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Binding ramp angle/delta, boot ramp angle and it's effect on your skiing

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

OK, quick background: looking at new skis - have two shops that carry the model I'd like.  One shop sells it flat, the other with the "system" binding.  The shop that only sells the ski flat does so for two reasons.  First, they say that the ramp angle (sometimes have seen this called the binding delta) of the system binding is too steep, and second, the system binding does not allow for any adjustment to the delta angle.  They contend that, through their years of biostance analysis of their customers and other skiers, an overly steep ramp angle (more than 4 degrees), like those found in most 'system' bindings, is actually a hindrance to good skiing technique and outweighs any flex advantage a 'system' binding has.  For example, they say that the steeper ramp angle doesn't put you over the tips, but actually forces you into the back seat.

 

I realize that this is highly subjective in that everyone's body shape, ability level and even to a certain extent how one was taught to ski will have an impact on what feels natural in terms of your stance, comfort and how one likes to drive one's current set of skis (thinking that some skis may require a very different stance than another set).  Still is it that subjective?  Are there any general rules that say you want a little bit of forward lean, but not too much or you really should be completely neutral (if that's even possible)?  I've seen a lot of discussion on various threads here about ramp angles and such, but there doesn't seem to be much about what's supposed to happen if you change your binding from a three degree ramp to a flat platform or if you double it to 6 degrees.  All other variables set aside, how would that change the performance of the ski?

post #2 of 11

its not that subjective. Ski that have binding that are lifted more in the heels are VERY hard to remain balance on since there is no way to keep moving forward.

post #3 of 11

You need to find what works for you.  Bushwacker, in all the wisdom of youth, offers absolutes that have not yet been tempered by experience.

 

I recently put some flat AT bindings on a ski where I had been using some racing bindings. Felt rather out of whack, butt sticking out, bent at the waist.  I put a wedge under the heel and it was ahhh, just right. Like many skiers,  I prefer some heel lift.  I remain in balance just fine regardless, but feel way better with a bit of lift.

post #4 of 11

There is a reason manufacturers have moved away from system skis; if you are sold on this ski buy it flat. 

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

You need to find what works for you.  Bushwacker, in all the wisdom of youth, offers absolutes that have not yet been tempered by experience.

 

I recently put some flat AT bindings on a ski where I had been using some racing bindings. Felt rather out of whack, butt sticking out, bent at the waist.  I put a wedge under the heel and it was ahhh, just right. Like many skiers,  I prefer some heel lift.  I remain in balance just fine regardless, but feel way better with a bit of lift.



I agree, I had to put a 1/4"(6mm) shim under the heal of  the naxo nx1 to make the ski(rossi B3) feel right.  without the lift I felt like I was stuck in the back seat.  but like most things in life moderation  is a good thing.

 

royal

 

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquawBrat View Post

There is a reason manufacturers have moved away from system skis; if you are sold on this ski buy it flat. 

Thanks, but the question isn't about if I should buy the flat version vs. the system version.  What I'm trying to ascertain is what problem is the shop, in this case, trying to fix by going with flat skis.  I see the obvious answer in that a flat ski allows them to customize the binding ramp angle for each skier which, given all the variables involved in the "skiing dynamic", makes some sense, especially when the "system" binding prohibits any adjustment.  But why is 3 degrees OK, and 6 degrees is wrong?  It kinda begs the question why aren't all bindings, and boots for that matter, set up flat?  Is the ramp angle built in just to force the skier into a more athletic stance?  Are skis engineered with an "ideal" ramp angle in mind to most effectively make the ski work?  Is that what several of the posters meant when they adjusted their bindings and now their skis felt "right"?  Or is this just playing with a person's center of mass (CM) in order to achieve the proper balance point of the CM over the ski, given, the boots ramp angle, forward lean, and binding ramp angle?

 

 

post #7 of 11

I have a system binding on one of the 4 pairs that I use regularly. I agree with the shop that it is a clear disadvantage not being able to change the delta (or canting for that matter) of the system binding.

I have played around a bit with binding delta on my SL ski wich has a marker plate where it is very easy to change the delta reversibly by stacking different amounts of shims in the front and back. Out of 4, 2 and 0 mm, I preferred 2 mm with my alpine boots. I can change the delta to 2 mm for all the other skis very easily by shimming the toes and getting longer screws, but I can’t do anything with the pair with a system binding. I won’t be buying any more system binding skis if I can avoid it, and I will be very tempted if I can find more cheap used race skis with marker race plates on....

I don’t know if my short experiment mean that I have found my optimal binding delta. Perhaps what I was most used to felt best, regardless of what is optimal? I will continue to experiment. And perhaps I will prefer a different delta on a 188 cm rockered setback powder ski compared to a 155cm SL ski with the binding mounted a bit to far forward?

If you have an upright boot, then lots of binding delta might make a lot of sense to you. And if you have limited ankle flex, a upright boot might also make sense.. There is no right or wrong delta in absolute sense, but having the same delta or at least in the same ballpark on all of your skis makes sense. Then you can do moods on your boot (forward lean, heel lift inside or outside the boot or at the toe) and have a similar effect on all your skis.

Since it is so dependent on boots, body type, calf shape etc statements like the one from bushwacker above doesn’t make much sense. Take a look at my AT-boot thread in the boot guys forum, to see how dependent it can be on the boots:

http://www.epicski.com/t/108029/finetuning-at-boot-forward-lean

In short, on my AT-boot and dynafit setup, I’am tempted to increase the already very high binding delta (17 mm) of the dynafits because the whole setup is to leaned to far  backward in the least forward, lean position in the boots. With the boots in the most forward position I feel way to forward and in addition I can flex my ankle in the boot to an uncomfortable position. With my alpine boots in alpine bindings on the other hand, I prefer 2mm delta….

BTW: Ramp angel is most often used when describing the angle of the bootboard inside the boot relative to the outside and measured in degrees. Binding height differens is most often called delta and measured in mm. Probably easier that way since different boots sizes will have the same angle and a binding will have the same height difference, but the angle will depend on your boot size. Simple trigonometric is needed to convert between the two. When you are saying that the binding has 6 degrees ramp angle, than I don’t quite believe that. For my boot sole length the heel would then have to be 30 mm higher than the toe….. You are probably taking about mm?

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smear View Post

BTW: Ramp angel is most often used when describing the angle of the bootboard inside the boot relative to the outside and measured in degrees. Binding height differens is most often called delta and measured in mm. Probably easier that way since different boots sizes will have the same angle and a binding will have the same height difference, but the angle will depend on your boot size. Simple trigonometric is needed to convert between the two. When you are saying that the binding has 6 degrees ramp angle, than I don’t quite believe that. For my boot sole length the heel would then have to be 30 mm higher than the toe….. You are probably taking about mm?



You may be correct, perhaps the salesman was refering to the delta in terms of mm not degrees.  Just repeating what I thought I heard from the salesman.  Saw a comment by Patmoore in a thread in the racing section that Ficher's 2013 GS cheater ski will feature a negative delta (toes higher that the heel) which he reports is designed to get the racer out of the back seat.  Which gets back to my first question - what are you trying to fix by playing with these variables?

 

post #9 of 11

Paging Bud Heishman, Bud Heishman to the white courtesy phone.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post

what are you trying to fix by playing with these variables?

 


I'm not an expert in this and are just trying to go with what feels rigth.

If I have too much forward lean/delta/ramp angle, then feel I need to stay in a overly flexed position when standing neutral for-aft in the boots. I feel that not beeing able to properly extend in the turns without getting too far forward leads to less powerful skiing in addition to beeing tireing over time.

If I have too little forward lean/delta/ramp angle, then I get in the backseat when I need to flex low. And if I loose balance to the rear in a turn then to little forward lean/delta/ramp angle will lead to me beeing further to the rear when getting support from the rear of the cuff, and more chance of not beeing able to recover.

So I'm just trying to find a happy medium that enables me to ski in an extended strong positon without ending up beeing balanced to far rearward.

Look at this animation from Bob Barnes:

http://vimeo.com/19554601


The only general guideline of how much is appropriate that I have seen is this: matching angles of spine and lower leg when beeing in a moderatly flexed "neutral" stance is a sign of good alignment.


How less delta or negative delta would get so "the racer out of the back seat" is not a straight forward line of thougth. Less delta will put you more rearward in a static view of things. But skiing with too much delta will lead to skiing in an overly flexed stance with the hips further back and the shoulders more forward. Perhaps fore-aft balance adjustments during skiing will be more difficult in a very flexed stance as opposed to a more uprigth stance. Or if standing up throws you to far forward, then one might compensate with balancing to the rear, due to the fear of falling forward. As opposed to standing up and getting exactly where you want to be, sligthly forward, without fear of getting to far forward. Or perhaps a flexed stance will make countering and hip angulation more difficult and skiing without effective hip angulation makes it more difficult to get forward in the transiton by catching up on the skis?

We clearly need an expert explanation here, 2X on paging the boot guys :)

 


Edited by Smear - 1/22/12 at 1:34pm
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post

One shop sells it flat, the other with the "system" binding.  The shop that only sells the ski flat does so for two reasons.  First, they say that the ramp angle (sometimes have seen this called the binding delta) of the system binding is too steep, and second, the system binding does not allow for any adjustment to the delta angle.  They contend that, through their years of biostance analysis of their customers and other skiers, an overly steep ramp angle (more than 4 degrees), like those found in most 'system' bindings, is actually a hindrance to good skiing technique and outweighs any flex advantage a 'system' binding has.  For example, they say that the steeper ramp angle doesn't put you over the tips, but actually forces you into the back seat.

 

Sounds like a good shop.  They actually know what they're talking about.

 

One of the nice things VIST offers with some of their plates is negative ramp angle, so once you choose the appropriate plate you don't need to fool around with binding shims or lifters under your boot toes.
 

 

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