Originally Posted by Lonnie
I disagree. My personal feeling is it's our natural reaction is to dig in more with the outside ski. But by doing this, I think we are doing ourselves a dis-service. I think that committing to the outside ski in really icy conditions only gives you 1/2 the gripping power of two skis. Putting too much weight/force on the outside ski only increase the chance that the ski will break free and slide. Remember that skis skid when there is more lateral force on them than their ability to hold. So why would you want to put MORE lateral force on them in this situation by committing to only the outside ski?
Personally, I think it's much better to commit to BOTH skis, and try to distribute the forces we generate over TWO edges, not just one. It's like to old saying in auto racing, 8 tires stick better than four. In this case, 2 edges stick better than one. Maybe not 50/50 but maybe 60/40 outside/inside. For ski ice, think a lighter touch, not a heavier one.
But I ski at Alta so what the heck do I know....
Sorry Lonnie, but the physics don't work that way. Read LeMaster who explains it well.
They do work that way in soft snow. In soft snow its about minimizing the pounds per square inch or spreading it around as you say....because you are using the bases of your skis to turn against, not your edges. And you're on a somewhat bottomless surface. The significance of that statement will make sense in a moment when I talk about hard snow. Suffice it to say that on soft snow, the more you can spread this load among longer skis, fatter skis, multiple skis, etc..the better.
However, when edging on a hard surface, it doesn't work that way. They are making skis shorter and shorter, REDUCING the amount of edge contacting the snow, rather than increasing. Hmm.... What makes your edge grip is increased pressure which makes it hold better. Ask yourself why an ice skater can carve a perfect arc, on a sheet of sheer ice the would freak most skiers out completely on an 8 inch long edge? Much more pounds focused per square inch.
On hard snow, what makes your edge hold is friction. yes I know friction is bad when you want to go fast. But its friction the prevents your ski from skidding sideways. Friction is increased by increasing the pressure on your edge. Here's a concept: The reason a sharper edge works is not so that it can cut into the snow as some would like to visualize, but rather to reduce the size of metal that is contacting the snow, further increasing the pounds per square nanometer of pressure..which increases friction and edge hold.
The name of the game is actually to increase the downwards pressure as much as possible, to increase friction, enough that it will stop the sideways inertia from making you skid out. Back to soft snow, its somewhat bottomless. You basically can't increase the downwards pressure. Its hopeless to use that to your advantage. So on soft snow the best you can do is try to neutralize the sideways pressure by spreading it around to fatter, longer skis and both skis.
On soft snow you have loads more surface area to to prevent the sideways inertia from sliding you sideways. Hundreds if not thousands of times more surface area. On hard snow, that won't work, because you don't have your bases helping like you do in soft snow. If you don't create more downward pressure on the edges, the sideways inertia will win out.
If you don't believe me, next time you're out on ice play around with standing 50/50 on your skis or really getting on your outside ski entirely and feel the difference. Commit to the outside ski. Lonnie, I'm surprised you don't know this already, but being based in Alta....ice....what is that...