or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Stiffness and the Soloman Siam 8
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Stiffness and the Soloman Siam 8

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
An hour ago my wife bought a pair of '07 Siam 8s. She didn't want to go through the demo process and The Siams were on my short list for her new skis. Compared to the Balanze M11 (another top choice) we were told by the salesman that these were a softer ski and thus would have an easier turn initiation. My wife has a recovering knee and we felt that a ski that would be less work would be a good thing.

The sales guy said a stiffer ski would not necessarily give one more control.

My wife wants to know what is the point of stiffness. In other words why would one want a stiffer ski? The pros and cons. These questions are beyond my limited scope of understanding.

My wife's goal is to have control as she skis fast. To her 40 MPH is fast. She does not want to go 60 MPH.(She is a level 7. IHO it is easy to ski fast. Just point the skis straight down the hill. : ) A second goal of her's is to do some off piste skiing, thus the wider ski compared to her '04 K2 T9 Spires.
post #2 of 2
First of all, 40 mph is probably faster than most intermediate skis were designed to go at.

Now as to stiffness, it serves two purposes at speed. One is to transmit the forces from the boot to the snow and vise versa. If you put your boot on edge, the hope is that the ski will adopt a similar angle, and this angle will impart forces to the snow. The snow is trying to bend the skis back flat. If the ski has no torsional rigidity, the skis just flop over without delivering said forces and don't hold an edge. She could be giving all the right commands with her boot, but the ski just isn't strong enough to put those forces through to the ground. Longitudinal stiffness serves a primary purpose of spreading out the pressure of these command forces to the tip and tail. A softer flexing ski has less force farther away from the boot with most of the sideways force being just under foot, so it is easier to manage. A softer ski will also bend into a curve with less force, so you don't have to be going so fast to make it bend into a tight curve. A secondary purpose of longitudinal stiffness is to help prevent the ski from flopping up and down at speed like a loose sail, though now a days technology has produced some pretty stable flexible skis.

The biggest drawback with too soft a ski is it will not be able to deliver the turning forces needed to make turns at high speeds, rather like trying to win a road race in an old Buick with worn shocks and bald tires in the rain.

The con of a stiff ski is that not only does it transfer correct movements to the snow, it also is less forgiving of mistakes. If you edge a ski incorrectly, that edge will grab and deliver a large amount of force throwing you on your butt. A softer ski would only pull with a lighter force. Another con of a too-stiff ski is that you might not have enough weight to decamber the ski into a tight turn. This deficiency can only be partially compensated for by speed; momentum is what bends the ski and that is the product of mass times velocity, but down force is needed to keep the edges engaged, and that is due to gravity and dynamics alone.

I think the Balanze 11 is up for 40 mph. I suspect your wife might not like going 40mph quite so much on the Siam 8. Then again maybe it will seem that much faster.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Stiffness and the Soloman Siam 8