By using edge pressure and pointing our skis in different directions, we can create different amounts of resistance in many different directions. It is this resistance that we use for all of our control in skiing, so it is a useful thing to have an understanding of. Alaska Heliskiing
One of the most important things for you to know about creating different types of resistance while skiing is that the force which your skis put into the snow beneath them actually acts at a right angle to their own surface (which is their base). This is the same for all types of forces whenever friction is not being considered at all. As a general rule, the resistance of a ski always will want to act at a right angle to the surface or base. The reaction force will also always occur at a right angle to the base. However, the reaction force will occur in the opposite direction. The reaction force is actually responsible for providing the ski’s resistance. We normally think of the resistance as being the component of the reaction force which acts along the surface of the slope. In other words, we think of it as the component which will affect our velocity.
Resistance is thought of as the force that acts along the surface of the snow. In skiing there are 3 different types of forces.
* Major forces - Major forces are the forces that create all other forces. They can act in any direction, as they are largely independent and act on a mass not a surface. They are created by a type of acceleration (either gravity, or a negative acceleration against movement). Canadian Mountain Holidays
* Minor forces - Minor forces are the forces that act on surfaces, and are made by the effects of major forces. They are created when a force is transferred through 2 surfaces pushing against each other, and always act at a right angle to a surface.
* Components - Components are not forces within their own right, but elements of major or minor forces that show how strong a force is in a certain direction. Any force can be shown as 3 component forces along the 3 axis. Therefore, the different types of forces that a ski creates have to be calculated in all 3 dimensions
In the reaction between the ski and the slope, the vertical component does not equal the force from gravity, and that there are also 2 sideways forces created. These forces create an unopposed force which creates a type of acceleration down the slope. There is then a resultant force left over from the ski sitting on the slope.
When a ski is at a larger angle it can create a larger sideways component from a force, but as the angle increases the reaction force will decrease, so there is always a trade-off between getting a sideways reaction, and maintaining the forces you need to have going in other directions.