CALCULATING RAMP ANGLE


I prefer to calculate ramp angle mathematically as opposed to trying to measure it with a protractor. Calculating ramp angle is far more accurate especially at small angles. It is pretty simple to do. In the example I gave in WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE? where I calculated the ramp angle for the Look Nx Fluid binding, I found the high points of the binding platforms using a calliper, put hash marks on the spots then took the vertical dimension between the base of the ski and the top of the heel and toe platforms. Next, I measured the horizontal distance between the 2 hash marks. This is the radius of the circle.  I used the radius to calculate the circumference using C=2 π r (you can also use an online calculator) and divided the circumference by 360. This gave me the approximate height of 1 degree. I divided the difference in binding platform heights by the figure calculated for 1 degree to arrive at ramp angle. It doesn’t matter whether you take the horizontal dimension between the absolute ends of the binding or boot board. But, it is better to be longer than shorter.

Of interest is the fact that for this season Head reduced the ramp angle of the boot board in their Raptor line of ski boots (the boot Ligety uses) from 6 degrees to 4 degrees. Something about “more ankle flexion”. Have a listen about 3:12 in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGN936l2TVg&sns=em – “One of the overall changes to the Raptor line this year is we have ……… reduced the boot board angle in the boot from 6 to 4 degrees.” I didn’t tell Head about this. I swear to God. Maybe they had a TED talk. Now all Head has to do is connect the dots to binding ramp angle. Memo to Head………