The Dynamics of Carving a Turn

  • David A. Lind
  • Scott P. Sanders


The perfectly carved turn requires that the skier remain in a balanced position. The forces acting on the skier are the force of gravity, that is, the skier’s weight at the center of mass, aerodynamic friction from the air passing over the skier’s body, and an inertial force parallel but opposite in direction to the skier’s acceleration. The snow bed provides reaction forces: a force normal to the plane of the slope; a force in the slope plane with a direction perpendicular to the ski edge, which acts as a chisel; and, finally, a force parallel to the ski that results from the friction produced from the ski’s sliding over the snow surface.


Snow Surface Edge Angle Inside Edge Turn Radius Fall Line 
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  1. 1.
    Much of this discussion is indebted to J. Howe’s work presented in Skiing Mechanics (Poudre, LaPorte, CO, 1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Lind
    • 1
  • Scott P. Sanders
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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