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Define "Forgiveness"

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I try, but I just don't seem to grasp this concept with regard to skis. I see incredibly varied descriptions of what "forgiveness" means, and it only confuses me more. It often seems to get mixed up with other terms.

Can someone enlighten me?
post #2 of 21

Forgiveness as a ski trait

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotski View Post
I try, but I just don't seem to grasp this concept with regard to skis. I see incredibly varied descriptions of what "forgiveness" means, and it only confuses me more. It often seems to get mixed up with other terms.

Can someone enlighten me?
I'm not the best person to provide "enlightenment" but perhaps the question could be expanded for beginners to include:

1) What are the best traits to look for in skis that a beginner level (or intermediate level for that matter) skier would purchase?

2) What do skis that are labelled "game improvement" tools provide?

3) How does one select the best length ski to purchase?

4) How does one decide between skis identified as "all mountain" vs. those best for groomers? At the beginner level, it doesn't seem likely that you're going to be spending a lot of time away from groomed runs. But if you can only afford a one ski quiver, is it best to go for an "all mountain" ski? What points should one consider?

Can anyone provide recommendations/answers?

Thanks,
mgmc
post #3 of 21
A forgiving ski allows for 'some' pilot error. This can be due to a softer longitudinal flex so the ski decambers easily and arcs into a turn (and doesn't rebound ), It can be a ski with less sidecut (or a sidecut with a straight section under foot) that is easy to pivot. The way this is usually achieved is by having a softer torsional flex at the tip and tail. The ski doesn't hook up in a turn as quick as a stiffer ski and it releases easier at the end of the turn. The center of the ski can be stiff and have good grip, the ski can perform extremely well, it just isn't as finicky to pilot input.

A college football coach once said "quickness is great, but if I've got dumb players I'd rather them to be slow. That way they won't get as far out of position on every play."

It kinda works with skis also. Great edge grip and quick response can cut both ways. Performance without skill is bad and a demanding ski in demanding conditions can also be bad.
post #4 of 21
Forgiveness is the quality that allows the skier to get away with mistakes. For example, in moguls if you pick a bad line or get out of sync and miss a bump a stiffer ski will punish you, sending you airborne or put you down hard. A softer ski will forgive some of those mistakes and give you a chance to recover. In powder a stiffer ski will dive, dive, dive if you put too much pressure on the tongues of your boots. A softer ski tends to float better even if your fore/aft balance is out of sync.
Like wise skis with stiffer tails tend to punish you if you are too far back.
post #5 of 21
Soft = forgiving
post #6 of 21
Forgiving= TORSIONALLY Soft.


The trade off is the more forgiving...ie torsionally soft....the less the skis ability to edge....torsionally stiff skis have better edge hold ability.
post #7 of 21
More forgiving skis will transmit less force when a skier makes the move that should result in that force being applied. This means that slight movements will not result in a turn or much of a turn, and major movements will provide less turning force than they would on a less-forgiving ski.

For example an unskilled skier tips the skis slightly with his weight slightly too far forward. A non-forgiving ski immediately sends the skis into a turn the skier is not ready for and the skier falls. The forgiving ski pushes for the turn but not as hard, so the turn isn't as great and the skier doesn't fall, or skier can out-muscle it and force the ski not to turn, but slip instead.

It's a little like under-steer and commuter tires on a family station wagon instead of highest performing Goodyears (edited out Michelin Pilots; they are too easy to manage at the limit for this example) on a Mustang GT. A crank at the steering wheel that would send the Mustang GT into the weeds won't do much on the wagon.
post #8 of 21
Is a Mustang GT an example of a really high performance handling automobile???
post #9 of 21
Forgiveness as defined by Trekchick:

When Mr Trekchick hits a rock while skiing on Trekchicks skis and she says its okay because its a reason to buy a new pair of skis.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Sounds to me like there are as many definitions of "forgiveness" as there are skiers. Is that how it works then? It's sort of a subjective term (unlike, for example, ski length)? No wonder why I was confused! :
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
Is a Mustang GT an example of a really high performance handling automobile???
No, but it is less forgiving than the wally-wagon. The first time you floor it prior to coming up on someone on a two-lane black top and pull into the passing lane out at 90 mph will require a little quick adjusting if you're used to steering the wagon.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotski View Post
Sounds to me like there are as many definitions of "forgiveness" as there are skiers. Is that how it works then? It's sort of a subjective term (unlike, for example, ski length)? No wonder why I was confused! :
Here are 3 posts that basically agree on a notion of forgiveness. That notion being that a softer damper ski, one that absorbs rather than returns energy can be preferred in cases where the skier is unable to control how much energy he imparts to his skis (as in learning to ski) or in cases where the terrain imparts large amounts of energy to the skis as a result of skiing a particular line(as in large or icy moguls).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
A forgiving ski allows for 'some' pilot error. This can be due to a softer longitudinal flex so the ski decambers easily and arcs into a turn (and doesn't rebound ), It can be a ski with less sidecut (or a sidecut with a straight section under foot) that is easy to pivot. The way this is usually achieved is by having a softer torsional flex at the tip and tail. The ski doesn't hook up in a turn as quick as a stiffer ski and it releases easier at the end of the turn. The center of the ski can be stiff and have good grip, the ski can perform extremely well, it just isn't as finicky to pilot input.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
Forgiveness is the quality that allows the skier to get away with mistakes. For example, in moguls if you pick a bad line or get out of sync and miss a bump a stiffer ski will punish you, sending you airborne or put you down hard. A softer ski will forgive some of those mistakes and give you a chance to recover. In powder a stiffer ski will dive, dive, dive if you put too much pressure on the tongues of your boots. A softer ski tends to float better even if your fore/aft balance is out of sync.
Like wise skis with stiffer tails tend to punish you if you are too far back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
More forgiving skis will transmit less force when a skier makes the move that should result in that force being applied. This means that slight movements will not result in a turn or much of a turn, and major movements will provide less turning force than they would on a less-forgiving ski.

For example an unskilled skier tips the skis slightly with his weight slightly too far forward. A non-forgiving ski immediately sends the skis into a turn the skier is not ready for and the skier falls. The forgiving ski pushes for the turn but not as hard, so the turn isn't as great and the skier doesn't fall, or skier can out-muscle it and force the ski not to turn, but slip instead.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
Forgiveness as defined by Trekchick:

When Mr Trekchick hits a rock while skiing on Trekchicks skis and she says its okay because its a reason to buy a new pair of skis.
Sept 22, 2007

Hi TC:

How about "Never having to say you're sorry"? Nah, that's "Love".:

Actually, Volant skis use to be famous for being soft longitudinally but stiff torsionally. At that time, in terms of material science, the simultaneous mention of these two qualities for a ski was an oxymoron. Volant skis were probably the archetype of "forgiving" skis. Whenever a Volant ski was selected for a Gold Medal Adward in Ski or Skiing, one adjective would always pop up and that was "forgiving". I would suggest that for beginners who are shopping for their first pair of skis, to pick up a pair of Volant Epic (men) or Vertix (women) at local ski swaps or eBay. You can ski on them for a season or two, and sell them at almost no or little loss.

Cheers,

CP
post #14 of 21
Of course forgiveness is a subjective term. It's kind'a like the difference driving an automatic Ford Crown Vic vs. driving a stick shift Ferrari. If you can do it right, the Ferrari is much more responsive. If you can't, you want the forgiveness of the Ford.

As said above, the forgiving skis are just less responsive. The transmit fewer skier movements to the ski edges. They transmit fewer correct movements, so I don't want them, and they transmit fewer incorrect movements, so a beginner does want them.
post #15 of 21
I think another point on forgiveness should be the ability of ones boots to match what their skis are trying to accomplish. If one is looking for a forgiving ski that they can ski all day comfortably than a boot that works with that type of performance should be the way to go. Too many people get some type of top of the line race type boots that are way too stiff for them to flex. You can't feel the skis forgiveness if you can't flex the boot over a range of motion. Another problem is when someone gets some top end skis and doesn't have the boot to work them properly, too stiff a ski and too soft a flexing boot. I know it is almost impossible to demo boots but if one can stay in the higher intermediate to low expert range boot those should work well in most skiing applications. I do like a softer flexing forgiving ski when off groomed especially in bumps, one that can form and flex to the terrain variations versus a stiff race type ski that just throws me from bump to bump.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
... softer damper ski, one that absorbs rather than returns energy can be preferred in cases where the skier is unable to control how much energy he imparts to his skis (as in learning to ski) or in cases where the terrain imparts large amounts of energy to the skis as a result of skiing a particular line(as in large or icy moguls).
OK, I think I'm starting to "get" it now. Thanks for your patience. It seems obvious to me that ski forgiveness is actually an extremely complicated quality of a ski -- there are so many things that seem to influence it. Maybe that's what was making it hard for me to understand. This thread seems to suggest that you can't always simply say FORGIVENESS = SOFTNESS (although sometimes you can, which makes things tricky!). Nor does FORGIVENESS = DAMPNESS always quite apply. It sounds like a safer formulation would be GREATER FORGIVENESS = LESSER ENERGY TRANSMISSION?????
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotski View Post
I try, but I just don't seem to grasp this concept with regard to skis. I see incredibly varied descriptions of what "forgiveness" means, and it only confuses me more. It often seems to get mixed up with other terms.

Can someone enlighten me?
A forgiving ski does not punish pilot errors.

This is a good thing for people that are learning and make some errors along the way.
post #18 of 21
Basically I have learned forgiveness means 'not stiff' - whether skis or boots. Stiff equipment is hard to use and will throw you around like a rag doll if you don't pay attention and stay on top of everything.
post #19 of 21
Look at the way Head ranks skier (ability) Level and skier Tempo of these women's skis:
http://head.com/ski/products.php?region=us&tag=women
In one case the rankings don't match...one ski is for the highest ability skier but not the fastest tempo. That's all part of designing skis for different usages. The skis with the lower ranking will be more forgiving of skier input errors.

Of course, these rankings don't apply to everyone. I know certain Head skis where I really like the highest ranking, and other ones for different style skiing where the highest ranked skis aren't right for me at all. That's why there are three rules for picking skis...research, demo, demo some more.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
Of course forgiveness is a subjective term. It's kind'a like the difference driving an automatic Ford Crown Vic vs. driving a stick shift Ferrari. If you can do it right, the Ferrari is much more responsive. If you can't, you want the forgiveness of the Ford.

As said above, the forgiving skis are just less responsive. The transmit fewer skier movements to the ski edges. They transmit fewer correct movements, so I don't want them, and they transmit fewer incorrect movements, so a beginner does want them.
IMHO, bad example (The Crown Vic will get you into trouble because of bad handing). Forgiveness is still having performance, say a BMW 3 or 5 series vs. the little tollerance of that Ferrari. There are high performance skis that have forgiveness and still be very good skis. Flex and shape over construction. Take a racing ski..not forgiving because of the stiffness and extreme sidecut, now take that same (basic) construction, soften it uo, make it a bit wider and softer, it is a more forgiving ski.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotski View Post
DAMPNESS
<pedant hat>
Damping, damp, and damped when we speak of fizziks, not dampening and dampness.
</pedantry>
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
A forgiving ski does not punish pilot errors.
This
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Forgiveness is still having performance
And this.

Features often associated with "forgiving" skis: Middle of the road sidecuts, not crazy short nor GS ski long. Torsional rate decreasing markedly near the contact points. Turned up tails. Small amounts of camber and middle of the road or softer flexes. Base bevels of 1 degree or larger. Moderate or less rebound. Anywhere from very lively to flat out dead...in my experience damping has little to do with forgiveness. Note also the implication that rebound and damping aren't directly related.
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