Where we are now
The design studio of the Audi Concept Design Munich is abuzz with a technological breakthrough in skis called the Audi carbon Ski. Audi collaborating with the German Ski Association has used its sports car expertise to define and develop this aesthetic pair of skis. The Audi Carbon Ski is yet in its conceptual developmental stages and the production is expected to start in winter 2011-2012 with additional features that will help to overcome uneven incidents occurring while skiing.
The pain points
Being a nature-adventure sport skiing is highly criticized mostly for its gear, which is generally made of materials which affect nature adversely, plus the weight of common skis make them uncomfortable to handle or control. Moreover, the uneven surfaces and the icy patches on the ski routes make it difficult to keep a grip on the skis and they tend to twist causing accidents and injuries.
Designing the perfect ski
Keeping the above factors in vision, the Audi Carbon Ski is clearly a futuristic product. Carbon is used to get the “ideal combination of strength and light weight in motor sport for especially sensitive components that need to withstand the highest stress loads yet must at the same time be light in weight,” says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport.
Using this insight, Audi’s design studio has employed a wooden core added to layers of aluminum and titanium and hardened under pressure in an artificial vacuum. It is then covered all in cab of high-strength carbon. The carbon allows the engineers to achieve optimal stiffness while also minimizing torsion, which is the twisting of the ski along its longitudinal axis.
The ski weighs much less than most conventional ski at about 960gms and is of 170cms in length. This makes it exceptionally operational and swift. It twists on the mogul slopes to achieve perfect grip on uneven surfaces. On icy patches, on the other hand, the steel edges can maintain their grip on the snow along their entire length. Thus, the ski never loses contact with the ground. The light weight of the carbon also plays a critical role for skiing curves.
Just like each motorcar is built to satisfy various concepts of car racing, similarly various skis are developed to facilitate various conditions in skiing too. Have a look at some of the most innovative ski designs.
1. Twin Parabolic Skis
Charles Pyott has designed the Twin Parabolic Ski to combine the efforts of snowboards to skiing into one phenomenal concept. He has added two longer and thinner surfaces and doubled the edges of ski; this helps maintain downhill speed while turning and twisting and maintain stability.
2. Avant Garde Aviator Ski
Ben Callaghan has designed the Aviator Skis for Avant Skis and they sure look good and glamorous enough to surprise and shock all the skiing stars at Aspen. They come with psychedelic designs and bright colors which would stand out in the icy and snowy skiing tracks. According to the designer, these skis have been designed as a one-ski quiver for aggressive riders.
3. Connelly ski
This versatile ski is designed with a unique blend of high performance tunnel design and a soft flex pattern. The dual concave tunnel helps the ski hold edge easy while the huge flat spot assists in the movement. The result is a silky and consistent ride.
4. Active suspension ski
Anton Wilson popularly known for his contributions in professional video-camera battery technology, has made foray into the alpine technology with his “stress-free sensation of flying” and “less fatigue on knees and body” active suspension Ski. The Anton Active Suspension applies consistent pressure on the tip and tail providing extraordinary stability and control.
5. Hublot All Black Ski
Geneva-based luxury watchmaker Hublot has now teamed up with Swiss manufacturer Zai for an exclusive ski called the “Hublot All Black.” The Hublot All Black takes inspiration from two concepts that made the “Big Bang” collection a true success story – the black tone on tone and the merger of contents. The limited edition monochrome black ski is made of carbon fiber, fiberglass, steel and rubber. The surface of the ski is coated with a rubber bracelet to resemble the chronograph. Only 111 numbers pairs have been put into production, and they will be available exclusively through Hublot and Zai outlets.