Behind the Curtain with the Wonderful Wizard of RAMP
Christian Alary, aka the "Wonderful Wizard of RAMP," will be writing bi-weekly technical blogs about his ski/board engineering at RAMP.
Christian holds a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the prestigious INSA in Lyon, France. He has 12 years hands-on experience designing skis and snowboards, leading the new technology projects for the largest company in the industry, Rossignol.
He holds many inventions, patents, and is incredibly creative. Many of the groundbreaking new technological breakthroughs at RAMP are the result of his new ideas. One of which is RAMP's patent-pending vacuum-molding process. Alary brought this technology, currently used extensively in aerospace, to ski production. RAMP now has the ability to change side-cut shapes without having to make a new mold (major breakthrough) and a new graphic application process. Very few people have his practical experience in materials application and engineering specific to the snowsports Industry.
Sidecut definition explained
The first element that needs to be defined for a new model is the sidecut. Initially, you want to make a new model to meet a consumer need. Next if this model is intended more to groomed snow or more deep powder, it will change the waist width. For example, the Peacepipe: 115mm underfoot, the Frenzy: 80mm underfoot. Then you define a radius of curvature that will lead the wider the endpoints. Knowing that you can make a sidecut more directional or more symmetrical depending on the difference of width between the tip and tail. Say a twin tip is more symmetrical (Cork), a freeride will be more directional (Peacepipe). These considerations, waist width, radius of curvature, and directional effects are known and used by all manufacturers in the world.
What makes RAMP original?
The reverse sidecut
The reverse sidecut allows, while maintaining the same characteristic points (width underfoot and ends), to make a shorter radius. This is made according to rocker.
For example, our Peacepipe has a 21.93m radius thanks to reverse sidecut, without reverse sidecut, it should be 25.66m so it's 20% less for the same extremities and waist! A lot!
With this chart, you will easily understand, in blue our actual Peacepipe, in green the same without reverse sidecut:
The length of the reverse sidecut is evaluated on snow, if too much ski does not get into the turn, it is too low, you can't feel its effect. At Ramp, many tests on snow have allowed us to define the length of reverse sidecut optimally.
The razor sidecut
When you add a straight line in the sidecuts, that increases the pressure where you have this straight line. We identified two positions in our sidecuts for this straight line. For twin tip, it's underfoot for easy pivot effect. For freeride, it's behind the bindings for a "kick ass" effect at the end of the turn. Guaranteed results!
In this chart, in blue is our Peacepipe without the straight line and in red the actual RAMP Peacepipe:
You can see the difference between 400 and 600mm, this is not a lot but on snow the difference is huge!
This is how we globably define sidecuts! I don't know any brands as careful as we are in this work ...