Tip Pressure in the New World of Ski Design
Recently, ski design has changed again with the introduction of early rising tips (rocker) and reverse camber. So what changes are necessary in our ski technique when it comes to tip pressure and speed control? Shaped skis allow us to edge early in the turn and decelerate through edge pressure and turn initiation. And to accomplish this you need to create pressure on the edge early in the arc. This is all initiated through pressuring the tip.
Now how do new ski designs affect this? With the advent of shape skis, we saw shorter skis introduced on the market. Now skis are getting longer again. Why? The is answer is skis are getting longer again because with the early rising tip we need more ski in front of the binding to grip with.
What you notice with early rising ski tips is that the camber under the foot is where the entire grip takes place. The early rising tip is easier to initiate into the turn because it is pre bent in the direction of the arc. But it still requires us to pressure the front of the ski and that is why skis are getting longer again.
The secret to creating tip pressure is to pull up on your heels to create down pressure” on the tips. For shaped skis you need a bit more “up” pull from the heels to create the “down pressure on the tips. Older skiers will recognize this movement as it is similar to the why we use to ski the old, straight skis. On today’s early rise ski, that initiates the turn a bit easier, I can adjust the amount of “up” heel pull and ski with slightly less tip pressure.
With the new reverse camber and early rise skis, the sweet (or balance) spot on hard pack snow is smaller and in softer deeper snow the sweet spot is larger because the softer snow supports the arc of the ski. With these newer skis, if you adjust your balance points you’ll grow to love them. Solid ski technique still remains the same; tip pressure is the key to controlling your speed.