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weastcoastGood idea in concept but the ski would become stupidly heavy and stiff.
FaunaSkisLet's nerd out on this.
As others have said above to increase the edge size you increase the weight of the ski, not only with the edge but the base as well because the thickness needs to match the step in the edge.
But how much would it really increase?
Using the 178cm Alparka as an example it uses 4 pieces of ~161cm long edge and the base area is ~1676cm^2.
Sintered P-Tex 3000 (the base material we use) has a density of 0.94g/cm^3 and hardened steel is 7.85g/cm^3
If we used industry standard (1.2mm thick) base and (1.8x2.1mm) edge the combination roughly weighs ~740g/pair.
But because those edges and base are known to crack easier and base to core shot easier we use 1.8mm base and 2.5x2.5mm edges.
This pairing roughly weighs 1064g/pair. Which is a weight increase, but definitely increases the durability, and as its an edge & base combo already made by the edge & base companies, it doesn't cost a lot more to put in the skis. (We've accounted for the extra weight & stiffness by using slightly lighter glass, meaning the skis only come in at 3.4kg/pair)
If we were to put OPs idea of 4x4mm edges into the skis we would need to use ~3mm base (from scaling the step size up).
This pairing would roughly weigh 2071g/pair, almost double that of what we use, while it would be more durable it would be quite the cost increase as the edge companies would likely have to create a new stamp to press the edges out of and the base material companies would have to do a special run, making & changing up the sintering die, rather than lifting a cheese wheel of base off a shelf/cutting off a current run.
As for using a section of thick edge/base underfoot you would need to have junctions in the base & edge and machine out the sidewall for the thicker material, creating, both stress points in the ski when it's flexed and costing a bunch in extra machining. Plus these materials are sold by the kilometer and so you would have to be making hella skis to make using a short section of super expensive materials worth it. A big company could do it but I'd imagine they would get a phonecall pretty quick from the accountant asking why the material budget has been blown through for what is, in the grand scheme, a niche requirement.
As for flex difference, working that out would be a ballache but the long and short would be, the thicker the edge, the stiffer the ski, unless you take a bunch more material out the core/reduce your glass/carbon weight further, which would be a fine balancing act so as not to create a laminate that just breaks. Also if you think tip delam is bad with current full wrap edges, because of material stiffness differences, just imagine what bumping the edge thickness up to 4x4 would do. It can be mitigated by having no edge round the tips of the ski, like us and others like on3p do, but the other factors still come into play.
(these weights are rough as I didn't account for the space cut out of the edge for the teeth)
**This post was edited on Apr 6th 2019 at 1:39:37pm
supersquidThere was a lot of info here, maybe I missed something but I dont fully understand why you need a thicker base. Why not just shave down the height of the sidewall? If I understood your post correctly your saying that in order to have an edge that sits flush with the base you would need to increase the thickness of the base, as you increase the thickness of the edge. But if you had a thinner sidewall and the edge came up farther wouldnt this do away with the need to use a thicker base?
FaunaSkisSorry, I just kinda got in deep. I've drawn the edges upside down from how they're used in the ski.
The base sits in the step in the profile of the edge, with the dog-leg in the profile being where the edge teeth are, which hold it in place in the ski. (this may be where the confusion is) so the base sits in the edge like this.
(this is a 1.8mm base shown in a 4mm edge, the right way up this time)
If you tried to press a ski like this you would end up with the base pushed into the step and the edge sitting higher than the base, the edge rolling over or the base concaving, creating a bunch of other problems.
This is why base thickness and edge steps need to be paired.
I hope this clears up the confusion.