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How do snowboarders move so smoothly over the snow?
2. The little friction between the snow and board is the key in letting the snowboarder glide over the snow. When the board and snow create friction, the heat form the friction melts the snow. This creates a thin layer of water on the top of the snow, and the board glides over the water with little friction. On an flat surface, the coefficient of friction is only .15 when the snowboarder is moving (kinetic friction). This small amount of friction lets the board glide smoothly.
1. Gravity is the force that pulls the snowborders down the mountain. Without this force, the snowboarder would just drift off into space. While gravity holds the snowboarder onto the snow, it is also a problem for beginners, because they fall hard. Gravity also causes the snowboarder to accelerate if they are on an inclined slope.
3. The motion of the snowboarder is also key. The rider must be in motion, and get past the static friction. The static friction is greater, but only occurs at the start of motion. Once the rider is moving they will glide very smoothly over the snow with only the kinetic friction acting against them, and that is very little.
Also, the way the snowbaords are built using light materials such as plastic, and fiberglass, helps reduce friction.
Ff = muFn
4. Snowboarders usually ride downhill. The coefficient of friction remains the same, but the gravity pulls the snowboarder down the hill at an accelerating speed. Since the plane is inclined, the Fgx is added to the forward motion, so this accelerates the snowboarder faster. The snowboarder slows down by creating more friction, and digging the back edge of the board into the snow while leaning backwards. This creates a lot more friction and causes the snowboarder to slow dow.n.