|Originally posted by oboe:
Good point, Physics Guy. Here's what they do: They have a metal top sheet that's as wide as the ski in the shovel but tapers to a narrower width in the tail. By reducing the tortional stiffness in the tail, the ski releases from the turn more readily, and thus edge-to-edge quickness is enhanced...
This is the statement that I've occasionally heard, but I am a bit puzzled / uneazy about it.
The reason is that while the release of the tail certainly occurs more quickly with a torsionally soft tail, re-engagement of the opposite edge will be delayed by the exact same number of degrees, so there would seem to be no net effect.
Actually, there is a way around this, and that is if the designers assume that on every turn, the skier will likely be more on his tails as he completes the turn, and then get more on the ski's (torsionally stiff) forebody (of the other ski) as he initiates the next turn, then the quick release is coupled with a quick initiation.
This is ok, but if this is what they are expecting, this fore-aft motion is somewhat old school, takes more energy than remaining centered, etc. Obviously, other things are involved (eg, two skis not one, wt. distribution, etc.).
Any idea what gives? For example, in your personal skiing style, do you like to get on the tips to initiate a turn, and do you strongly weight your outside ski? If so, this design would probably be ideal for you and might explain why other people do not like the feel of this model (ie, independently of other factors like damping, matching flex to weight, etc.)
Just some thoughts.
Tom / PM