Anatomy of a Ski

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,993
    Tomas Sbertoli, Director of Snow Sports at Wintergreen Resort, discusses the anatomy of a ski.

    Tomas Sbertoli: Hi! I am Tomas Sbertoli. We're here at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia, and the next thing we're going to talk about is the skis themselves and how to put them on. Important information you would've to understand about the terminology we'll use here is the tip of the ski, tail of the ski, and then the waist of the ski or center. At the center of the ski, we have mounted a binding and the binding allows to boot to attach to the ski itself. You've a toe piece and a heel piece, and you also have this little safety piece called the snow brake. The snow brake retracts when we step into the system allowing the ski to glide and if we come out of the system at any point in a fall, the brakes pop out to keep the ski from taking off down the hill without us. It is important that every ski has that, for the safety aspect of not allowing your skis to run down the hill without you, okay.

    On the bottom side of the ski, we've a smooth flat base, and that smooth flat base, we would here wax to, which allows the skis to glide. You don't want to get too dried up or too roughed up, for the ski won't glide properly.

    You also have two metal edges on the ski, and those metal edges allow the ski to grip and cart so when we are stopping using our wedge, or starting to turn, we'll be talking about using the edges and you'll see, kind of in your mind, as you are tipping the skis over, what that edge is doing in the snow.

    Now, we are going to talk about entering the system, we'll put the skis on the ground, we grab our poles and stand straddling the skis. Use your poles to just keep your balance. The first thing you want to do is knocking the extra snow off the boot, the way I do this is just kind of wiping my boot off like I am wiping mud off before I want to walk into the house.

    Then I put my toe into the toe piece, line up my heel and step down, straddling the ski, I wipe a little snow off. Put my toe in the toe piece, line up my heel, and step down. That click tells me I've stepped into the system and the system is now closed. When I want to get out, I take my pole tip and I put it in the back of the ski, binding and push down while I pull up and step out.

    Once I get both skis on, and those ski brakes have retracted, then I've got that gliding feeling, just like ice skating or roller blading, the similar feeling underneath your feet. Now that we're in the skis, the next thing we're going to talk about is movements around and on the flat to get used to that slippery sliding feeling underneath our feet.