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Snowboard Science Fair Proj

Peaheartsmama

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Hi all!

We live near Big Snow and DD13 wants to do something snowboard related for her science fair project!

So far we are thinking to test the effects of different snowboard sizes on turning radius and different waxes on speed and ease of handling. We have boards in various lengths and I can buy different wax types.

For turning radius I’m thinking to test how many turns can be made (making the effort to do as many as possible) within a set distance. And for speed how long it takes to do a straight shot down the hill. Possibly a drag test too with little DD10 providing weight and a spring scale or something to test friction.

Any ideas on what else we might test and how we might quantify the results? Any ideas on online resources or simulators that we might be able to use to test different shapes and lengths virtually?

Thanks! And I’m looking forward to starting the ski season with a visit to Killington to watch the World Cup!
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Cool project! It seems that the question may need to be tweaked a little with the radius part. After all, the radius in a non arc condensed turn is preset for each board and part of the specifications for each board just like skis. That is based on tip and tail width relative to waist width for a given length.

Now skidded turns can really be any radius the rider chooses to make the turn. Think pivot slips, the ultimate short radius turn which can be made on any length board.

Maybe the same s owboard in different lengths with a literal calculation formula for deyermining how many turns based on board radius in the preset distance you mentioned with side by side drawings showing the turn sizes on a fun page that looks like a slope?

The wax test would, to be accurate, require the same testing conditions for the different waxes which is tricky unless you own five of the exact same board and can switch it out for each run maybe? Makes me think of how world cup racers trust their tuners to use the right wax but have many different wax combos to play it safe.

Could be fun to do same board different lengths versus different boards same length. In essence you would not need to actually do the test, but could play around with making cut outs of each board and kids having to guess which board did which radius on the page?
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@Peaheartsmama DD did a science fair project on Ocular Dominance, Handedness and Stance in snowboarders. There are some articles on this with regard to snowboarding and you could extrapolate additional research/ hypothesis from scientific articles written about other sports if needed.

She surveyed 100 snowboarders at our local mountain during chair lift rides. Assessing stance was easy, just needed to see how they were strapped in. She asked about right/left handedness and then for eye dominance she used this test:



You would be surprised at how many snowboarders are looking down hill with their non dominant eye :eek:
 

RandomSkier

Certified Ski Diva
What about collecting data on snowboard length and width compared to the height and weight of the person? Could add age and skill in there too. While controlling for board type and gender (only include data from people on all mountain boards and separate males and females), graph person height vs board length and see if there is defined trend (preferred or optimal length to height ratio) or is it a wide spread of data points indicating there are few trends? Same with comparing weight with length and with width. Why does your daughter think that is? Do men and women have the same ratio? What percentage of people are on boards way too long or too short?
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
@Peaheartsmama DD did a science fair project on Ocular Dominance, Handedness and Stance in snowboarders. There are some articles on this with regard to snowboarding and you could extrapolate additional research/ hypothesis from scientific articles written about other sports if needed.

She surveyed 100 snowboarders at our local mountain during chair lift rides. Assessing stance was easy, just needed to see how they were strapped in. She asked about right/left handedness and then for eye dominance she used this test:



You would be surprised at how many snowboarders are looking down hill with their non dominant eye :eek:
Okay, I got curious since I'm an oddball who is left handed but right eye dominant. I don't snowboard but your dominant leg is the back leg, right? So regular is left foot forward. But most people are right eye dominant?

Doesn't that mean the most people are looking downhill with their non dominant eye closest to forward?

I may be envisioning this wrong. But that is interesting and something along the lines of hand, eye and for dominance vs. stance sounds pretty interesting.

Also, I'd agree that possible turn radius is going to be very different than carve radius when you can smear turns. And I'd guess carve radius is right there on the board specs like it is for skis?
 

echo_VT

Angel Diva
In addition to stance width variances, you can test a variety of maneuvers in addition to turns (small, medium and large radius) — such as an ollie. Stance widths and stance angles will greatly impact how much pop one might get on a snowboard. There is a trade off between spinning, riding switch vs height off a pop or ollie on the snowboard that is pretty important to dial in as a rider.

fast vs slow feather on toe vs heel — some snowboards have a specific side for each (that’s rather newish). You’ll also want to consider keeping all the snowboards directional or all of them twin to keep the factors constant that you’re not varying to make sure they don’t impact the results in a confusing way (bc your daughter is just testing sizes, right?)

some snowboards are camber vs flat kick vs rocker under the feet, between the feet and from foot to tail or foot to nose. These impact the edge catching the snow to initiate the turn as well as the pop in an ollie, or rotation in the air (similar to initiating the turn)

how fun!
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Okay, I got curious since I'm an oddball who is left handed but right eye dominant. I don't snowboard but your dominant leg is the back leg, right? So regular is left foot forward. But most people are right eye dominant?

Doesn't that mean the most people are looking downhill with their non dominant eye closest to forward?

I may be envisioning this wrong. But that is interesting and something along the lines of hand, eye and for dominance vs. stance sounds pretty interesting.
Here is a brief description of this issue from an instructors point of view:

There is a rabbit hole your can spiral down regarding articles on eye dominance and sports, cross dominance etc.....

I think this is also mirrors surfers -- would be interesting to see what eye dominance/ footed ness some of the top surfers are and see if they do better in contests where the wave is either back side or frontside for them.
 

vanhoskier

Angel Diva
My advice as a retired science teacher who used to advise kids in these projects? Limit your variables! Keep your experiment simple enough that no, or few, other variables come into play. For instance, if your variable is wax, then you need to use the same board, same rider, same run, etc.

Other skiers/riders on the run will affect your experimentation, so just be aware.

Over all though, keep it fun and interesting!
 

Peaheartsmama

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh and thanks for that ocular dominance idea!! We played around with it too! But since they are studying physics at the moment we picked the three experiments above instead. So given board length the max number of turns you can make, given wax - the top speed (using speed gun) when doing a straight shot down a short incline, and finally lbs of force required to pull a person 10 feet on a Snowboard from a standing postion, measured with a luggage scale.
 

Peaheartsmama

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
And as part of the conclusion some insights into what kinds of conditions each of these would be good for. Very interesting insights!
 

Peaheartsmama

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
And for the wax test we used the same board and stripped/ waxed in between test runs. Used rub on wax for speed and convenience.
 

Peaheartsmama

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
You know, that did occur to me. I made sure to swing it around in plain sight and I held it close to my chest when taking a measurement rather than out like you would when pointing a gun. And I told some of the staff around me what I was doing - they thought the idea was cool.
 

brooksnow

Angel Diva
You know, that did occur to me. I made sure to swing it around in plain sight and I held it close to my chest when taking a measurement rather than out like you would when pointing a gun. And I told some of the staff around me what I was doing - they thought the idea was cool.
I meant scary as in trying to go too fast, like trying to clock high speeds on a ski tracking app. I meant in the future, not in the confined environment of the science fair experiment. I can see why you were careful about holding it like a gun but I didn't think of that.
 

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