At ESA Stowe this December my coach, Sue Kramer, saw that, among all my other problems, I had my knees too close together, sort of knock-kneed, and wasn't edging the uphill ski as much as the downhill. I've been trying to drive that uphill knee out of the way but I'm wondering if this is an alignment-cant issue. I just noticed that I'm about half an hour away from Cantman (Bill Kaplan) and thinking about an appointment. Posting this in bootfitting too.
Matching edge angles
- 2,694 Posts. Joined 9/2003
- Location: McMurray,Pa.
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I would suspect it is and its easy to fix with Cantman and well worth it. I have a customer that spend the winter in Utah and called yesterday about a sales opportunity and was all excited about the cant work he just got done on his new boots. He as 3 degrees out on his worst leg.
Anyway he said he could never make tight trurns before and know he's making them effortlessly. Maybe you aren't as severe a case. I'm about 1 degree in (knock kneed). I've my last two pairs of boots canted (just needed to put 1 degree wedges screwed into the boot soles ; heels and toes, and I can tell the difference .
IMHO its some of the best money you can spend regarding the utility you will get out of it.
I am a knock-kneed skier as well. When the A-frame was in I was hot. Checking for cants both feet were 1 degree in. Not enough to have to do anything about and easily taken care of at the boot cuff---and even with cants still knock-kneed when skiing. I have duck feet. Yes I have a wide forefoot and skinny ankle. More to the point my feet point out when standing comfortably. As a result when I flex forward at the ankles in most ski boots my knees move in, thus knocking knees. Then I started skiing in Fischer soma tech boots. Soma tech boots have the footbed turned out slightly, relative to the boots center line so now when I flex at the ankles my knees still track in toward my big toes but now that puts them right over the skis center, and no more knocking knees.
- 1,653 Posts. Joined 2/2005
- Location: Catskill Region of New York
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I have found that many people have canting issues and visiting a qualified boot fitter is worth the time, effort and money. Without properly alligned boots, it is difficult to balance on 2 edges, or to change both edges simultaniously from turn to turn. I also have found that many skiers meerly brace against the inside ski while turning and never balance on the outside edge of the inside ski. The position of the inside foot makes it imposible to balance on it. If a skier is bracing on the inside foot, the edge angle will always be less than the outside ski edge angle and the foot will be further ahead than is should be for balanced skiing.
Hopefully the canting will eleviate the problem, but if it still exists, a qualified instructor can help you get both skis working.
- 8,429 Posts. Joined 2/2003
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Glad to hear that the boot fitting has helped. It is one of the things I consistently recommend to my students who are trying to progress.
You can learn to ski without having both skis flat on the snow when you are in an athletic stance. It does cause some minor problems. But most beginners make such gross movements that those minor glitches don't get in the way. Thus most people can learn the basics of skiing using a rental boot and equipment. There are some extreme alignment cases that need a boot fitting just to be able to start out. However, those tend to be few and far between. (Having really bowed legs is one that comes to mind for a recommendation of an immediate boot fitting. You can't learn to ski if all you have in contact with the snow is your two outside edges.)
Once you get beyond the beginner stage fine motor movements are being developed. That is when differences in the "cant" angle the skis are in contact with the snow start to be noticed by the skier. It is also when those small differences start to adversely affect your learning and progress. (If the cant is off you can't ski.) A good boot fitting that includes canting helps by getting your skis flat on the snow when you are in a balanced athletic stance. It is one of the most important things you need to do if you are serious about improving your skiing beyond the intermediate stage.
From there it is up to you and your coach/instructor.
Dave, I have the same feet with a short big toe and a pronounced sixth toe, (and my actual little piggy is so short it's almost vestigial) and I toe out, too. Billy didn't think Fischer Somas would help with the degree of correction I need. Besides, I like my boots (Nordica Supercharger Enforcer) even tho Billy found the shell fit a little big. They feel pretty snug to me. They're 24.5, 285 BSL, and to go smaller I'd need a 23 shell and that's pretty hard to find and I don't think I could get them on.
Eric, Billy spent more than an hour flexing and poking my feet, watching me walk, shell-fitting my boots, and having me move around on his own special gadget that gets your spacing right and your boots facing in the correct direction. Basically it's rolling your knees, boots on, to see how parallel your shins stay and then trying different wedges under the boot bottom (gross simplification). When I did it with no correction I could feel a very clear lag between rising onto what would be an edge (knees to the right, right foot late and vice-versa). As he slipped wedges under, it lessened until it was finally gone. He thinks he'll do 2 right, two and a half left, by planing. And my left leg is a little shorter, and my dorsiflexion is a little limited, too.
And I have had Tom Kellogg fit me. I got myself a custom Ti as a retirement present 6 years ago. You show up with your current bike, if it's a reasonable fit, but for the first 20 minutes or so you just sit and talk -- what are most of your rides like, what will you use the new bike for, where does it hurt after 20 miles, after 40, after a century? Then your current ride goes up on the trainer and you pedal while Tom walks around and takes notes (and then adjusts the setup on your current bike) and then he measures you and puts you on a bike fitter and you pedal some more. Then the fun -- you pick a gruppo and paint job. I have to say the result is the best-looking Ti bike I've ever seen. Welds are completely invisible even where they're not painted over, and the ride is better. No pain after a century.
I'm glad you have found a boot fitter who has been able to help, and that you like your current boots. I did not have enough information to guess that the Fischer boots might help, I just wanted to get the information out there to let others know there can be another problem that needs to be checked out.
Unfortunately most of the reviews I've seen on the boots suggest that the only people who should even consider them are people with bowlegs. Every bootfitter I've spoken to has said they can make a better preforming boot for me out of (insert name of boot here) then those goofy things. Admittedly, they are not the best constructed boot/liner system out there, yet somehow none of these professionals has made a boot that preforms as well for me then the Fischers do right out of the box. I only know 2 other people in the Somas and they both love them, I have another friend who spends most of his free time racing and Laments that Nordica only offered the toe out boots one year because he felt they gave him a better feel/control of his edges then any boot he'd been in.
Sorry this is kind of long. I'm just frustrated that something that I feel could help a lot of people has been pushed aside without a proper trial based on the opinions of people who are busy trying to sell something else.
Got out on the snow Friday with the newly canted boots. BIG improvement! Much more confidence, especially when going a little faster and on what passes for steep at Blue Mtn, PA. My terminal stem is disappearing. Snow was firm and I was on my skinny skis (Fischer RX9) and I hope to get up to Elk later this week and see some softer snow. Will report, but I'm looking forward to the acid test at Wolf Creek and Taos end of Feb, early March. Any recs for instructors at either spot?