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# technical question on ski's sidecut geometry

Hi, I always wonder why skis sidecut (even more piste skis), allways the shovel of the ski is wider than the tail, if yo could make a more perfect round turn if they were equal... maybe it would be because yo use the tail of the ski predominantly on the 3rd fase of the turn, at the exit, so you could get more straight path there to the next gate? (faster time?)

Thius is a question for the wise alpine racing skiers in this forum..

Thanks a lot

Just a guess (I'm no ski designer), but every turn isn't going to be of the same perfectly round radius (say, 27m for a GS ski).  The ski may arc at 27m, but the skier needs to carve varying radii, so the tail has to be narrower than the tip and flared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteban525

Hi, I always wonder why skis sidecut (even more piste skis), allways the shovel of the ski is wider than the tail, if yo could make a more perfect round turn if they were equal... maybe it would be because yo use the tail of the ski predominantly on the 3rd fase of the turn, at the exit, so you could get more straight path there to the next gate? (faster time?)

Thius is a question for the wise alpine racing skiers in this forum..

Thanks a lot

Hi Esteban,

you are quite right. The first generation of fun carving skis (extremely short, small radius) was the same width in tip and tail. Advanced skiers were enabled to ski in a very slanting position. But those skis were awfully instable when it came to skiing straight. So manufacturers started to have a bit narrower ends. That is not that new. But what is new, is the high difference between tip and tail width. Here Quants idea is absolutely correct. You could always vary your radii by edge control, but with high difference between tip and tail you get the combination of the attributes of a SL and GS ski. You can do carved turns easily but still ski straight properly. These skis might be especially interesting for people who ski the same ski all the time, but like to vary the way they do it. I hope that was helpful :)

I think one of the issues also is that you don't want the tail digging in like the tip does.  Some yes but not so much it doesn't want to let go.

Let's not forget that you can't put the entire ski up on edge to the same edge angle; the ski twists.  The farther away from you the more the ski is twisted from the edge angle at the foot.  The flare works with torsional rigidity to provide the effective radius at any point, providing the snow is hard enough and the ski is flexible enough to be bent into the shape dictated by tipping angle on hard snow.  On soft snow it's pretty much flare and longitudinal flexibility working in concert.

Also if the tail were providing an effective radius smaller than the tips, it would cause the tips to dig in, but if the tail were providing a larger radius it would just ride a little higher in the grove while releasing some pressure from the tips, so smaller tails provide less friction.

Also it is easier for most people to control what's in front of them than what's behind them, so they put more of the working surface of the ski in front of the boot.

I have skied a symetric (tail as wide as tip) 18 m ski. When it is on edge it is trying to arc railroad tracks. The wider tail, relative to other ski shapes, just doesn't want to skid at all.

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