BALANCE ON THE OUTSIDE SKI: IT’S ABOUT BALANCING TORQUES


Showing balance in skiing as opposing vertical forces that meet at the inside edge of the outside ski might look good on paper. But, there’s one small problem (actually a big problem) it could not possibly work this way.

For starters, the edge of a ski with sidecut isn’t a straight line. It’s a curve. The narrowest part of the sidecut (the waist) must lie under or close to the ball of the foot. But the actual force applied to the edge by an world class skier is not applied at the narrowest part of the sidecut. The force is applied across 2 points of the curve of the sidecut to the inside of the turn. In addition, the force applied to the ski must be a torque or twisting force and not just in one plane. The  torques must be applied simultaneously in multiple planes. Ron LeMaster is right when he says the angle of the transverse aspect of the ski must be 90 degrees or less with the resultant force. The reality is that the angle is tending to be less than 90 degrees with the resultant force because of the torque that is tending to rotating the base of the inside ski about what……………..? About the inside edge at the waist.

One more thing. And this is the key to skiing. The mechanisms that create a dynamically balanced base of support and edging and steering forces on the outside ski of a turn are the same. There is no way this could be otherwise. I will expand on this later. For now let’s look at some basic sketches that show the mechanics of edging.

Edge Mechanics