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# Floatability

Got a question.

Is there a formula to compare two skis for their ability to float? I have heard it said that one gives more value to the underfoot number than to the tip and tail measurements. I don't want to get into construction of the ski at this point. Just one set of factors at a time.

And what about length? Would a shorter ski (say a 170cm) with a wider waist (say 85mm) be a better floating ski than something longer (say a 178 cm) with a 74mm waist?

Thanks for any input.

Width seems to make more difference than length, but it's not just waist width that matters width at the tip and tail count too.

For float, surface area and flex is king. More surface (base) in contact with the snow will equal more float, combine surface area with a reasonably soft flex and you'll get good float at a lower speed, a stiffer flex will give you more stability at speed and the ability to blast through mounds of snow and crud, but the ski will have a tendency to dive at lower speeds. As far as 'how' the surface area is laid out- well, that is important in how the ski will behave... but not really affect 'float'. A wide shovel/ tail with a narrow waist will float the same as a ski with a moderate tip/tail/waist if surface area is equal... the ski with a lot of shape will just behave worse in soft snow, it won't float less.

'Physicsman' had a formula for float that I'm sure is still around.

Thanks

I found Physicsman's formula. Width of tip/6+2Xwidth of waist/3+width of tail/6= basic ratio of surface area. Then toss in length of ski.

Whiteroom has a point, its more than just dimensions that determine float. You only need to look at the current generation of rockered, reverse sidecut, hybrid & every combination inbetween to realize that just the dimensions isnt going to give you the whole picture.

When I bought the Gotama's I thought for sure that they would be super floaty powder board based on it's big dimensions. Guess what, they were not nearly as floaty as I was expecting for a ski with a 105 waist. The flex & camber need to be factored in as well, as they have just as much effect float as pure surface area.

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