3P camber explained

The 3-point contact camber maximizes the ski's handling and stored energy, without compromising its agility. Rather than the pressure being uniform across the entire length of the ski edge during a turn, three distinct high pressure zones are created. This blog will first describe to you what 3P camber is physically and then the benefits and operation of this technology will be detailed.

What is 3P camber?

The three-point (3P) camber is the exclusive camber of the Pionnier 104 and Explo 96. This camber has a particular shape that separates it from the cambers of other skis. Indeed, when crushed flat, the 3P camber creates 3 narrow contact zones. In other words, the area between the forefoot and the start of the front rocker is slightly raised, as is the area between the back of the foot and the start of the back rocker. This effect is illustrated in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: The 3P camber in detail
The 3P camber of the Pionnier 104 and Explo 96 is designed to maximize pressure in these 3 contact areas by minimizing contact length. Thanks to our tools and Sooth Ski, we can accurately predict the deformation of the skis when they are edged. The true deformation of the Pionnier 104 (172cm) is compared to that of a ski from another brand in Figure 2. For the Pionnier 104 in blue (top), we see that when the center of the boot touches the ground, the ski is not in contact with the ground immediately before and after the foot. For the ski in orange (bottom), the whole ski comes into contact with the ground which creates an even pressure instead.

Figure 2: Deformation of the Pionnier 104 (top) and of a ski from another brand (bottom) according to the force applied to the boot

The more observant among you may have already observed this phenomenon on other skis. Indeed, some skis with a lot of camber can also have this behavior. However, other skis don't do this as pronouncedly as the Pionnier 104 or the Explo 96. For this reason, our backcountry skis offer unique on-snow handling that provides great energy return on exits while remaining agile and playful.

What is the 3P camber for?

After all these explanations, it's still legitimate to wonder what the 3P camber is for. Well this technology reduces the pressure in the tips of the ski at low angles of attack. Lower pressure at the ends of the ski translates into greater ease in pivoting the ski. This behavior is often referred to as "playful" or "agile". That's what makes the Pionnier and Explo the perfect skis for negotiating tight turns between the trees of your favorite glade.

However, when the ski is edged at a steeper angle, in a short radius carving situation for example, the 3P camber behaves like a normal camber and transfers more pressure to the tips of the ski. This allows the ski to maintain good grip while allowing rapid energy return.

The result? Exhilarating and versatile skis that will allow you to enjoy your season to the fullest!