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SIT SKI aerodynamic optimisation | GB Snowsport

The project brief

The brief

We were approached to improve the performance and usability of the rig used by Great Britain’s National Paralympic Skiing Team, GB Snowsport to deliver a competitive advantage for the athletes. The SItski needed to be aerodynamically efficient, lightweight through use of a complex composite structures, ergonomic and above all, safe for the athletes.

The new sit skis were used by the four-man Para Nordic World Cup squad throughout the 2021/22 season, culminating in the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing, China and were the result of an advanced engineering innovation process led by WAE’s in-house Design Team, GB Snowsport’s Sport Sciences department and a multi-disciplinary research team from Coventry University.

Athlete involvement in the design process ensured each sit-ski was specifically tailored to the individual athlete’s technique, drawing on WAE’s impressive track record of supporting British Paralympic efforts since the Rio Summer Games in 2016.

The work

  • Athletes were e 3D scanned to create geometry for CFD
  • CAE/CFD programmes run
  • Strain gauge tests conducted together with extensive Wind Tunnel Testing

The outcome

12% Reduction in Drag, compared to previous design

Reduction in Athlete’s Fatigue through weight reduction and ergonomics

“Personal Bests” recorded by all athletes in 2022 Winter Games

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