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How Rockers will change how we teach skiing?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
 I heard K2 is only putting out the negative camber, rocker, skis next year. I am really looking forward to trying these out. I understand also, that the upward tilt to the tip will make turn initiation easier. Really? How so?  I am envisioning my adult students showing up with these skis. This presents all kind of ideas and challenges. When you all went from sticks to parabolics (I learned on shaped K2-4's) how did you approach the change?  
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donegal View Post

 I heard K2 is only putting out the negative camber, rocker, skis next year. 

That is incorrect.  All will have some rocker.  Most will have regular camber for the majority of the ski.
post #3 of 16
Put some on and then you'll know how they work! :-)
post #4 of 16
Seems to me that the hot skis (in areas that get good or persistently 'heavy water content snow) will be the normal cambered skis with some amount of tip rocker (which will define the meat of the k2 line-and many companies' 88-100mm waisted skis as well). 

The benefits are that these ski ski the same as their predecessors, but with better float and less tip dive at the front end (which I think is a good design).

Do you really think that what is taught to low-level skiers and never evers (the bulk of group lessons) now is really all that different from what came before??
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Actually I am not sure what to think. I was hoping to get some feedback from the individuals who were a little more experienced in transitional gear. But, I after my Level II exam in March, I plan to get going on demoing some of the newer gear. I am a female, I weigh about 145lbs and I ski on a guys apache K2. I really like it, but I am ready to experiment.
post #6 of 16
 I don't think it will be that big a deal.I've taught while skiing on rockered skis and I don't think it really changes how I do my demos. They still ski like skis. The skills blend might be a little different, but it's an easy adjustment.
post #7 of 16
At this point, this increased marketing of "rocker" is a non issue from the skier development standpoint. While there are several iterations of the concept in the middle (80mm-90mm) width range, the execution of the concept is FTMP very very mild. For example, the "speed" rocker on some K2 models is basically invisible and the "all terrain" rocker is similarly mild. These are nice skis and they ski about the same as K2's of the past have and maybe a little better. The marketing story is that these skis will all ski easier than in the past. Since I have not skied a K2 in recent years that I thought was hard to ski, I can't pin that tail on this particular donkey. To think that these very mild applications of rocker will offer more than a marginal (maybe even imaginary) increase in versatility over the previous versions is naive. I can't really say these are easier, but they ski just fine. Given the proper customer, no complaints from me. If I still taught skiing for a living, I wouldn't even think about this as a teaching challenge.

SJ
post #8 of 16
Understanding the impact of removing camber from skis to a neutral or rockered shape, really comes down to a good understanding of the purpose of camber in a ski anyway.

10 points to the person to describes what enables a modern ski to smoothly hold a carved turn without camber today.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
 When you all went from sticks to parabolics (I learned on shaped K2-4's) how did you approach the change?  
The style and technique of skiing changed dramatically as the shaped skis became the norm.  Here in Canada CSCF and CSIA changed their methodologies and passed down through the ranks.  If any technology ever comes out with the same level of impact it will likely be handled the same way.

Go back and put on your last pair of straight skis and try skiing them for a morning.  the technique was very different and a lot harder to do and harder on the body!  Even better - go back and put on your K2-Fours (I traded mine for a pair of carved wooden skis) and you will find they ski more like a straight ski than like a shaped ski.

Mike
post #10 of 16
Parabolic vs. straight is not relevant to the rocker vs. camber discussion as it relates to skill development. The mild amount of "rocker" offered in most mainstream widths is so minor as to be considered "marketing rocker". It just doesn't matter much in ski performance or skill development. For the skis outside the mainstream widths, the greater amounts of rocker can have an effect on the properties of a ski. In the case of those wider skis where the rocker is more significant, again it just doesn't matter. The end users of those wider skis are waaaaay too good to consider taking lessons (just ask them).....so developmental questions are not relevant to them.

Go skiing, teach skiing, whatever.......don't lose any sleep over this.......it ain't that important.

SJ
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Parabolic vs. straight is not relevant to the rocker vs. camber discussion as it relates to skill development. The mild amount of "rocker" offered in most mainstream widths is so minor as to be considered "marketing rocker". It just doesn't matter much in ski performance or skill development. For the skis outside the mainstream widths, the greater amounts of rocker can have an effect on the properties of a ski. In the case of those wider skis where the rocker is more significant, again it just doesn't matter. The end users of those wider skis are waaaaay too good to consider taking lessons (just ask them).....so developmental questions are not relevant to them.

Go skiing, teach skiing, whatever.......don't lose any sleep over this.......it ain't that important.

SJ

So I can't figure out why "mainstream" skis would need (or benefit from) reverse camber or rocker.  I'm assuming that most "mainstream" skiers are skiing mostly on groomed runs, or maybe mild moguls.

If you put "mild" rocker in a mainstream ski that's essentially designed primarily for on-piste skiing, doesn't that just make the effective running surface shorter?  Other than that, what possible effect could it have on how the ski turns unless the skier gets such extreme angles that the rocker portion comes into play?

I can see that it would make most of those skis "easier" in the sense that the effective ski length is shorter.  I can also imagine that it would make the ski marginally easier when that skier goes off-piste in softer snow, but I don't know that they do that very often.

But if the vast majority of skiers never leave groomed runs, what does a rockered design offer them that they couldn't get simply from a shorter "conventional" ski?
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post




So I can't figure out why "mainstream" skis would need (or benefit from) reverse camber or rocker.  I'm assuming that most "mainstream" skiers are skiing mostly on groomed runs, or maybe mild moguls.

Correct

If you put "mild" rocker in a mainstream ski that's essentially designed primarily for on-piste skiing, doesn't that just make the effective running surface shorter?  Other than that, what possible effect could it have on how the ski turns unless the skier gets such extreme angles that the rocker portion comes into play?

Not Much


I can see that it would make most of those skis "easier" in the sense that the effective ski length is shorter.  I can also imagine that it would make the ski marginally easier when that skier goes off-piste in softer snow, but I don't know that they do that very often.

Also Correct

But if the vast majority of skiers never leave groomed runs, what does a rockered design offer them that they couldn't get simply from a shorter "conventional" ski?

Not much other than "new car smell"
 

SJ
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

Understanding the impact of removing camber from skis to a neutral or rockered shape, really comes down to a good understanding of the purpose of camber in a ski anyway.

10 points to the person to describes what enables a modern ski to smoothly hold a carved turn without camber today.

I'll take the question for 10, Alex.

(Really just throwing it out there to check/clarify my intuitive understanding.)

The whole point of camber is to distribute the weight of the skier more evenly over the length of the ski as it contacts the snow.  This is necessary since a ski's flex rate is progressive, and its resistance to bending is initially low.

Consider that snow is a compactable medium with widely varying normal force rate progression relative to compaction.  Hardpack responds almost like a solid surface, with very little compaction necessary to generate a high normal force (high rate progression relative to compaction).  Powder requires quite a bit of compaction to generate the same normal force (low rate progression relative to compaction).

(Note: flex = de-camber = bow)

On hardpack, a camber-less ski will do a bad job at distributing the weight of the skier over its entire length, as it takes very little compaction of the snow underfoot to reach a normal force there that is enough to support the skier.  This minimal compaction underfoot will not have allowed enough ski flexion to actually transfer much weight to the ends.  So in this case, the vast majority of the skier's weight will be transferred to the snow underfoot, with the ends doing little support.  In contrast, a cambered ski has to flex (de-camber) through its entire camber before the center even touches the surface of the snow.  By this point there is already enough flexion (remember that ski flex is progressive) in the ski that it is putting down a good amount of force at the ends, which results in a more-equal distribution of the skier's weight over the entire length of the ski.

Note that although the same principles apply, the effect in soft snow is considerably less pronounced, as the low-rate-progression + high-compactibility of soft snow will allow even a camber-less ski to flex (bow) to the point where the ends are supporting a good portion of the skier's weight.

Also note that a very short and/or stiff "ski" (girder?) does not need camber to distribute the skier's weight evenly, as its flex rate is very progressive (i.e. takes quite an excessive amount of force to flex even a millimeter).  While modern skis aren't quite that, they are in general shorter and stiffer than old skis, which begins to explain why modern skis don't need quite as much camber as older skis.

Whereas the way I have described all this might have y'all picturing a ski in flat running, the effect is similar when the ski is on-edge.  A ski that distributes the skier's weight evenly over the ski's length does the same to transfer the lateral load evenly over the entire edge.  However, this effect is considerably more complicated, as the snow response is no longer just progressive normal force/compaction, but also displacement (how well does the edge carve into the surface) and shear effects (how well does the snow sustain lateral forces).  That, plus the interplay between angulation + sidecut radius.  It's way too complicated for me.

But going back to Cirquerider's original question:  what enables a modern ski to smoothly hold a carved turn without camber today?

Well, there was an oversimplification in the on-edge non-explanation, in case you didn't notice.  A ski has torsional flexion as well.  Very oversimplified yet again, torsionally flexion in a side-loaded carving situation can be thought of as additional longitudinal flexion, at least as far as just the location/curve of the edge is concerned (we're disregarding its effects on the angle of the edge), and can be somewhat countered with, you guessed it...  more camber.  In general, old skis were torsional noodles.  Most modern skis are much stiffer torsionally, which is the second part of the explanation of why modern skis do not require quite as much camber: it simply doesn't need it as a Band-Aid to counter torsional flexion.

Of course, modern skis do benefit from camber, but just doesn't need as much of it.  In the case of wider (read: soft-snow-biased) skis, camber isn't really needed in its element, but that's another discussion.
post #14 of 16
I like that answer.  I would think that in a straight-run situation on hardpack, less camber is going to be less stable, but then again, most shaped skis aren't at their best in a flat run.  Shape and torsional stiffness were the main points I think are allowing less camber, and I think even longitudinal stiffness is more controllable using modern materials.  10 years ago, a ski was considered "spent" when the camber disappeared because it was an indication the rebound energy and stiffness had broken down.  But the truth is, I don't know the full answer either.  
post #15 of 16

Sounds like a marketing placebo by the way you guys are talking. But I for some reason have no clue what your referring to changing on the ski's. haha.

 

Average skiers don't use their edges much, so I don't see how changing ski shape will really benefit them turning when they just slide around.

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
 I think pretty much the same when it comes to stability in a straight run, I am not buying the anti camper concept. What I am anticipating is marketing pressure from K2. K2 being a rental ski vendor to many mountains (I think), are they going to be pushing this ski as a rental or what? If not, I would like to try this out on my own. I did see a skier running around today on this big fat rocker skis. I recognized him as my boss! He seemed to be having a great time. I am going to pose this questions about rocker skis to him on Friday.
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