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Physics of Skiing


srossi14

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Skiing is not just riding the chairlift up the hill, standing at the top of the trail, pointing your skis downward, and going, there's much more to it than that. Whether it's in the olympics or recreationally, skiers like to go fast, and know exactly how to do it. One way to increase speed is to cut down air resistance. To do this, skiers will tuck their body and bend their knees so that they are lower and closer to the ground. That way, there is less surface area for the force of air to work against. Another way to increase speed is to start with a large force. This can be seen very clearly in competitive downhill skiing like in the olympics. When the skier leaves the gate, they push off with a force so that they can begin to accelerate down the mountain. If they don't get a big enough "push" at the beginning it can affect their whole run. On the contrary, another part of skiing is staying in control, which can be attributed to friction. Friction between the skis and the slope allow the skier to control their direction and their speed of they need to. 

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