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2012 Fischer Vacuum Ski Boot: A Game Changer - Page 2

post #31 of 1290
Wonder if it will be available to us peeps the other side of the pond......may give it a while to be tested a bit first though
post #32 of 1290

I am stolked. Time to get ride of my atomic semi-race plugs. This sounds like the answer! I am sure some bootfitters are shivering, there goes all possibility of return income for boot fitting. I'm all up for this. 

post #33 of 1290

I already bookmarked the page from Skiing Business excitedly. This could really be a solution for my hard to fit feet. (The Lange RX also looks interesting.)

 

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by nolo View Post

The boot will be available in 15 ski shops next year at major resorts like Jackson Hole, Vail, and Park City. Check the company website for more information on those outlets.

 

I don't think I suck at teh interwebs, but I can' for the life of me find this info on the Fischer website.  Help?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post

The only obvious drawback is that the end result is only going to be as good as the fitter who guides the process(or screws it up.)

 

You mean, like everything else about bootfitting?

post #34 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoal007 View Post

I am stolked. Time to get ride of my atomic semi-race plugs. This sounds like the answer! I am sure some bootfitters are shivering, there goes all possibility of return income for boot fitting. I'm all up for this. 



Probably not. All the attendees were top level bootfitters and they are all for it. The reason I think is twofold. One......the income from the higher priced boots will offset lost income from follow up fitting charges (which are mostly free anyway). Two........many established bootfitters are so busy doing fixit work that we run the risk of not being able to service the customer that comes in (without appointment) wanting to buy something. The time saved is worth more than the income lost.

 

I'm sure there will be growing pains.

 

SJ

Reply
post #35 of 1290

The VC Pro's look a lot like the RC4's
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiogoingwest View Post

Do these boots come in the normal fischer race boot?
post #36 of 1290

Are these named after a tennis racquet?  I just googled "Fischer Vacuum" and pretty much everything was about tennis.

post #37 of 1290

With being a 2012 product, it is not surprising that there is minimal public information out there. Fischer reps were pretty much mum with us up to the show.

post #38 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

With being a 2012 product, it is not surprising that there is minimal public information out there. Fischer reps were pretty much mum with us up to the show.


 

Probably hoping to get 2-3 seasons of product out before someone else has a comparable technology. I wonder what their IP strategy is on this one. Lawsuits being unusual in the industry and all.

post #39 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceDude View Post

The VC Pro's look a lot like the RC4's


It is ;) Most of WC guys are on this boots since Zagreb races. These are boots of Julien Cousineau from Zagreb SL race (6th of Jan. 2011). I know all this might not mean much, and they can be just repainted old style boots, but on the other side, Palander still had old boots in Zagreb, while in Schladming, he was with these ones already. So maybe it's not just paint job ;)

 

spo_skiing_20110106nw_12765.jpg

post #40 of 1290

I've been preoccupied thinking about this development and called a few friends in plastics molding and the testing industry. 

 

First...... the plastic's properties are really important. I'm thinking back to the unstable decorative (not structural) plastics used by manufactures in ski boots a short time ago.

Deviation away to another plastic (if at all ????? And not just a diversion to throw off the competition)  from what is normally used should make a person question it's reliability in this usage.

Did Fischer devote enough time to R&D ? That hasn't always been the track record with everyone in the ski industry historically.

 

Second....... the field use of this "system" could easily make it fail. It's going to take the right shops and right people......

 

If it does fail. Others will be reluctant to go down this road in the near future. Which means we'll be stuck where we are in the boot fitting game.

 

I hope this vacuum system actually works repeatedly. This area is the most time consuming area that I can think of in ski sales and service. It is THE building block step and will make or brake a customer's day on the slopes. I somehow think we should be well beyond the point were at right now. This could be the system to move us on.

post #41 of 1290

It will be interesting to see how these play out once a sizable number of people are skiing on them.  Similar to what Bob Barnes alluded to, it may turn out that a uniformly close fit is only what people think they want, as they would find out once they have it.  If so, the personal touch will need to come back to artistically place spacers before molding.  At the very least, I expect some of the "hard to fits" need reduced pressure at some odd anatomical points.

post #42 of 1290

The key for any automated system is maintenance.  It will probably work great and be relatively idiot proof when new.  The problem is a few years down the road when some some of the temperature or pressure sensors go out of calibration, or the lean-bar get bent, or the ski boot track gets chewing gum stuck in it...

If this system does catch on, there will soon be more operators who know and care less than the dedicated few who are the first to get one.

post #43 of 1290

Will this fit system address any cant issues? Yeserday I spent about 90 min. with Cantman (Billy Kaplan) but the procedures for the Vacuum don't seem to be what he was doing.

post #44 of 1290

Quote from the article:

 

"The technician sets the stance width for the bindings to the skier's hip width so later, when the skier is back on skis, he or she will be standing on a perfectly flat ski when straight running."

 

Do not confuse shaft alignment with boot sole alignment (sole planing or sole height/differential).  Although the technician sets the shaft alignment angle, this surely does NOT ensure the skier will be standing on a "perfectly flat ski".

 

This system is NOT a cure all for alignment needs.  It does not offer much more than what we are currently doing from an alignment standpoint.

 

The "Vacuum"moniker is a misnomer. No vacuum pressure is being used in the clients forming process.  Maybe the vacuum process happens at the manufacturing level, but positive pressure is being used in the "air bags" to create  pressure against the outer shell and force the shell against the liner and foot. 

 

I do like the usage of a low temperature moldable plastic.  In the shop, I immerse shells in 200˚ water to get the shell wrap correct.  Also, while heating the shells, liners are also heated.

When the shells/liners are "ready", they are placed back on the clients foot and "heat" molded to get the fine tuned fit and create a lock between the liner and shell.

post #45 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantman View Post

 In the shop, I immerse shells in 200˚ water to get the shell wrap correct.  Also, while heating the shells, liners are also heated.

When the shells/liners are "ready", they are placed back on the clients foot and "heat" molded to get the fine tuned fit and create a lock between the liner and shell.

When I first read about this, I was wondering how different it would be from what you do.  By the way, my boots are doing great.

 

post #46 of 1290

Sounds like a good idea and I'm sure they'll be great since I just bought a pair of Fischer boots 2 weeks ago!  Still, game change may be a bit much.  Maybe for some people.  I always hear stories of people spending 3 hours with a bootfitter on some adjustment and then going back multiple times.  I'm in and out in 30 minutes tops.  Fischer - yeah, fits like a glove.  Lange - yeah, fits like a glove even just a little more (went with Fischer as I wanted a slightly softer flex than the Lange 130 blue boots).  Hiking boots, on the other hand, can takes weeks of searching.

post #47 of 1290

Salomon already has a similar technology out, though w/o the whole "vacuum" aspect http://www.skinet.com/ski/gear/2009/10/salomons-custom-fit-technology
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skimalibu View Post

I've been preoccupied thinking about this development and called a few friends in plastics molding and the testing industry. 

 

First...... the plastic's properties are really important. I'm thinking back to the unstable decorative (not structural) plastics used by manufactures in ski boots a short time ago.

Deviation away to another plastic (if at all ????? And not just a diversion to throw off the competition)  from what is normally used should make a person question it's reliability in this usage.

Did Fischer devote enough time to R&D ? That hasn't always been the track record with everyone in the ski industry historically.

 

Second....... the field use of this "system" could easily make it fail. It's going to take the right shops and right people......

 

If it does fail. Others will be reluctant to go down this road in the near future. Which means we'll be stuck where we are in the boot fitting game.

 

I hope this vacuum system actually works repeatedly. This area is the most time consuming area that I can think of in ski sales and service. It is THE building block step and will make or brake a customer's day on the slopes. I somehow think we should be well beyond the point were at right now. This could be the system to move us on.


We had a few of them in our shop at the beginning of the season; they sold pretty well.  Sadly I didn't get to see them in action because the owners decided to put the oven thing in out other store.  I did hear some really good things about them though.

post #48 of 1290

Sounds like Fischer is moving up in the boot world. I've tried a number of boots and had a significant amount of boot-work on other boots but found the stock Fischer SOMA concept the overall best approach for my stance. They probably will not get it exactly right the first year but it sounds to me like this could be standard procedure in the industry in a few years if it works. You can be sure that a small boot company like Fischer does not have a lock on worldwide plastic technology. If they are able to make it work and generate interest it will probably start a new round of innovation in the boot industry. Just think how radical it would be if rental shops could mold you a set of boots to your foot in  10 -15 minutes! How many more people would take up the sport if they started out in a pair of properly fitted boots?

post #49 of 1290

A little more clarification and some feedback:

 

Fischer is small in boot sales but is a big company with tremendous experience in composite & plastics technology outside of the ski world. They have the resources.

 

This boot does not replace sole planing but may well minimize it to some degree and eliminate the need for some skiers.

 

The Salomon Custom Shell is somewhat similar in concept but does not form nearly as extensively and has no capacity to tighten up in some areas but to expand in others (and all at the same time)

 

The other Jim skied in his new Vac 130 WC today @ Winter Park. All day fit, no problems, great feel skiing and he could feel his feet at the end of the day. His fit took 30mins. OTH, his personal boots (Dobie WC 150) take many hours of fitting, and his feet still feel pretty rough at EOD.

 

We are coming to the conclusion that this is the real deal folks.

 

SJ

Reply
post #50 of 1290

+ a couple of things to sierrajim's comments.

 

fischer has developed the plastics with a major supplier. they have also entered into an agreement for long term exclusivity.

 

total time invested in the concept about 5 years. some of that spent on the materials, some of it spent on the method and the vacuum device.

 

why is this concept so special?

 

for the first time in the history of ski boot production, a retail shop can completely customize the shell shape, forward lean, cuff alignment, and sole canting in 30 minutes start to finish. most importantly is that it works, and that it is amazingly close to idiot proof. there has been foam injected, silicone injected, hot wax injected, poured 2 part foam, cork/oil flow, all forms of heat moldable eva foam, etc, etc, etc. in all cases, all of that stuff has fallen short of consumer expectations. this new process is going to finally work like none of these other concepts have.

 

sierrajim's comments are spot on. he watched the entire indoor process while i got my fischer soma vacuum pro 130 fit. this one is a 95mm lasted race model.

 

my foot is about 100 mm wide at the forefoot, medium girth, with a selection of bone spurs and bumps developed over the past 49 years of my life.

after getting the boot done by 2 of fischers finest, i skied pain free, and in perfect balance, my first day out on these boots. i can say without fear of contradiction, that has never taken place in my life.

 

this morning when i got up to winter park, i had to try these boots. because i was scheduled to test skis for the day, i brought up my trusty dobe's just in case either the fit or the stance set-up did not work in the fischer. if things did not feel stellar, i would switch to my old boots so i could complete the testing. from the first run everything was perfect. i tested skis all day until they shut down the lift. i have never been able to have this kind of instant result with any other boot in all the years i have done as a boot tester. most importantly as i sit here typing, my feet feel great.

 

at some point we will post the video of the process taking place at the s.i.a. show in denver.

 

jim

Reply
post #51 of 1290

One of the reasons that most ski shops don't sell two part foam injected liner ski boots anymore is because after the sale is made the shop then spends half to three quarters of an hour with the customer doing the injection without making any money. I see the same problem with these new boots. The only way they will be profitable for ski shops is if they are very epensive and have a large markup for the ski shop. IMO these new boots will most likely be suitable for skiers with difficult to fit problem feet.

 

BTW the best fiting, longest lasting boots I have ever owned have been the two part foam injection boots, one from Dachstein and the other from Technica. I wish I could get another pair.

post #52 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

We are coming to the conclusion that this is the real deal folks.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post

after getting the boot done by 2 of fischers finest, i skied pain free, and in perfect balance, my first day out on these boots. i can say without fear of contradiction, that has never taken place in my life.


So... does that mean that you guys are on board?  In which case, I volunteer to be a guinea pig as soon as the stuff comes in.

 

(Oh -- and will I be able to use my Zipfits?)

post #53 of 1290

This thing might be a money printing machine.

post #54 of 1290


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post

-

It is ;) Most of WC guys are on this boots since Zagreb races. These are boots of Julien Cousineau from Zagreb SL race (6th of Jan. 2011). I know all this might not mean much, and they can be just repainted old style boots, but on the other side, Palander still had old boots in Zagreb, while in Schladming, he was with these ones already. So maybe it's not just paint job ;)

 

spo_skiing_20110106nw_12765.jpg

 


Primoz, i know it is your profession but still got to hand it to you for the quality of this photo.  To get close up detail quality like that during a slalom run is superb! icon14.gif

 

post #55 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post

+ a couple of things to sierrajim's comments.

 

fischer has developed the plastics with a major supplier. they have also entered into an agreement for long term exclusivity.

 

total time invested in the concept about 5 years. some of that spent on the materials, some of it spent on the method and the vacuum device.

 

why is this concept so special?

 

for the first time in the history of ski boot production, a retail shop can completely customize the shell shape, forward lean, cuff alignment, and sole canting in 30 minutes start to finish. most importantly is that it works, and that it is amazingly close to idiot proof. there has been foam injected, silicone injected, hot wax injected, poured 2 part foam, cork/oil flow, all forms of heat moldable eva foam, etc, etc, etc. in all cases, all of that stuff has fallen short of consumer expectations. this new process is going to finally work like none of these other concepts have.

 

sierrajim's comments are spot on. he watched the entire indoor process while i got my fischer soma vacuum pro 130 fit. this one is a 95mm lasted race model.

 

my foot is about 100 mm wide at the forefoot, medium girth, with a selection of bone spurs and bumps developed over the past 49 years of my life.

after getting the boot done by 2 of fischers finest, i skied pain free, and in perfect balance, my first day out on these boots. i can say without fear of contradiction, that has never taken place in my life.

 

this morning when i got up to winter park, i had to try these boots. because i was scheduled to test skis for the day, i brought up my trusty dobe's just in case either the fit or the stance set-up did not work in the fischer. if things did not feel stellar, i would switch to my old boots so i could complete the testing. from the first run everything was perfect. i tested skis all day until they shut down the lift. i have never been able to have this kind of instant result with any other boot in all the years i have done as a boot tester. most importantly as i sit here typing, my feet feel great.

 

at some point we will post the video of the process taking place at the s.i.a. show in denver.

 

jim



     Yeah a video would be helpful and a great tool!   

post #56 of 1290


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

A little more clarification and some feedback:

 

Fischer is small in boot sales but is a big company with tremendous experience in composite & plastics technology outside of the ski world. They have the resources.

 

This boot does not replace sole planing but may well minimize it to some degree and eliminate the need for some skiers.

 

The Salomon Custom Shell is somewhat similar in concept but does not form nearly as extensively and has no capacity to tighten up in some areas but to expand in others (and all at the same time)

 

The other Jim skied in his new Vac 130 WC today @ Winter Park. All day fit, no problems, great feel skiing and he could feel his feet at the end of the day. His fit took 30mins. OTH, his personal boots (Dobie WC 150) take many hours of fitting, and his feet still feel pretty rough at EOD.

 

We are coming to the conclusion that this is the real deal folks.

 

SJ



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post

+ a couple of things to sierrajim's comments.

 

fischer has developed the plastics with a major supplier. they have also entered into an agreement for long term exclusivity.

 

total time invested in the concept about 5 years. some of that spent on the materials, some of it spent on the method and the vacuum device.

 

why is this concept so special?

 

for the first time in the history of ski boot production, a retail shop can completely customize the shell shape, forward lean, cuff alignment, and sole canting in 30 minutes start to finish. most importantly is that it works, and that it is amazingly close to idiot proof. there has been foam injected, silicone injected, hot wax injected, poured 2 part foam, cork/oil flow, all forms of heat moldable eva foam, etc, etc, etc. in all cases, all of that stuff has fallen short of consumer expectations. this new process is going to finally work like none of these other concepts have.

 

sierrajim's comments are spot on. he watched the entire indoor process while i got my fischer soma vacuum pro 130 fit. this one is a 95mm lasted race model.

 

my foot is about 100 mm wide at the forefoot, medium girth, with a selection of bone spurs and bumps developed over the past 49 years of my life.

after getting the boot done by 2 of fischers finest, i skied pain free, and in perfect balance, my first day out on these boots. i can say without fear of contradiction, that has never taken place in my life.

 

this morning when i got up to winter park, i had to try these boots. because i was scheduled to test skis for the day, i brought up my trusty dobe's just in case either the fit or the stance set-up did not work in the fischer. if things did not feel stellar, i would switch to my old boots so i could complete the testing. from the first run everything was perfect. i tested skis all day until they shut down the lift. i have never been able to have this kind of instant result with any other boot in all the years i have done as a boot tester. most importantly as i sit here typing, my feet feel great.

 

at some point we will post the video of the process taking place at the s.i.a. show in denver.

 

jim


Jim & Jim, great update.  I assume you are going to be carrying them?    Does the 150 continue the abducted stance approach of the aggressor and the the current RC race?  

post #57 of 1290

We are fully on board. I forgot to axe if all the boots are Soma-Tec.

 

SJ

Reply
post #58 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

We are fully on board. I forgot to axe if all the boots are Soma-Tec.

 

SJ


So when will you have the equipment and a 28.5 130 flex in shop?  You know, so I can book an appointment now.  ;-)

 

 

And to quote Fischer's site:

 

Quote:
In their natural, relaxed position, your feet form a V shape. In this position the knees remain parallel when bent. Fischer took these anatomic facts into account during the development of the Soma-Tec ski boot and perfected the result. All ski boot models now retain the natural V-position while the skis are parallel. Neither the feet nor the knees are rotated inwards. Less force is needed and edge switching is more dynamic. As confirmed by our World Cup skiers.

 

So obviously, I'm just guessing, but I'd expect them to be Soma-Tec.

post #59 of 1290

I am wondering just how well these boots set, and if they will gradually creep back to their native form more so if you tend to store your boots in a warm place as most of us do.   

post #60 of 1290

Thanks to Nolo & the Jims for the intel & testing feedback!

My AA width, ultra-flat, pronated feet, & myriad bony protrusions are singing the Hallelujah Chorus at the prospect of an out-the-door fit like Jim describes!

I'm on my second season in a set of Salomon Falcon CS Pros, and even after orthotic work & a bootsole grind, my excellent fitter has had to make a half-dozen tweaks including a shell grind just this week to accomodate a sore medial malleolus.

Bootfitting will always be a "work in progress," but man it would be nice if we could get 99% of the fit right in the first 1/2 hour in the shop!

 

For those already grousing about the potential cost of Fischer's fitting system being rolled into the boot purchase price : pick your poison. I got my boots on a sweet closeout deal, but I've since doubled my investment with all the fitting work I've needed.

Give me the option of paying up front, and reclaiming 10+ hrs of fitting & driving time from the gun, & I'll sign on the dotted line the day my Solomons give up the ghost!

 

As for the discussion on just how revolutionary / game changing / risky Fischer's new technology may be, those involved in sports like inline skating know that skate manufacturers have been using heat & pressure to mold the entire shell/liner system to an athlete's foot for over a decade now.  Cycling shoe manufacturers have also been getting on the bandwagon in the last 3-4 years as well.

Bottom line, Fischer's shell-molding-concept is not revolutionary at all, but it's application in the ski industry definitely opens new horizons.

 

Obviously a ski boot poses a different challenge in that:

1) they're using more conventional plastics rather than carbon fiber composites (which are already designed to be "baked" as part of the manufacturing process)

and

2) you're dealing with far more material, since each bootshell section consists of 2-6mm of solid plastic, plus additional flex & articulation issues.

 

This leads to the one area of skepticism in my mind surrounding the ankle area of the boot.

Here you're dealing with two overlapping sections of shell, with combined thicknesses of over 10mm (excluding the liner), plus rivets at the ankle joint, which is in turn flanked by buckle hardware.

Assuming a constant pressure in the air bladder around the shell, won't these thickest areas of shell & metal around the most problematic bony protrusions of the foot be most resistant to shaping?

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