Of the medals awarded at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, 24% were for events involving cross-country skiing, the biathlon and Nordic combined. Although much research has focused on physiological and biomechanical characteristics that determine success in these sports, considerably less is yet known about the resistive forces. Here, we specifically describe what is presently known about ski-snow friction, one of the major resistive forces. Today, elite ski races take place on natural and/or machine-made snow. Prior to each race, several pairs of skis with different grinding and waxing of the base are tested against one another with respect to key parameters, such as how rapidly and for how long the ski glides, which is dependent on ski-snow friction. This friction arises from a combination of factors, including compaction, plowing, adhesion, viscous drag, and water bridging, as well as contaminants and dirt on the surface of and within the snow. In this context the stiffness of the ski, shape of its camber, and material composition and topography of the base exert a major influence. An understanding of the interactions between these factors, in combination with information concerning the temperature and humidity of both the air and snow, as well as the nature of the snow, provides a basis for designing specific strategies to minimize ski-snow friction. In conclusion, although performance on "narrow skis" has improved considerably in recent decades, future insights into how best to reduce ski-snow friction offer great promise for even further advances.

A scientific perspective on reducing ski-snow friction to improve performance in Olympic Cross-Country Skiing, the Biathlon and Nordic Combined

Pellegrini, Barbara;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Of the medals awarded at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, 24% were for events involving cross-country skiing, the biathlon and Nordic combined. Although much research has focused on physiological and biomechanical characteristics that determine success in these sports, considerably less is yet known about the resistive forces. Here, we specifically describe what is presently known about ski-snow friction, one of the major resistive forces. Today, elite ski races take place on natural and/or machine-made snow. Prior to each race, several pairs of skis with different grinding and waxing of the base are tested against one another with respect to key parameters, such as how rapidly and for how long the ski glides, which is dependent on ski-snow friction. This friction arises from a combination of factors, including compaction, plowing, adhesion, viscous drag, and water bridging, as well as contaminants and dirt on the surface of and within the snow. In this context the stiffness of the ski, shape of its camber, and material composition and topography of the base exert a major influence. An understanding of the interactions between these factors, in combination with information concerning the temperature and humidity of both the air and snow, as well as the nature of the snow, provides a basis for designing specific strategies to minimize ski-snow friction. In conclusion, although performance on "narrow skis" has improved considerably in recent decades, future insights into how best to reduce ski-snow friction offer great promise for even further advances.
biomechanics
equipment
friction
gliding
skiing
snow
speed
tribology
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
fspor-04-844883.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: CC BY 4.0 publisher version
Tipologia: Versione dell'editore
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 895.1 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
895.1 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1061680
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact