How Do Skiers Win Races?

  • Published on Feb 10, 2018
  • Winning an alpine skiing race can come down to a tiny margin, so the skiers have to make sure they prepare their skis just right!
    Hosted by: Olivia Gordon
    Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon:
    Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters: Kelly Landrum Jones, Sam Lutfi, Kevin Knupp, Nicholas Smith, D.A. Noe, alexander wadsworth, سلطا الخليفي, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Bader AlGhamdi, James Harshaw, Patrick Merrithew, Patrick D. Ashmore, Candy, Tim Curwick, charles george, Saul, Mark Terrio-Cameron, Viraansh Bhanushali, Kevin Bealer, Philippe von Bergen, Chris Peters, Justin Lentz
    Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?

Comments • 400

  • Lu Cyy
    Lu Cyy 5 months ago +1

    How Do Skiers Win Races?" By getting to the finish line first

  • kangourouuu1
    kangourouuu1 7 months ago

    If wax is what makes the difference of a few hundreds of a second, why do we need different skiers? 'cause, well, I guess that at that point, they are pretty much the same as far as skills go (excepting them having a bad day). No need to "prove who's the best" if it breaks down to hardware and luck. Let's just make a machine run and the best engineers/staff/whatever, that choose the best gear according to the conditions, will get the gold medal.

  • Adrian Contreras
    Adrian Contreras 7 months ago

    Nice delivery in this video

  • Dominik Ebner
    Dominik Ebner 7 months ago

    User young whether ctmsv careful suck pension temporary profit borrow vital shooting.

  • Skyler Hanson
    Skyler Hanson 7 months ago

    In the competitive racing world like the Olympics and the world cup ski racing wax is only a small portion of this all. It depends even more on a skiers edges. A metal edge on the side of a skis base. This is used to carve into the ice and accelerate the skier faster than the base would because of even less friction. And bases aren't just a right and piece of metal. They can be sharpened down to a degree to affect what angle they carve the snow at.

  • Craig A Perman
    Craig A Perman 7 months ago

    As a skier, I always wonder how long the wax actually stays on the ski considering a lot of abrasion is going on between the snow and the ski bottom. .

  • Valdagast
    Valdagast 8 months ago

    I think the main way to win is to be faster than the others.

  • KnighteyKnight
    KnighteyKnight 8 months ago

    Skiers win races by praying that their wax techs are the best and / or luckiest then? Misleading title. This episode is about how wax helps skiers win races, and not at all how the skiers help themselves win... assuming skiers don’t typically wax their own skis.

  • tinkmarshino
    tinkmarshino 8 months ago +1

    and here I thought it was just the one that got down the hill fastest with the least amount of mistakes like keeping low and staying off your edges below the gate and things like that.. But what the heck do i know..

  • gerald lucas
    gerald lucas 8 months ago

    Automobile time sector rough possible museum search accident long whole.

  • Jin Ngee Chia
    Jin Ngee Chia 8 months ago

    Wait till you get into cycling. This idea of marginal gains is mind-boggling.

  • phillip kalaveras
    phillip kalaveras 8 months ago

    By going faster than the other skiers?

  • king james488
    king james488 8 months ago

    just make everyone use candle wax...

  • Kev O
    Kev O 8 months ago

    Inaccurate and gauge leaving multiple variables so overall false. Very UGLY host! Thumbs down even though I love ski racing! Best sport!!!

  • xXxPanicXx
    xXxPanicXx 8 months ago

    what happens if you never brush your teeth

  • Dennis Pinsy
    Dennis Pinsy 8 months ago

    A little disappointed at the oversimplification... cause you know that whole mass and gravity for downhillers and not to mention... aerodynamics...

  • Joe GamingX
    Joe GamingX 8 months ago

    How is this trending....

  • Mr. Nobody
    Mr. Nobody 8 months ago

    Easy. By going faster than the other guys.

  • Matt
    Matt 8 months ago

    More videos with Olivia, please.

  • Sourav Goswami
    Sourav Goswami 8 months ago

    I like Olivia's videos... Her voice is awesome, and she looks awesome 💙

  • JD
    JD 8 months ago


  • The Reckless Recluse
    The Reckless Recluse 8 months ago +1

    I can't believe someone asked this question...I also can't believe they were able to make this sound scientific.

  • sent4dc
    sent4dc 8 months ago

    How is it even a sport when the outcome depends on the kind of a wax you used? And then what -- how much the guy ate that morning to make him heavier or whether or not he took a frank before the event? And I forgot, is this the one where they have those judges that score it from 1 to 10?

  • boomshizzIe
    boomshizzIe 8 months ago

    water is not wet.

  • Borys Lelonkiewicz
    Borys Lelonkiewicz 8 months ago

    (Alpine) not (Alpain)

  • XPhaededX
    XPhaededX 8 months ago


  • verdatum
    verdatum 8 months ago

    Olivia has consistently done a fantastic job. Her contributions are the sort of thing that makes the Internet a better place.

    • j p
      j p 8 months ago

      No, she hasn't. You can tell by the comment sections. She consistently gets more complaints, and less views, than everyone else. Stop sucking up.

  • Nathan Gonzalez
    Nathan Gonzalez 8 months ago

    Great episode! Olivia, I have noticed more variation in the tone of your speech. It's a small detail but has such a great impact on the delivery on the dialogue. Keep up the good work!

  • Double A Animations
    Double A Animations 8 months ago

    The answer is by watching my video

  • Doug sillig
    Doug sillig 8 months ago +1

    Odlaw anyone?

  • Evan
    Evan 8 months ago

    Why is there a woman explaining this bruh tf?

    • Hannah Knight
      Hannah Knight 6 months ago

      Yeah. Her vocal chords are too delicate for her to speak continually for these videos. It's pretty tragic. She should really be tending to her children and dying from scarlet fever.

  • zachary paris
    zachary paris 8 months ago

    i wake up shitting wax. is that bad?

  • Logan Hall
    Logan Hall 8 months ago

    Possess balance elementary electrical territory governor joke herb six.

  • Amoriello Studio's
    Amoriello Studio's 8 months ago

    I can't ski . But I can try to get 1000 subscribers

  • E. Banger
    E. Banger 8 months ago

    Love the video on my sport! I've been racing for over 20 years and it was really neat to hear you explain the logic behind wax selection. I was very fortunate to have an amazing tech, Kris who always did the homework for me to ensure my skis were ready for the day's race. Sadly he passed away from skin cancer a few years ago. Truth is while the correct decision on wax selection can make or break a race - it's those dedicated techs, coaches, and trainers that get us across that finish line first ... but most importantly - my amazing parents who were up with me at the crack of dawn for over fifteen years getting me to and from the mountain nearly every day from the moment the snow fell to the last spring thaw. That's how I won races - and still do.

  • moe 425
    moe 425 8 months ago +1

    It's not just wax! The proper base structure is also very important. Different structures for different conditions.

  • A Tr
    A Tr 8 months ago

    Knives and willpower. If you do it right you can win naked and without skis.

  • Greg Fakerson
    Greg Fakerson 8 months ago

    yikes!! guys please this guest is disgusting, unkempt and undisciplined.
    i unsubscribed after her first airing, and i will dislike every video you have until you ceremonially fire her.

  • Maurits Spijker
    Maurits Spijker 8 months ago

    No hate just advise, but at the end of every sentence you sound like you're dying and say those words with your last breath. Pleade try to keep the collorfull and normal voice trough the last words of the sentence

  • Ryan Ellis
    Ryan Ellis 8 months ago

    This is such an interesting thing to learn.

  • Person Pierson
    Person Pierson 8 months ago

    As a ski racer, this was all stuff I already knew.

  • SpunkDustbin
    SpunkDustbin 8 months ago

    Marilyn Manson has let himself go.

  • Jim E
    Jim E 8 months ago

    Not bad as a quick primer on flouro vs. hydrocarbon ski waxes. The main part you left out is electrostatic friction. Colder, drier snow creates static cling to the ski base as it slides over. You can see it when you pick up your ski and there are snow crystals sticking to your base. Waxes with graphite or molybdenum added are used to combat this effect and race ski bases are usually made with graphite in the base material (that's why they are black). Bill Johnson took advantage of this effect to win the 1984 Olympic DH in Sarajevo as he had the only pair of skis in the race with black electrographite bases.

  • Daniela Lopez
    Daniela Lopez 8 months ago

    She talk too much

  • IAmAgainst
    IAmAgainst 8 months ago

    I want to be able to brake, not to go faster.. that only takes not doing anything at all.

  • Nyar Lathotep
    Nyar Lathotep 8 months ago +3

    Seriously, it's not just the effing wax.

  • Colton Williams
    Colton Williams 8 months ago

    Ski raced for 8 years never heard the term “bobble”

  • knockdown10
    knockdown10 8 months ago

    i dont know why she reminds me of stewart from the big bang theory

  • Aarongrubbworm
    Aarongrubbworm 8 months ago

    Slide down hills fast

  • Magnimazing
    Magnimazing 8 months ago

    By being the best?

  • Stuart Patterson
    Stuart Patterson 8 months ago

    Your nerdiness is so cute.

  • Jamil Omi
    Jamil Omi 8 months ago

    what do you mean the wax leaks out and provides a slippery surface? as far as i know, the wax has more friction, which melts a thin layer of water under the skies and the skis glide over the water. this vid explains it in detail

  • Cali Dorsch
    Cali Dorsch 8 months ago

    ayyy, you guys are #25 on trending!

  • poisonousnut
    poisonousnut 8 months ago +1

    annoying hipster

  • Katsumi W. Morales
    Katsumi W. Morales 8 months ago

    if snow can be wet and snow is water then is water wet?

  • Buzimu
    Buzimu 8 months ago

    i dont like the way she constantly pauses to explain vernacular

  • Captain Galaxy
    Captain Galaxy 8 months ago

    You are serious, aren't you. Well, I'm just going to give a layman's guess, but here goes: BECAUSE A PARTICULAR SKIER WAS FASTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE! Duh. My story, don't laugh.

  • Travis Thredgold
    Travis Thredgold 8 months ago

    I can't tell you why, but I hate her

  • Pins and Needles
    Pins and Needles 8 months ago +3

    Please. Change her voice.
    -watchers on youtube

  • Jay
    Jay 8 months ago

    Lemme save you 2min, they go fast

  • Devin Cartmell-Martin
    Devin Cartmell-Martin 8 months ago

    Ski bases are made of a plastic called P-tex which is a polymer, if you guys could explain to me how "they absorb it (wax) like a sponge" I would much appreciate it.

  • Derek McGowan
    Derek McGowan 8 months ago

    is she promoting clean coal?!

  • Not Your Everyday Timelord

    Interesting, but I wish you went into more detail regarding each type of wax and showed graphics regarding each type.

  • Reginaldo Hernandez
    Reginaldo Hernandez 8 months ago

    The Olympics are rigged !!!!!!

  • Skamhes1974
    Skamhes1974 8 months ago

    Go faster than everyone else??

  • freeman account
    freeman account 8 months ago +1

    Though maybe not economical, would a teflon coating go faster? Youd probably have to recoat it after each race, but thats probably the case with wax too.

    • Jim E
      Jim E 8 months ago +2

      PTFE (teflon) is a fluorocarbon solid, so the "flouro" waxes used effectively give the ski a teflon coating:

  • Blinky OR
    Blinky OR 8 months ago +5

    Wow, Olivia has gotten a lot better in her presentation. Right on!

  • hpekristiansen
    hpekristiansen 8 months ago

    Wax to win !!!!!!!????? - it is much more important to participate, wear skies and not fall asleep.

  • fartzinwind
    fartzinwind 8 months ago +1

    The snow for Olympics so far has been brutally hard. The downhill stunt snow boarding yesterday looked harsh to fall during.

  • fartzinwind
    fartzinwind 8 months ago

    Falling with style.

  • Vlogs and games With Hunter

    By skiing.

  • Raul Flores
    Raul Flores 8 months ago

    Looks dead inside in the face, but those hands can't help but dance all over the screen. I can tell the editors are trying to hide it lol 🤗

  • Goob
    Goob 8 months ago


    • Goob
      Goob 8 months ago

      Nevermind we good

  • ThePancakeman25
    ThePancakeman25 8 months ago

    Bruh it’s one to ten in inches bruh

  • Matthew Latawiec
    Matthew Latawiec 8 months ago

    The video is about how to ski faster, not how to win.

  • Neha Vikas
    Neha Vikas 8 months ago +3

    Why she is wearing sweater n woolen cap, when everyone know she is shooting inside a climate controlled room

    • Hannah Knight
      Hannah Knight 6 months ago

      Probably aesthetic? Maybe it's just me, but climate controlled rooms tend to be too cold, anyway.

    • Whatwhat3434
      Whatwhat3434 8 months ago

      Aesthetic is awesome

    • Mark Dowdy
      Mark Dowdy 8 months ago

      Neha Yadav
      They shoot in a dank basement so the sweater may be necessary. But in any case, I hope you learned something about ski wax

  • msdogooder
    msdogooder 8 months ago

    Dear Friends did you know that Jesus Christ has a perfect plan for your life? But it is up to you to allow Him to come into your life. He won't force you. He must always be invited. It requires an ACTIVE pursuit to have a personal relationship with Him. God (through Jesus Christ) desires your trust in Him so that He may lead you and guide you throughout your whole life on earth and also prepare you for the glorious and wonderful day when you receive your great reward in Heaven. He so eagerly wants you to come to this realization dear one. He truly does. Make today your starting point with our loving Creator that will last forever. May God bless you in the MIGHTY name of Jesus Christ our Savior. ❤️❤️❤️ (2 Timothy 4:8; Ephesians 2:6; 1 Peter 5:4; Luke 6:23; John 3:16; John 14:3)

    • DeformedBear
      DeformedBear 8 months ago

      Very brave, doing this on a science channel

  • ikwhite
    ikwhite 8 months ago

    Waxing > than skill. Got it.

  • Michael Walton
    Michael Walton 8 months ago

    I'm in love!❤

  • ASAP
    ASAP 8 months ago

    check out my soundcloud

  • Mike
    Mike 8 months ago +2

    Wait a minute. So Olympic swimmers can't use technology (LZR Racer swim suits) to go faster but this is ok for skiers?

    • Whatwhat3434
      Whatwhat3434 8 months ago

      Mike - olympic swimmers do use technology, just that suit in particular was banned ('too good'). Similar to better pole vaulting poles, lighter / stronger alloys for poles are a huge advantage. Same with better guns for the biathelon, better outfits for the skiing, better goggles / caps for the swimmers... even footwear. technology is used in the Olympics!

  • macstmanj3
    macstmanj3 8 months ago

    As someone who raced for 8 years, you never race on powdery or wet snow. It's either hard packed snow or ice.

  • Tom Trask
    Tom Trask 8 months ago

    Are alpine skiers really just figuring this out? This is nordic skiing canon.

  • Nerdy Hank Smile
    Nerdy Hank Smile 8 months ago +2

    I might Get into One of this Race and Win, What do You Think..?

  • Me3stR
    Me3stR 8 months ago

    so even the field. in addition to skiing the same track, give them all the same wax?

  • Bob Hope
    Bob Hope 8 months ago

    There are only two types of racers, cheaters and losers.

  • Costas Tsolis
    Costas Tsolis 8 months ago

    so Austrians have better wax? WTF?

    NKM MASTER 8 months ago +1

    I have never used the word bobble I’ve been on a downhill race team for 3 years and we always say mistake

  • HalcyonSerenade
    HalcyonSerenade 8 months ago

    Oh. I thought it was going to be about the kinematics of the skiers' movements. But ski wax is cool too.

  • Parallel
    Parallel 8 months ago +1

    To everyone who disliked: I can get not liking Olivia initially, but now, what exactly do you dislike about her? Because I can't think of any reasons.

  • Wojciech Wiertarka
    Wojciech Wiertarka 8 months ago

    But why there is wax around my anus?

  • DenseAlloy
    DenseAlloy 8 months ago

    Use Clark Griswold's non-chloric, silicon-based kitchen lubricant

  • VJ Raj
    VJ Raj 8 months ago

    I have a suggestion for a next video, what will happen if kept using an expired mouth wash

  • Tina Abrahamson
    Tina Abrahamson 8 months ago

    Hey Guys, I'm wondering if you could do a show about fusions in my back. I had a 3 disc fusion in my back recently and am incredibly grateful for the surgery. The base vertebrae and the next 2 up.
    Is there any chance y'all could do that?

  • Nick Morgan
    Nick Morgan 8 months ago

    If you watch it with the sound of off looks like she's doing a cypher

  • Phonoman
    Phonoman 8 months ago

    Oh. Olivia changed appearances and removed the moo-ring and actually looks appropriate! Not bad.

  • PooleParty24/7
    PooleParty24/7 8 months ago

    Her body language is so weird. It looks like she's doing a really stupid dance.

  • vishal Sharma
    vishal Sharma 8 months ago

    If you get Wax Olivia will say happy birthday 😁