SKI PERFORMANCE

2014/15

Selection of ski equipment and advices

    Testing skis - Part III

 

    Shorter skis (with some exceptions) have a smaller radius, they access turns faster and easier and are suitable for small-radius turns. In bended turns (large-radius turns) and flat passages, longer skis provide a skier with greater comfort. Beginners and experienced skiers of lower quality categories are recommended to use somewhat shorter skis than those intended for better skiers. Also, a person’s height should not be the dominant factor in the selection of a ski length. When choosing a slalom ski, S-category lady skiers are recommended 155cm long skis, whilst men skiers should choose between 160 and 165 cm long skis. Skiers and people who prefer larger-radius turns are recommended a slalom ski radius in the range between 15 and 19 meters. The length of these skis usually ranges between 170 and 185 cm.

When choosing skis for children, besides skiing qualities, it is important to take into account a child’s height. By choosing skis with the help of tests, we need a little luck, for the selected ski that we purchase, to be a '1a' category property-wise, as it was in the factory when the control carried out its categorisation.

    How is it possible (why does it happen) for a ski to go out of its quality category?

Modern skis, especially the better and more expensive ones, have between 7 - 8 or even 10 different materials. These materials have different coefficients of termic expansion, which causes a number of problems for technicians in the process of manufacturing. A ski is heated even above 1500C at a production line and is then cooled down again. During the cooling process, the material shrinks down. As the size and speed of contraction are different for different materials, a ski often “flees” its designed form. In order to avoid this, or rather to reduce as much as possible this unpleasant phenomenon, great attention is paid to the process of cooling and temperature conditions in the room where a ski is kept until the stabilisation of its structure. Only then a ski goes to a final control that performs its categorisation. 80% of these skis get the class ‘1 A’ certificate, 10 – 15%  are available to distributors whose experts choose from this mass the skis they can put out for sale with a clear indication that a ski has some drawbacks. A small percentage of skis are destroyed so that they do not end up outside the factory, but this process does not always get completed at the factory. Sometimes it continues to run in warehouses of distributors, as well as in shops...

    The process of personal control can detect most of the failures of importance for driving qualities of skis. Look for the methods of checking skis at the moment of purchase in some of the texts that follow.

 

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