A ski is a masterpiece of craftsmanship and engineering. It achieves a long list of requirements that gives them the required response for each type of skier and for each terrain. Two parameters influence its behaviour.
Design plays a major role. The length and the width determine the surface of the ski and hence the contact with the slope when sliding. The waist and the sidecut will determine the radius of the ski and hence the behaviour when taking turns.
Besides the shape, the stiffness and flexural behaviour will play an important role in the response of the ski. To reach the required mechanical properties a ski is made of a complex matrix of materials. It combines metal, natural materials like wood and synthetic materials like resins, polymers and fibres. An incredible piece of craft but a nightmare to recycle.
This can be solved when choosing different materials (thermoplastics instead of thermosets and self-reinforced fibres instead of carbon or glass fibre) and by developing new recycling technologies that can handle these complex material mixes effectively.