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So We've done Angles. Now Which way Up?


Phil2360
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So no one cares to comment on why skis are shipped with the fin in the up position? I admit, this isn't earth shattering information, I just find it curious that all these ski companies do their R&D and seem to feel the wing works in the up position, and yet most people here flip it upside down. "Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm......"
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@estrom, I agree. I have never purchased a ski that came with the wing upside down. All of my purchases (near annual) since the early 90's were KD, and then D3 through 2008 were right side up. My Razor that I've used for 1.5 seasons also right side up.

Clearly I'm a minority guy who keeps it that way based on the poll. I would also wonder why with the emphasis on "stock" fin/wing/binding settings as the best starting point why virtually all in this pole flip 'em.

I'm not opposed to trying the flip...maybe next season and see what I'm missing...would thank everyone endlessly if I run 39 on the flip : )

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All the Radar ski's I've bought new had the wing down.

 

Well since no one is really explaining the difference, I'll attempt to explain my understanding based on my knowledge as a geeky aero engineer. I can see the benefit of both methods but the need to do one or the other is going to be dependent on ski design and what you want the ski to do. The best way I know to explain this by describing "ground effects" on a plane. When a plane is landing or taking off, the altitude equal to or less than the length of the wings is the zone where ground effects can take place. The ground interrupts the wing tip vortices which reduces drag and increases lift (this is also why planes have winglets so you get reduced drag and more lift).

 

Anyway...back on topic. In principle, the closer the wing is to the bottom of the ski (ie wing up) the less drag you'll get from the wing itself but the more the wing will pull the back of the ski into the water which will create some drag by wheelie-ing the ski a little. With the wing down, you'll get more drag from the wing as you stand on the front of the ski coming into the turn. So my theory is, if you're inclined to stomp on your back foot coming into the ball when you get in trouble, it may be beneficial to run the wing upside down so you don't exaggerate the problem. Meanwhile, if you like to get way up on the front of the ski at the ball, a wing up configuration may break you at the waist coming out of the turn if the ski brakes too hard.

 

All of this could be total horse poop but that's my take on the difference...

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@6balls Maybe... I can see the concave bottom of the ski is trying to compress the flow of the water which speeds up the flow over the wing. Unfortunately, the ski starts to flatten out before the wing so that high speed flow is being diffused and you're getting more turbulent flow over the fin and wing. However, when the ski is on edge, the effects would be greatly reduced. If you've ever ridden on perfectly glassy water and you're riding flat, you've probably felt the ski jumping all over the place. I'm guessing that's the turbulent flow hitting the fin.
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The wing effects the ski in two major ways: it effects the amont of drag, and it effects the attitude of the ski. More wing angle = more drag and more tip in the water. Moving the wing up and down on the fin has a minor effect on drag, but a more significant effect on the amount of leverage it can assert on the attitude of the ski. The lower the placement of the wing on the fin, the more it levers the front of the ski into the water.

 

The tuning opportunity here is that if you want more drag without also engaging more tip, run the fin right way up with more angle. If you want more of the front of your ski in the water without increasing drag much, run the wing upside down or even lower on the fin with the same angle.

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I'm no engineer, but it sounds like a "wing up" at 7 degrees will act differently than a "wing down" at 7 degrees? Assuming most wing settings are between 6-10 degrees, does that mean there are now effectively 10 wing setting possibilities (6-10 "up" and 6-10 "down")? Just trying to wrap my head around the possibilities here.
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Honestly guys this is sort of silly.

 

99% of skiers that use a wing are USD (Up Side Down - wing down). Put your wing on USD at 8 degrees +- and go worry about our body position.

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I've messed with larger wings and ventral combos. What would be the affect of a larger wing other then more drag. Any stability from a bigger wing? They came on some older Goodes that I had. Kept them and sold skis with standard wings. Tried the big wing on HO CoX and it made a huge diff in forgiveness. Ran it a degree less then a standard wing. Currently trying on the S2 to see any diff. Thoughts on big wing?
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@Horton, I see this as comparing how I tune my car vs. how a race car is tuned. All these fine tuned adjustments probably don't apply to 95% of us, but I'm just exploring the possibilities of how these skis can be tuned. I probably couldn't tell the difference if you flipped the wing upside down on me and didn't tell me! It's just interesting to see the potential.

 

Since most people flip the wing upside down, why stop there - who's tried turning the entire fin backwards?? (okay, now that is just silly!).

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@horton I do agree that body position is more important. My fastest speed is 34mph so I don't bother with a wing yet. In fact I try not to even touch the fin settings at this point in my skiing ability. It does just seem like the wing is one more thing to assist in fixing little personal issues. We've got front and back boot placement, boot canting and rotating, fin DFT, fin length, fin depth, wing angle, wing orientation, fin material, fin shape, etc etc. Everyone has their crutch and fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, someone has discussed a fix for every imperfection.
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@estrom If you are interested in learning about the black art of ski tuning, don't make any apologies for it. Pursue your interest and ask away. There are lots of analytical minds on this forum that enjoy puzzle solving and debate. You don't have to be a shortline tournament skier before you have the "right" to pursue this information either. Most of us ski for fun and fitness, and if gaining a better understanding of the technical side of your ski is fun to you, go for it. Is turning your wing right way up going to fix your technique issues? Not a chance. That's no reason for you to squelch your curiosity.
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@estrom @jfw432

I just created another thread about who should tweak. I agree with @SkiJay that learning this stuff is good.... unless it gets in the way of becoming a better skier.

Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

California Ski Ranch ☆ Connelly ☆ Denali ☆ Eden Lake ☆ Goode ☆ HO Syndicate MasterCraft ☆ Masterline ☆ 

Pentalogo ☆ Performance Ski and Surf ☆ Reflex ☆ Radar ☆ Rodics OffCourse ☆ S Lines ☆ Stokes 

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