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The peculiar science of measuring skis

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ever wondered why two skis from two manufacturers, marked the same length, are different lengths? Know the difference between chord length and contact length?

Consider this quote from Gunther Hujara, FIS race director at the Solden World Cup event last weekend:

"If a racer finishes and one ski is shorter than the minimum length, then the second ski gives the measurements," said Hujara. "If the measurement shows that both skis are short, there will be penalties. You all know what I'm talking about." *

Err??? I've spent four decades in skiing and I've no idea what he's talking about!

But I can tell you about chord length and contact length. The former measures the ski diagonally from tip to tail. The latter gives a more accurate indication of a ski's performance vis-a-vis length, because it measures the length of sole that will kiss flat snow.
Twin tips add a further distinction between chord length and contact length....but it still leaves the mystery of variations from manufacturer to manufacturer....and that bizarre quote above.

Can anyone explain it?

[*Scroll down this page from SkiRacing.com for the full story.]
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
[prosaic explanation]
English is not his first language.
"You all know what I'm talking about" is there to add weight to the "there will be penalties" clause and not the bit about "second ski".
Repeating the measurement casts doubt on both measurements so they do something else.
[/prosaic explanation]
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
My impression of the ski lenghth is that it is just an overall length.

I wouldn't have though a contact length is something one can measure accurately; can one find an intrument to locate the intersection of the horizontal line to the curve upward?

Just measured the four pairs in the house, 150, 160,170 & 180. None of them are long enough even for qualifying the overall length.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
saikee wrote:

I wouldn't have though a contact length is something one can measure accurately; can one find an intrument to locate the intersection of the horizontal line to the curve upward?


Carbon paper should do nicely.
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