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Skiing and snowboarding equipment

Shape of the ski with its different parts

Shovel

The shovel is the turned-up part in the front (the "nose") of a ski or snowboard.

Waist

Middle of the ski, under the bindings (under the boot).

Tail

Rear of a ski, snowboard or any other device of its kind.

Structure of the ski

Edge

The edge is the metal part on the sides of the ski's base. It allows the board to grip on hard snow.
Sharpening (part of regular maintenance) keeps it a cutting edge.

Base

This is the underside of the ski or snowboard. It is the part that allows you to slide.
It is usually grooved to facilitate circulation of water, a residue from snow that melts on contact with the ski.
Waxing consists in the cold or hot application of a special paraffin wax, which then allows the base to glide better.

Core

This is located in the centre of the ski and plays a major role in its stiffness and solidity.

What is snowboarding?

Snowboard

Snowboarding is a boardsport performed on snow using a board strapped to the feet.
Its appearance and boom in France dates back to the 1970s, and it was integrated into the Olympic Games in 1998.
Unlike skiing, snowboarding is performed with both feet strapped to a single board, and therefore requires a very specific technique
in order to move about properly.

Bindings

The bindings make it possible to connect the skier's boot to the ski/snowboard.

For skiing

The bindings are made up of two parts: the rear part allows you to wedge the boot with vertical pressure, while the front part holds the toe of the boot. These two parts are equipped with a spring system, allowing one to disconnect from the skis in the event of a fall.

For snowboarding

There are several systems for the various disciplines. However, the basic principle is that the foot is flat and fastened extremely well in order to obtain maximum support on the edges.

Basic ideas

Sidecuts

This is defined by the width of the ski in three points: the shovel, the waist, and the tail. The deeper a cut, the greater the difference between the shovel-tail widths, and the more parabolic the ski.

Curve radius

This is the radius of the circle made by the edge of the ski when it carves a turn. This radius is an important technical datum, as it characterises the ski's performance in a turn. A straight ski has a large curve radius, which causes some difficulty in initiating the curve, but it provides stability in a straight line. On the other hand, a parabolic ski has a short curve radius, which facilitates entering a turn to the detriment of maintaining a straight line. A ski having too pronounced of a curve radius behaves badly on a steep slope: a stiff ski, it only rests on its shovel and tail, and the waist doesn't touch the snow. The curve radius depends on the length of the ski and the widths of the shovel, the waist, and the tail.

Flex

Flex designates the suppleness of the ski or snowboard at the three main points: the shovel, waist, and tail. In other words, it is your equipment's degree of flexibility. The possible combinations of flexibility dimensions range as widely as the lines and programmes that define the manufacturers. Ski equipment must be flexible to perform tricks, while rigidity is essential for speed.


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