Skiing History: I have only been able to ski about three long weekends a year (6-9 days) and I am starting my third skiing season. Fist season was in the mid-west at Mad River Mountain (OH) and Bittersweet (MI). Last year I got four days in at Snow Summit in CA (stayed on Chair 9, Summit Run and Miracle Mile) and two days in Tahoe at Diamond Peak (Freeway, Penguin, Popular, Crystal Ridge during a storm – no groomed runs) and Northstar (day after the storm, nice groomers off Zephyr Express lift). So far this year I’ve put in one day at Jiminy Peak in Mass (hit most of the greens and blues on the right side of the hill on cheap rental gear in very icy conditions – struggled, burning thighs, backseat).
Body/Fitness: I am 31 years old, 5’10”, and 165 pounds, size 8.5 Nike running shoes (run 2-3 miles 2-3 days a week with light gym workout focusing on legs, pushups and crunches, played varsity soccer, basketball and baseball in high school)
Boots: Rossignol Zenith Sensor3 100 size 26.5 (“fitted” at Mountain Air Sports in San Luis Obispo – about two fingers in empty shell)
I ski 167cm K2 Apache Raiders with Marker Mod 11.0 bindings.
All of that said, I will be taking some lessons this winter and I am not blaming my beginner skills on my equipment, however I would like an initial check on whether or not my boots are working against me.
I usually end up in the back seat a lot, lose confidence and end up pressing my skis against the snow (series of hockey stops) instead of standing over my feet with my skeleton carrying the load. Result is burning thighs and diminished confidence. (I recognize this is a technique/skill issue).
These questions may be too loaded or open-ended, but some initial evaluation on this would be nice. (Note: I have read all of the “heel lift”, “burning thighs/quads”, “backseat” threads)
- My novice technique (flaws) aside, are my boots working against me?
- Are my boots too stiff?
- With my limited (haven’t measured) dorsiflexion, would the heel lifts help?
- Are my skis too long?
(Easy answer: take private lessons and stop by SierraJim’s .... but I just don’t have the time (leave days) or money)
I am heading to China Peak (Sierra Summit) this weekend and will likely try a day with the heel lifts (while also working on some hopping/stepping/side-slipping/garland drills)!
I have attached some pictures for reference.
A. this shows my max flex forward barefoot without heels coming off the ground(dorsiflexion?)
B. Another barefoot shot (note the right foot ... maybe some canting or cuff work is needed?)
C. In boots
D. In skis
E. With Tognar Small 3/8" heel lifts
G. Footbed with heel lift