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TOPIC: How The Wing Can Help or Hurt Your Skiing

How The Wing Can Help or Hurt Your Skiing 3 years, 1 month ago #7689

  • BudDavis
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  • Today is a gift, so ski. No promise of more.
Article by Jay Poscente


Wing.PNG



The wing is a clever component that can be used to fine-tune a broad range of ski behaviors. But most of this advanced ski tuning is secondary to what the wing does best. More than anything else, the wing adds drag to the ski, especially when the ski is tipped low as it moves into a turn. It’s the closest thing a ski has to a set of brakes. So if adding more drag to make skiing even more work makes no sense to you, it’s time to ski wingless for a while.

Tournament skis and their wings are mostly designed for shortline skiers. These agile, powerful athletes can force any high-drag ski to accelerate explosively. When a skier arrives at a buoy with too much speed, their ski is riding high in the water. This makes the ski unstable and harder to turn than if it were riding slower and deeper in the water. The wing’s drag helps these high-energy skiers shed more speed before each turn. While accelerating with additional drag is a nonissue for a powerful skier, it’s usually a problem for novices. In fact, the toughest challenge facing most rookie course skiers is generating enough speed to make it out to the buoy line. For this level, swerving with a wing on the fin is comparable to accelerating a car with the e-brake on.

Some skiers might ask: Does a wingless fin undermine the factory setup? Turns out that removing the wing can actually change the behavior of a ski in ways that promote good habits — a double bonus for any novice. Not only will a wingless fin make it easier to ski out to buoy width, but it will also encourage the skier to get more over the front of the ski to turn properly, a crucial habit to cultivate for continued progress.

So at what point should a skier consider putting the wing back on their ski? This decision is slightly ski and skier dependent. If the ski is designed to ride low in the water, it will slow down well without a wing, so the wing can stay off into shorter line lengths. If the skier is a powerhouse behind the boat and using a fast ski, a wing might be needed earlier. Generally speaking, the technique needed to run 28 or 32 off usually generates enough speed that the benefits of a wing will outweigh the handicaps. There are reputable coaches who believe every skier should ski wingless into 38 off territory, but that’s probably a bit extreme for most of today’s fast skis.

In any case, if you are skiing at full line length or at reduced speeds, you should seriously consider removing the wing/brake from your stick. This is a particularly good idea when free-skiing on a big lake: a wingless ride is less work, allowing more time on the water, and less time recuperating. And since it also promotes good technique, wingless free-skiing is probably beneficial for every level.

From: www.waterskimag.com/features/2015/04/20/ski-behaviors/

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Have any of you experimented with taking your wings off?

What did you feel with it on and off?
The following user(s) said Thank You: DaveLaValley

Re: How The Wing Can Help or Hurt Your Skiing 3 years, 1 month ago #7690

"the wing adds drag to the ski, especially when the ski is tipped low as it moves into a turn." This being the case, what is the wing doing when the ski is on edge traveling across coarse? It surely adds some drag but not by pulling the tail lower into the water.

Re: How The Wing Can Help or Hurt Your Skiing 3 years, 1 month ago #7691

My understanding is that when traveling back and forth across the course the skis angle of attack cancels out the wing angle so it becomes more neutral.

I like a thicker wing (standard aluminum) when riding a 67" ski but prefer a Schnitz thin stainless wing on my 69" ski. I attribute that to being able to balance better on the bigger ski and maintain overall faster speed throughout the course. Me on the 67" was a little more stop and go so the wing helped on the decelaration side of the course.

Jim Neely wrote:
"the wing adds drag to the ski, especially when the ski is tipped low as it moves into a turn." This being the case, what is the wing doing when the ski is on edge traveling across coarse? It surely adds some drag but not by pulling the tail lower into the water.

Re: How The Wing Can Help or Hurt Your Skiing 1 year ago #9398

  • BudDavis
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  • Today is a gift, so ski. No promise of more.
I wanted to revisit this.

I have most long line and below max speed skiers remove their wings.

Someone that came to ski had not reached their max speed, but were skiing 22 off/ 16m. After three days skiing on a wingless ski, they ran 36mph/58kph for the first time.

BTW, he is riding a 2016 Vapor Lithium.

Re: How The Wing Can Help or Hurt Your Skiing 1 year ago #9399

I tried wingless on a Goode Nano Twist and found the ski to be totally unstable without the wing properly set. I skied with other skis without it making much difference at all. So another aspect may be some ski designs are much better designed for wing removal than others.

Re: How The Wing Can Help or Hurt Your Skiing 1 year ago #9400

  • BudDavis
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  • Today is a gift, so ski. No promise of more.
Chris,
Well said.
The two times I have seen what you described have both times been with people on a Goode ski.


Some years ago, when the A2 cane out and I tried it, I could run 38off/11.25m without the wing, but with the wing, I could not.

Re: How The Wing Can Help or Hurt Your Skiing 1 year ago #9401

  • DW
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I agree with Chris, my Goodes all like a lot of wing, one of my issues is simply not enough speed bleed w/o a wing.

Re: How The Wing Can Help or Hurt Your Skiing 3 weeks, 5 days ago #9568

  • BudDavis
  • OFFLINE
  • Today is a gift, so ski. No promise of more.
Has anyone compared this wing to a standard wing?

If so, what did you feel?

Denali wing


SWing.PNG
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