Ski

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A ski is a long, flat device worn on the foot designed to help the wearer slide smoothly over snow. Originally intended as an aid to travel in snowy regions, they are now mainly used for recreational and sporting purposes. Also, a ski may denote a similar device used for other purposes than skiing, for example, for steering snowmobiles.

Contents

History

The original Nordic ski technology was adapted during the early twentieth century to enable skiers to turn at higher speeds. New ski and binding designs, coupled with the introduction of ski lifts and snow cats to carry skiers up mountains, enabled the development of alpine skis. Meanwhile advances in technology in the Nordic camp allowed for the development of special skis for skating and ski jumping.

Construction

Skis were originally wooden planks made from a single piece of wood. They are now usually made from a complex assembly of components including glass fibre, Kevlar, titanium, other polymers, and composite materials such as carbon fiber, though many contain wood cores. These components are put together through a variety of ski manufacturing techniques.

Most skis are long and thin and curve upwards at the front to prevent digging into the snow. The skier is attached by bindings which latch ski boots to the skis. Beginning in the early 2000s, many ski manufacturers began designing skis and bindings together, creating an integrated binding system. These systems serve two purposes. Firstly, they often use a railroad track design, to allow the toe and heel pieces to slide, which in turn allows the ski to flex deeply, without a non-flexing spot underfoot due to the binding. Secondly, it requires the consumer to purchase both skis and bindings from the same manufacturer due to the proprietary nature of the system, thus increasing sales.

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