"Dampness" in a ski is it's what the engineers design into it as an ability to absorb, dissipate or transform unwanted vibrations that start small at the front of the ski where it is thin and increase in amplitude as they move back under foot, where if left unattented to, can cause a ski to loose its interface (grip) with the snow, especially hard snow. The ongoing challenge is to retain enough livelyness for the ski to transmit the enough "feeling" to the skier so they know what the ski is up to, and yet not have too much so as to be squirrely and feel nervious. The engineers use all sorts of internal design and/or external devices to control unwanted vibes. A target is to have a ski that is lively (not dead) at slow speed and becomes increasingly more damp to produce a smooth ride and stable grip at higher speeds where sudden reactions are dangerous. This relates to "stability", knowing where the ski is going and that it is going where you want it to. Unstable skis react suddenly to the terrain and suprise the skier. Beginner skis favor stability and have a big sweet spot so learners can make big balancing movements and not get wild reactions from the skis. Race skis need a balance between stability at speed and quick, precise, and predictable reaction to skier inputs.