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What makes a ski "quick"?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
What makes a ski quick from edge to edge? I'm looking for a tree-skiing ski and was wondering.

(sorry if i posted this in the wrong forum topic)

thanks
post #2 of 18

The number one factor that determines a ski's ability to go from edge to edge quickly is the person attached to them. That being said, the things that make a ski inherently quick are its stiffness and its torsional rigidity. A ski that is stiffer from tip to tail will rebound more energy back to the skier, and allowing for a quicker edge change. However, the limiting factor is the ability of the skier to control that energy return. A quick edge change can turn into the ski getting out of control really quickly. The same thing applies as far as torsional rigidity, or the ability of the ski to twist along its long axis, or resist that twisting. A torsionally rigid ski is going to give more energy back than one that is not.

Typically, when you're looking for rigidity, you want a wood core, rather that a foam one. Also, the composite laminates that are used can go a long way towards helping the rigidity of the ski, particularly the torsional aspect. I like the Head Liquidmetal laminate, it creates a nice snappy ski in both directions.

The other thing that will have some effect on edge to edge quickness is the width of the ski. Obviously a ski that is wider will take a little more energy and time to go from edge to edge than a narrower one. However, since you're looking for an off-piste ski, you're going to prefer a wider ski, as the benefits of the width outweigh that potential drawback.

post #3 of 18
I'll say that what makes a ski quick edge to edge is you.  Now that's vague but the answer is still you.  How do you get to be quick edge to edge is the real question and the answer is byu skiing on equipment that is properly setup for you.  Ramp angle has to be correct for you so you can stand in a solidly balanced position and binding position has to be correct so you don't have to exaggerate forward position to get turn started.

Lou
post #4 of 18
you. or wax.
post #5 of 18
On a narrower ski you have less distance to travel from one edge to the other.  Therefore it would seem that progressively narrower and narrower skis will be quicker and quicker from edge to edge.  That would make race boards in the low sixties probably the quickest, but I'm not so sure that's what you want in the woods.....
post #6 of 18
 Ski shape and base structure play a major role in quick response.
post #7 of 18
Many things influence the ski quickness, generally a narrower ski is quicker, also both longitudinal and torsional stiffness have an large effect, but the way you personally ski is probably the greatest influence. That's why a Demo is always recommended - what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. As JayPowHound says quickness is not necessarily what you want for woods(tree skiing). I would start with Demoing a all mountain ski with good bump characteristics. And that is just a starting point.
post #8 of 18
In design I look at tip profile A shorter, more abrupt tip will be qicker that a longer more gradual one Look at a Volkl Tigershark or even AC series or Blizzard Force or Magnum series tip vs. that of a K2 Apache and you will see the difference/ 
Edited by Philpug - 8/30/09 at 7:17am
post #9 of 18
Leaving the skier out of it,  narrower makes it quicker edge to edge, and softer tip and wider shovel makes it quicker to turn once it's on edge.
Edited by Ghost - 8/30/09 at 7:24am
post #10 of 18
Waist width- less is quicker
Sidecut- less is 'quicker'
Rebound- more feels quicker (combination of flex and construction)
Ski Weight- less is quicker
Mounting point- less shovel will feel quicker to engage.
Binding stack height- lower is quicker

A narrower ski is easier to roll from edge to edge, mentioned earlier.

Extreme sidecut, ala SL skis, is great for carving short radius turns, but they create a 'hammock effect' as you decamber the ski to engage the edge under foot, this slows quickness.

Cap skis store and release energy quicker and more efficiently than laminate skis, they tend to feel livelier and quicker.

... but it's the Indian not the Arrow and everyone is a little different. As Lou mentioned above, being in balance on the ski will be a huge advantage. If you are balanced and ready to engage your edges you'll feel quick on anything, if your out of balance nothing will help, you'll always feel like you are trying to 'catch up' to the ski. Being in balance involves the boot, the binding and the ski... and you.
Edited by Whiteroom - 8/30/09 at 6:41am
post #11 of 18
Mostly, a skier makes a ski quick from edge to edge. The wider the ski, the slower it will be from edge to edge. For controlled radius turns like you have to make in the trees, however, the question might be rephrased to be: what kind of ski will make quick turns.

My experience in the trees is that I want a short ski (duh) that I can both carve and skid. Not all skiing is carving. Don't be reluctant to skid your skis to get you want to go.

My ski of choice in Western trees, both wide open and super tight is a 165cm Atomic Powder Plus (early '90s). These have very little side cut: 130/110/115. They work in the soft snow because I can flex them to make tight arcs, the tail is rounded, somewhat, so they will skid. Also, they don't sink.

For hard packed trees like you might find in the east or in the west after a long absence of fresh, I'd go with a ski with a small radius and essentially run SL in the trees. While the radius isn't exactly SL small, I would choose the 178cm Rossi B2 (r18?). It has good side cut, I can flex it and it's tails are slightly turned up and rounded to permit easy skidding.

Skiing trees is a lot like the bumps. If you don't control your speed, pretty soon the conditions will control you. Additionally in the trees, you will experience mogul field-like conditions as everyone is skiing the same line and building troughs and bumps. I ski slowly in the trees. I ski the speed at which I am willing to hit something that won't move.

So, you want a ski that will let you control your speed and make the turn size (carved or skidded) that lets you stay in the spaces between the trees. If you can't make the turn size you'll need with the skis on the piste then you won't be able to in the trees.

MR
post #12 of 18
The radius of the ski is also going to tell you alot about how "quick" the ski is edge to edge.  
post #13 of 18
What makes a ski quick?  All of the above mechanical and technical stuff, and my two personal favorites: practice and magic.

Please reread MastersRacers very sagely advice;

Quote:
Skiing trees is a lot like the bumps. If you don't control your speed, pretty soon the conditions will control you. Additionally in the trees, you will experience mogul field-like conditions as everyone is skiing the same line and building troughs and bumps. I ski slowly in the trees. I ski the speed at which I am willing to hit something that won't move.
Especially the last sentence.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by NESkiBum View Post

The radius of the ski is also going to tell you alot about how "quick" the ski is edge to edge.  

I would strongly disagree with this. "quickness from edge to edge" is a function of being able to engage/ disengage/ engage new edge... sidecut slows this down. Carving short radius turns is different, sidecut is great for carving. For example competetive bump skiers have amazing quickness edge to edge because they don't try to carve at all. look at their skis, they are straight and narrow.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys that really helps. Do you think the Dynastar Nothing But Trouble would fit those requirements? I am also going to be taking this ski in the park so I would like a twin tip. Also new suggestions would be great.

thanks
post #16 of 18
Radius has little to do with quickness it is side cut and the dimensions of the ski make a  good quick ski has dimensions of about max tip 105 waist 66 tail 90 and built old school meaning wood metal and fiberglass and how fast the skier applies pressure and how far on edge the ski goes. You don't think that Salomon skis on the World Cup are what you buy at the ski shop they are made with wood and metal not just fiberglass and wood with this construction there is less rebound out of the turn thus less quickness
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvj View Post

Radius has little to do with quickness it is side cut and the dimensions of the ski make a  good quick ski has dimensions of about max tip 105 waist 66 tail 90 and built old school meaning wood metal and fiberglass and how fast the skier applies pressure and how far on edge the ski goes. You don't think that Salomon skis on the World Cup are what you buy at the ski shop they are made with wood and metal not just fiberglass and wood with this construction there is less rebound out of the turn thus less quickness
 

Radius is a direct result of side cut. More side cut, smaller radius (given the same length ski).

Generally the narrower the waist of the ski, the easier, thus more quickly you can go from edge to edge.

These remarks have little bearing on the OPs desire to find a ski that works well in the trees, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Downhillin99 View Post

Thanks guys that really helps. Do you think the Dynastar Nothing But Trouble would fit those requirements? I am also going to be taking this ski in the park so I would like a twin tip. Also new suggestions would be great.

thanks
 

Ability Level Intermediate - Advanced
Core Material Wood
Dims: Tip 112
Dims: Waist 78
Dims: Tail 102
Tail Type Full Twin Tip
Turning Radius 18m @ 165cm

Looks like a solid ski for the job. A twin tip has several advantages in the trees:

  1. you can back out of a tight spot
  2. the tails can be pushed easily to skid a turn
  3. they have effectively a shorter length than an non-twin tip giving smaller radius for the same 'ski length'

MR
post #18 of 18
So many answers.  What to do.  I'll stick by what I said and recommend you ignore all ski specs when determining whether a si=ki is quick or not.  Instead you need to determine what you like.  You can do this by demoing, but again be careful. 

There is an assumption that when we demo skis the differences we feel are due to ski design.  Could be.  Certainly a ski with a 95mm waist and 28 m turn radius (yes, sidecut and radius are the same) will feel different than a ski with a 65mm waist and 11 m radius.  But if you compare skis that are more similar in dimensions then much of the difference between the skis may be in the binding ramp angle and the binding position.  If you can't standardize them for your tests then you may not be learning what you think you are about the skis.

The are several articles at epic on both topics.

Lou
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