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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

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.

post #2 of 5

 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.

post #3 of 5

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.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 



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.

post #5 of 5

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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