AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich
AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich
feb 03, 2011

AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich

close-up profile of ‘AUDI carbon ski’



know-how drawn from skiing and motor sport has been used to develop the ‘perfect ski’. the ‘AUDI carbon ski’ concept is a minimalist design that focuses fully on one  material: carbon. designed to optimize maneuverability and speed, the ‘AUDI carbon ski’ is the result of extensive research and development by AUDI, in collaboration with the the german ski association and leading ski specialists from head.

audi sent us images of the first prototypes, which have just been tested at kitzbühel’s downhill hahnenkamm race. this article is the first in a series of designboom coverage of the ‘audi carbon ski’; our article ‘AUDI carbon ski update‘ offers more technical insight and details about the challenges of the design process.



AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich detail view



AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich concept sketch of this section



weighing 1,550 grams, with a ski length of 170 cm, the skis are 200 grams lighter than comparable models, increasing their manueverability. in the skis, a wooden base is layered with aluminum, titanium, and finally high-strength carbon fiber. light-weight but strong, the carbon fibers are lain at specific angles to one another, producing a body that is stiff but which minimizes torsion (the tendency of the ski to twist along its longitudinal axis). the layers are then hardened under pressure in an artificial vacuum.



AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich close aerial view of ski



AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich concept sketch of top view



AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich detail on component



extensive research and testing went into the creation of the ‘audi carbon ski’. a 20-year sponsor of the german ski association, audi combined its own longtime experience in motorsport with the organization’s expansive knowledge of ski development. analyses generally used in motorsport were adapted to skiing, and calculations were performed to determine precisely the number of layers of carbon necessary to create an optimum balance of desired qualities.



AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich the use of carbon makes the skis lightweight but durable



AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich full view of the skis



dr. wolfgang ullrich, head of audi motorsport, elaborates on the choice of carbon for the skis: ‘thanks to its ideal combination of strength and light weight, carbon is used in motorsport for especially sensitive components that need to withstand the highest stress loads yet must at the same time be light in weight.’ the techniques used to develop the ‘audi carbon ski’ are the same ones that led to the creation of the safer, load-distributing monocoque cockpit for the german touring car masters and le mans sports cars,



AUDI carbon ski by AUDI concept design munich chief designer wolfgang egger and designer mark shipard, directors of the carbon ski project



audi states that the influence on the handling properties of the ski is ‘revolutionary’: carbon’s flexibility improves the grip of the skis on uneven surfaces, while on icy patches, the decrease in torsion permits the ski’s steel edges to maintain continuous contact with the ground.

  • so nice to see little designers at work…

    Dr. Design says:
  • @ Dr. Design : it looks like a Gettyimage picture !!

    Kodehine says:
  • makes me wonder if Audi would ever think of making some snowboards to a similar design.

    yosh says:
  • This ski might not be the only that uses totally integrate carbon fiber composite technology, but I guess the difference lays in the industrial production approach.
    I would like to know more about it.

    Josef K. says:
  • It should have twice the physical properties of conventional fiberglass / wood skis. the industry’s lightest while still having the highest flex/torsion ratios. WANT IT!

    backcountry says:
  • CARBON …
    Ski resorts are getting greener.
    They obviously need lots of electricity and millions of gallons of water. But as energy costs rise, some resorts are reducing their CARBON footprint.
    How about the environmental approach of this product?

    Rieke says:
  • Great and very smart ideas for the winter time!

    rick says:
  • Put the Classic HEAD logo where it belongs…at the TIP. HEAD has been a great innovator for skis and tennis since the 60’s, and there logo is an ICON in both sports. The classic HEAD logo at the tip on this black ski would totally recall HEAD’s first innovative skis from the 60’s and 70’s.

    Powder Hound says:
  • So…. it is a ski. This write-up is such marketing garbage. The ski is probably very good, but they don’t explain how or why it is good, other than that there is carbon fiber and experience in it. That doesn’t really mean anything; it is just a vague claim.
    Carbon: done a million times.
    Superior edge hold: sure, but how? It looks like a normal shaped ski.
    Angled fiber bias: been done for years.
    Cutting down on torsional flex: integral to every ski and snowboard made in the last 30 years.

    stoolio says:
  • These are skis that are used to skiing on the catwalk

    Batalela says:
  • Are we really supposed to believe Audi (off of cars) can design new/superior skis to those of Saloman, Rossingnol, Volkl, Atomic etc… Please tell me they do matching boots, all-in-ones and helmets with little silver wing mirrors on as well!!!

    Snowboarder who couldn't care less says:
  • they definitely LOOK great! i also want to find out more of the technical specs though, when, designboom, when??

    michael b. says:
  • it’s a stupid marketing crap! I am a skier, what means sign “+” or “-“???? I need exactly digits if we talked about adjusting bindings!!! This ski for the wall!

    hi!!!! says:
  • I agree with hi!!!! besides is that reqally what we need to waste time on designing now a days, btw…there a few more brands ex.atomic,fischer etc… who are already way advance in carbon fibre use. this desaign is good cause its minimal looking thats it.

    Amin says:
  • ok. THIS IS A DESIGN WEBSITE. the minimalist design is nice. it sounds like the collaborative process behind the skis is pretty interesting, what with applying car production technology to ski development. DONE. everybody chill out, no one is trying to force you to buy anything.

    adam says:
  • Audi is sponsor of the FIS Ski World Cup and is making progress on projects for safety in ski racing.,1150.html
    E.g. Athletes supported by Audi (Ski jumpers and nordic combination) from time to time use the facility of the Audi wind tunnel center in Ingolstadt to fine-tune their equipment and body postures.

    Kevin says:
  • Carbon fiber might be great for water-ski too.

    Bjorn says:
  • Carbon fiber skis are nothing new.
    While 95% of the skis available on the market are built using fiberglass and aluminum, light weight carbon construction in design and ski engineering has been around for more than five years.
    Great for PR and marketing issues, in real life the feasibility of this approach has not been not proven yet.
    Sandwich construction skis using carbon are up to twice as strong for around half the weight provided and have a high tolerance to shock. The main problem is the application of carbon, which is by hand and carbon fibre costing 100x that of glass. The application of carbon technology by Audi is therefore very interesting. I’m afraid that even if Audi was able to to reduce hand-work involved and is trying to solve the problem of mass-producing the skis, they will not be cheap.

    C. Jensen says:

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