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Forward lean, flex, and stance: test/solution

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

My first time posting so thanks in advance.  I've read a lot of threads about this as well as other sources and just can't seem to pin down what the right answer is.

 

I'm 6'3", 180 lbs, advanced skier with very slender calves and a long femur.  I ride older Volkl AC30s (184s) with the marker system binding and just switched this year from an older Lange Comp 100 to the Nordica Firearrow F1.   I tried a lot of boots on and surprisingly this held be the best in the calf witch was a problem area.  Unfortunately I'm now realizing that after its packing in that the 100mm last is too big for my narrow foot with low instep.  I was afraid of this when I got the boots but they really felt good at the beginning (obviously).   They are not bad now but my biggest concern is forward lean.

 

This is something I've always struggled with.  I takes such concerted effort to stay forward and I also have to stay fairly upright.  Perhaps that is just the way it is and some would argue that you should be upright.  Its when I need to get low and aggressive that it can be very difficult to pull my feet back and get any leverage on the boot tongues.  With the long femur much bend at the knee puts me back.

 

The test I've tried is to get all buckled in on a level floor and assume an athletic stance - done; weight is balanced on foot with pressure on ball of foot..  Then, with hands all the way forward, bend at the knee until my femur is parallel to the floor.  I get about 2/3s of the way there and my weight is totally on my heels. I can get all the way down but the toes of the boots are coming off the floor.  I added about a 1/2" of shim under the heel and it really didn't help a lot. Is this ok?  If I was doing squats I would stay in balance on my whole foot because I would flex more at the ankle.  Does this test assume flexing into the boot?  If so I can't at all.  Should the lack of flexion at the ankle while in the boot be compensated by forward lean or is it proper that you are about to go over backwards when you get so low?

 

I've tried some mods of my own witch have been putting about 3/8 of semi-rigid foam (the kind the use for those IT band rollers) behind the liner and also added a 3/16 or 1/8 heel wedge.  I didn't notice a huge difference except that I was unconsciously staying farther back (would catch myself and move forward) and I felt I couldn't flex the boot as much albeit it was a very cold day.  I don't know if the mods were just ineffective and its just the boot, if I just have less shim in the back of the cuff and look at lifting the heel of the boot or what.  I have Surefeet but am thinking about getting custom foot beds.  Cant angle is a whole other topic but I'll be addressing that too.

 

I'm not trying to be fussy but lately I've really been working on some finesse and refinement and its exposing some of these nuances with stance.  I'm athletic enough to overcome them but I feel it may be holding me back too.

 

I am really looking forward to the feedback.  Thanks.

post #2 of 4

"I'm not trying to be fussy but lately I've really been working on some finesse and refinement and its exposing some of these nuances with stance.  I'm athletic enough to overcome them but I feel it may be holding me back too."

 

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     In the above paragraph you speak about "Finesse" and you are right----longer limbed folks have longer lever arms in thier legs which allows them to over lever the skis and get more from them than they might have anticipated.  It becomes critical that you locate your COM (center of Mass) at or just in front of the boot sole center.  

 

     This is definitely effected by the forward lean of the boot.  Open the top of the boots, keep your torso and femurs perpendicular to the floor and sink your knees forward slowly, feel for when your heels get light in the boots----note the area that opens behind your calfs in the liner and have someone measure this distance and adjust the liner forward.  By moving your legs to this position you will have your mass centered over the boot shell center (fore/aft) ---this is a starting point.  

 

     Now you will need to be able to move your knees forward incrementally (1mm at a time) by adding to the forward lean to position your COM in the correct "dynamic" spot over the skis.  Generally 5 layers of duck tape = 1mm of thickness---having some of these layered pieces stuck to the outside of your boots would let you add to the forward lean as you are skiing to find this "correct" position.

 

    What size boots?---what size feet?

 

mike

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response.  This makes sense if I'm understanding you corrrectly. 

 

To get the appropriate lean in the boots, get balanced with the buckles open, measure, shim behind the liner.

 

To position over the skis, increase the delta by shiming up the heel.

 

If memory serves, my boots are a size 28.  10 1/2 foot.

post #4 of 4

no, on the delta thing.

 

you increase the forward lean by inserting the tape between the liner and shell(at the top) behind the calf.  pull out about 2 feet of 2 inch duck tape stick it to the kitchen counter and layer it up 5 times then cut it into 4 inch lengths, cut 45 degree corners on one side to look good and carry several per boot on the outside as you ski---then "if" you need to increase the forward lean (dynamically) you will have it and can stick it between the liner and shell.

 

sounds like your boots are tooo big---read about shell sizing in the wiki Which boot will work for me at the top of Ask the boot guy's

 

mike

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