How Skis Work
Many people know how to ski, but few people understand how skis work. By understanding the concept of how skis work, you are actually able to improve your performance on the snow. As simple as skiing may sound, the actual concept of how a ski works is a bit more complicated. While different types of skis work a little differently from one another, the overall concept of how a ski functions is basically remains unchanged.
In order to maneuver a ski, pressure must be applied and a rotation is applied to an angled edge to make skis work. When this pressure is applied to the angled edge the ski cuts into the snow, allowing for movement to occur. As pressure is applied to the ski, the ski bends and forms an arc. The ski follows this arc that has been created allowing a “carving” turn to occur.
Older designs made skis work more difficultly to maneuver because the amount of the side cut out was not as great as it is on modern day skis. This made maneuvering the ski very difficult, unless as great deal of leg strength was used. A large amount of leg strength was needed to allow the ski to bend into the arc shape needed for carving.
Modern day skis now are made into an hour glass shaped pattern. The ski is also tilted on the edges, making the skis work better. This unique tilt creates a gap to occur between the ski and the ground. This makes carving much easier because only the side of the ski and the tail end of the ski touch the snow. This is a large improvement because far less pressure and strength are now needed to maneuver the ski. Modern day skis are able to move more freely with very little pressure.
Although this slight design change seems simple, the improvements it has made to a skiers ability is unmeasured. This hour glass design not only makes it simpler for a person to ski, but speed on a ski increases as well. This has made the sport of skiing into the wonderful sport it is today.