After falls, skiers or snowboarders often slide on the slope and may collide with obstacles. Thus, the skier’s friction on snow is an important factor to reduce incidence and severity of impact injuries. The purpose of this study was to measure snow friction of different fabrics of ski garments with respect to roughness, speed, and contact pressure. Three types of fabrics were investigated: a commercially available ski overall, a smooth downhill racing suit, and a dimpled downhill racing suit. Friction was measured for fabrics taped on a short ski using a linear tribometer. The fabrics’ roughness was determined by focus variation microscopy. Friction coefficients were between 0.19 and 0.48. Roughness, friction coefficient, and friction force were highest for the dimpled race suit. The friction force of the fabrics was higher for the higher contact pressure than for the lower one at all speeds. It was concluded that the main friction mechanism for the fabrics was dry friction. Only the fabric with the roughest surface showed friction coefficients, which were high enough to sufficiently decelerate a sliding skier on beginner and intermediate slopes.
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