I get that soft longitudinal flex in a powder ski has a roughly similar effect to RC/rocker. That is, in deep snow it allows for the ski to be easily bent and thus makes it easy to turn (esp. at slower speeds, tight trees, etc). And also gives the ski a nimble, maneuverable, slarvy-fun kind of personality in powder snow.
My question is; Does the soft flex, or RC/rocker for that matter, actually increase the ‘float’ of a ski? ‘Float’ defined as purely the extent to which a ski rises to the surface in 3D snow.
I would have thought the flex might only have a very minimal effect, if any, on just extent to which a ski rises to the surface in powder.
Float being a function of;
- Skier weight (increased weight = decreased float)
- Also weight distribution along ski surface area – i.e. sitting back allows the tip to rise more than a centered stance.
- Skier speed (increased speed = increased float)
- Ski surface area (increased surface area = increased float)
- Distribution of ski surface area (a 135mm underfoot R-R ski would rise to the surface better than a rockered traditional sidecut ski with the same total surface area?). That is surface area directly underfoot floats more than surface area at tip or tail.
- Snow density (increased density = increased float)
So should flex or camber profile fit in that list at all?
If the list above (flex not included) holds then, all other things remaining constant, a HT (185cm at 140-115-130) should rise to the surface marginally quicker than an Elan 1010 (183cm at 140-110-140)?... Although the HT might not be quite as nimble in short turns/tight spots due to a stiffer tip profile, it should, in theory float to the surface marginally quicker? I know that 5mm underfoot isn’t a whole heap of extra surface area and thus won’t make much of a discernable difference – but just using as an example to illustrate the question.
Alternatively, would the stiff tip of the HT ‘punch’ or slightly ‘sink’ compared to the softer tip of the 1010? Maybe comparing with something like the Obsethed is a better example given its soft and slightly rockered tip/tail.