Modeling the ski-snow contact in skiing turns using a hypoplastic vs an elastic force-penetration relation

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014 Jun;24(3):577-85. doi: 10.1111/sms.12035. Epub 2013 Jan 7.


A ski-snow interaction model is presented. The force between ski and snow is decomposed into a penetration force normal to the snow surface, a shear force parallel to it, and friction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the benefits of a hypoplastic vs an elastic contact for penetration in the simulation of skiing turns. To reduce the number of influencing factors, a sledge equipped with skis was considered. A forward dynamic simulation model for the sledge was implemented. For the evaluation of both contact models, the deviation between simulated trajectories and experimental track data was computed for turns of 67 and 42 m. Maximum deviations for these turns were 0.44 and 0.14 m for the hypoplastic contact, and 0.6 and 7.5 m for the elastic contact, respectively. In the hypoplastic contact, the penetration depth of the ski's afterbody maintained nearly the same value as the part under maximum load, whereas it decreased in the elastic contact. Because the shear force is proportional to the penetration depth, the hypoplastic contact resulted in a higher shearing resistance. By replacing the sledge with a skier model, one may investigate more complex skier actions, skiing performance, or accident-prone skiing maneuvers.

Keywords: elastic vs hypoplastic force-penetration relation; forward dynamic simulation; ski-snow contact; skiing; skiing turns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Elasticity*
  • Friction
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Motion*
  • Shear Strength
  • Skiing*
  • Snow
  • Sports Equipment