from ski geometry. Therefore stiffness of the ski will have nothing to do with the radius.
AFAIK, that's right. The number isn't the "turning radius," although people keep calling it that. It's the radius of the sidecut itself. Actually, I'm pretty sure of this, as you can look up how it's calculated on the FIS website.

They use a (slightly rough) measurement of the radius of the sidecut itself. The only factors are length, and three width measurements near the tip, at the waist, and near the tail; then apply the (approximate, but good enough) formula: L^2 / 8 * sidecut depth.
Rush614:

Some of what you have stated is correct. But,you are somewhat confused between "Race Stock" & World Cup.

What you have stated is true of Atomic's World Cup Stock not their Race Stock skis.

Also, 21M is the size of the circle the ski would make in a natural purely carved arc, it is not the side cut, which would be quoted in mm (millimeters) A meter is around 3 ft. A 3 foot side cut would be impractical at best.

Respectfullt,

A-man
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman Rush614: Also, 21M is the size of the circle the ski would make in a natural purely carved arc, it is not the side cut, which would be quoted in mm (millimeters) A meter is around 3 ft. A 3 foot side cut would be impractical at best.
That isn't quite right.

The depth of the sidecut is a figure that is normally quoted in millimeters.

The radius of the sidecut is quoted in meters, and depends on both the depth of the sidecut and the length (or, to be more accurate the "engaged" length) of the edge. Set the ski down flat on the floor of a gym (put a weight on it to remove the camber). Climb up to ceiling and look down at it. The sidecut forms an arc. Extend that arc to create a big circle. The radius of the sidecut is the radius of that circle.*

A ski will carve a turn having a range of radii, including those considerably smaller than the radius of the sidecut.

*A side-point: the actual sidecut may be shaped a little differently, i.e. the radius may not be a constant from tip to tail. Also, the FIS method of measurement is slightly rough. But that's a subject for another discussion, not for one that's supposed to be about the difference between Fischer race stock skis and Atomic standard racing skis.

### Fischer, Atomic W'Cup Stock, Race Stock

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman Rush614: Some of what you have stated is correct. But,you are somewhat confused between "Race Stock" & World Cup. What you have stated is true of Atomic's World Cup Stock not their Race Stock skis. A-man

I guess the discussion at this point is somewhat academical and similar to discussion "now many angels will fit on the tip of a needle?". I am sure Hermann's Atomic World Cup stock will be stiffer than any other "race stock". I'm pretty sure that I can find race stock Fischer that will be stiffer than some of the Shoenfelder's World Cup stock.

Edited by rush614 - 2/23/11 at 4:00pm
Quote:
 Originally Posted by rush614 I guess the discussion at this point is somewhat academical and similar to discussion "now many angels will fit on the tip of a needle?". I am sure Hermann's Atomic World Cup stock will be stiffer than any other "race stock". I'm pretty sure that I can find race stock Fischer that will be stiffer than some of the Shoenfelder's World Cup stock. I heard that, IN GENERAL, Atomic race stock is somewhat stiffer and less forgiving than the Fischer race stock. On the other hand it is also very likely that Atomic brings fewer skis into U.S., and, as a result, softer skis are depleted first, leaving guys like us with stiffer "leftovers". Fischer may have less demand, so there are more choices of flexes. In any case, Atomics are much better anyway, simply because they match my Atomic plug boots. It would be much more difficult to color-coordinate Fischers. On the other topic, the "radius of a pure carved arc" would be a variable of pressure (degree of decambering) of the ski. As sjjohnston pointed out, quoted "radius" is simply a number average calculated from the geometry of a ski. Two pairs of skis with identical dimensions, but of different stiffness will carve different turn radii. P.S. This lack of snow is starting to get on my nerves. Have you ever remembered warm weather lasting this long??
Stiffness has nothing to do with quoted sidecut radisu! Actually, my son has World Cup Atomic Slaloms & GS skis. I have race stock Slaloms & GS. They are very different in flex, flex pattern and sidecut shape. I was not talking about Herminator's skis. Also, I have skied a feww Fischers race skis and they were all much stiffer than even our World cup Atomics across the board! I have heard Fischer is softening the mid section of their Race Stock skis this year. For good reason. Way too stiff! Check out the thread Get off those edges and comments by Fastman & Physicsman. They completely contradict your comments on further decambering to decrease turn radius. According to both of them & I believe they are correct increased edge angle is the source of decrease turn radius!

A-man
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman Stiffness has nothing to do with quoted sidecut radisu!
I totally agree. I never said anything otherwise.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman Actually, my son has World Cup Atomic Slaloms & GS skis. I have race stock Slaloms & GS. They are very different in flex, flex pattern and sidecut shape.
No argument here either...
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman Also, I have skied a feww Fischers race skis and they were all much stiffer than even our World cup Atomics across the board!
Since my info was not based on first-hand experience, I will not argue here either.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman They completely contradict your comments on further decambering to decrease turn radius. According to both of them & I believe they are correct increased edge angle is the source of decrease turn radius!
I don't have time at the moment to do full analysis of Physicsman comments. I submit to you, however, the following thought experiment with two extreme examples:
#1 ski is infinetely stiff
#2 ski is very soft
Both skis are set to the same edge angle and traversing across the fall-line. If there is no sidecut, both skis will go straight (there are no forces to cause a deflection)
If there is a sidecut (same for both skis), ski #1 will still go straight, only with tip and tail in contact with snow. Ski #2 will flex (decamber) and will start to arc. The radius of an arc will be a variable of speed, friction, weight of skier, angle of slope, etc., including the stiffness of the ski.

### Rush614 nails it!

Since my question about Fischers and Atomics and the variable of stiffness was posted, I had a chance at Mt. Hood to demo.

The variable of relative stiffness has profound effect. The ease with which the atomics initiated was incredible to me in comparison to my Fischers. The Fischers are rock solid on edge but they require quite a bit more power and relative strength than the Atomic GS 11.

The flex was softer on the Atomics. That is not to say there are not stiffer race stock or worldcup Atomic skiis that may be stiffer than my current Fischers. The question originally had more to do with what sounded like a measure providing uniformity amongst the skiis when in fact for the individual the natural radius of the skiis will widely vary. And as Rush614 explained in his thought experiment, the variance will be determined by one skier's strength and weight in relation to the stiffness of the ski.

Thanks for the scholarly review!
Many maufacturers have two categories of race skis available to skiers in the USA. So called "off the rack " race skis and those available to racers involved in race programs.
The latter are often stiffer in flex. To my knowledge, Fischer USA only imports the latter category for their top end SL and GS skis and makes them available at retail in various shops. This is seperate and apart from skis that manufacturers make available to their World Cup sponsered atheletes which are often even stiffer (though not always).

For better or for worse, depending on the skier, top end Fischer race skis are often viewed as being fairly stiff. If my understanding is incorrect maybe a Fischer Rep on this board can provide clarification.

Thanks Tom,

I was wondering, how did you like the GS:11m overall? What length did you demo, was it "consumer race" or a "race room". Sounds like they changed it quite a bit from previous GS:11 (now it is called GS:11 FIS). It was very damp and solid, and required lots of speed and good pressure to make it work. Also, did you by any chance try SL:11m ? It also looks different from last year's model (tip is as narrow as a GS ski !?)

I will need to get my order in soon, and I don't have the opportunity to demo.

Edited by rush614 - 2/23/11 at 4:00pm

### Atomic GS 11

Hi Rush614

The atomic I tried was no doubt the 'consumer race'. At the 181 length, it has a 19 meter turning radius and thus not FIS specs. I am presuming the 186 is a 21 meter radius although I am not for sure.

Compared to my Fischers, they initiated the tip much easier and set up the carve with less effort. I suspect the 19meter radius further helps.

I am actually going back to Mt. Hood this weekend for a clinic and will hopefully be able to demo the 186 (it was out the last time). By the way, I am 6'3" and 195 lbs. I spent last year as a Masters racer on the Fischers.
They are such a damp and rock solid ski on edge with no speed limit. The demand that you get real lateral to turn them effectively in the gates.

After my last Mt Hood clinic in July, I had to reluctantly surrender some of my
grandiosity after seeing the video. I just don't bend that Fischer and initiate the turn as well I need to. Thus, I anticipate buying the Atomic.

Compared to the Fischer, the Atomic feels lively and less damp. Its all a comparative thing. I will let you know more after this weekend. Hope this helps.

### Atomic SL:11

Rush614,

I tried the SL:11 in March in the 164 length. It was going to be my next years slalom ski. Lively, responsive, quick.

I then scored a deal on the 166 Fischer slalom. I love the Fischer. Damp and rock solid. Not as sensivitive to finesse moves comparatively in my opinion.

### Sl:11

Tom,

SL:11 - where they 2005 model? 2005 should be 165 I believe...
If they where 2005 can you or anyone else compare them to 2003/2004?

### Atomic 2005 SL:11

The slaloms I demoed in March were the new upcoming 2005 model. You are right. They were 165. I can't provide a comparison however with the 2004.

### Atomic vs Fischer: two different design concepts

There are three main variables that would determine the behaviour of ski in the turn:
1. Geometry (the more shape ski has, the smaller the turn radius and faster turn initiation)
2. Longtitudional stiffness (the stiffer the ski longtitudionally, the longer the turn radius and slower turn initiation)
3. Torsional stiffness (higher resistance to twisting means smaller turn radius and better edgehold)

Another important variable is vibration dampening. More on that later.

It appears that Atomic and Fischer have taken two different approaches to ski design, which reflect in their behavior.

ATOMIC: Atomic's "beta" construction allows them to increase torsional stiffness of the ski relative to longtitudional stiffness. This allowed them to make relatively softer ski that can bend into smaller radius and still hold on ice. Softer showel bends and initiates the turn more easily.

FISCHER: Fischer uses classic metal/wood laminate. It order to make ski torsionally stiff, they need to put more material into the showel, which inevitably increases lingtitudional stiffness as well. As a result, they also need to increase width of the showel to maintain small turn radius.

As a result, Fischers are more of a "geometry" skis. In order to enter the turn, most of the ski has to flex. Once it is flexed, it stays relatively stable, being more sensitive to changes in the edge angle.

Atomics are more of "stiffness" skis. Turn is initiated by the deflection of the torsionally stiffer, but narrower showel. The ski is more sentitive to pressure distribution, i.e. more "lively", "finesse" ski.

Lastly, there is vibration dampening. In Fischers, the mechanisn is the sliding and friction dissipation between the blocks of wood and individual wood fibers, which is more effective at higher frequencies. In Atomics it is sliding between layers of titanal and rubber, more effective at lower frequencies. Result: Fischers are "damp"=lower vibrational frequencies, Atomics are "lively"=higher frequencies.

All of the above are, of course, wild speculations and should be taken at their face value.

Edited by rush614 - 2/23/11 at 4:00pm

### world cup plates

Noted in your first response above that you implied the Atomic World Cup late adds to stiffness of the ski. I have skied the world cup plate on one foot against the consumer plate on the other foot on GS11s (21 meter) and the world cup plate actually softens the flex... smooths it out.

### Depends on a plate...

Whether the plate would stiffen or smoothen the ski depends on a plate. Atomic World Cup plate (black one) is essentially a riser, I believe made from polyurethane with a layer of elastomer. A lot of women reportedly prefer composite metal-plastic plate, similar to one found on production skis. They say that it makes skis "snappier".

On the other hand, look at Nordica. The difference between consumer Dobermann GS and World Cup Dobermann GSR is that GSR has solid aluminum Vist plate. This plate WILL stiffen the ski.
rush it sounds like you read the feedback i gave to p.j.
anyway...there is only one atomic ski(length) that has a 21m radius and that ski is the 176 world cup ski. the other w/c skis go from 23.9m-27.0
the production skis are 17.5-19.5
So ... Atomic doesn't produce an FIS-compliant GS ski, other than the World Cup ski?

Does that mean that J1 and J2s (who now have to comply with the radius restrictions) should not buy the production GS11?
I demoed the 2005 Fischer GS against the 2005 Atomic GS 11m (both around 183-185cm), and I preferred the Fischer. It could be attributed to the weight of the demo binding or the tune (same shop tuned both skis), but the Fischer felt snappier and more locked in. It was a lot easier to link quick, slalom-esque turns on the Fischer, and the ski just felt lighter.

A few of my friends independently came to the same conclusion about the skis, but then again they were the same pairs I demoed. Anyone else have similar conclusions?

I generally ski Atomic and Fischer race skis, so I'm familiar with their characteristics. Perhaps the magnesium construction has something to do with it.

Did you notice any significant difference between the 04 and 05 Fischer?
To be honest, my experience with the '03/'04 Fischer GS was a couple days at a camp last year (Summer '03). My experience with the newer Fischer was a year later, so my memory isn't the most reliable gauge. They seemed pretty similar to me, except I felt more comfortable this time around due to my own skill development. They certainly weren't something to relax on, though.

I've been skiing the World Cup RC for the past year, which now feels too turny on a real GS when I hook them up high in the turn. That's why I was demoing various 21 meter GS skis to see which ones felt the best. The Fischer leads my list right now, although there are still a few I want to look at.
none of the production skis are compliant(except for the international j3 rule @17 meters).
More of the manufacturers are releasing FIS-compliant skis to the general public through "race centers" now that USSA is enforcing length and sidecut regulations. I kinda wonder about if all of the variations of race skis (FIS compliant, consumer race, and race carver) aren't flooding the market that already has skicross and carving skis like the 5 Star competing for sales.

### Atomic GS:11m-production or race stock?

Edited by rush614 - 2/23/11 at 4:00pm
i was just breaking your nuts-lol...go with the production gs skis you won't be sorry and it'll be pelnty of ski for you. the reason we produced the gsx was because we had a bit of a hole in our line there. 21 meters wasn't turny enough for a ski shop ski and was too turny for a fis ski so...voila! gsx. the new gs11 in my opinion is perfect in terms of sidecut (181 gets you a 19m radius). the issue with the world cup 183 is that it's a 23.7 m radius. not my first choice for the beer league stuff i do these days.
the new plates are drilled for neox and dimpled for atomic race so you can use either. the plate is thinner now because of neoxs' thickness so with the old binding you'll be 7mm lower...so keep that in mind. the 04-05 race tec boots are the same, only graphic changes.
over and out,
mark
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