When you're buying a pair of Coalition Snow skis and looking at the product listings, you are going to see a lot of terms thrown around to explain the ski. You may not know what any of those mean so ultimately they are not helpful. Here's a quick rundown of what those terms mean.

Effective Edge

The effective edge is the part of the ski that makes contact with the snow. Even though the metal edge itself runs all the way around the ski, there's only a section of it that is making contact with the snow. Before rocker, a ski's effective edge was much longer. Our skis, and particularly the SOS, have a good amount of rocker in the tip and tail which is why we typically recommend sizing up rather than sizing down. The less effective edge you have, the less stability you will have at speed. 


Rocker is the rise you will see in the tip and tail of the ski if you lay it flat on the ground. Before rocker, ski's overall effective edge's were longer because the effective edge ran almost to the very tip and tail of the ski. In a flat tail ski, the effective edge runs to the edge of the tail. With the advent of rocker, which allows the skis to float on powder and charge through crud, the effective edge length has been reduced. 


The sidecut is the curve of the ski from the tip to the tail. Back in the day before rockered skis became a thing, skis were straight and didn't have sidecut. Then parabolic skis entered the market and hello sidecut. It's essentially how far the ski narrows from the tip and then widens again to the tail. Think of it like a parenthesis. 


A ski’s sidecut forms an arc. The radius of the imaginary circle formed by completing that arc is referred to as a ski’s turn radius. A skis radius can be short, medium, or long. A shorter radius is good for quick turns, maneuverability in trees, bumps, etc. A longer radius is better for longer, more giant slalom like turns. The entirety of our lineup falls within the medium to long radius spectrum. 

Dual Radius Sidecut

You will notice our Rafiki and SOS have dual radius sidecut. This just means that the radius differs in the tip and tail. Having a shorter radius in the tip allows for easier turn initiation, while having a longer radius in the tail helps you maintain stability and control, especially at higher speeds. 


Camber is the upward arc that exists at the waist of the ski. All of the skis in our lineup have a rocker-camber-rocker profile. If you place the ski flat on the ground, the arc you see in the middle of the ski is the camber. Camber is what gives the ski pop and spring. If you have the ski laying flat on the ground and you push down in the middle, you can observe the spring. Camber helps propel your engagement into a turn, gives you stability and precision throughout that turn, and aids in edge hold while you are in the turn.

As always, if you have any questions, reach out to hello@coalitionsnow.com