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twin tips better for skiing forward?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
The guy down at my local ski shop told me that twin tips are actually also better for skiing forward. I can't remember the reason why, as it was a few weeks ago, but I was kinda curious if it was true.

It was when I was looking at the volkl g3.
post #2 of 17
i think because the tip and tail are both rounded rather than just the tip. this allows there to be no end to your carve. i think that wast the reason, but my memory is short.
post #3 of 17
Yup, yup ... sure the rear tip has a huge effect when going forward. It has just about as much effect as rear spoilers do on cars that will never go over 70 mph. ... (BTW, means "I'm joking - big time" (added in edit))

In all seriousness, tho, I think that there are effects, but whether or not you could call them "benefits" is all in the eye of the beholder.

The K2 Enemy is a good example to allow one to compare the performance (going forward) of a TT with that of a very closely related non-TT. My recollection is that the Enemy is just a modified verion of the the older K2 Explorer. Here's what happened when they made the various modifications to the older ski to turn it into a TT.

The simple act of turning up the last 10 cm of the tail of an Explorer decreases its effective length, so, the effective length of a 173 cm Enemy may be approximately equal to the effective length of a 167-ish cm Explorer.

In addition, I'm pretty certain that k2 also softened the next 10 or 20 cm of the tail a bit so that the tail would not be too stiff when skiing switch. This also makes the Enemy handle differently than an Explorer (even if you compare two skis of the same *effective* length). The softer tail of the Enemy is better for slithering around in a mogul field, but not quite as good as the Explorer as an all-mountain board. The bottom line is that its not the tip itself that does much to the performance, its all the other little changes that usually go along with it.

IMHO, the guy in the shop was BS'ing you.

Hope this helps,

Tom / PM

PS (in edit) - FWIW, I'm an old fart that would never dream of doing outrageous things in the park (or the air above the park -grin), but yet I ski a 173 Enemy TT on many days. Its a fun, versatile ski, great for slower lines in the bumps, trees, and general noodling around. However, if I can help it, you won't EVER catch me skiing it: (a) going stupid fast; (b) on ice; (c) demoing ultra tight carves; (d) in really bad slop or deep pow.

I think SpinHeli of Mammoth also skiis (or used to ski) an Enemy as his everyday ski, so he might be able to shed some more light on TT's as well.

[ August 09, 2002, 12:02 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #4 of 17
All else being equal, a turned up tail shouldn't have much effect unless you are going VERY fast so it acts like a race car wing, holding you to the snow....

But all else is rarely equal. The twin-tip skis I've skied on have been pretty low-performance out on the open slope. For forgiveness and maneuverability, they tend to be soft, both fore-and-aft and torsionally (they twist easily). They are also usually pretty light, and in the park, they have little need for the sophisticated dampening technologies of top-end skis. You do NOT want to go too fast on them! Really, about the only thing that separates a "good" twin-tip from a "bad" twin-tip, when they're home in the park, is durability. Durability and performance are not usually related, except inversely!

Furthermore, some people find the extended and turned up tails annoying. They can seem to get caught in moguls, and if you have a narrow stance, they can hang up on each other when changing lead. I don't think this is a big problem, once you get used to it, but it bothers some people.

Some instructors like teaching on twin-tips, because we so often ski backwards in lessons. But in nearly 25 years of teaching WITHOUT turned-up tails, I have NEVER caught a tail when skiing backwards. (Actually, about 25 years ago, I had a pair of Olin Mark IV Comps, bright orange mogul skis with turned-up tails! And with my narrow stance at the time, I DID experience the annoyance of the tails catching each other. And as today, those skis, compared to, say Rossignol's venerable ST Comp, were DOGS outside their element! Someone did me a big favor when they stole those skis....)

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ August 08, 2002, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:
All else being equal, a turned up tail shouldn't have much effect unless you are going VERY fast so it acts like a race car wing, holding you to the snow ... in nearly 25 years of teaching WITHOUT turned-up tails, I have NEVER caught a tail when skiing backwards.
Bob - Heh, heh ... I know that, but I see a potential business opportunity for us here. Little whale-tails (spoilers) like the aftermarket ones they sell for psuedo muscle cars. Ours could be stamped out of plastic for $0.05 each & would attach to the tips and tails of skis with adhesive. They would be marketed as "improves your aerodynamics -- keeps your skis firmly on the snow at high speeds", etc. etc. SCSA, write up a business plan!

Tom / PM

PS - In my roughly 30 years of skiing without turned up tails, I also never had my tails dig in while going backwards until last year. I was on my 10ex's in heavy new snow, and had stopped fairly close to some members of my group, facing them. Because they were not terribly experienced, I wanted to do the gentlemanly thing and give them plenty of room as they skied off. So, I let myself slowly slide backwards. The next thing, my tails impailed this mound of snow, my skis stopped dead in their tracks when they got in as far as the bindings, and I was doing this great impersonation of a crab, bent over backwards with my hands touching the top of this mound of snow in back of me. I never fell, but a good laugh was had by all. Apparently, I had a REALLY surprised expression on my face.

I blamed it all on the 10ex's. Mine have no tail turn-up at all. Dumb design, grumble, grumble. It's never the pilot.

PS (in edit) - I added a bunch of 's and 's to this post and my previous one make it clear I was joking about any possible improvement because of the aerodynamics of the rear tip. Sorry if there was any confusion about this earlier.

[ August 08, 2002, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Interesting guys, thanks.

Btw i dont have the balls right now to do anything in the park really...so the park doesn't matter...
post #7 of 17
I believe that skis with turned up tails or twin tips just release easier for turning while going forward than conventional skis which can sometimes catch an edge. I think maybe thats all the sales guy might have ment... no personal experience with twin tips but would like to try some.

Jeff J.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
It must be a positive thing, because (correct me if i'm wrong) but didn't last years volkl g3's not have twin tips, but the 2003's do?

I can't imagine them making their product worse...
post #9 of 17
I would agree about skiing fast on the twintips designed for the park, but my G41s feel very stable at high speeds and they have a twintip.

I also did a bunch of skiing backwards as a kid on straight skis with no twintip without incident. The only time I think it's useful is if you're repositioning in a tight spot before you actually start to ski - kind of that slide back and then start when you're in tight rocks and trees and such.
post #10 of 17
Jeff J.:

> ...I believe that skis with turned up tails or twin tips just release easier for turning ...

As a class, they do. However, this is almost certainly due more to the torsional softness that BobB mentioned, and the aft body longitudinal softness that I mentioned rather than the presence of the rear tip itself. In other words, the mfgrs could easily design a ski to release easily, exactly as you described, without having a turned up tail.
----------------

bicyclekick:

> ...It must be a positive thing, because (correct me if i'm wrong) but didn't last years volkl g3's not have twin tips, but the 2003's do? I can't imagine them making their product worse...


More likely, if they made this change, they thought that having a twin tip on this ski would make it more attractive to customers (particularly younger ones), increase its true versatility somewhat, cost them almost nothing to mfgr, and, if they didn't change other properties of the ski, hardly change its performance. Voelkl is not going to intentionally make any ski worse, but they will certainly do everything they can to make it more marketable.
-----------------

altagirl:

> ...I would agree about skiing fast on the twintips designed for the park, but my G41s feel very stable at high speeds and they have a twintip.

See my previous comment on the g3's. Your g4's are still a great stable ski because Voelkl didn't muck with the basic design and try to reach some compromise design between park and mountain use. Rather, all they did is turn up the tail and leave well enough alone with respect to the rest of the design. So, in that sense, they aren't like the twintips that most people think about when you mention the term. I think they made a great decision - they made them even more versatile without sacrificing anything. I wish my 10ex's had a turned-up tail (see my previous post - grin).

Tom / PM
post #11 of 17
The real advantage of twin tips is in powder snow. They seem to be better at spraying snow making it harder for someone to overtake you and beat you to the untracked snow.
post #12 of 17
It's not really an advantage or disadvantage from the skiers point of view, but twin tips do seem to throw up a lot of snow behind them. Try skiing behind someone on a surface with loose snow (really anything that's not "icy") and you'll see what I mean.

I wonder if that's an issue for students skiing behind instructors... The snow can be distracting.
post #13 of 17
Tom ,that's funny what you said about the G3's. I noticed last year that Rossignol had turned up the tail on their venerable Cut 10.5's, that you see as rentals everywhere. I imagine that they make a pretty good park ski.
post #14 of 17
re TT's hindering poaching on powder days, all I can say is . Next thing, mud flaps are going to be required for them like on big semi's

Tom / PM
post #15 of 17
Mud Flaps and littel spoilers for the Back of your skis!! Tom Your a Genius! Your going to make Millions with those Ideas. Just work on some way to hang fussy dice off the Binding and I'll invest in your Company
post #16 of 17
Yea, I have put about 400 days on Enemies over the last three seasons. It is still my all time favorite ski (with the Pocket Rocket a close second). This year I did spent quite a bit of time on narrower more carve oriented skis like the Mach S, and the Axis X Pro. The only reason I did this was that David Mannetter (12 year D teamer) told me too. He did not think skiing on a wide ski all the time was the best thing for my skiing. He also pulled a bunch of our level 3 candidates off of thier Enemies, Vs, 1080, Etc. Honestly, I think that this just reinforces why this kind of ski is great. You can get away with murder on it. It does not force you to ski with absolute precision, but it is super fun all over the hill, especially off piste. Last spring my girlfriend and I went to Europe, and the only ski I brought was my trusty Enemies. We skied a bit of everything; pow in Sass Fee, Ice in Zermatt, mush in Crans Montana, raincrust in the Vallee Blanche, rock hard bumps at Grande Montets... The Enemies never let me down. After I got back home, I forgot about my narrower skis, and went back to the slut I love.

Oh yea, last year on an east wind day I straightlined Scotty's with them. Ok, it was scary!
post #17 of 17
The real problem with twin tips is their flimsiness at the release of a turn.

On hardpack conditions a nice clean slice, or "skew", is much appreciated and most twins are pathetic at this. I know when rossi replace my busted xxx's with this years model, the turned-up tails managed to take away all of the snap. Who ever said twintips are better for going forwards is out of their cotton pick'n mind!
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