feb 20, 2012
ATOMIC INSIDE: INSIDE OF THE DOUBLEDECK
Handicraft with heart and mind. There is a lot inside of the atomic D2 Race: 40 components made out of sophisticated materials from titanium to wood are assembled in 20 steps. The most important factor is the handicraft of ski construction experts. An insight into the inner workings of the Doubledeck.
ATOMIC home base Altenmarkt: 2,500 special pairs of skis for races are produced here per year. Hans Schaidreiter, head of the department Research and Development for Racing Skis Alpine, explains the inner workings of the ATOMIC D2 Race, “The Race Cap ski consists of a top and bottom chord as well as a wooden core of domestic lumber, that is either poplar, ash or beech. Glass fiber laminates and titanium fillers are construction materials attached to the top and bottom chord and to the sides of the ski. All of these components have extremely high tensile force, that is to say the load limits are extremely high. The rebound effect of all components is very important and is additionally supported by the cap construction. This means they have to make possible a top performance – despite all punches and forces they are exposed to.” The different elements are put together manually in a ski press by a trained ski construction expert. “The components are put into a mold, brushed with an epoxy resin glue and then glued under high pressure and heat for 15 minutes.”
The Doubledeck construction with a top ski and a bottom ski makes it twice as good. Schaidreiter, “The Doubledeck effect means that the D2 immediately adapts to the individual racing style and the current conditions of a slope. As a freely sliding element the bottom ski reacts to the outside conditions. This guarantees for clam sliding and controlled, exact swings.”
DIAMOND CUT FOR THE COATING
The composition, the microstructure and the cutting patterns of the coating are of major importance in regards to the sliding abilities of skis. The cutting patterns are cut into the coating by a special, computer-operated machine that is controlled by cutting experts. Once the ATOMIC D2 RACE leaves production, it has not passed yet all stations to end up at the World Cup. “The ski has to qualify for the use in races in test runs“, Helmut Schartner, head of the department Prototype Construction Racing Alpine, explains. The best time and the best characteristics count. After each test run ski-techs precisely work on the edges and the coating. The skis get “sharpened“ for the use in races.
“Our top athletes are provided with 20 pairs and more for each discipline in each season. Each pair has its special qualities. The snow temperature and texture are as different as the continents where races take place. The athlethe and the ski-tech together decide – and very often this happens very spontaneously and last-minute, shortly before the start of a race – which ski to use depending on the weather conditions.“ And when do you know that a pair of skis was the right one? Schartner, “Whenever an athlete crosses the finish line and first place appears on the board, everyone here feels satisfied, because then we know that the hard work has paid off.“