The system provides an accurate measurement of total deflection at over 100 points tip to tail. Deflection is directly proportional to the spring compression forces. Of course the center camber will only show deflection after the ski is compressed to the point it can be measured. The symmetry and balance of the force distribution is influenced by whether the force is applied at the balance point, or behind the balance point where a skiers weight is located.
Think about measuring the pressure-distribution along the length of a 2x4 [or a steel I Beam].
You certainly would not use a bunch of fixed load cells on a flat surface
and press down in the middle. The entire length needs to be allowed
to flex and its profile measured. This allows you to see the effect
of knots and other irregularities. We are doing exactly this in
order to provide an accurate and repeatable test to allow flex comparisons
We selected a spring rate that is stiff enough to give good resistance and soft enough to give us enough travel to measure. Our force-factor is 0.131 Kg per cm2 per cm of displacement. High Peaks preferred to have the y-Axis read out in cm of displacement [the software allows either].
Note that we are not trying to simulate snow conditions. We are testing skis. As this system is used to test “Favorite/Fast” skis or skis that perform like a skier wants, the Flex Tester curves will identify certain particular characteristics that make the ski perform for the skier in certain specific snow conditions. This becomes obvious with several iterations of testing and reviewing the data on the “Favorite/Fast” skis. The ski technician operating the machine will quickly be able to match a skiers favorite/fast ski curves to a new pair of skis to be sure they are going getting the same performance out of the new skis. This is assuming that we are talking about like snow conditions.
Please keep in mind we are providing a tool to advance the Sport and we leave determinations as to what is a fast ski to you ski experts and skiers as you correlate flex profile data with what works best for each skier for specific conditions.
FYI: The software provides the graphical data in Excel® so it is easy to add comments to each sheet and include Ski Brand and Model numbers in the File Name for easy sorting and retrieval.
We intend the DS Nordic Ski Flex Tester II to become the worldwide benchmark for all ski flex measurements. Please contact us to ask questions or discuss any details. We welcome your feedback.