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Heel wedges and SEVERE back-seat-air turn exits...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Since I've added heel-wedges to my bootboard, the exits from turns have way in the back seat, to the point I'm catching big air and have to pivot in the air for the next turn.  After each turn, I can feel a "snap" that springs the tail of my skis off the snow and sends me in the air.

 

This never happened without heel wedges.

 

Would this be an expected result?

 

Regardless, should I give it more time or get rid of them?

 

 

(FWIW, my only goal with the wedges was to deal with short lower leg length and dorsiflexion issues to a lesser extent).

post #2 of 23

Take em out.  Why did you put them in?  Did a fitter suggest them?

post #3 of 23

That's awesome. After you take them out, send them to me.

post #4 of 23

Just read the thread in Ask the Boot Guys.  Obviously they know more than me.  But I do know that heal lifts can really screw things up.


Edited by Paul Jones - 1/2/12 at 7:43pm
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

Since I've added heel-wedges to my bootboard, the exits from turns have way in the back seat, to the point I'm catching big air and have to pivot in the air for the next turn.  After each turn, I can feel a "snap" that springs the tail of my skis off the snow and sends me in the air.

 

This never happened without heel wedges.

 

Would this be an expected result?

 

Regardless, should I give it more time or get rid of them?

 

 

(FWIW, my only goal with the wedges was to deal with short lower leg length and dorsiflexion issues to a lesser extent).

 

To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions.

 


 

 

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

Good, that's what I needed to hear.  I'm gonna trash the heel-lifts.

 

 

Part of the rationale was to fill up some empty space where there was too much.  My damn boots...  without the heel-lift my ankles cant stay locked against the boot board.  These were terrible boots to buy.  But really it is 200% my fault.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

Good, that's what I needed to hear.  I'm gonna trash the heel-lifts.

 

 

Part of the rationale was to fill up some empty space where there was too much.  My damn boots...  without the heel-lift my ankles cant stay locked against the boot board.  These were terrible boots to buy.  But really it is 200% my fault.

 

yeah but they have caused so much useful discussion!
 

 

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 

yeah but they have caused so much useful discussion!
 

 


Well yeah, I don't feel bad about most of the questions I asked, because I think many people searching the site could come across those threads and learn some stuff.

 

 

I don't have much cash, so I'm gonna take the heel lifts out, and make the best of boots.

 

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 

To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions.

 


 

 


Getting back to the topic, are you suggesting the lifts put me so far forward going into turns that the reaction is back-seat air?

 

post #10 of 23


I am open to correction, but I think that the heel wedge will create additional pressure forward at your shins; howver your body will seek to offest this to maintain balance and will create more "back-seat".  Dealing with this now for boot problems as well. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post


Getting back to the topic, are you suggesting the lifts put me so far forward going into turns that the reaction is back-seat air?

 



 

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post


Getting back to the topic, are you suggesting the lifts put me so far forward going into turns that the reaction is back-seat air?

 



yep. to be balance we have to have somewhere to move. With heel lifts are balance point is now further forward moving even further forward will feel not balance

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

Take em out.  Why did you put them in?  Did a fitter suggest them?


Technically, a fitter did recommend these a while back.  But I don't think she recommended them with much thought.  Good and earnest effort, but little to no thought.

 

But the recommendation I believe was based solely on the length of my lower leg (technically referred to as the "leg," btw), not on stabilization, dorsiflexion, COM positioning, or anything else.

 

 

 

These things really position you forward.  I could see why someone with a more gluteal-oriented COM would love these.

 

post #13 of 23

The other option is to put a shim under your binding toe piece to counter the heel lift, but that's all starting to convolute things. Sounds like new boots will be in order when the account is more flush.

post #14 of 23

Obviously, you are the only one that can judge if this new reaction is to unpredictable or dangerous, but from what I read, it doesn't sound like a "bad" thing.  It takes a bit of effort to load the shovels through the bottom of the turn and then release this energy at the turn finish.  I'd experiment with new setup before trash canning them.  Most skiers never do generate enough energy to float through the initiation of the next turn.

 

Generating a nice float phase at the turn finish is so key IMO to being able to retract and hookup the next turn early.  I'd try to reduce/minimize some of the exertion at the turn finish/pole plant and reach a little further down the hill with the pole plant. 

 

If you can get the sun at your back when skiing, look at your shadow and focus on making it look and ski like you think a skier should look and move.  For some reason this almost automatically centers and balances me instantly.  I just "make" the shadow dance and don't even think about what I'm doing.  This may help you get a bit more forward than usual to take advantage of the new early shovel pressure and slightly reduce the amount of rebound you are generating at the turn finish.

 

If you foot is more secure because of the shims, it would likely have some benefit to energy transmission and feel/sense.

 

I'd give them a chance for a week and experiment, you may learn to like that extra pop.  When I skied Raichle Flexons, I always had a 5/16 shim under my heel and really like the power and feel.

 

GL, don't get hurt while trying to tame that powerful release.

 

 

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

The thing is, Raptors already have 5 degrees of ramp, and apparently this is more than most boots.  So perhaps the one aspect heel lifts attempt to correct is already built in to the raptors.

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 

One more thing I noticed (and it may have been placebo effect) was perhaps tighter apexes of turns.

 

Early last year, I struggled with finishing turns across the fall line.  Now, observing my tracks from the lift, there seem to be much tighter apexes.

 

 

But for my body type, I don' think this is good.

 

I thought at 180 pounds I wouldn't get thrown around like this.  But like I said, it doesn't happen without the wedges.

post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 

Took off wedges.

 

Yup, no back-seat problems today.  Very smooth.

 

Although the turns aren't as tight as with the wedges.  Or maybe that's in my head like I said.  Oh well.

post #18 of 23

Vitamin Ski,

 

I'm getting fitted in a new boot.  I got a Lange rx120 short cuff.  I had quite large heel lifts in my old boot to solve the problem of a "loose heel".  It is caused by inflexible ankles and the inability to dorsi flex very much.  After skiing the Lange out of the box for a day, I felt like I had to bend at the waist to keep balanced over the ski.  That night I had a 3/8" heel lift added and some grinding in the toe box done.  The next day, it felt like a whole different boot (thank god!).  My next step it getting the lateral alignment done.  I already started figuring that out be adding some shim chips under the heel piece.  I hope to get that alignment (sole planing) done soon.

 

My point is that heel lifts are usually added to solve the "loose heel" problem or ramp issues and not for leverage issues.  I'm glad you decided to remove the lifts and problem solved.

 

RW

post #19 of 23

Vitamin,

In your first post you mentioned the purpose of the wedge was to fill space that was preventing keeping your ankle on the boot  board. Might it be more accurate to say your HEAL lifts off the insole? Heres a thought. Inorder for your heel to lift there must be space above your ankle for your foot to move into. The heel lift was intended to move you up against the tongue. Maybe a better idea is to fill the space above your ankle. I'd try some hard rubber on top of the tongue of the boot starting behind the top of your arch and continuing up to a point where the tongue is vertical. This should preserve the boot/foot ramp angle and give you the snugger fit you seek. Be careful that this shim isn't over the top of your arche.Pressing done on the arche wouldn't be a good thing.

Kazooski

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KAZOOSKI View Post

Vitamin,

In your first post you mentioned the purpose of the wedge was to fill space that was preventing keeping your ankle on the boot  board. Might it be more accurate to say your HEAL lifts off the insole? Heres a thought. Inorder for your heel to lift there must be space above your ankle for your foot to move into. The heel lift was intended to move you up against the tongue. Maybe a better idea is to fill the space above your ankle. I'd try some hard rubber on top of the tongue of the boot starting behind the top of your arch and continuing up to a point where the tongue is vertical. This should preserve the boot/foot ramp angle and give you the snugger fit you seek. Be careful that this shim isn't over the top of your arche.Pressing done on the arche wouldn't be a good thing.

Kazooski


Thanks for the insight; I'll look into this.

 

Yes!  My leg and the tongue/cuff angle don't align and the top of the cuff touches my shin, but then then bottom doesn't.  It's tough to get that area snug partly because the second-from bottom buckle (the instep buckle) needs to be loose or instep pain will ensue.

 

When I did have the wedges in for two days of skiing, there was red irritated skin on my lower shin (which must have been snug with tongue like it's supposed to be).

 

 

 

 

Oh ski boots.... hissyfit.gif

 

post #21 of 23

Vitamin,

Another thought. ( I always wonder if that's dangerous) When putting on your boots, buckel the first buckle, tug up on the tongue,release, buckle the second buckle, now push down on the top of the tongue while buckeling 3 and 4. This could put more bend in the tongue right at that ransition from top of the foot to front of the ankle.

Maybe heating up the plastic side (top) of the tongue would help make this area conform to the shape of your ankle.

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KAZOOSKI View Post

Vitamin,

Another thought. ( I always wonder if that's dangerous) When putting on your boots, buckel the first buckle, tug up on the tongue,release, buckle the second buckle, now push down on the top of the tongue while buckeling 3 and 4. This could put more bend in the tongue right at that ransition from top of the foot to front of the ankle.

Maybe heating up the plastic side (top) of the tongue would help make this area conform to the shape of your ankle.


Follow steps above for buckles 1 & 2. Next, try this for fun. Settle your heel into the boot, pull up the sides of the liner, align the tongue, then close and tighten your power strap inside the top of the shell. Now buckle #4  tightly, and then #3 just with a nice 'snap' sound, but not tight. Yes, the power strap is inside the top of the shell. 

 

(Kazoo, hope you guys are getting some snow at TR and BS. smile.gif )

 

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post


Getting back to the topic, are you suggesting the lifts put me so far forward going into turns that the reaction is back-seat air?

 


It's a common  misconception that raising the heel either with internal wedges, heel lifters, or binding shims, will put you into an agressive forward position.  The opposite is, in fact, true because your hips will move backwards to stay in balance, putting you into the backseat (but it 'appears' aggressive because you end up with greater flex in the knee due to sitting back).  Depending on the boot ramp angle, many race setups actually shim the binding toe piece or use a lifter under the boot toe to raise the front of the boot, as this promotes a more balanced position that allows you to drive the ski more effectively.  There are a couple of old threads, including photos, that deal with this topic.... but unfortunately I couldn't locate them. 

 

Personally, my boots have 2mm lifters under the toes, and all of my non-Atomic bindings are also shimmed under the toe pieces to minimize the delta between heel and toe (as are those of virtually everyone else I know who races).  I don't shim my Atomic 1018s as they have minimal delta to begin with.

 

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