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Right ski "floats"

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I recently moved to Utah and became a renewed skier after a 15 year or so break...I have really enjoyed this website and all of the interesting threads, hoping I can get some custom insight for a problem I am having and apologize in advance if I don't get the lingo right.

I estimate I am skiing at about a level 4 skier.  I recently bought a pair of Volkl AC3 unlimited (170 cm), I am 5'10" / 190lbs and a pair of Tecnica Mega 10 ski boots.  My first day out I noticed a couple of problems:

 

1.  My right ski seems to float, slight left, slightly right when I am cruising at a high speed (for me) on a flat. 

2.  I can't turn left very well.  If I have to turn or stop, I am going right.  I have to really "think" about turning left, and if I don't and I am on a steep, chance are I am going down.

 

Seems to me like the 2 might be related but I am not sure what it is...Boot, mechanics, etc...

 

Thanks in advance for any insight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 20

Did ya get those boots on-line or from a local boot fitter?  First, i would have those boots checked out from a pro boot fitter (cant, fit etc.) 

Second, those AC3s I consider an advanced to expert ski.  Are they brand new or used?  If new, have they been de-tuned?  Technique is mandatory for this ski.

Perhaps taking a few hours private with an instructor to check out your set up and then give ya some driving lessons for those ACs.  Then go out and have fun!

 

BTW, welcome to Epicski!  Great info here on epic...I'm sure a few of the experts will give ya more detailed info!

post #3 of 20

A few questions:

 

Right or left handed?

When you say your right foot "floats" I assume that you mean it sort of wobbles around.  Correct?

Does this happen when you are traversing from right to left or only from left to right?  I think I know but want to be sure.

Ever had a fairly serious injury to your right leg?

Is your right leg shorter than your left?

Can you balance on just your right foot?

Is your right foot significantly smaller than your left foot?

Where did you buy your boots?

With those boots I'm assuming your feet are something like EE width, correct?

 

Answer those questions and we'll all be able to help you better.

 

 

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Cajun -

I bought the boots online.  The skis I bought new from a retailer ($325 for 2011 model), I realized they were probably more than I need, but it was a great price and I figured I could grow into them.    I haven't had them detuned, but plan on bringing them into a ski shop (Lifthouse in Salt Lake City) / boot fitter tomorrow.  I have had 3 lessons this year, unfortunately before I bought these skis.  Heading out for some fun Friday to Solitude and Sunday to Alta!

 

Mt,

 

Right or left handed? Right Handed

When you say your right foot "floats" I assume that you mean it sort of wobbles around.  Correct?

Kind of hard to describe what happens, but on a flat groomed run going in a straight line, the ski tip just seems to wander left then right.  The l

 

Does this happen when you are traversing from right to left or only from left to right?  I think I know but want to be sure. I only notice this when I am going straight on a flat surface.  Although it is very difficult for me to turn left.

 

Ever had a fairly serious injury to your right leg? No

Is your right leg shorter than your left? Don't think so...

Can you balance on just your right foot? Yes...

Is your right foot significantly smaller than your left foot? No, slightly larger.

Where did you buy your boots? Private party, like new.

With those boots I'm assuming your feet are something like EE width, correct? Yes

 

Answer those questions and we'll all be able to help you better.

 

post #5 of 20

If you bought the boots online, how did you determine they were the correct length?

post #6 of 20

 

Does buckling the right boot tighter marginally improve the feel?

post #7 of 20

 

Quote:

When you say your right foot "floats" I assume that you mean it sort of wobbles around.  Correct?

Kind of hard to describe what happens, but on a flat groomed run going in a straight line, the ski tip just seems to wander left then right.  The l

 

Does this happen when you are traversing from right to left or only from left to right?  I think I know but want to be sure. I only notice this when I am going straight on a flat surface.  Although it is very difficult for me to turn left.

I'm guessing there is at least some relation here, since to turn left you have to balance (more) against your right foot/ski.  If your right foot is unstable, that would be either difficult, unpleasant/scary, or both.

 

Usually when I see foot/ankle instability, it's because the boot doesn't fit well.  (You also get this a lot with total beginners who didn't buckle their boots properly, but you're probably beyond that point.  smile.gif)  If your ankle or foot has any room to slide around in there, the ski attached to that foot will be unstable.

 

I'd start by having the fit of the boots evaluated in person.  You should check the 'shell fit' -- take the liners out and stand in just the shells with your toes barely touching the front of the shell.  If there's more than maybe 3/4 of an inch of space at the back, they're too big.  If the shells are too big, those boots might not work for you.  If the shells are the right size, you might need custom liners (or footbeds, or some other modification) to adjust the fit on the right foot.  A good bootfitter can do all that.

 

If the boots fit well, it could be some kind of muscular or balance difference between your left and right sides.  Almost everyone is a little bit uneven and favors one leg over the other, and has one leg that's slightly stronger.  (I definitely favor planting/balancing on my left leg, even though I'm right handed/footed.)  That can lead to being tentative or defensive on one side, making turns in one direction more difficult.  The good news is that this sort of problem can be fixed with rehab/training and practice.

 

Less commonly, you could have some kind of significant physiological difference, like one leg being slightly longer than the other, or being bowlegged on one side.  This is more likely if you've had a serious leg injury.  Small differences can go unnoticed in daily life, but get magnified on skis.  Being even half a degree more edged on one leg can make things very difficult.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

the ad was online, I met with the seller tried them on...

post #9 of 20

Before getting my boots custom fitted I had similar issues with all my previous boots.   There might be other issues at play but I would have your boot cuff alignment checked at the very least.

 

Another thing to consider, if you have left and right skis (some people do) there might be tuning issues with them also causing such problems.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by durakski View Post

the ad was online, I met with the seller tried them on...

If you didn't do a shell fit and they felt comfortable, I can almost guarantee they are too big.  If the boots are one size two big, a fitter might be able to make them work(but I doubt it), but if they are 2 or more sizes too big they cannot be fixed.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum, read the wikis about fitting and terminology and check the list of boot fitters for someone near you.  I know he isn't on the list but Brent Amsbury in Park City is excellent and there are probably others on the list as well.  Don't assume that everyone at a ski shop is a qualified boot fitter and can actually work on boots to make them fit correctly.
 

 

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses.  I had the skis detuned and shell fitted and adjusted my right boot slightly.  Seems to have helped the problem of the floating ski although today was mostly packed power so it was kind of different conditions than the original experience.

post #12 of 20

Have  you verified that the problem is the same ski?  Try changing  the ski from one foot to the other and verify that is not specific to one ski of the pair.   If it is a problem that moves with the ski then check it for sheer twist and tuning of the edges and wax condition.  If the problem is NOT in the ski, then it is  either a technique issue or a physical  issue with the boots or your body alignment. Either way  it is now time for an hour or more lesson with a top qualified professional instructor who is very knowledgeable about alignment and and canting  and with the appropriate solutions and then  to a boot fitter to solve those issues.  Have fun. 


 

post #13 of 20

I'm thinking that your right ski is under-edged on the flats.  This could be an alignment issue, a tuning issue, or a physiological issue.  Get it looked at as the others have said.  You may be able to fix it functionally by edging your skis a bit more on the flats.  Focus on your edging being simultaneous and equal between both feet.  Your shins should be largely parallel with each other.  Sometimes pointing the knees into the turns can help with this although I prefer to think about initiating from the ankles and feet.  Simultaneous and equal edging does NOT mean equal weight or pressure on both skis.  Please don't get caught in that trap.  You should be able to feel how much pressure to put on each ski based on conditions.  I hate to hand out numbers, because it's always changing through the turn.  However having more weight on the outside ski is generally the better option.

 

All skis get squirrely when they run flat.  It could be alignment, or tuning, but take a look at always keeping both skis on some sort of edge all the time and the problem may go away.  Even when I appear to be running straight on a green or a cat track, I am actually making a very long radius turn, and I am on my edges...  At least a little bit.

post #14 of 20


IMO, I agree with tetonpwdrjunkie:
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

All skis get squirrely when they run flat.  It could be alignment, or tuning, but take a look at always keeping both skis on some sort of edge all the time and the problem may go away.  Even when I appear to be running straight on a green or a cat track, I am actually making a very long radius turn, and I am on my edges...  At least a little bit.



 

post #15 of 20

Also look at lifting your left foot/ski when you turn left, not all the way off the ground, but enough to get the weight off of it.  It could be that your left leg is dominant for any number of reasons.

 

post #16 of 20

Let's give the equipment the benefit of the doubt.  It's fine ... in theory that is.

 

Do you have a bias and to what side?  We all do; we have a strong and weak side and favor a turn.

 

Is your transition from straight skis (or reasonably straight), into a shape?

 

It could certainly be a canting issue but for the moment, start with basics.

post #17 of 20

You bought boots on line.

 

I am going to pretend I did not hear or read that.

 

The boot is the most critical piece of gear.  Take that to the bank along with all of the other cliches like the key chain & tee shirt one.

 

Really, you need to get your boots evaluated.  My guess is that you tried a few on in a shop and then ordered by your shoe size?

 

Imagine that we take a few bungee cords and place them in line in the transmission and steering mechanisms of your car.

 

"But they would be all wobbly and weak and shifting would be guesswork and steering impossible ... "  eek.gif

 

Uh huh. wink.gif

post #18 of 20

As Jim Wells suggests, if the OP always uses the same ski on the R foot, it could also be a bad base bevel of that ski. This option can be eliminated from the equation (or confirmed) by switching the skis and seeing if the wandering moves to the L ski. This simple test narrows the choice to either the ski or boot/physiology.

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

After dealing with a sore lower back and hip flexor that I just couldn't work or stretch my way out of this summer, I went to the chiropractor yesterday.  Turns out my right leg is slightly shorter than my left and the right arch is falling.  I think this would account for the some of the problems I was having last year.  Got fitted for a pair of "Sole Support" orthotics and hoping this cures my right floating right ski and difficulty turning.  Season pass to The Canyons in hand but plan on spending sometime at the CC resorts as well.  Hope you all have a great ski season!

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by durakski View Post

I recently moved to Utah and became a renewed skier after a 15 year or so break...I have really enjoyed this website and all of the interesting threads, hoping I can get some custom insight for a problem I am having and apologize in advance if I don't get the lingo right.

I estimate I am skiing at about a level 4 skier.  I recently bought a pair of Volkl AC3 unlimited (170 cm), I am 5'10" / 190lbs and a pair of Tecnica Mega 10 ski boots.  My first day out I noticed a couple of problems:

 

1.  My right ski seems to float, slight left, slightly right when I am cruising at a high speed (for me) on a flat. 

2.  I can't turn left very well.  If I have to turn or stop, I am going right.  I have to really "think" about turning left, and if I don't and I am on a steep, chance are I am going down.

 

Seems to me like the 2 might be related but I am not sure what it is...Boot, mechanics, etc...

 

Thanks in advance for any insight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



it was your first day out in 16 years, maybe you just need some practice.

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