WhisperFin Ski-tuning – 101

WhisperFin Tuning 101

These plastic ski-tuning reference cards are shipped with every WhisperFin. They are virtually indestructible so they can live in wet ski bags.

In case you’re on your smart phone, this card’s text is provided below for improved clarity.

 

The Goal

The smaller you run your WhisperFin the better—right up until the tail gets too slippery at the very end of turns. The further forward your bindings, the smaller the fin can be. Goal: optimize this fin/binding relationship.

 

Binding Location

The further forward the water is breaking on the ski’s tip, the tighter the ski turns; and the skier drives tip into the water in two planes, in “pitch” and in “yaw” (see first illustration).

Pitching the ski’s tip down into the water occurs when the skier moves up over their front foot prior to the buoy. It takes skill but has many benefits, not least of which is high consistency. Pitching movements require skill, and cannot be changed with setup adjustments.

Yawing tip engagement is necessary when the skier hasn’t pitched enough tip into the water when it’s time to turn. But yawing tip engagement is inconsistent at best. So fortunately, it can be adjusted by moving the fin’s leading edge back and forth.

The further forward the fin’s leading edge is, the easier the tip will yaw into the water, making it easier to keep the tip down through the turn and for power while cutting. The further back the fin is, the more the tip resists being yawed into the water, protecting against tip-grabs for skiers who tend to arrive at turns tip-high. Optimal setups have the fin as far forward as possible without causing tip-grab. But this setting varies widely because it depends on on the skier’s ability to pitch tip into the water prior to arriving at the buoy.

 

Fin Area

Adjust fin area by moving the front and back of the WhisperFin in and out of the ski by the same amount, keeping the index marks at both ends of the fin equal.
Fin Area affects smear everywhere, but mostly entering and exiting turns. This is because the ski is rolled flatter bringing the fin more into play (see second illustration).

The less fin area you expose below the ski, the less traction the ski’s tail will have and the more the tail will slide around turns—smearing a little more through mid-turn, and a lot more through the turn’s finish.

The smaller you run the fin by moving the bindings forward, the easier it is to initiate turns and to transition smoothly out of turns into the cut without wrestling with wheelies.

Fin area is too small for the binding location when the tail feels loose or slippery at the end of turns, if it over-smears into more angle than ideal for the cut, or if it over-rotates into form-crushing tip-grabs.

 

Leading Edge Location

The further forward the water is breaking on the ski’s tip, the tighter the ski turns; and the skier drives tip into the water in two planes, in “pitch” and in “yaw” (see first illustration).

Pitching the ski’s tip down into the water occurs when the skier moves up over their front foot prior to the buoy. It takes skill but has many benefits, not least of which is high consistency. Pitching movements require skill, and cannot be changed with setup adjustments.

Yawing tip engagement is necessary when the skier hasn’t pitched enough tip into the water when it’s time to turn. But yawing tip engagement is inconsistent at best. So fortunately, it can be adjusted by moving the fin’s leading edge back and forth.

The further forward the fin’s leading edge is, the easier the tip will yaw into the water, making it easier to keep the tip down through the turn and for power while cutting. The further back the fin is, the more the tip resists being yawed into the water, protecting against tip-grabs for skiers who tend to arrive at turns tip-high. Optimal setups have the fin as far forward as possible without causing tip-grab, but this setting varies widely because it depends on on the skier’s ability to pitch tip into the water prior to arriving at the buoy.