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Power, Flex, and Athleticism of a ski?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am writing a research paper on skiing, and came upon this confounding quote:
Quote:
"The type of wood, processing, size, length and width are different – these are all factors that affect the power, athleticism and flex of the skis."
http://www.voelkl.com/index.cfm/EN/236
I can understand what the flex of the ski is, and why it is important to have a ski that bends when its pushed, but what do they mean when they say the "power" of the ski? And what on earth do they mean when they say the "athleticism" of the ski?
Thanks,
Robert Storm
post #2 of 12
This is what you get when the sales department in a non-English speaking country writes about engineering.

The article is here, and in context the quote is:
Quote:
Wood Core Concept


We’ve perfected what nature gave us: wood— like always, there's no better core material for achieving the best flex performance in a ski. Adaptable, flexible and yet still stable - no other active material allows the skier such a compact and harmonious feel. A wooden heart beats in all VÖLKL ski ranges. Different WOOD CORES have been developed for all the different intended uses and characteristics of the skis. The type of wood, processing, size, length and width are different – these are all factors that affect the power, athleticism and flex of the skis.
Without getting too technical, we know there is no wooden heart, and that terms like athleticism are anthropomorphic projections on an inanimate manufactured product. The alternative is clearly a wimpy, artificial, machine made, flaccid foam core, and we know what that means about anyone who would buy that!

Did that answer your question? :
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
This is what you get when the sales department in a non-English speaking country writes about engineering.

The article is here, and in context the quote is:
Without getting too technical, we know there is no wooden heart, and that terms like athleticism are anthropomorphic projections on an inanimate manufactured product. The alternative is clearly a wimpy, artificial, machine made, flaccid foam core, and we know what that means about anyone who would buy that!

Did that answer your question? :

No.

Volkl's have a foam core rather than a wood core: YES or NO.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
This is what you get when the sales department in a non-English speaking country writes about engineering.
LOL...well said.

OldSchool's question cannot be answered with a YES or a NO.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, that helps, thanks.
Just... most high-end skis (atomic, völkl, stöckli) are made with wood cores, right?
What is the difference between a wood (or whatever they make the good ones out of) and a foam core?
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJThuht View Post
What is the difference between a wood (or whatever they make the good ones out of) and a foam core?
-Shape and frequency of vibrational modes and the effect of the damping of the core material on them. Pretty important for ski performance.
-The sound implications of that for the skier
-Ability to absorb impacts without permanent deformation
-Weight

Cost is an issue because high quality wood cores are expensive to make, and there is the marketing aspect, because many skiers are convinced a wood core is a sign of quality.
post #7 of 12
Volkl, is pretty comitted to wood cores, but you will find lots of composite cores in high-end skis in the Atomic, Dynastar, and Rossignol lineups. I'm not picking n those brands, and those skis are very highly rated. As inferred by the promotional language, there are issues at stake in ski construction that go beyond engineering and performance. We are getting into the marketing arena and all the innuendo, inferences, sex appeal, testosterone, and illusion that goes with it. Wood cores are a traditional, expensive and proven material. Because of the cost, marketing must create demand and "sell" the idea the material is superior and justifies the cost. You will find many who agree. It like tasting wine. Most consumers don't know the difference, but can be persuaded to spend more to get "the best", if its sold right. The average skier wants to buy the turns by the celebrity sponsored skiers. To be honest, most of them are on wood core skis at this point that may resemble the consumer product in graphics. Often the consumer ski is a very different animal than the racer, or competitive freeskier movie star gets. The Rossignol Squads were probably one of the classic examples of wood core "pro skis" redesigned with synthetic cores for the consumer in sizes smaller than 189 cm.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I see, thanks alot.
Just curious, what are my Stöckli Stormrider XL's made of? (06/07) Any ideas of where I could look that up?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJThuht View Post
Ok, that helps, thanks.
Just... most high-end skis (atomic, völkl, stöckli) are made with wood cores, right?
What is the difference between a wood (or whatever they make the good ones out of) and a foam core?
Atomic skis are almost all beta profile. That uses composite (foam) cores -- not wood. Only like 2 skis in their free ride line use wood cores.

Other manufacturers use foam extensively as well including Rossignol, Salomon, and Dynastar. Fischer has used composite cores extensively as well. The aircarbon or CFC skis are composite carbon core skis.
post #10 of 12
http://www.stockli.com/

^it is a Flash site (grrr) so I can't give you a direct link, but click through to that ski and you'll see its a fairly common wood core design. They are actually quite descriptive, telling us it has fiberglass reinforcement, a sheet of titanal, the wood core, another sheet of titanal, and more fiberglass reinforcement, with some additional metal in the middle, probably under the binding. Similar to most race ski layups.
post #11 of 12
This is what you get when the sales department in a non-English speaking country writes about engineering.

Cirquerider: Oh my, that is good!!

I've always been at a loss to describe my skiing and the type of ski I need. It is somewhat serendipitous (or something like that) that a translation from a German marketing guy has solved my problem.

"no other active material allows the skier such a compact and harmonious feel". Compact and harmonious. When asked: "How was it up there today?" I will answer: "compact and harmonious, just like my skis." And with this they will know. I've been searching for this phrase all these years.

A most "Compact and Harmonious" night to all.

Ken
post #12 of 12
You still can't buy a turn, but that hasn't stopped them from agressively and ever more creatively trying to sell you one. Heck, I wouldn't be caught dead on a non-athletic ski with no heart. Put me with Ken-E on the "compact and harmonious" style list.
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