How does riser height impact slalom ski performance?

breck

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Posts
52
Location
New York, NY
FIS/USSA regulations limit the height of the boot sole to ski surface to 50mm, boot sole to top of food bed, 43 mm--so 93 mm from the bottom of my foot to the ski base.

Since I have to do extra work to get up to these heights with my telemark setup I wanted to ask what the impact the riser has on turns. Some thoughts:
  • Risers help with avoiding "booting out", or having the boot hit the ski surface which pops the edge out of the snow/ice at the worst possible time. This has happened to me but never on a race course. I don't think I am getting those angles on my turns.
  • The riser is functioning as a lever arm on the edge, so it ought to be easier to hold a particular angle since I have 93 mm of potential leverage.
  • What is the perceived difference on course? I'd guess I am 80mm on my riser setup, 70mm on my non-riser setup.
References below, any feedback appreciated....


1663951996646.png
 

Rod9301

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Jan 11, 2016
Posts
1,986
The reason is so you can have the combined gravity-centrifugal force closer to the inside edge of the outside ski
 

mdf

entering the Big Couloir
Skier
Team Gathermeister
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
6,069
Location
Boston Suburbs
In other words, the angle of the line of force from the bottom of your foot to the supporting ski edge is determined by the sideways distance to that edge (set by the ski width) and the upwards distance to your foot (set by stand height). Taller stand height means smaller angle, so you are more nearly standing over your edge.
 
Thread Starter
TS
breck

breck

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Posts
52
Location
New York, NY
Thanks, but not quite understanding the explanations.

But in any case assuming that I am a relative weakling, uncoordinated, and overall not an FIS athelete, I should go ahead and get my setup to the max FIS allows.

Any reason not to?

Breck
 

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
Skier
Team Gathermeister
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
8,886
Location
Maine
with my telemark setup

Thanks, but not quite understanding the explanations.

But in any case assuming that I am a relative weakling, uncoordinated, and overall not an FIS athelete, I should go ahead and get my setup to the max FIS allows.

Any reason not to?

Breck

You confused the heck out of me right off, when you mentioned telemark. Are you talking about a tele setup or a conventional alpine setup?
 

Jack skis

Ex 207cm VR17 Skier
Skier
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Posts
702
Location
Fidalgo Island, WA
i wondered about the telemark reference too. It's been a long time since I was maybe the lest successful Masters Racer like ever, and I never saw anyone on tele gear on the course. Is it different now,? Asking Doug Briggs and/or Scots Skier.
 
Thread Starter
TS
breck

breck

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Posts
52
Location
New York, NY
You confused the heck out of me right off, when you mentioned telemark. Are you talking about a tele setup or a conventional alpine setup?

i wondered about the telemark reference too. It's been a long time since I was maybe the lest successful Masters Racer like ever, and I never saw anyone on tele gear on the course. Is it different now,? Asking Doug Briggs and/or Scots Skier.

This is for a tele setup. While different the basic issues are the same. I know the US Tele team goes with as much riser as the FIS allows but those are way fitter/better athletes than I am.

I am pretty much the only tele-skier in my masters community.
 

François Pugh

Skiing the powder
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
6,222
Location
Great White North (Eastern side currently)
It adds leverage. It makes it a little harder to control the ski as you are farther away from it (think of hitting the hole with a long dipstick when checking your oil. It helps prevent boot-out.
Boot-out is only really a big problem at high angles on ice or hardpack, in my experience; my boot can push the snow out of the way, but ice or hardpack lever my edge off the surface.

I liken it to riding a sportbike, or a Dual Purpose bike. The balance is different when your way up their in the air. To use a bit of an exageration, you wouldn't want to be skiing on stilts.

The leverage and control does make it more dangerous, which is a problem if taken to extremes. FIS rules help (a bit) to prevent a "win at all costs" attitude on the part of an athlete from endangering himself and others who have to do the same to compete (think steroids in professional sports).
 

Paul Lutes

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Jun 6, 2016
Posts
1,302
Paging @Paul Lutes to the SkiTalk Courtesy Phone
As described above, height is your friend ..... until it's not (anything taken to an extreme pretty much). Telemark, fixed heel makes no never mind. I must admit to overlooking the boot sole bottom to the foot bed top dimension.
Breck - I think you're using Meidjo bindings? I'm not familiar with them, nor any stock risers they may have, but my Freerides and Outlaw Xs have add-on risers: the Freeride + riser gives 48 mm of height, while the Outlaw + riser is only 40. I'm currently transitioning over the the Outlaws, as Rottefella refuses to make the stiff black and red cartridges anymore, and will probably end up adding my own riser to the Outlaws to bring them up to 50. For racing, absolutely max out your stack height, and just be careful initially to avoid over edging.

Maybe a video of all the incredulous looks and comments from fellow competitors and spectators? :ogbiggrin:
 
Thread Starter
TS
breck

breck

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Posts
52
Location
New York, NY
As described above, height is your friend ..... until it's not (anything taken to an extreme pretty much). Telemark, fixed heel makes no never mind. I must admit to overlooking the boot sole bottom to the foot bed top dimension.
Breck - I think you're using Meidjo bindings? I'm not familiar with them, nor any stock risers they may have, but my Freerides and Outlaw Xs have add-on risers: the Freeride + riser gives 48 mm of height, while the Outlaw + riser is only 40. I'm currently transitioning over the the Outlaws, as Rottefella refuses to make the stiff black and red cartridges anymore, and will probably end up adding my own riser to the Outlaws to bring them up to 50. For racing, absolutely max out your stack height, and just be careful initially to avoid over edging.
Bindings are complicated here in Tele land. I ordered Meidjo's with race springs to try them. I also have Outlaw X's with race springs and risers from http://www.bndskigear.com/adapters.html. I think that riser leaves you ??10mm?? shy of 50.

I don't know how I'll get risers for the Meidjo's fabricated. I may see if I can mod the plates on my blizzards--it is part of the dynamic of the ski but the existing holes are not correct and there doesn't look to be a lot of drillable/tappable material there.
Maybe a video of all the incredulous looks and comments from fellow competitors and spectators? :ogbiggrin:
I have to say people are super nice about me skiing tele. As I have said before, it is a "Bear on a unicycle" kind of thing, people are intrigued not because it is being done well but because it can be done at all.

I find it super fun, a great way to improve skills, and it is very satisfying to beat the occasional Alpine skier.
 

Paul Lutes

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Jun 6, 2016
Posts
1,302
I don't know how I'll get risers for the Meidjo's fabricated. I may see if I can mod the plates on my blizzards--it is part of the dynamic of the ski but the existing holes are not correct and there doesn't look to be a lot of drillable/tappable material there.

There was a time when I made all my risers myself using HDPE bar stock https://www.mcmaster.com/bars/ , and this is most likely what I'll be using to get my Outlaws up to 50 mm. I'll probably be lazy and just shape and drill one extended piece for the toe, mid, and heel piece mounts. I'll call it my free heel race plate! I've tried to use regular fixed heel race plates in the past and it's always been more trouble than it's worth, given that most plates have lots of voids inside them.

Re release function sitch: pretty much what it's always been. NTN bindings will probably release you need them to, but nobody's willing to indemnify them. I've had good l luck with mine - releases were appropriate, no premature releases, and no binding related injuries. There are reports, however, of injuries if you dig deep enough, just as there are with the old 7tms.
 

slow-line-fast

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Posts
514
Location
snow
Re release function sitch: pretty much what it's always been. NTN bindings will probably release you need them to, but nobody's willing to indemnify them. I've had good l luck with mine - releases were appropriate, no premature releases, and no binding related injuries.
Thanks for your comment. When it does release, how does it do so?
 

Paul Lutes

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Jun 6, 2016
Posts
1,302
Thanks for your comment. When it does release, how does it do so?
The Outlaw and Freeride bindings rely on the twisting force overcoming the main tension piston spring(s); not sure about the Meidjo, but I believe it is similar plus a toe pin release?? (could be very wrong on the toe piece part)
 
Thread Starter
TS
breck

breck

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Posts
52
Location
New York, NY
Oh yes.

What's the situation these days with a release function?

I'm on 7tm for its release, but that limits boots to 75mm.
Meidjo says they will release, Outlaw Xs make no claim that I am aware of.

The only useful release from my Outlaw X ended up with a bent binding that had to be rebuilt--so not really a release as much as breaking the binding.

The only times I have thought I might want a release binding is when the ski is pulled straight, usually an inside edge that gets caught and pulled back on my uphill ski--the binding wouild need to release up from the toe to solve the problem. Meidjo are a tech toe so maybe.
 
Thread Starter
TS
breck

breck

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Posts
52
Location
New York, NY
There was a time when I made all my risers myself using HDPE bar stock https://www.mcmaster.com/bars/ , and this is most likely what I'll be using to get my Outlaws up to 50 mm. I'll probably be lazy and just shape and drill one extended piece for the toe, mid, and heel piece mounts. I'll call it my free heel race plate! I've tried to use regular fixed heel race plates in the past and it's always been more trouble than it's worth, given that most plates have lots of voids inside them.

Thanks for the link to HDPE stock. I am thinking the same idea and share concerns regarding all the voids in the race plate. Nice thing about HDPE stock is that the existing holes can be used and you get shift capability super easily.

Had a looksie, the marine grade stuff looks about right and it comes in colors! https://www.mcmaster.com/bars/plast...-resistant-polyethylene-hdpe-sheets-and-bars/

Next up, a post asking about ski center for tele but I will welcome alpine comments on how changes influence race ski performance. Already found some inspirational peer reviewed research...
 
Last edited:

mdf

entering the Big Couloir
Skier
Team Gathermeister
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
6,069
Location
Boston Suburbs
i had a pair of skis I bought used that had "lifters." When I had the binding check, the ski shop informed me that the lifters were actually a block of plastic. Suprised, but it worked fine.
 

slidingmike

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Posts
20
Location
Lake Tahoe
@Paul Lutes yes, the Meidjo has tech toe release modes, duckbutt lateral twist release modes (with a cool spring-driven arms grabbing the duckbutt), and your normal twisting release (sometimes resulting in failure of the underfoot cartridge).

@breck are you making tele turns, or parallel turns in these races? Either way, great job fighting the good fight. I assume you're skiing the Meidjos with leashes instead of brakes, since tele brakes tend to cause early boot-out since they can't retract. Please post some pics when you get your risers sorted!
 

Brian Finch

PT, CSCS, FRCms, FRSC, Ready State L2 Coach
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
2,500
Location
Vermont
There is a tendency to some binary thinking to lifters as either good or bad. I think a better way to conceptualize this is that it allows you to bias what part of the turn you are looking to accentuate and control stance.

• are you booting out? Add some lift.

• is your transition fast as lightning and it doesn’t matter that you were laying them over further? I had some lift.

• is your transition slower than death? Less lift!

• do you feel unbalanced on the ski? Level out your boots! (best use of lifters) Most of my FIS kids are flat for SL & +2mm on the heel for GS

• is initiation a priority or a struggle? Gas pedal or lift under the toe.

• Do you struggle with the Apex & completion and desire a little bit more power towards the end of your turn? Lift ur heels.

:)
 
Top