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Physics Man and Others with some concept of ski design

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
When it comes to ski design I'm pretty much cluless. Like the song says " All this Science I just don't understand" I know what feels right to me what I like a ski to feel like. However I have little knowlage as to the Hows and whys of what goes into making that ski, ski the way it does. Ryan just bought a new pair of skis from a company in The PNW.Check out Ryan's review on his new Odyssey skis He post a web Page for The Odyssey. The designer of this ski Has some info on how and why he Builds his skis The way he does. The truth is as far as I know He could be just making this stuff up. I'm just a poor humble artist and all this talk of torque, edge contact,surface area, surface contact goes over my head.So my question is this What are your thoughts on what The maker and the designer of the Odyssey says about skis and his concept of what makes a ski work?
post #2 of 29
Yea!

Why did skis used to be long and wide and made of wood, and now they are short and wide and made of wood?

The riddler
post #3 of 29
Perhaps it has something to do with man yet being unable to beat God at creating the best materials?

S
post #4 of 29
I have one word for you son,

SPRUCE

CalG
post #5 of 29
oh, by the way, my odyssey skis melted last night. but i've got some cool new candles!
post #6 of 29
I haven't skied G4 or 10exs but I did demo some extra stiff (the owner of these particular skis liked them super stiff) Odysseys this year. One powder day and one hard snow and chunky crud day. My skis are 190 Selkirks, longer and softer (and faster), so the change to short stiff skis took some getting used to. Had to stay more forward, when I went back to mine I tried to stay that far forward and it just didn't work. I would get them a little softer. I liked them in all the conditions I had them. Easier to make quick short turns where it was steep and deep than my longer skis. Having skied them, I'd buy them. And at their price I actually Could buy them.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for looking into this Tom.I thought a little discussion about what makes a ski work side cut ect might be a fun way to pass some time before that first snowflake of next ski season falls.
I do like the idea of a ski that you can buy with a diffrent flex.I think one thing that the intergrated binding ski system could move to is a way for the skier to tune in the ski flex. atomic has thier system that moves the binding forward or back to give the ski better proformance in bumps powder or hard snow. Marker had thier system years ago but I just have not seen this done with the ski it's self.I can see something like the solomon pro lick arms that could be set for a diffrent flex say a soft med and hard flex. Do this both on the tip and tail of the ski.A skier could dial in the ski to match the conditions.
The guy at Odyassey seems to have been on to something vary early in the shaped ski revolution. Like a lot innovators in the ski industry and else where. He had a good idea and to little capital to to bring it to the world.But still for a small investment of $225.00 It might be a fun ski to try out.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Utah49:
...The truth is as far as I know He could be just making this stuff up ... all this talk of torque, edge contact,surface area, surface contact goes over my head ... the Odyssey says about skis and his concept of what makes a ski work?
Here's my take on it. I believe the guy when he says that around ten years ago ('92), well before it became common knowledge, he discovered that skis with a certain shape and length (ie, similar to many 2002 models) worked much better than most of the skis being sold in those days.

He obviously thought that the improvement that he experienced was dramatic enough to spend his years from '91 to '97 (and obviously a good hunk of money) getting a patent. The text of his patent makes for very interesting reading, particularly in terms of the history of other ski patents:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/srchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1='5,603,522'.WKU.&OS=PN/5,603,522&RS=PN/5,603,522

Notice, in particular, that unlike his web pages, in his patent, he makes no unusual claims about longitudinal flex:

> ...For reference, the current industry standards
> for torsional flex and longitudinal flex, which
> have varied little, if any in the last 10 years
> are: for torsional flex, a range of approximately
> 0.8 to 1.6 N-m/degree, and for overall longitudinal
> flex, about 32 to 46 N/cm. The wide short ski
> employs approximately these same industry
> tested standards of flex criteria in its
> various embodiments.

I think that what happened to this guy is that he discovered that skis approximately 180 cm long by 80 mm wide were versatile and fun right around the same time that the big mfgrs were also realizing this and starting to move in the same directions. Industry and consumer resistance to change made it take until the last couple of years before skis in this length and width range became fairly commonplace.

I have no first-hand experience with Odyssey skis, but I suspect that given their sidecut and his statements about relatively stiff flex, they might very well be similar in performance to very nice, slightly wider mainstream skis like the G4 and 10ex, and thus, a real bargain at the prices he is asking. OTOH, he doesn't say a word about other design issues like flex distribution and damping, and he almost certainly doesn't have the resources of Volkl or Atomic to tweak his design in these (and other) areas.

Personally, I would only buy Odyssey skis if I could demo a pair myself, or if I saw a LOT of positive, credible, non-BS reviews (ie, not like Ski or Skiing Mag) where they were specifically A/B'ed against comparable mainstream skis like G4's and 10ex's. Otherwise, I would consider them "$225 pigs-in-a-polk".

The real question is will this be another case like Gould's famous laser patent where a non-mainstream guy was successful in getting a patent on something that later came into heavy use.

Finally, to get to your question about all the geek-speak on his web site, I hate to be disparaging, but IMHO, the "physics" that he claims is behind all of his design work is a mumbo-jumbo mixture of obvious, clearly correct statements (eg, the formula for the rotational polar moment of inertia that he throws in his patent) intimately mixed with hidden assumptions and assertions about difficult-to-characterize systems (ie, human bio-mechanics and snow) in such a way as to seemingly theoretically justify the ranges of parameters he prefers.

Other than for the sake of trying to "snow" non-geeks with techspeak, I see no need for this -- the (apparently good) performance of the skis is all that really matters.

Hope this helps,

Tom / PM
post #9 of 29
Telemarktips.com Recently put a video on their website of a tour of the Karhu ski factory. If you are interested in actually seeing the guts of a ski, and how all the pieces are put together, this is a great video.

http://www.telemarktips.com/SkiFactory.html
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks I'll Have to take a look at the video from home this computer here at work is just to old and slow for a video feed.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
First Utah49 said: ...I'm just a poor humble artist and all this talk of torque, edge contact,surface area, surface contact goes over my head...
Quote:
THEN Utah49 said: ...I thought a little discussion about what makes a ski work side cut ect might be a fun way to pass some time ... I can see something like the solomon pro lick arms that could be set for a diffrent flex say a soft med and hard flex. Do this both on the tip and tail of the ski.A skier could dial in the ski to match the conditions...
Hummm ... Keep talking like that, and I'll be forced to issue an official "Geek-in-the-making" alert with a complementary pocket protector and propeller beanie!

Seriously, tho, with respect to your comment about getting a discussion going about how skis "work", many skiers obviously love "stuff" like this, but its full physical description is surprisingly complex and certainly not complete. If you are interested, a good way to start is to pick up a copy of "The Physics of Skiing" by David Lind, Scott P. Sanders:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...108827-8730335

Its truly unfortunate that while the expositions of the physical phenomena contained in this book are excellent, they are in some senses dry, and rarely go into the interactions between the skier, his technique, and the ski itself, ie, issues that occupy many threads in this and other forums. For example, you won't find much in there telling you that you should probably pick one type of fatty (eg a Volkl Explosiv) if you are going to use one type of powder technique, but another type of fatty (like a 10ex) for different powder technique.

Gearhead that I am, I love your idea for adjustable ski flex, but I worry about the extra weight this might require. I also agree with you that it sure would be fun to try out some of the Odyssey skis. Now, if you can tell me how to sneak another pair past my wife (at any price). [img]smile.gif[/img]

Cheers,

Tom / PM
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hmmmmm How to get new gear past a wife? Now that is a problem worthy of my talents. OK in your case heres your story. "Nasa sent these skis to me to test.Seems they will need some type of ski for the future Mars expedition."Now if she buys that Heres part two. "By The way The testing includes a two week trip to Utah, yeah,seems like they discovered the snow there in just like Mars snow."
Now for a light flex control. Make the body of the ski as light as possible.Then ad titanim cylinders filled with a light gas.The cylinders are then fitted on the body of the ski at an angle from near the front and rear of the binding to the skis edge about 3/4s of the way up and back on the ski.a dial is calibrated to give the desired amout of pressure, as the gas is compressed it puts more pressure on the skis edge.The skis own nature flex would also ad in compressing the gas more.In other words the harded you edge the ski the stiffer it would get.For the tail you may want to add some sort of safty valve if to much pressure as in a twisting backward fall.The ski would allow a full flex and take pressure off the skiers knee.Now do i get my pocket portector and beanie? Do you guys still use slid rules? Now thirty years ago They were the true sign of a techno geek.

[ May 15, 2002, 11:07 AM: Message edited by: Utah49 ]
post #13 of 29
Although women are loathe to admit it, they respect their man more when he occasionally pisses them off. Buy the skis if you want, and don't make any excuses. She'll get over it.
post #14 of 29
and if she doesn't, pull her out by her hair and drag her 'round the cave a few times. though women are loathe to admit it, they really love that, too.
post #15 of 29
Simple... make sure she is in the kitchen doing the cooking/ironing, and take them straight in to your study.
If you're half a man, you'll make sure she never goes into YOUR study.

S
post #16 of 29
and if he says he can't fix the car, repair the furnace, or install the new windows, I just hit him with my frying pan.
post #17 of 29
So, is that it. Well, let's see...
Fixed car - yes, there was a problem with my SatNav speaking to me in French. It's now in English.
Repair furnace - yes, when daylight saving finished, I repaired the clock to the correct time, so I had heat when I wanted it.
installing new windows - of course - this PC is now running XP.

Now, get back to the kitchen, and bring me a cold beer with my dinner.

S
post #18 of 29
WHACK
post #19 of 29
What was that for?

I mean, you said...
Quote:
Originally posted by WhosThatGirl:
and if he says he can't fix the car, repair the furnace, or install the new windows, I just hit him with my frying pan.
So, I proved I could and you still hit me.

Why?

Or is this one of these occassions where your gender comes out with the classic "If you don't know, I'm not going to tell you".

Well, that's fine by me. Ignorance is bliss, and I don't want to know. If it was important, you'd tell me, so obviously it's not.
I'm going to bed (and I hope you've made it, and put away my clothes), so this should give you ample time to think about how you're going to apologise, and then prepare for tomorrow's breakfast.

S
post #20 of 29
Oh, and when you get to bed, don't worry, I've left some Paracetemol on your bedside table.

S
post #21 of 29
You're a little slow, aren't you.

Now figure out how to use a wrench and get under the car.
post #22 of 29
hijacked!
post #23 of 29
LOL!

CalG: It's my fault . I mentioned "getting new skis past my wife" and see what happened.

Utah49: I haven't tried the "Mars / NASA" story yet, but I have already used the related "I'm trying them for a friend" variant.

Fox: She hasn't been in my study in years, but the problem is that there is already so much of my hobby stuff in there, I now can't get in either [img]smile.gif[/img] .

Tom / PM
post #24 of 29
You get the skis in the house by using the double ski bag (tune-up whatever on a pair you already own.) Then if your wife spots them, they are demos that your friend the rep is letting you use. Eventually you "buy"j them.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Sigh..........Another perfectly good thread gone to hell in a handbasket :
post #26 of 29
Sorry Utah,
All that happened was I made a suggestion, then the feminist movement took the thread over.

Typical eh?

S
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
Fox my friend,
As far as the femminist taking over. I have NO comment Your on your own now.
Think I'll just find a safe corner, have a beer sit back and watch the fireworks begin.
P.S. Does anyone else like my idea of a ski that the skier can select the flex? Ok heres another Idea a ski/binding mounting system like the Salomon Pilot but the mounting and binding would fit say 3 diffrent skis. One Binding you use on all three skis. You could have lets say, your race ski/all mountain ski/and Power ski with just one binding!Think of all the money you would save on bindings.I know Salomon would rather sell more bindings But then again they would have brand loyalty across the board. Tom PhyisicsMan You taking notes? I just Hope the R&D people at Salomon aren't reading this.
post #28 of 29
all this talk about adjustable flex reminded me of Head's Intelligence system. I guess it's not as good as being able to adjust ski flex yourself, but I'm curious to find out if it works well. Has anybody had the chance to try these new skis?
I suppose the next innovation for Head could be in allowing the skier to adjust the amount of current passing through the intelligence fibers, thus tuning their ski. Wouldn't add too much more weight. Just a thought.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Just go to Home Depot and Buy a Dimmer Switch for your Head skis Ok i think we are now getting back on topic.
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