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Heel Lift For Women

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I was in a ski shop today discussing a heel lift for my wife - a level 1 instructor- in order to get her "more forward".  He did a demonstration with my wife and my 14 year old daughter -J3 racer- how if he raises their heel and they flex forward, their butt will compensate by dropping back and outside of the invisible line above theri ankle.  He then put a lift under their front toes and when they flexed forward, and their hip remained aligned with their ankle.  A race coach noted that if you put the heel lift in, you create a gap at the back of the boot that needs to be filled between the shell and the liner.  I have spoken with two boot fitters and one race coach and have three different approaches/ideas.  I would like to break the "tie" and find the best method for offsetting women's natural back-seat tendency. 



post #2 of 8

women's natural back-seat tendency.??????


the human race has a natural back seat tendency while sliding on snow. perhaps some of you ski instructors out here could shed some light on the physics of what happens to the center of mass when the skis slide on snow.


resolving the issue is what boot balancing is all about, and each individuals set-up is solving a puzzle of multiple factors, regardless of skeletal shape, flexibility, age, sex, strength, motor skills, etc....


so....the short answer is that your dilemma should remain a tie, like a bizillion different shape and style tie. so that what happens to every skiers stance to allow them to re-center their hips over their feet every time they finish a turn, is an individual formula that owns no one size fits all solution. the boot manufacturers present a perfect starting point to the market even though there is no common stance by brand, size, or model. the reason i say that it is perfect, is because you must have a starting point to find home base.


where i am coming from is that your ski shop discussion gave you scenarios that are both correct and incorrect at the same time depending on which skier you apply them to. the skill lies in being able to either have a methodology to help steer you into which direction you go with each individual based on a physical assessment from which you gain clues, or to simply go out on the hill and test balance directions until the correct combo is discovered.


or you could do nothing and continue to perpetrate the myth that all women have fat asses and therefore cannot get them up and centered over their feet while skiing.



post #3 of 8

why not try it and see if it works for her,  Under $5 in parts, and removeable if she doesn;t like it.


but Jims answer is all the details why.

post #4 of 8

I agree with all here.


Women and heel lifts are like when chocolate met peanutbutter. I will break the tie. Just do it!

post #5 of 8

Heel lifts to help a skier move forward sometimes work.  But it depends on the reason they don't stay forward.


Jim is correct that in skiing people often don't stay forward and installing heel lifts has been the no-thought, no understanding of biomechanics solution for a long time.


If your wife has very little ankle flexion they will probably help.  But too much heel lift puts many skiers in the back seat.


Boots already have heel lift as do most bindings.




post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

She skis Nordica Sport Machines (65 flex).  I pulled the liner and the boot board out.  The boot board is slanted to the front so the heel is already raised. 

post #7 of 8

There are no flat boots.

post #8 of 8

Coming from the instructional POV, her problem may not even be her boots?  It may simply be psychological intent.  If she is fearful or defensive her intent may be to "NOT go there" and she views turning as a means to slow down or NOT GO there.  Until she can change her intent to GO and her reason for turning to controlling her line to control her descent, she may exhibit back seat skiing.  Get her to think about skiing a slow enough path or line to control her descent yet ski around that line as fast as she can (ski the slow line fast).  


Intent dictates technique

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