Soccer aerodynamics - How to curve a ball


Soccer aerodynamics - How to curve a ball

To learn more about: - Boundary layers: - Flow separation: - Golf ball aerodynamics: In this video, we'll explain the aerodynamics behind curved free kicks, corners, and so on! Want to bend it like Beckham? Then stay tuned! When you kick the ball off center, you'll give it a spin around the vertical axis. At one side, the surface is spinning against the airflow, so the relative velocity between the surface and the air is increased. This slows down the air and also moves the separation point upstream. At the other side, the surface is spinning in the same direction as the airflow, reducing the relative velocity. This reduces friction and boundary layer buildup and pushing the separation point further downstream. First way to explain the force - Bernoulli: the faster moving air will feature lower pressure, creating a suction effect bigger than on the other side. This generates a net lateral force. Second way to explain the force - momentum: the wake behind the soccer ball is pulled towards the side of the forward spinning side. Because of Newton's law of action and reaction, this generates an equal but opposite effect on the ball. The effect described in this video is called the magnus effect. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The AirShaper videos cover the basics of aerodynamics (aerodynamic drag, drag & lift coefficients, boundary layer theory, flow separation, reynolds number...), simulation aspects (computational fluid dynamics, CFD meshing, ...) and aerodynamic testing (wind tunnel testing, flow visualization, ...). We then use those basics to explain the aerodynamics of (race) cars (aerodynamic efficiency of electric vehicles, aerodynamic drag, downforce, aero maps, formula one aerodynamics, ...), drones and airplanes (propellers, airfoils, electric aviation, eVTOLS, ...), motorcycles (wind buffeting, motogp aerodynamics, ...) and more! For more information, visit

Trusted By

  • General Electric Renewable Energy
  • Deme
  • Aptera
  • Decathlon
  • MV Agusta
  • Vaude
  • Damon Motorcycles
  • Pal-V - World’s First Flying Car
  • Deme
  • A2Mac1
  • SenseFly
  • Sapim

Awards and Support

  • Solar Impulse
  • iMec
  • Voxdale
  • Professional MotorSport World Awards – MotorSport Technology of the Year

Code contributions by

  • KU Leuven
  • Inholland
  • Linkoping University