Is your equipment helping or hindering your Fore/Aft balance?

oldschoolskier

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Just a note on skiing issues with equipment thrown in. It always always comes down to primarily boot fitment (arguments) discussions, in some cases extremely helpful in others very bitter and nasty.

Seriously, discussions can be extremely helpful as those lurking background or participating in the discussions, learn something from the vast knowledge our members share. Stop turning these threads into oneupmanship formats for the benefit for all, we all know who really knows the ropes.
 

MissySki

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I applaud shops that have the courage not to have boots on display, it takes much of the confusion out of the fit process because it avoids 90% of the "Well, what about that one?

Yeah, my fitter doesn’t have boots on display. I actually find this helpful in not overthinking things myself, which I tend to do. I was just there last month to get new boots, and while I did try on a few boots the one that I went with was the one he had in mind for me before I even got there. Trying it on and comparing to a few others confirmed for him (and me) that it was my best option for a starting point.
 

Mike King

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Bud/Phil/Other boot fitters, did you listen to the Amsburry interview? I found the discussion of the stretch reflex, ramp angle, and forward lean to be very interesting -- it's about an hour into the podcast. What are your thoughts?

Mike
 

Seldomski

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Jim Lindsay did an indoor and on-snow clinic (2 parts) at PSIA’s national event some years ago and I attended. That was probably one of the best clinics I’ve seen on alignment. The on-snow portion consisted of us putting duct tape in different numbers of layers on either the inside or outside heel of our boots so we could feel how alignment differences affected our skiing.

There was one instructor there who was so good at compensating that no matter what Jim did to his boots, the guy was able to ski well with no visible change.

I have had some instructors that go either way on equipment. The first line they take is that complaints about equipment are usually just an excuse and not the reason for skiing poorly. Basically an ego thing - "it's not that I am bad at skiing, its the skis/boots that are bad." I had one instructor go so far as to clip one ski on backwards to prove it didn't matter if you had the skills. He said he used to swap skis with students (if the bindings allowed it) to prove this point as well - though he had to stop doing this because liability, etc.

But, depending on the student, he also accepted that complaints can be legitimate. The same instructor did later stuff maps into boots or under the toe/heel to help with certain types of complaints. I had some demo skis where it felt like I just couldn't get forward enough. Some trail maps under the heel made the ski feel better.
 

elemmac

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There was one instructor there who was so good at compensating that no matter what Jim did to his boots, the guy was able to ski well with no visible change.
I have had some instructors that go either way on equipment. The first line they take is that complaints about equipment are usually just an excuse and not the reason for skiing poorly. Basically an ego thing - "it's not that I am bad at skiing, its the skis/boots that are bad." I had one instructor go so far as to clip one ski on backwards to prove it didn't matter if you had the skills. He said he used to swap skis with students (if the bindings allowed it) to prove this point as well - though he had to stop doing this because liability, etc.
Food for thought...I have to wonder, what is the difference between someone like the people described here (in both quotes) that can easily compensate for these minor differences and someone that can't?

General body-awareness and athleticism? Are they just a "better" skier? Do they just happen to have the "average" body dimensions that are used when designing most equipment?

These are somewhat rhetorical questions, but I do wonder what makes it so easy for some people and so hard for others.
 

Tony S

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Food for thought...I have to wonder, what is the difference between someone like the people described here (in both quotes) that can easily compensate for these minor differences and someone that can't?

General body-awareness and athleticism? Are they just a "better" skier? Do they just happen to have the "average" body dimensions that are used when designing most equipment?

These are somewhat rhetorical questions, but I do wonder what makes it so easy for some people and so hard for others.
WRT switching skis: Once your body and mind know what "it" feels like, it's relatively easy to reproduce 90% of "it" even under sub optimal conditions.

However, REproducing something under suboptimal conditions is not at all the same as producing it for the first time under those conditions. So kind of a pointless demonstration in my view. Obnoxious, even.

WRT switching boots: Beats me. Last season when I headed downhill in new touring boots - fine going up - I Immediately got knocked back about three levels. Could not buy a turn. :huh:
 

elemmac

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WRT switching boots: Beats me. Last season when I headed downhill in new touring boots - fine going up - I Immediately got knocked back about three levels. Could not buy a turn. :huh:
Had you skied the bindings previously? I feel like I've had some sort of delta issue with just about every touring binding I've ever been on. In previous research on the matter, I found the general consensus is that most pin bindings are notoriously high heeled.
 

Tony S

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Had you skied the bindings previously? I feel like I've had some sort of delta issue with just about every touring binding I've ever been on. In previous research on the matter, I found the general consensus is that most pin bindings are notoriously high heeled.
That could definitely be part of it but it's mostly the angles and fit. Way more upright, for starters. Felt like I was trying to ski in two capital "L"s stolen from a Sesame Street set.
 

AmyPJ

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Food for thought...I have to wonder, what is the difference between someone like the people described here (in both quotes) that can easily compensate for these minor differences and someone that can't?

General body-awareness and athleticism? Are they just a "better" skier? Do they just happen to have the "average" body dimensions that are used when designing most equipment?

These are somewhat rhetorical questions, but I do wonder what makes it so easy for some people and so hard for others.
This describes my husband and me perfectly. He buys new boots typically every two seasons, does some punches, and skis them and says, "what a great boot!" He buys a new bike, sets it up to factory recommended settings, rides it and says, "what a great bike!" Me, on the other hand...

He has feet that I think boot molds were crafted around in a size 27.5, which is close enough to the norm of 26.5 that any ramp angle differences are minimal. He is a size L in clothes, pants and shirts, and rarely has something too long or too short. He's also just less sensitive to his environment in general.

I don't think it's body awareness or athleticism at least in our case. I'm equally as athletic (ask anyone who has biked with me--I'm not a maniac who does crazy stuff, but I can get after it.) I exercise more often than he does. The fear factor absolutely hinders me more than him. But I am definitely more aware of minute changes in ski setup, boot setup, bike setup, etc. It definitely begs the question of whether I am because the sizes are designed for someone who is 5'10" and weights 175 pounds and I am not that person?
 

Wendy

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This describes my husband and me perfectly. He buys new boots typically every two seasons, does some punches, and skis them and says, "what a great boot!" He buys a new bike, sets it up to factory recommended settings, rides it and says, "what a great bike!" Me, on the other hand...

He has feet that I think boot molds were crafted around in a size 27.5, which is close enough to the norm of 26.5 that any ramp angle differences are minimal. He is a size L in clothes, pants and shirts, and rarely has something too long or too short. He's also just less sensitive to his environment in general.

I don't think it's body awareness or athleticism at least in our case. I'm equally as athletic (ask anyone who has biked with me--I'm not a maniac who does crazy stuff, but I can get after it.) I exercise more often than he does. The fear factor absolutely hinders me more than him. But I am definitely more aware of minute changes in ski setup, boot setup, bike setup, etc. It definitely begs the question of whether I am because the sizes are designed for someone who is 5'10" and weights 175 pounds and I am not that person?
It could be that you have very good body awareness; so much so, that’s you’re sensitive to small changes in your environment. That describes me pretty well. I’m a good (or was) a good tennis player, I’ve always been athletic but alpine skiing is difficult for me, particularly the boot setup. One of the motivating factors of taking up tele is that the boots, since they have a bellows in the toe, allow for so much more movement and therefore it’s easier for me to balance. I think having the foot fairly static, without being able to flex it as in walking, really can throw off balance if there are any alignment issues.

(When I switch from my fat bike, to my mountain bike, I immediately notice the difference in the Q angle when pedaling. And when I switch from my mountain bike to road bike, I notice it again. I’ve always been very sensitive to changes in bike position. So like you, I just can’t jump on any bike or in any boot and take off).

Just a guess, but after pondering this over the years, it makes the most sense to me.
 

Wendy

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Yeah, my fitter doesn’t have boots on display. I actually find this helpful in not overthinking things myself, which I tend to do. I was just there last month to get new boots, and while I did try on a few boots the one that I went with was the one he had in mind for me before I even got there. Trying it on and comparing to a few others confirmed for him (and me) that it was my best option for a starting point.
Very, very wise idea!
My bootfitter is a pedorthist. He doesn’t sell boots himself. So, on an appointment, he does an evaluation, then recommends 2-3 boots. The customer orders the boots from somewhere where they can be returned and brings them in to the next appointment. It’s not as streamlined, but it works.
 

Mike King

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See below

Food for thought...I have to wonder, what is the difference between someone like the people described here (in both quotes) that can easily compensate for these minor differences and someone that can't?
@tomgellie, in his interview with Brent Amsburry (see upthread), posits that some of it is likely due to anatomical differences. For example, his business partner, Sam Robertson (a former World Championship ski racer) thought that equipment alignment issues were a red herring and that it was simply an issue of technique. Sam has a perfectly straight lower leg. Tom is bowlegged, and when he finally was put in a boot that was aligned, it opened the door to achieving much better skiing, like making the Australian demo team.
General body-awareness and athleticism? Are they just a "better" skier? Do they just happen to have the "average" body dimensions that are used when designing most equipment?
Jim Lindsay told me that most World Cup ski racers have neutral (as opposed to pronated or supinated) feet.
These are somewhat rhetorical questions, but I do wonder what makes it so easy for some people and so hard for others.
Anatomy is certainly an issue. I highly recommend the podcast above...

Mike
 

Disinterested

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@tomgellie, in his interview with Brent Amsburry (see upthread), posits that some of it is likely due to anatomical differences. For example, his business partner, Sam Robertson (a former World Championship ski racer) thought that equipment alignment issues were a red herring and that it was simply an issue of technique. Sam has a perfectly straight lower leg. Tom is bowlegged, and when he finally was put in a boot that was aligned, it opened the door to achieving much better skiing, like making the Australian demo team.

I know a different Austrialian D-teamer of a similar-ish generation who is bow legged. He told me something funny: he made the team with a lot of boot correction and the team made him take it out because they felt it altered the appearance of his skiing too much. So he just went about his business skiing at the d-team level with, in his mind, two different sets of sensations mapped out for what his skiing should feel like when it's good, depending on the setups. In one, parallel skiing felt like wedging.
 

Wendy

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@tomgellie, in his interview with Brent Amsburry (see upthread), posits that some of it is likely due to anatomical differences. For example, his business partner, Sam Robertson (a former World Championship ski racer) thought that equipment alignment issues were a red herring and that it was simply an issue of technique. Sam has a perfectly straight lower leg. Tom is bowlegged, and when he finally was put in a boot that was aligned, it opened the door to achieving much better skiing, like making the Australian demo team.

Jim Lindsay told me that most World Cup ski racers have neutral (as opposed to pronated or supinated) feet.

Anatomy is certainly an issue. I highly recommend the podcast above...

Mike
Totally agree.

Does anyone remember SkiSailor? She was a member here; became an instructor at Big Sky and progressed rapidly to Level 3. I used to ski with her when she lived on the east coast. She had a perfectly straight lower leg, no alignment issues whatsoever. It was very easy for her to keep a flat ski; she could do high level drills early on with ease. We had long talks about how alignment affects that ease of doing. I like to think I was a good example for her of how pronation can have adverse affects on skiing.ogsmile
 

pliny the elder

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Jim Lindsay told me that most World Cup ski racers have neutral (as opposed to pronated or supinated) feet.


Mike
Actually, no he didn't.


I see the names of a lot of prominent boot fitters in this thread, and with the exception of Bud who started it, none of them are responding.

This is why.

the artist/scientist formerly known as pliny the elder
 

Philpug

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